1. Media Institutions You will understand media ownership and link this to Film 4 You will understand production, distribution, marketing and exhibition and relate this to Film 4
2. Recap terminology• Institution• Codes and conventions• Institutional context• Ideology• Commercial institution• Independent institution• Reception theory• Genre• Codes and Conventions• Preferred meaning• Oppositional meaning• Negotiated meaning
3. Recap terminology• Hypodermic needle model• Narrative theory (Propp and Todorov)• Star theory• Studio system• Auteur theory• Star vehicles• Big Five• Horizontal integration• Vertical integration• Production values
4. Focus: The Film Industry • A study of a specific studio or production company within a contemporary film industry that targets a British audience.
5. Focus: The Film Industry • Focusing on its patterns of: Production Distribution Exhibition Consumption by audiences.
6. Focus: The Film Industry • Accompanied by study of contemporary film distribution practices (digital cinemas, DVD, HD-DVD, downloads, etc) and their impact upon production, marketing and consumption.
7. Link to the exam paper• the issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice; What is Media Ownership?
8. Questions to consider1. How may we understand the identity, function and significance of media institutions apart from their role as constructors of media product?2. What do we mean by the phrase ‘power of the media’?3. How have media institutions changed with the advent of new technology, and with relation to ideas about globalization?
9. Film Four• Owned by Channel 4• Started in 1982 when it was called Channel 4 Films.• Has made some of Britain’s most successful and critically acclaimed films such as: – Four Weddings and a Funeral – Trainspotting – Elizabeth – The Last King of Scotland – Slumdog Millionaire – Touching the Void
10. What is power and dominance?• Income/turnover/expenditure• Volume of product/output• Size of audienceAffected by:• Degree of vertical integration• Investment in new technology• Multi-nationalism• Conglomeration• Diversification
11. Vertical IntegrationVertical integration refers to the pattern of business ownership inwhich a company buys or sets up other companies which relate to thecore business – say, publishing. In particular, big media organizationstend to try and control production, distribution and exhibition/retailing.EXAMPLEWhen NewsCorp moved into the USA it bought Twentieth CenturyFox which is about film production and distribution. These filmsprovide product for Fox TV, which itself was greatly expanded inrespect of its production and distribution of material. NewsInternational also owns a chain of 33 TV stations in major UScities, which gives it some guaranteed exhibition of its product.
12. What is Media Ownership?• Media ownership is concerned with the structure of media institutions and their practice not only in relation to their production but also their relationship with Business and Governments Monopoly – an institution that has dominance and control over a particular sector. The Monopoly commission prevents single organisations dominating without good reason. Oligopoly – a group of companies that hold dominance in a sector; e.g. the Big Five Synergy – the interaction of organisations
13. Horizontal integrationHorizontal integration (sometimes called lateral integration)refers to a company’s ability to move sideways, buying acrossdifferent media.EXAMPLE• An example of lateral strength would be the Walt Disney Company, which in respect of films owns Miramax and Touchstone, as well as Walt Disney Pictures.• New technology underpins media power of distribution, across a range of media: films, TV, news production, the Internet, telecommunications.
14. Multi-nationalism• Multi-nationalism links to globalization and refers to the fact that the largest media companies do business in different countries, distribute products across different countries, and have manufacturing bases in different countries. This can make them more difficult to regulate, less easy to tax and generally more difficult to ‘challenge’ in national and cultural interests.• It increases audience consumption and PROFITS!
15. Limitations of the British film industry• There is no coherent British film industry in the way that radio programmes or books are produced, distributed and sold in Britain.• There is no large film company which can, from its own turnover and backers, finance movies – least of all for distribution on a global scale.• Finance for British films is cobbled together from a variety of sources. Predominantly, money comes from the US majors.• Television may also provide some funding. Channel 4 has been a relatively significant supporter of low-budget British films.• The BBC puts only 1 per cent of its budget into film production.• The British National Lottery has also given some money, to be administered through the UK Film Council.• What are legally defined as British films (and so eligible for certain tax concessions) may be made largely by British workers, but often are funded by US money – companies such as Miramax.
16. Doyle (2002)‘The small size of the domestic UK market andthe disaggregated structure of the industryprevent the indigenous production sector[British film makers] from growing beyond acottage industry.’• Even globally, few films survive solely on box-office receipts. Video sales are important. So is the income from TV rights – often made in a pre-sales deal which provides cash upfront to pay for the movie being made. And then there are the spin-off product deals – music, games and toys.
17. What implications does this havefor film 4?• Is Film 4 vertically and/or horizontally integrated?• What sales figures did your film 4 films create?• Does film 4 distribute across more than one country?• Where does Film 4 get funding from?• How else does Film 4 make money?
18. Link to the exam paper• the issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice; Production
19. Digital revolution• The digital revolution (e.g. the proliferation of digital technology) has made the production of media products more accessible.• Prints (35mm) are very expensive to produce, making exhibition for smaller companies more limited. Digitalisation and the Digital Screen Network costs 1 tenth of the costs of film prints = greater audience choice and distribution for smaller production companies, particularly UK Film companies.
20. “We-Media”• What is We-Media?• Consumers become Prosumers – does this challenge the hypodermic needle model and Uses and Gratifications?• Technological convergence (synergy between technologies) has made contributing to the media and creating media easier for everyday people.
21. Factors affecting film production• 2006 Gvt tax relief policy• Piracy/illegal distribution, Film theft in the UK (UK Film Council: 2004)• Production practice: Manipulation of image, editing, SFX, animation• Budget• Casting (star theory)
22. Piracy• Time span between a films theatrical release and retail release is much shorter, why?• Effect of digital technology in every home, broadband internet.• Internet allows for downloading of films, illegal and also file sharing sites.
23. Link to the exam paper• the issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice;• the issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically, British) by international or global institutions; Marketing
25. Benefits of new technology and convergence• Marketing a film through the internet is relatively cheap and reaches a very wide audience.• Promoting your film through social networks provides a forum for promotion through word of mouth.• Getting people to sign up means companies can send txts, emails to raise awareness of films.
26. Slumdog Millionaire • Promoters used a company called Tug to promote the film through the internet. • Banners placed on key sites such as the Google search engine gave optimum advertising for the film. • Appealed to mass audiences through its key common themes and inter- textual reference of well a known game show.
27. Trainspotting • Released before internet advertising the film was promoted through its music. • The songs chosen for the film were so popular that the soundtrack went on to 20 million copies. • Was the film for the 1990’s generation of young adults. Equivalent to Kidulthood in 2000’s.
28. Link to the exam paper• the issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice;• the issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically, British) by international or global institutions; Exhibition
29. Exhibition (Theatrical)• Majority of Film Four films are created for a western audience.• Films are generally smaller than the big American films and will draw smaller audiences.• Will only be released on a small number of screens because less copies of film are made.
30. Exhibition (Home) ConsumptionFilm Four uses its digital TV channel of the samename to exhibit its films, this enables them to:• Promote new films soon to be released• Promote their own back log of films through the channel• Be the first to premiere their films on TV, thus drawing in bigger audiences.
31. • Pre-audience (generates an audience for a sequel)• DVD, HD, Blue-ray• print• sales figures• multiplex revolution – 1985, MK, 10 screens• IMAX