Institutions and audiences the 7 key areas
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Institutions and audiences the 7 key areas Document Transcript

  • 1. Institutions and Audiences The 7 Key Concept Areas Listed and Explained Section B: Institutions and Audiences Candidates should be prepared to understand and discuss the processes of production, distribution, marketing and exchange as they relate to contemporary media institutions, as well as the nature of audience consumption and the relationships between audiences and institutions. In addition, candidates should be familiar with: • the issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice; • the importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and marketing; • the technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, distribution, marketing and exchange; • the significance of proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences; • the importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences; • the issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically, British) by international or global institutions; • the ways in which the candidates’ own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour. This unit should be approached through contemporary examples in the form of case studies based upon one of the specified media areas. See explanations below. Section B: Institutions and Audiences. The Exam Board will select one concept to devise a question for the exam.
  • 2. • the issues raised by media ownership in contemporary (current) media practice The depth and range of ownership across a range of media and the consequences of this ownership for audiences in terms of the genres and budgets for films. How for instance, can Channel4's Film4 survive in the British market place against the high concept, big-budget films made by Newcorp's FOX, Warner Bros, Disney, Universal, etc.? What kinds of niche audiences are left for Film4 to attract? Are mass audiences out of reach given the genres of films Film4 have the budgets to make? How successful have they been in reaching mass audiences with their films? How healthy is it that just a few mega media groups can own such a range of media and can decide what the public may see, and, perhaps, shape audience's tastes? • the importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and marketing Digital technology is enabling various media to converge in hubs, platforms and devices. For instance, mobiles phones do a lot more than act as hand held telephones: you can download and watch films and TV programmes, use them as alarm clocks, watches, play music on them, take photos and short films, text, go online, use GPS functions, a range of apps, and a whole lot more. New HD TVs, Playstations, X-Boxes, I-Pads, Notebooks, MacBooks, etc. are also examples of hubs which in which a variety of media technologies can converge for convenience for users. Media convergence is having an enormous impact on the film industry because of the ways in which institutions can produce and market for audiences/users on a widening range of platforms, capable of receiving their films. Synergies can come out of an organisation's size; smaller media organisations such as Channel4 can-cross promote their films, etc. but the scale of cross-media promotion is nowhere near as great as that which can be gained by massive media organisations. Film4 is therefore unable to promote their lower budget films on a level playing field. • the technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, distribution, marketing and exchange The audience's ability to interact with films by, for instance, using digital technology to put extracts on You Tube and overlay new sound tracks on them, etc. and make answering videos has been greatly enhanced by Web 2.0; Film studios can make films using CGI, greenscreen and other special effects that were impossible to make only a few years ago. The ways of filming and editing films have changed, too, with the introduction of digital film and film cameras, editing software, laptops, digital projectors, etc. Distributors market films
  • 3. using the latest software for designing high-concept film posters and trailers. They can use phone apps., online marketing, Face Book, etc. File-sharing and piracy are growing issues because the software exists to take the protective encryption of DVDs, etc and WEB 2.0 enables people to make and share copies of films easily. One way in which film companies are trying to get around this is by releasing films soon after theatrical release by selling them on video-on-demand, premium TV channels and downloads. US and UK cinemas chains are not happy about this, especially after all the investment some have made on digital equipment, projectors, etc. which unfortunately quickly goes very quickly out of date! • the significance of proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences This means the increase of something: i.e. digital cameras, software, CGI, 3D films, film genres, etc. which are part of current trends; how significant is this for See Saw Films or Film4? Or are they still able to be successful without it by making films with genres that do not need the latest breakthroughs in digital technology? Research the film company's use of cameras, special effects, software, posters, digital distribution of films, etc. • the importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences This is a WEB 2.0 issue and how technology is coming together in hubs like laptops is one of the features of our age; the mobile phone in your pocket is a great example of technological convergence: it can do so much more than a simple phone call; think how this is affecting film making at the production, marketing and exhibition stages? The Internet is acting as a hub for many aspects of film: you will find film posters, You Tube videos on films, interviews, trailers, official film and blog websites, etc. on it. Audiences can also remake their own films by creating extracts and running new scores over them and then posting them on You Tube. This often leads to answering videos, never mind the comments, etc. that people make on such sites. The internet, film and videos games seems to be converging in so many ways. People can watch films in a range of ways, using an astonishing range of hardware and software. They can also find audiences of their own. This amounts to free publicity for film institutions for their films and "A Long Tail" sales into the future through endless exchange. • the issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically, British) by international or global institutions "Slumdog Millionaire" was originally aimed at Asian audiences living in various parts of the UK and also at Danny Boyle fans. The film's unexpected success at film festivals and being nominated for the Oscars led to another theatrical release and a crossover from the "indy" art-house into the mainstream. British film makers often make social realism films and aim them at local and regional audiences whereas this would never be enough for the major media players who tend to make high budget, high concept films. They have boutique offshoots who make and often distribute lower budget films, aimed at more high brow audiences. Disney's Mirimax and Fox's Fox Searchlight are examples of such boutique, art- house film distribution. • the ways in which the candidates’ own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour How you consume films whether it is as a social activity after visiting a shopping centre or on an MP4 player or Playstation, is what is at issue here. Visit Pearl and Dean to see how multiplex cinemas are adapting the experience of cinema-going to gain audiences. In an age of falling DVD sales, home cinema and an increase in downloading for both music and film audiences are changing in how they want to consume film. Identify trends and consider where the audience trends are going in the near future.