The Distribution Process
These latter tasks form the process of alerting audiences to the films’ existence.
There are seve...
Me and Orson Welles – a British period drama should have predominantly
targeted a C1/B, White Female 35-50 a...
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The distribution process


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The distribution process

  1. 1. The Distribution Process These latter tasks form the process of alerting audiences to the films’ existence. There are several critical things the distributor must consider in order to create a productive campaign: A. Who is the target audience? The distributor will think about the demographic and psychographic profile of the target audience. Demographic profile includes: gender, age, socio-economic class and ethnicity. There are many measures used for identifying psychographic profiles, however that most commonly used by advertisers is Young and Rubicam’s 4Cs (Cross Cultural Consumer Characterisation): B. What do the target audience do? What magazines and newspapers do they read? Where do they travel and how? What are their interests? What other films are they likely to watch? The distributor will aim to define everything about the audience, in order to maximise profit for the film, by targeting advertising in the most appropriate places. For example, if the audience is unlikely to take public transport, but likely to purchase political magazines the distributor can avoid tube station posters and instead buy advertising space in The Economist. The distributor will find out about their audience through surveys and data analysis and will divide their data into three areas: 1. Who the audience is 2. What they think 3. Their media C. Is there a wider audience this film could appeal to? Major studio projects are so successful because they are mainly family films. Distributors will look for secondary audiences or whether a film has mass audience appeal, they may create a number of different poster campaigns for example in order to appeal to these different audiences. This means they could advertise the film in trailers and posters as Action/ Adventure (mass appeal), then Science Fiction and Romance (secondary audience) if there are elements of these genres in the film. D. What major cast or crew are involved in the project? The distributor will consider how to maximise the exposure of key cast and crew, measuring the successful of their most recent productions will not only allow the distributor to see what audience/s particular stars attract and perhaps widen the audience appeal in the marketing campaign, but it will also allow them to see which stars or crew (mainly the Director/Producer) should feature prominently in the advertising campaign.
  2. 2. CASE STUDIES: Me and Orson Welles – a British period drama should have predominantly targeted a C1/B, White Female 35-50 audience, however the inclusion of Zac Efron opened up options to appeal to a younger, female audience also, thus he was centralised in poster campaigns. The Orphanage - the first feature by Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona should have been a high-risk project, however with the attachment of Guillermo del Toro (who had just recently won the Oscar for best foreign feature with Pan’s Labyrinth) as Executive Producer the distributors covered all marketing with “presented by Guillermo del Toro”. Coraline - the key feature of the advertising campaign for this children’s animation was “by the Director of The Nightmare Before Christmas”. A cunning statement as many people consider The Nightmare Before Christmas to be a Tim Burton film, though he produced rather than directed it. Henry Selick, often overshadowed by Burton is not as famous by name as the films he has directed, therefore a previous film hit of his was named instead of him. E. The success of similar films recently This is the point when genre is important for distributors, allowing them to identify the success of similar films at the box office recently. From this they can analyse their marketing campaigns, match and improve on successful ones and consider the problems in the less successful projects. This may also be the consideration, which encourages a distributor to turn down a film. In the 1990s there were few musicals or westerns and even less had been major successes, therefore a distributor may be wary of these. Case Study Point Twilight triggered a zeitgeist for vampire and gothic films aimed at teenagers, thus Hammer’s decision to remake the Swedish film Let the right one in as Let me in, an obscure tale about a young vampire girl was pitched at the right time as the buzz fromTwilight was still influencing audiences’ tastes. F. Pre-existing Property Films based on pre-existing property are not only safer as they come with a ready-made fan base; they also open up more advertising opportunities as synergybetween the two products can be created. G. USP The film’s unique selling point is crucial to the distributor’s campaign: what makes the film special? What makes the film worth watching? What are the main selling points of the film?