Modern hollywood Filmmaking a Case Study<br />From the initial idea to exhibition and beyond.<br />
Your task<br />On the skill set website you will find an interactive storyboard guide to how films get made in modern Hollywood. Take a look at this and start to get your head around just how many processes there are in making a film – this is the link you will need http://skillset.org/film/business/# click ‘ENTER’<br />Pick a big, blockbuster film that you have seen and enjoyed. <br />Work through the storyboard, researching each step it explains for the film of your choice and produce a case study for your chosen film. You will need to use all your independent study skills for this as the information you need is unlikely to be found all in one place so you will have to search the internet and read the information and articles carefully to get the information you need. A good starting point for your research is the Wikipedia page and the Internet Movie Database page for your chosen film.<br />For any parts of the process that you cannot find specific examples for from your film you must instead research the process itself.<br />Look at the following slides for examples and instructions, I have picked I Am Legend.<br />
Learning objectives<br />To outline the process of filmmaking for your chosen film (PASS).<br />To describe the process of filmmaking for your chosen film with some detail and illustrative examples (MERIT).<br />To explain the process of filmmaking for your chosen film with precise and detailed illustrative examples (DISTINCTION).<br />A very important rule: DO NOT COPY AND PASTE INFORMATION YOU FIND, IF YOU DO YOU WILL BE ASKED TO DO THE TASK AGAIN IN YOUR OWN TIME/IN DETENTION.<br />
I am legend – the film<br />It is 2009 and scientists think they have finally found a cure to cancer in a genetically-<br />engineered variant of the measles called Krippen Virus. Unfortunately the virus <br />mutates out of control into a lethal strain and spreads across the whole world rapidly, <br />killing 5.4 billion people (90% of humanity). Of the 600 million survivors, 12 million are <br />naturally immune to the virus whilst the rest are effected by the virus but not killed by<br />it. The infected degenerate into hairless, aggressive, animal-like beings called<br />‘Darkseekers’ who hunt the immune as prey. Military virologist, Robert Neville is <br />involved in trying to contain the virus and protect survivors when it initially breaks out <br />of control, and in the process loses his wife and child in a helicopter accident as he is <br />trying to evacuate them. <br />3 years later Neville is the last remaining healthy human being in New York City. <br />Neville’s daily routine around experimenting on rats to find a cure for the virus and <br />sending out radio signals in the hope that other survivors will come to meet him. The <br />only companionship he has is his German Shepherd, Sam. When one of his experiments <br />shows promising signs he sets a trap to catch a Darkseeker in order to test the possible <br />cure on her. A male Darkseeker attempts to prevent him and get the infected woman <br />back but Neville holds him back and returns to his fortified house. He tests the possible <br />cure on the infected woman but with no success.<br />The next day Neville is caught in a trap himself and he and Sam are attacked by a pack <br />of infected dogs. Although Neville and Sam manage to escape Sam is bitten by one of <br />the dogs. Neville brings Sam home and attempts to save him with the cure but he sees <br />in Sam’s eyes that the dog is being taken over by the virus and is forced to strangle his <br />only companion and the last link he has to his dead wife and child. <br />
I am legend – the film<br />The following night, in a fit a grief, Neville attacks a group of Darkseekers. He <br />attempts to end his life in this suicide attack, while taking as many of them with him as <br />he can. He kills a large number of them but there are too many of them and they <br />overwhelm Neville and almost kill him before he is rescued by two other immune <br />humans. A woman named Anna and a young boy called Ethan heard his radio broadcasts <br />and were coming to meet him when they found him being attack. The three <br />survivors go back to Neville’s house where Anna explains to Neville that he is in fact not <br />as alone as he believes and that there is a survivors camp in Vermont which is where <br />they were heading when they heard his signals over the radio. <br />The next night a huge mob of Darkseekers attack the house, lead by the male <br />Darkseeker who tried to prevent Neville taking the female Darkseeker a few days <br />earlier. Neville uses all of the defences he has set up to kill the first wave of the mob <br />but his defences are no match for the huge mob. The Darkseekers manage to get into <br />the house and soon Neville, Anna and Ethan are forced to find refuge in the basement <br />laboratory. They seal themselves into a plexiglass box in the lab with the infected <br />woman who Neville tried out his cure on previously. Neville notices that she looks much <br />more human and he realises that his cure is actually working. As he realises this the <br />Darkseekers swamp the room, destroying the lab whilst the male Darkseeker begins to <br />attack the plexiglass box, clearly trying to get the woman Neville took. Neville realises <br />that he has a cure that could save the remaining immune humans but it will come at a <br />cost to him. Neville draws a vial of the woman’s blood and gives it to Anna before <br />shutting them inside a coal chute hidden in the wall. He then uses a hand grenade to <br />wipe out the Darkseekers and himself. <br />Anna and Ethan are then seen driving to Vermont and stopping at the gated entrance to <br />the survivors’ camp where Anna hands over the cure Neville gave her. <br />
THE IDEA – SOURCES OF INSPIRATION<br />The initial source of inspiration for the film was the book of the same name <br />by Robert Matheson, written in 1954. The book had already been adapted to <br />film as The Last Man on Earth in 1964 and The Omega Man in 1971. <br />The novel’s main character is Robert Neville, the sole survivor of an <br />unknown pandemic which turns the infected into similar to vampires. The <br />novel details Neville’s daily life in Los Angeles as he attempts to cure the <br />disease, to which he is immune. <br />Neville spends his days repairing the house, boarding the windows, hanging <br />garlic and getting rid of corpses of the dead. Once darkness falls Neville <br />faces a siege from the infected, vampire-like hordes. The taunt him and <br />try to entice him out so they can attack him and he recognises one of the <br />infected as his friend, Ben Cortman.<br />After bouts of depression and heavy drinking, Neville decides to try to find a <br />cure. After lots of research he discovers the root of the vampiric disease: a <br />strain of bacteria capable of infecting both deceased and living hosts. <br />Although he does not realise that the living hosts (the infected) are still <br />inherently human even though they show signs of vampirism. <br />
THE IDEA – SOURCES OF INSPIRATION<br />One day Neville comes across a woman who appears to be uninfected and <br />captures her. Once he gets her back to his house he becomes suspicious of <br />her story and also notices that she is very reluctant to kill the vampires. He <br />can’t believe that she has survived this long without becoming hardened to <br />the fact that they have to kill the infected. Despite his suspicions the two <br />come to live together and eventually grow close and become lovers. The <br />next morning Ruth lets him take a blood test on her but knocks him out just <br />as he realises that she is infected. When he wakes up, Neville discovers a <br />note left by Ruth. In it, she tells him that the infected have slowly been <br />able to adapt to their disease to the point where they can spend short <br />periods of time in sunlight and they are even attempting to rebuild society. <br />They hate Neville and view him as an enemy since he has unwittingly <br />destroyed some of their people along with true vampires. In their quest to <br />capture him, the infected sent one of their own to Neville. Ruth warns <br />Neville in her note that her people will eventually attempt to capture him <br />by force, and that he should leave his house and escape while he can. <br />Neville ignores Ruth's warning and is eventually captured by an ambush.<br />
THE IDEA – SOURCES OF INSPIRATION<br />After his capture Neville is held in prison by the members of this new <br />society and is visited by Ruth. She informs him that she is a ranking member <br />of the new society but she doesn’t hate him. She tells him that she has <br />come to help him but that she can do nothing other than make his execution <br />easier by giving him pills. Neville is broken and accepts his fate, asking Ruth <br />not to let the new society get too brutal and heartless. Ruth kisses him and <br />leaves.<br />Neville goes to his prison window and sees all of the infected waiting for his <br />execution. When they see him he sees the fear and horror in their eyes he <br />understands that to them he is the abnormal one, to them in their new <br />society infection is normal. He, as the only survivor of the old race, is the <br />threat to their new society. As he turn away and swallows the pills, Neville <br />grasps the reversal that has now taken place and that just as vampires were <br />legend in pre-infection times now he, an example of old humanity, is legend <br />in the eyes of the new race born of the infection. The final line in the book <br />is where the title comes from; “I am a new superstition entering the <br />unassailable fortress of forever. I am legend.”<br />
Producer, director and writer<br />Producers: AkivaGoldsman, David Heyman, James Lassiter, Neal H. Moritz and Tracy <br />Torme. <br />Akiva Goldman is a screenwriter and producer who has been involved in a number of <br />recent successes such as A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man and The Da Vinci Code.<br />David Heyman is a British film producer and the founder of Heyday Films, a British film <br />production company. Heyman obtained the rights to the Harry Potter series in 1999 and <br />has produced all eight films.<br />James Lassiter is an American film producer and long time business partner of Will <br />Smith who has produced a number of films featuring Smith such as Ali, I, Robot, Hitch <br />and The Pursuit of Happyness.<br />Neal H. Moritz is an American film producer and founder of Original Film, a film <br />production company which has produced films and television movies. Moritz has over <br />70 films to his credit among them, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Urban Legend, <br />Cruel Intentions, The Skulls and The Fast & The Furious.<br />Tracy Torme is a screenwriter and television producer who has worked on Saturday <br />Night Live, Odyssey 5 and Sliders.<br />Director: Francis Lawrence<br />Lawrence began his career when he joined a major production company and began <br />directing music videos, working with the likes of Lady Gaga, Britney Spears and The <br />Black Eyed Peas. He was also directing adverts for some of the biggest clients such as <br />Coca Cola, L’Oreal and Calvin Klein. In 2005 he directed his first feature film, <br />Constantine based on a comic book and starring Keanu Reeves. His next film was I Am <br />Legend in 2007.<br />Screenplay: AkivaGoldsman and Mark Protosevich<br />Mark Protosevich is an American screenwriter who has worked on The Cell, Poiseden, <br />Thor and Mass Effect.<br />
treatment<br />Here you must research film treatments and <br />explain what they are. Try to give as much <br />detail and examples as you can.<br />
pitch<br />Research what a pitch is and write one for your <br />chosen film.<br />
The task<br />Hopefully you now get the picture of what you <br />have to do.<br />Keep in mind that you may find it difficult to find information for all of the stages of production so here are some tips:<br />Use youtube – try to find featurettes or making of videos about your film, these might give you insights into the production processes of the film.<br />Really focus your research on four areas – script development, marketing, exhibition and other markets.<br />
A particular slide catching your eye?
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