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  • 1. Producing Films The issues involved in producing films. Production Company Case Studies
  • 2. Production
    • Production refers to the actual process of making a film.
    • This covers everything from buying a script to securing funding to overseeing the film’s ‘shoot.’
    • This is done by the production company such as Universal, Working Title, Warp Films.
  • 3. Production Process
  • 4. Production Companies
    • A company such as Working Title or Warp Films oversees the physical production of the film
    • They may be responsible for raising funds
    • They may be a small company (like Warp) selling its product to a Film Studio for distribution
    • They may be the Film Studio itself (like Universal)
  • 5. Conglomerates
    • Conglomerates are a combination of two or more companies engaging in different businesses, often large and spanning many countries ( Multi-nationals)
    • Media conglomerates use synergy and cross-Promotions to allow different media companies to benefit from each other
    • E.g. Time Warner AOL owns internet, film, music and Publishing companies which provide each other with content and advertising.
  • 6. Case Studies
    • You need to develop knowledge of different production companies and how they develop their products (Hollywood, Working Title, Warp)
      • The history of the company
      • Their primary audience
      • Financing
      • Who distributes their films
      • How successful (critical/box office) they have been
      • House style/branding
      • ideology
  • 7. Case Study: Vivendi
    • VIVENDI is a French Telecommunications Conglomerate owning companies in many countries and in several industries, including
  • 8. Working Title
    • Working Title Films is owned by a large multi-national conglomerate. This is likely to allow them to invest more heavily in big budget and prestigious films like Atonement (2007)
    • This helps them feature prominently in the International Market, as they will have specific Institutional funding and support in non UK territories.
  • 9. Financing
    • Pre-Sales – Selling the rights to distribute a film before it is made, Often dependent on certain key features, like a well known actor
    • Government grants
    • Tax Schemes/Shelters
  • 10. Working Title
    • Working Title is likely to receive the majority of its funding through pre-sales.
    • Look into the history of Working Title
      • How has it developed from an independent company?
      • How has it benefitted from horizontal integration?
  • 11. Revenue/Profit
    • Gross a percentage of the ticket sales, paid to the distributor
    • Ancillary Sales ‘Sale’ of the film not directly tied to the cinema release e.g. DVD or TV sales
    • Merchandising sale of items related to the film. Often done through a parent company – an example of horizontal integration and synergy.
    • Product Placement selling ‘advertising’ of a product by placing it prominently in the film e.g. Omega Watches Casino Royale (2006)
  • 12. Working Title
    • Has had several major international successes
      • What were they and what did they gross?
    • WT are also likely to utilise large scale marketing campaigns, such as the blanket-like coverage given to the Boat That Rocked (2009)
    • Working Title would expect to turn a profit upon initial release due to the prominence of their films and reliability of their ‘brand.’
  • 13. Institutional Ideology
    • Through media they produce, film studios and production companies can be said to have specific ideologies.
    • Disney promote ‘family values’ and traditional (Christian) morality through films like High School Musical.
  • 14. Working Title
    • Working Title demonstrate a more liberal ideology through its portrayal of sensitive, liberal upper-class characters and their approach to issues such as homosexuality & pre-marital sex, but largely ignore any serious socio-economical issues such as class or poverty.
  • 15. Audience Targeting
    • The process of deliberately appealing to a specific group or demographic.
    • This can be done through the inclusion of specific elements, or the utilisation of certain genres.
    • Also, the use of specific marketing techniques and marketing in specific locations can affect the audience appeal of a film.
  • 16. Working Title
    • WT films address large ‘tent pole’ audiences; this is evident in the scale of their successes and nature of their films.
    • E.g. Four Weddings… (1994) $224m worldwide.
    • Now enhanced by being tied to a multi-national conglomerate.
    • Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner said their philosophy is to produce films that ‘play in the multiplex.’
  • 17. House Style/Branding
    • The creation of a recognisable style that will be similar from film to film, independent of director, star or even genre.
    • Branding the transition of the company name to a recognisable ‘brand’ with a specific audience expectations, whereby the target audience is appealed to because they ‘know what to expect’ from a film by that company.
  • 18. Working Title
    • WT films have now developed a recognisable house style, building on their successes in the romantic comedy genre.
    • This is at least partly dependent on Richard Curtis, the writer-director behind many of their most successful films. Curtis himself is now something of a ‘brand’, with a high level of audience recognition.
  • 19. Working Title
    • Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner (Working Title Co-Chairman) have said for a long part of their history ‘90% of the time [was] spent trying to secure financing’
    • WT films funds their films primarily through pre-sales, which is made much easier as they are part of the same conglomerate as their distributor, Universal Pictures.
  • 20. Working Title
    • WT films are also able to secure Pre-Sales because their films contain many ‘commercially sound’ elements:
      • Popular, mainstream genres
      • Big-name stars
      • Brand-style recognition
      • They are increasingly known as ‘prestige’ film makers, with films such as Atonement.
  • 21. Case Studies
    • You must develop detailed case studies into these two production companies
    • Working Title and Warp.
      • Their company history, distributor and brief details of some films they have made over the years. (1 st , most successful, name, yr, box office takings…)
      • Funding, brand/house style, ideology, target audience.
      • Display as a timeline/bullet points