Audiences and Institutions Aims: To be able to indicate how how film distribution works. To begin to understand the difference between the US and UK film systems 25/11/11 KEY WORDS Producers Distributors Exhibitor Studios
Film distribution <ul><li>A film distributor is the link between the producer and the exhibitors (the cinema chains, Television networks); their aim is to get as many people as possible to see the film. </li></ul><ul><li>The distributor markets the film and develops an appropriate advertising campaign. </li></ul><ul><li>To market successfully the distributor has to target the appropriate audience. </li></ul><ul><li>This can be easy if there is a star, but harder in the case of low-budget independent films. </li></ul>
Distribution is fundamental for a film to make profit, or even break even on its costs. A distribution company may be attached to a project during pre-production, especially for Studio productions for which the distribution company will most likely be a sister company of the production company. However, in the independent industry getting distribution can be a significant challenge. Sometimes a distribution company will be attached from the outset; this will significantly help the independent production company attract financiers. Often though, the film will be taken to film festivals in the hope that a film buyer will purchase the film. Independent film companies often employ a sales agent whose role it is to seek out distribution companies for the film.
The distribution company is in charge of getting the film out to audiences, this involves organising for the film to receive an age certificate by regulation bodies, such as the BBFC and MPAA; arranging exhibition outlets globally and DVD/Television rights; arranging for prints of the film; and marketing, publicity and promotion of the film.
Distribution includes marketing a films as well as providing the actual film itself to cinemas/TV networks/Digital services.
TASK <ul><li>Select a new Hollywood film of your choice (IMDB.com). </li></ul><ul><li>Research the distributor – Who are they? Why are they distributing THIS film? </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the main target audience, their interests and media use and any secondary / mass audience appeal. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify key cast/crew/ pre-existing property and the film’s USP. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the success of similar films and recent films by the director and key cast. </li></ul>
Film4 <ul><li>Launched as part of Channel 4 in 1982 under ‘ Channel 4 films ’ to Commission low- to medium budgeted films. </li></ul><ul><li>Promoted diversity in film and explored contemporary social and political problems. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Channel Four films were a major contributor to British films success in America. </li></ul><ul><li>However still only accounted for 1% gross at the UK Box Office. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Re-launched as Film4 in 1999 with the successes of Four Wedding and a Funeral (1994; gross of $240m), Shallow Grave (1994) & Trainspotting (1996). </li></ul><ul><li>Film4 was a unique attempt to bridge distribution and production in Britain. </li></ul>
Film Budget Box Office Director Genre Star Audience This is England £1.5m £1.59m Shane Meadows Life is Sweet < £1m £1.5m Mike Leigh Jim Broadbent My Name is Joe £2.5m £1.5m Ken Loach Peter Mullen Trainspotting £3.5m £18m Danny Boyle Ewan McGregor Riff-Raff < £1m £0.5m Ken Loach Robert Carlyle, Ricky Tomlinson Once upon a time in the midlands £3m £1m (worldwide) Shane Meadows Robert Carlyle, Ricky Tomlinson
The end of Film Four <ul><li>The distribution arm of Film Four came to an end in 2002. It is often claimed that the film Charlotte Gray (2001) is most responsible for this. </li></ul><ul><li>In trying to make films that appealed to both international and domestic markets Film Four achieved neither. </li></ul>
<ul><li>“ Film four…invested in films that could be defined as ‘ typically British ’ … ” Sarah Casey Benyahia </li></ul><ul><li>It played an important role in the distribution of films which British audiences were unlikely to have access to otherwise, to cinemas and on Video and DVD. </li></ul>
Total Box Office Gross £200,938,649 Total Box Office Gross £20,297,569 £1.3m £3.5m
New Models of Distribution <ul><li>Films are now readily available due to advances in technology. </li></ul>The first film to be released simultaneously in cinemas, on DVD and on the internet on the same day. The film received 1.4 million viewers when broadcast on channel 4. The Road to Guantanamo
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