Learning ObjectivesIdentify the role of the producer Complete short case studies about success: Titanic The Adventures of Pluto Nash Fulfil the role of a producer and budget ‘Spiderman 2’
FinancingFilmmaking involves high ‘overhead’ costs to financethe three main stages of a films life cycle before it isreleased to the audience: • Production • Distribution • Exhibition • Pre-Production • Production • Post-Production
FinancingThe first stage in any film’s production is the attempt tosecure financial backingThe production company (those making the film) mustgenerate confidence in the potential revenue of theirplanned film Harvey What can producers do to generate Weinstein confidence in their films? Head of• Casting of established ‘Stars’ ‘The• Working within a genre proven to be a success Weinstein• Franchises – layout a long term plan Company’• Sequels• Ability to generate ‘SYNERGY’
Attractive Proposition?Working in pairs, complete your hand-out, providing specific reasonswhy each of the following elements will give confidence to producers: Stars Franchises/Seq Genre ‘Synergy’ uels
Star AppealGlobal Appeal – maximum publicity and worldwide recognitionName & Image – in marketing materials willsignificantly increase potential audiencePotential “Box office pull” – how much of thefinal gross is down to the stars’ presence?They generate press / public interestStars associated with specific genres –audiences expectations are easy to identify andappeal too
Stars & GenreStars are usually associated with a specific genre– they may work in others, but their mostsuccessful films tend to be in the same genreAs a result audiences ‘expect’ certain things fromthemIf they give audiences what they want they aremore likely to succeedHowever if they rely on this for too longaudiences will become bored and reject the filmsas being ‘too familiar / predictable’ Films must find a balance between ‘Familiar & New’
GenreBased on previous films, Genre allow studios toestimate the following: • Budgets • Potential Box Office Gross • Marketing Costs • Audience ReactionsGenre films have a clear set of rules they mustfollow resulting in the generation of ‘audienceexpectation’Genre films can appeal to a very specific andtargeted audience What are the risks of ‘genre’ films?
“It’s called “Show Business”Film industries are designed to make moneythrough entertaining an audienceInvesting in a film is no guarantee of financialsuccess – “There is no such thing as a safe bet”As a result Hollywood studios are reluctant tomove away from established genres, stars, trendsetcMost ‘risky’ films are given small budgets that willnot harm the studio if they fail But Hollywood still take risks on a scale few other industries would dare to contemplate
Success/Failure TaskYou each have a resource packcontaining information on three films: Answer the following questions: Why do you think the investors funded the film? Make a list of the potential ‘selling points’ Why do you think this film flopped? Do you think it spells disaster if a film like this flops?
Case Study 1 - SuccessBlockbusters are the most expensive forms of films tomake, as a result they pose the greatest risk to the studioThis is the main reasons most Blockbuster films followvery specific formulas and stick to genres, star appeal &franchises TITANICThe initial budget of $150,000,000 rapidly increased toover $200,000,000At one point Studio Chief Bill Mechanic closed downproduction due to rising costsCameron used his own money to finish the production
Case Study 1 - Success TITANICNo-one knew if the film would be a success, despite theobvious positivesUpon release the film broke all box office records andremained the highest grossing film of all time for over 12yearsGlobal Gross: $1,800,000,000 ($1.8 Billion) (This has since risen to $2.18 billion due to re-releasea and 3D conversions)At the time this was more than twice the amount grossedby the previous largest film, ‘The Lion King’ ($952,880,140)
Case Study 1 - Success TITANICWorking in pairs create a list of the reasons why Titanic was so successful Consider: Cast Director Story Genre Promotion
Took advantages Based on an iconJames Cameron: Genre with of ‘repeat’ historical event proven track viewings full of tragedyArguable the record and romancebiggestcommercialdirector of alltime. Stars the ‘Heartthrob’ ofProven track the momentrecord forbringing new andexciting High Concept:experiences Innovative Highly publicised special effects Global number never seen production due toGreat one hit single to before (New budget and apparentreviews support the film cinematic production problems experiences)
Case Study 2 - Failure The Adventures of Pluto NashNot all Blockbusters are successful!Loses can be very high if the film does not make enough ofa return Eddie Murphy film “The Adventures of Pluto Nash” Total Cost: $120,000,000 Box Office Gross: $7,000,000 Loss: $113,000,000
Empire ReviewPlotAfter his nightclub is destroyed, Pluto and entourage travel the length and breadth ofthe moon to find the culprits, whilst resisting the evil clutches of corrupt casinodevelopers.ReviewA blink-and-you-hopefully-missed-it cinema run was overly generous for this direwannabe sci-fi comedy adventure.The year, in case youre the slightest bit interested, is 2087 and, on the moon, nightclubowner Pluto Nash (Eddie Murphy) is resisting crooked casino developers. The story isjust plain bald-faced lazy, as is director Ron Underwoods vision of the future, which isabout as hi-tech as a Sinclair C5.All said and done, this is another dud to add to Murphys already turkey-laden CV. In agalaxy, far, far away - thats where this piece of crap should be jettisoned.VerdictThis is another dud to add to Murphyís already turkey-laden CV.
“It’s called “Show Business”Armyan Bernstien, producer of Air Force One(1997) said:Of every TEN films made in Hollywood: Rank Studio Revenu e• SIX will lose money• ONE will break even (recover it’s costs but make 1 Warne $1.88 r Bros Billionno profit) 2 Param $1.67• ONE will make little money ount Billion• ONE will make good money 3 Fox $1.58• ONE will be a successful Blockbuster that makes Billionenough money to cover the cost of the other nine 4 Disney $1.41 Billion 5 Sony £1.27 Billion
“It’s called “Show Business”Once a film has secured funding the producer anddirector must assign their budgetMost people think that if a film recovers itsproduction budget it will make a profit Spider-man 2However, most studios will spend in excess of $80 Negative Cost /million dollars on marketing and promotion alone Production Budget: $202,000,000The costs associated with making a film far Development Cost +exceed the amount generally publicised Pre-Production Cost + Production Cost +‘Negative costs’ is another term for ‘Production Post-Production costBudget’ and can be worked out with one =equation: Negative Cost
Budget Task: Spiderman 2Working in pairs What? Who? How Much?your must now Script Rights Marvel $20,000,000complete the job Screenplay Alvin Sargent $10,000,000of a producer Producers Stan Lee et al $15,000,000 Director Sam Rammi $10,000,000You must assign Stars: Toby Maguire $17,000,000the $202,000,000 Kirsten Dunst £7,000,000budget of Alfred Molina £3,000,000Spiderman 2 onthe following: Rest of cast $3,000,000 Shooting Cost $45,000,000 Special Effects $65,000,000 Music $5,000,000 Composer Danny Elfman $2,000,000 Total Negative Cost $202,000,000 approx
Box Office FailuresYou must complete a detailed case study on a Box Office FailureLog on to the internet and research the biggest ‘film box office loses’ Using WORD, create a case study on the film and reasons for its failures You MUST include: • Name of stars – did the presence (or lack of) a star impact on the films box office? • Director? (same as above) • Genre • Financial information – budgets & takings • Reasons for the films failure (detailed reserach to be conducted) •Fall out – what impact did the failure have on cast/crew/studios?
Budget Gross Star Genre $300,000,000 $281,158,679 Taylor Kitsch Sci Fi / Comic BookJohn Carter (2012) Budget Gross Star Genre $175,000,000 $173,219,280 Steve Carell ComedyEvan Almighty (2007) Budget Gross Star Genre $85,000,000 $47,718,072 Michael Cera ComedyScott Pilgrim (2010)
Why do you think the investors funded it? Chosen Film:What are the potential selling points? Why do you think this film flopped?Do you think it spells disaster for a studio if a film like this flops?