Shifty Case Study


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Shifty Case Study

  1. 1. Film Industry Case Study
  2. 2. Summary!
  3. 3. Team Challenge You have ten mins to write down EVERYTHING you remember about the film Do it quietly as you don’t want others to steal your ideas….. Production Marketing Distribution ExhibitionProduction Marketing Distribution Exhibition AudienceAudience SWAP You now need to ‘fact check’ another groups work (your own brains, books, Google, Miss Hill Brain) Write down up to five points that are not on the sheet that you think the group needs to know
  4. 4. SHIFTY - Introduction oIn recent years the production budgets for British films have been falling oWas £2-3 million – Now £1-2 million oThere has been an expansion in films of very low budget - known as ‘micro-budget’
  5. 5. SHIFTY - Introduction o Shifty was made in 2008 under the Microwave scheme (UK Film Council) o Microwave was set up to widen participation and access for young London-based filmmakers o The scheme offers support for films to be made in 18 days and with a budget of less than £100,000
  6. 6. SHIFTY - Introduction The film was written and directed by Eran Creevy It is the second Microwave film to be released Released on 24th April 2009 Opened with 51 prints through independent distributor Metrodome
  7. 7. SHIFTY - Introduction Opening weekend – took £61,000 After 3 weeks down to 12 prints after taking over £131,000 Final box office - £244,579 Note: that the release used both traditional celluloid and digital prints
  8. 8. SHIFTY - Introduction However, the cinema release for a film such as Shifty is mainly a marketing platform not a revenue generator The majority of the revenue will come form the DVD/Blu-Ray rental and direct sales, television, cable and satellite
  9. 9. Marketing The film was distributed by Metrodome who marketed the film in the following ways: Spent about £50,000 on prints, administration and advertising They felt that the film was similar to Kidulthood/Adulthood and wanted to reach a similar audience – known as Urban Genre They wanted to reach a young, urban audience
  10. 10. Marketing However, to maximise the reach of the film Metrodome produced three trailers all tailored to appeal to different audiences It was felt that the film could also appeal to the middle-class Guardian reading audience The trailer targeting this audience featured a more classical style soundtrack whilst the ‘urban’ trailer featured a hip-hop style soundtrack that didn’t actually feature in the film
  11. 11. Marketing How to attract the young ‘urban’ audience?  This audience is highly proficient with New Media Technologies Therefore a low-cost high-tech campaign would be the best way to reach the target audience
  12. 12. Marketing To reach the target audience, adverts ran on pirate radio stations Fly-posters were used The poster was simple & eye-catching with a bold yellow background ‘Business cards’ representing the character of Shifty as a drug-dealer were distributed which included the website
  13. 13. Marketing A viral marketing campaign was used via email Emails were sent to various opinion formers in the media (e.g. The editor of Time Out magazine) The email appeared to be from an official community organisation that had identified the recipient as a possible drug dealer There was a link at the bottom of the email to the official Shifty website
  14. 14. Marketing There was a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority and the email was banned However, the publicity actually helped to raise the profile of the film A further viral campaign suggested that recipients ‘frame a friend’ Again the links took you to the Shifty website
  15. 15. Marketing The website included a competition whereby music from the film (by Molly Nyman and Harry Escott) could be downloaded and remixed to create a new track The website stated: ‘We’re looking for remixes in a wide range of styles, from dubstep to classical, the choice is yours’
  16. 16. Marketing The remixed track could then be uploaded and the producer of the best track would win: ‘£500 and time in a studio to complete your track with a professional producer’ Music was also recorded by the star of the film Riz Ahmed who is also a professional musician Some of the tracks could be downloaded free from the website
  17. 17. Marketing A music video was also created that was uploaded to Youtube There were also pages on Facebook, Myspace, Bebo
  18. 18. Conclusion The marketing of the film represents an example of cross-media convergence with: Posters Radio (adverts on pirate radio) A website Social networking sites (Facebook, Myspace, Bebo) Email – viral marketing
  19. 19. Conclusion Music – MP3 downloads CD – the soundtrack Youtube – the music video Cinema and television trailers (also on Youtube) DVD/Blu-Ray 
  20. 20. Case Study - Shifty Key Issues  UK film aimed at a national/local audience  Traditional UK film genre  Ultra low budget production via National Lottery UK Film Council / Film London  Typical UK film funding  Metrodome distributors  Interesting use of viral marketing, film festival and award ceremony  Produced with DVD extras and sales in mind
  21. 21. Case Study - Shifty 1. UK film aimed at a national audience  Shifty is a typical British ‘success’ story.  Filmed on a shoestring budget, director Eran Creevy was still able to create this character-led, well-crafted, cinematic piece as his first feature film. Eran Creevy - Well established in the world of music promos and commercials, he has been honing his craft for a good few years before turning his hand to features.
  22. 22. Case Study - Shifty The actors - As his first feature, it was obviously a risk for well known actor Daniel Mays (Atonement and Vera Drake) and up-and-coming actor Riz Ahmed (Brits and Deadset) to undertake but, with Eran’s well-written script, insightful character observation and on-point direction, what was created in only three weeks certainly was impressive.
  23. 23. Case Study - Shifty 2. Traditional UK film genre  The story tells of 24hrs in the life of your ‘friendly neighbourhood crack dealer’ and doesn’t adhere to the often, stereotypical workings of previous British, working-class, grimy gangster flicks.  It’s a character led film that has its feet firmly on the ground. It doesn’t try to be something it’s not and there’s no glossing over the grim realities of a story based on a childhood friend of Eran.  Genre - contemporary, urban thriller with a strong element of social realism. More Ken Loach and Mike Leigh than Guy Ritchie or kidulthood!
  24. 24. Case Study - Shifty 3. Ultra low budget production  Microwave challenges film-makers to shoot a full length film for up to £100,000. The scheme will provide an intensive approach to film-making, with an emphasis on tightly focused scripts, short production schedules and commercial potential.  Microwave offers a unique professional mentoring scheme from leading industry figures.  Film London and its partners will also offer a range of assistance including in- kind support from leading facilities and service companies, waived locations fees from many of London’s local authorities, and a generous ‘revenue share’ model which will enable producers to utilise the UK’s new tax credit to secure a 40% share of receipts. Completed projects will have the opportunity to showcase at the annual London UK Film Focus sales event as well as at major international markets.
  25. 25. Rory Aitken - Producer  The Microwave Scheme challenges filmmakers to make films for £100,000. You could make it for less, but for no more. It's run by Film London so they oversee the production and you have to go through various stages of applications. The last one of which they call Micro-school and that's a week where you spend time with experienced people in the industry who talk you through your film and you try to develop it in various directions - to the script, the budget and who you're going to get to act in it etc. - and then you have to pitch the film to about 10 people on a panel for 15 minutes which is the most terrifying bit of it all. They then gave us half the money and we had to raise the other half. Then they helped us make the film with that very, very low budget.
  26. 26. Case Study - Shifty 4. Typical UK film funding  The average budget for a domestic UK film in 2009 was £3.3 million.  Independent The Duchess, In Bruges, Son of Rambow  UK Film Council productions Bright Star, In the Loop  TV Co-productions  BBC The Duchess, Fish Tank, Revolutionary Road  Film4 Slumdog Millionaire, Nowhere Boy  European co-productions Adulthood  Anglo-American co-productions Mamma Mia!, Quantum of Solace and The Dark Knight
  27. 27. Case Study - Shifty  Interesting use film festival and award ceremony As part of the microwave project Shifty premiered at The Times BFI 52nd London Film Festival on Friday 24 October 2008 at Odeon West End. Shifty was also nominated for a FIPRESCI International Critics Award for best first or second feature and later for 5 British Independent Film Awards. Shifty had some great reviews off the back of the screenings from the Daily Mail, Time Out included it as one of their three ‘Picks of the Festival’, Heat magazine called it ‘Ace!’, and The Observer called it their ‘personal discovery of the festival’.
  28. 28.  Metrodome distributors Following the London Film Festival screening in October Shifty had interest from several distributors. Rory Aitken – ‘We went to meet several interested parties individually to discuss the film, and after some negotiations with them all, we went with Metrodome - a great UK distributor who did Donnie Darko, and Oscar- winning The Counterfeiters last year’.
  29. 29.  So what did the distributor Metrodome find attractive about Shifty?  Metrodome acquired Shifty having seen it in 2008 and I think the first and most important point is that cinema can be so much more than big studio blockbusters. I think great British cinema, can be about a place that you might live, about people you might know. It can involve stories that might be familiar to you. It really doesn't have to be an Americanised view of the world. There's some fantastic cinema out there which comes from Britain, from London and other regions, and I think really in distributing films like Shifty we're just trying to get people to see how diverse cinema is in Britain today.  One of the important things for Metrodome about Shifty was - although it is an urban genre film which obviously brings to mind Bullet Boy, Kidulthood & Adulthood it's not just a group of anecdotes and stories about drug dealing scrapes and the police. At the heart of it, there are two people getting to know each other again after four years apart and a universal story about friendship. So although it is an urban genre film, it's very important that it's telling a real story.
  30. 30.  What kind of challenges did a film like ‘Shifty’ present in marketing terms?  The marketing challenge for us is telling people who we think would be interested in the film that it's coming and it's out there and we have to do it in such a way that you feel you can make an informed decision.  It can be a struggle for a small company because we can't spend the level of money that a Hollywood blockbuster would spend so we have to try and be clever about how we do things and I think we have to be sure that when we speak to the target audience that we're doing it in such a way that they feel that the tone is right and represents the film  To do that we're used a mixture of TV and ads on things like pirate radio. We did fly-posting. The poster of the film was really designed to be eye-catching and simple but really we always said the poster needed to be quite exhibitionist. A show-off poster - just so it's big and loud and yellow - but we also need to be able to give you an idea of what the subject matter of the film is without spelling out that it's about drug dealing as that may be a problem for some people.
  31. 31. Case Study - Shifty  International Distribution Shifty went on to further success and secured a distribution deal in Australia. The newly set-up distribution arm of Curious Film, based in Sydney, handled the release.  Deals like this signify the increasing opportunities for independent films to reach audiences globally.  Mia Bays, Creative Executive for Microwave, went to Australia to give a keynote speech in which she gave her tips for making a little go a long way. Her top tips urged film-makers to make sure they had a clear motivation, story and vision for their films and emphasised the importance of teamwork. However, she maintained that getting your film made is only the first step – “half your job is making the film, the other half is getting it out to the world”.
  32. 32. Case Study - Shifty  Interesting use of viral marketing 'Drugs' email banned by ad watchdog ‘Shifty’ email viral campaign banned  An email marketing campaign for the British film Shifty that encouraged people to "stitch up a mate" by making them think they were being investigated by police for drugs offences has been banned by the advertising regulator.  The website promoting the movie, which charts a bad day in the life of a drug dealer, allowed web users to anonymously send a friend an email with the headline "Criminal Investigation".  The email, which was sent from a ficticious police department, told the recipient they had been named by someone caught in a class-A drugs swoop by police as a "habitual narcotics user".
  33. 33.  Produced with DVD sales in mind…! Throughout the production period, a selection of accompanying material will be produced such as documentary footage of the films being made, as well as transcripts of seminars and interviews. This will be made universally available as an online learning resource for all micro-budget film- makers.
  34. 34. Case Study - Shifty  Exhibition With the BBC as Microwave’s broadcast partner even the eventual screening of the film on TV is already organised.
  35. 35. How would you answer this question? Does a film achieve success because of its appeal or because of the money given over to distribution and marketing?
  36. 36. Homework Using your own knowledge and the handout to help fill in the seven boxes on your revision sheet. Remember that these are the seven key areas that the essay question could be on…..