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  1. 1. A Successful British IndependentFilmCase Study -SHIFTY
  2. 2. SHIFTY – A British Independent Film
  3. 3. SHIFTY - IntroductionoIn recent years the productionbudgets for British films have beenfallingoWas £2-3 million – Now £1-2 millionoThere has been an expansion in filmsof very low budget - known as‘micro-budget’
  4. 4. SHIFTY - IntroductionoShifty was made in 2008 under theMicrowave scheme (UK Film Council)oMicrowave was set up to widenparticipation and access for youngLondon-based filmmakersoThe scheme offers support for films to bemade in 18 days and with a budget of lessthan £100,000
  5. 5. SHIFTY - Introduction• The film was written and directed by EvanCreevy• It is the second Microwave film to bereleased• Released on 24th April 2009• Opened with 51 prints throughindependent distributor Metrodome
  6. 6. SHIFTY - Introduction• Opening weekend – took £61,000• After 3 weeks down to 12 prints aftertaking over £131,000• Final box office - £143,000• Note: that the release used bothtraditional celluloid and digital prints
  7. 7. SHIFTY - Introduction• However, the cinema release for a film such asShifty is mainly a marketing platform not arevenue generator• The majority of the revenue will come form theDVD/Blu-Ray rental and directsales, television, cable and satellite
  8. 8. Shifty – Synopsis (from the website)• “Shifty is an action packed 24 hours in the life of ayoung crack cocaine dealer on the outskirts ofLondon. The sudden return home of his best friendsets in motion a chain of events that see Shiftys lifequickly spiral out of control. Stalked by a customerdesperate to score at all costs and with his familyabout to turn their back on him for good, Shiftymust out-run and out-smart a rival drug dealerintent on setting him up. As his long timefriend, Chris, confronts the dark past he left behindhim, Shifty is forced to face up to the violent futurehes heading fast towards.”
  9. 9. Marketing• The film was distributed by Metrodome whomarketed the film in the following ways:• Spent about £50,000 on prints, administrationand advertising• They felt that the film was similar toKidulthood/Adulthood and wanted to reach asimilar audience – known as Urban Genre• They wanted to reach a young, urban audience
  10. 10. Marketing• However, to maximise the reach of the filmMetrodome produced three trailers all tailored toappeal to different audiences• It was felt that the film could also appeal to themiddle-class Guardian reading audience• The trailer targeting this audience featured a moreclassical style soundtrack whilst the ‘urban’ trailerfeatured a hip-hop style soundtrack that didn’tactually feature in the film•
  11. 11. Marketing• How to attract the young‘urban’ audience?• This audience is highlyproficient with NewMedia Technologies• Therefore a low-costhigh-tech campaignwould be the best way toreach the target audience
  12. 12. Group Tasks – Research into Shifty• (also on the blog)• Introducing Shifty• The Production Context 1-4• The Production Context 5-8• Marketing Shifty• Watch/Read the transcripts – prepare to presentthe information to the rest of the class
  13. 13. Marketing• To reach the target audience, adverts ran onpirate radio stations• Fly-posters were used• The poster was simple & eye-catching with abold yellow background• ‘Business cards’ representing the character ofShifty as a drug-dealer were distributed whichincluded the website
  14. 14. Marketing• A viral marketing campaign was used via email• Emails were sent to various opinion formers inthe media (e.g. The editor of Time Outmagazine)• The email appeared to be from an officialcommunity organisation that had identified therecipient as a possible drug dealer• There was a link at the bottom of the email to theofficial Shifty website
  15. 15. Marketing• There was a complaint to the AdvertisingStandards Authority and the email was banned• However, the publicity actually helped to raisethe profile of the film• A further viral campaign suggested thatrecipients ‘frame a friend’• Again the links took you to the Shifty website
  16. 16. Marketing• The website included a competition wherebymusic from the film (by Molly Nyman and HarryEscott) could be downloaded and remixed tocreate a new track• The website stated:• ‘We’re looking for remixes in a wide range ofstyles, from dubstep to classical, the choice isyours’
  17. 17. Marketing• The remixed track could then be uploaded andthe producer of the best track would win:• ‘£500 and time in a studio to complete yourtrack with a professional producer’• Music was also recorded by the star of the filmRiz Ahmed who is also a professional musician• Some of the tracks could be downloaded freefrom the website
  18. 18. Marketing• A music video was also created that wasuploaded to Youtube• There were also pages on Facebook, Myspace,Bebo
  19. 19. Conclusion• The marketing of the film represents an exampleof cross-media convergence with:• Posters• Radio (adverts on pirate radio)• A website• Social networking sites(Facebook, Myspace, Bebo)• Email – viral marketing
  20. 20. Conclusion• Music – MP3 downloads• CD – the soundtrack• Youtube – the music video• Cinema and television trailers (also on Youtube)• DVD/Blu-Ray•
  21. 21. Sample question• Discuss the issues raised by an institution’s needto target specific audiences within a mediaindustry which you have studied.• 50 marks• Discuss two case studies – 1 Hollywood BlockBuster, 1 Independent film
  22. 22. Cover the following areas:• Production practices that allow texts to beconstructed for specific audiences.• Distribution and marketing strategies to raiseaudience awareness of specific products.• The use of new technology to facilitate moreaccurate targeting of specific audiences• Audience strategies in facilitating or challenginginstitutional practices.
  23. 23. • What did the distributor Metrodome findattractive about Shifty?• What kind of challenges does a film like Shiftypresent in marketing terms?