Shifty: A British Independent Film


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Shifty: A British Independent Film

  1. 1. SHIFTY – A British Independent Film
  2. 2. 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’
  3. 3. SHIFTY - Introduction oShifty was made in 2008 under the Microwave scheme (UK Film Council) oMicrowave was set up to widen participation and access for young London-based filmmakers oThe scheme offers support for films to be made in 18 days and with a budget of less than £100,000
  4. 4. SHIFTY - Introduction • The film was written and directed by Evan Creevy • It is the second Microwave film to be released • Released on 24th April 2009 • Opened with 51 prints through independent distributor Metrodome
  5. 5. SHIFTY - Introduction • Opening weekend – took £61,000 • After 3 weeks down to 12 prints after taking over £131,000 • Final box office - £143,000 • Note: that the release used both traditional celluloid and digital prints
  6. 6. 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
  7. 7. Shifty – Synopsis (from the website) • “Shifty is an action packed 24 hours in the life of a young crack cocaine dealer on the outskirts of London. The sudden return home of his best friend sets in motion a chain of events that see Shifty's life quickly spiral out of control. Stalked by a customer desperate to score at all costs and with his family about to turn their back on him for good, Shifty must out-run and out-smart a rival drug dealer intent on setting him up. As his long time friend, Chris, confronts the dark past he left behind him, Shifty is forced to face up to the violent future he's heading fast towards.”
  8. 8. 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
  9. 9. 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 •
  10. 10. 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
  11. 11. 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 present the information to the rest of the class
  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. Sample question • Discuss the issues raised by an institution’s need to target specific audiences within a media industry which you have studied. • 50 marks • Discuss two case studies – 1 Hollywood Block Buster, 1 Independent film
  21. 21. Cover the following areas: • Production practices that allow texts to be constructed for specific audiences. • Distribution and marketing strategies to raise audience awareness of specific products. • The use of new technology to facilitate more accurate targeting of specific audiences • Audience strategies in facilitating or challenging institutional practices.
  22. 22. “Shifty”. • What did the Distributor Metrodome find attractive about Shifty? • What kind of challenges does a film like Shifty present in marketing terms?