piracy, the digital age, Mediaownership and proliferation ofhardware Institutions and Audiences
Key Issues Piracy would come up on most questions. Eg on “media ownership” you will need to write about the following key areas: Piracy The dominance of Hollywood over the industry How low budget films are funded. It would be useful to discuss the destruction of the UK Film Council - abolished by the government.
Dominance of Hollywood What does this mean for audiences? Limited choice in cinemas Endless sequels Poor quality films A dying British industry
Tackling Hollywood The number of America films shown at Odeon or VUE is always far greater than the number of British independent films beings shown. Organisations like BBC Films, Film London Microwave and UK Film Council have been forced to act in recent years to challenge this problem.
Piracy will be part of an answer on mediaownership...... All “media” whether it is film, music, or print is owned by a company. They hold the “rights” to publish, distribute and manipulate their work. For example: Warner Bros own DC Comics and therefore own the “rights” to all of the characters in the “DC universe”
Film Rights - important for Ill Manors Establishing who has the “rights” to make a film offer results in long legal battles and the delay of a film being made. Case Study: Ill Manors Sold the rights of the film to raise money.
Piracy Piracy – the illegal distribution of media without the permission of its owner. E.g. Downloading, Pirate DVDs Advances in digital technology have made piracy easier, cheaper and has improved the quality of the content. Electronic files can be leaked in advance of a films release. The internet allows pirate material to be distributed all over the world very quickly.
Piracy Digital cameras and sound equipment used in cinemas to record pirate copies of a film have improved greatly in quality This technology is now far cheaper and easier to use. It would dent profits more strongly for smaller companies who need profits. Overall however, piracy will take a larger amount of revenue from bigger institutions.
Combating Piracy Digital technology has allowed films to be released simultaneously across the world. Previously the delay in films reaching the UK from America meant that piracy was a more common. Digital encryption means that films can be securely distributed. The rise in digital film production and exhibition has paved the way for 3D cinema.
Combating Piracy11 3D cinema is currently more difficult to “pirate”. It can not be filmed effectively in cinemas. The cost of watching good quality 3D material at home currently means mass audiences aren‟t yet interested.
Summarise in 3 teams:12 How does piracy work and how it is a problem for large and small film institutions?
A Q on „Technological convergence and the proliferation of hardware‟. • Piracy is crucial in this essay‟s argument too!
Proliferation (through technology)• Downloading – itunes, ipod, apple TV• Digital Piracy – DVD‟s, filesharing• Social Networking Sites – marketing and buzz• Accessibility – everywhere???• Control – industry/audiences
Proliferation and negative distribution and exhibition• Downloading from unofficial sources i.e. Limewire, Youtube grabber and also other digital piracy including file sharing and technology to rip DVDs use new technology to do this.• Accessibility – anyone has ability to do this because of convergence of technology and affordability of this.• Control – moves from institution to the audience. But it is the smaller companies that are effected more why?• In what ways have institutions tried to stop or halt this? Think of ways they have used technology to stop this or initatives i.e cheap downloads.• Piracy is major concern for industry
Lets think about the digital age &piracy: production, distribution and marketing and exchange• The digital age has shaped:• Film‟s production using green screens and graphic effects.• Film‟s distribution - the promotion of films using online advertising, viral games etc. Digital technology has made life better for low budget film makers and distributors because films now are cheaper and easier to distribute.• Exhibition - receiving films from downloading, piracy, file sharing• For the major studios and distributors in the digital age, piracy is a threat, as now you can download films online, taking the power away from the companies technology.• Some believe digital technology will stop piracy because there will be a simultaneous distribution of the film rather than it being a time gap in countries where it is being shown.• Some argue digital technology will give viewers a better viewing quality.
Digital cinemas• The movie we used to see at out local multiplex may have been shown many times over and the wear and tear on it will be considerable: scratches, dust and fading-as a result, it will reduce the quality of the presentation.• Now in the UK 72% of cinemas are digital.• Benefits are that prints were bulky and their manufacture ,distribution and exhibition was expensive.• This could lead to an increase in the number of UK films shown in the world.• These often go out on smaller print runs than many US titles because of the cost of making prints.• The future?• Film extras maybe replaced by digital generated synthespians.• Consider the changes to the digital remastered version of star wars.• By 2013, most if not all will be digital.
Digital Screen Network• The average Hollywood blockbuster opens on 300-plus screens across the UK; most independent films, and foreign language films still struggle to reach over ten per cent of those screens• Digital screening cuts the cost of releasing films (a digital copy costs around one tenth of a 35mm print). Thats why UK Film Council and the Arts Council England created the Digital Screen Network – a £12 million investment to equip 240 screens in 210 cinemas across the UK with digital projection technology to give UK audiences much greater choice and it is hoped (but by no means guaranteed) that more small-scale independent films will get seen this way.• Cinemas in the network have already screened non-mainstream films including My Week With Marilyn, The Guard, Submarine, Brighton Rock, and the Oscar®-winner In A Better World, as well as classics like Meet me in St Louis, The Wizard of Oz and Casablanca.• PLUS British classics such as Goldfinger, Brief Encounter, Billy Liar, Henry V, The Wicker Man, The Dam Busters and Withnail and I. 19 19
Digital Film• Digital technology offers new opportunities partly because film distribution is now cheaper.• With online media i.e. social networking, TV on demand, video games, means that the internet will play a role in the film distribution. This convergence of media through digital technology creates new opportunities for distributing and exhibition.• Where power was once held by the major studios, as short films can now be shown on the internet, and as ordinary people have phones now having HD video cameras with the ability to upload to the internet, digital technology has transformed the film industry.• However, cinema has survived both TV and VCR by remodelling itself as a social experience, and offering the opportunity to watch blockbusters. The question is will cinema survive the digital revolution, because digital technology has transformed the distribution of film, but will it transform the way we view films as most people go to the cinema because of the big screen.
Digital film• Write a paragraph on the benefits digital film offers 21
Film Exhibition• Independent cinema•• Mainstream Cinema•• DVD/Bluray•• Internet downloading• Film festivals.• Are these the same audiences?• How many of these involve new technology or convergence do you think?
Independent• Owned by independent or small companies i.e lighthouse cinema Wolverhampton and the Electric in Birmingham.• Do exhibit some mainstream films, but also offer different USP they focus on niche films independent art house films and have different cliental.• Not the same about of choice as multiplexes this is because exhibitors rent the films.• These cinemas generally in old building.• Who are the types people that go to these places?
IMAX• IMAX is a system using film with more than ten times the frame size of a 35 mm film to produce image quality far superior to conventional film.• IMAX theatres use an oversized screen as well as special projectors. 25
Web 2.0• Describes new phase of the internet where users can generate, distribute their own content. Examples:• Youtube-created by former PayPal employees.• Myspace-Tom• Second Life-online world?
Exchange• Exchange: How has the audience exchanged information about this film consider the important of web2.0.• Due to the proliferation of new media with more options to communicate and specifically web 2.0 where there is more user generated content people can now exchange info about films. Think about YouTube clips of films fans have made, reviews on Amazon, Twitter.• Avatar is a good example as this was the most talked about film before it was even released. This exchange helped it to be a success.
YouTube• As the name says this is about the audience interacting and generating their own content. YouTube is believed to be one of the first port of calls for amateurs to upload their work, blog and share idea.• With its simple interface, YouTube made it possible for anyone with an Internet connection to post a video that a worldwide audience could watch within a few minutes. The wide range of topics covered by YouTube has turned video sharing into one of the most important parts of Internet culture.• But interestingly, YouTube is owned by Google.
Summary Proliferation hardware and impact of web 2.0• Proliferation of hardware and web 2.0 is important for the industry as it means that not only can users generate their own content, but also can also distribute it. This can be seen with Youtube, Facebook, Twitter etc.• The audience are not having to rely just on the media institutions for production, distribution and exhibition, as users can exhibit online.• BUT it is the institutions that own most of these companies i.e. YouTube owned by Google, Myspace owned by News Corps.• So although there is a proliferation of content i.e more choice, which is aided by convergence in technology making it more possible for users to generate their own content and distribute content, the hardware is still owned by these companies.
Summary Proliferation hardware and impact of web 2.0• Although corporations are concerned about new technologies causing piracy, the media companies also are fighting back to stop this. Look at how „Lost‟ was simultaneously released to stop piracy. And little companies are the ones who suffer most.• Finally , with the advent of web. 2.0 whether you do or do not agree, it is clear Facebook , Youtube and other user generated content gives the audience the opportunity to exchange information about films and promote or destroy films. How the industry can fight back we will have to wait and see. 30