Understand the link with Channel 4 and it’s ‘Ethos’
Section B – Audiences and Institutions
The importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and marketing
The issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practise
What is Channel 4?
A British terrestrial TV channel
A commercial broadcaster – funded entirely by advertising, programme sponsorship, merchandising and overseas sales.
The owner of a number of digital UK channels including More 4, Film 4, E4 and Channel 4 HD
The owner of independent film production company – Film 4 Productions
Channel 4 IS NOT a television production company as it’s broadcasting license prevents it from making any programmes of it’s own. It commissions independent production companies (such as Endemol) to make it’s programmes or buys in programmes from abroad
Channel 4 REMIT
Channel 4 is unique as a commercial broadcaster as it has a public service remit . This means that rather than it’s primary concern being to make money for shareholders it exists to fulfil a public need.
The conditions of the Channel 4 Remit stipulate that they must:
demonstrate innovation, experiment and creativity in the form and content of programmes;
appeal to the tastes and interests of a culturally diverse society;
makes a significant contribution to meeting the need for the licensed public service channels to include programmes of an educational nature and other programmes of educative value
exhibit a distinctive character
broadcast programmes from many independent production companies, including a high proportion from Europe
History of Film 4
1982 - Established as Channel Four Films to produce diverse and challenging films for Ch4 (a small number got cinema exhibition)
1992-97 – Period of financial success: The Crying Game (1992) – took $62m in US, Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) - $240m worldwide, Trainspotting ( 1996) - $16m (US) £12m+ (UK)
Introduction of Lottery money
UK Film Production rose to level not seen since 1970s
Creation of FilmFour (production and distribution company)
Part of Channel 4 (channels, websites) which act as exhibitors and promoters
Unique to British Film – Why?
Twice the production budget of Channel Four Films (now £32m)
International and domestic audience – this model failed: Charlotte Gray (2001)
Now: Film 4
FilmFour closed in 2002 – studio model had failed in UK
Film production returned to Channel 4 with reduced budget (Film 4)
Return to realist roots
Recent successes: ???
FILM 4 ETHOS
To develop (new) British Talent and be a leader of innovation in the British Film industry
To invest around £500,000 per film, at a rate of around 20 films a year
To support international (including American) independent film-makers by co-investing in innovative and interesting foreign films.
To offer a platform for British and independent cinema on terrestrial television by commiting to showing each one of Film Four Productions films on Channel 4 and it’s sister station Film Four.
Are there any obvious advantages Film 4 has when compared to other independent production companies? CROSS-MEDIA CONVERGENCE