INSTITUTIONS AND AUDIENCES
INTRODUCTION TO PRODUCTION,
DISTRIBUTION AND MARKETING
• To understand the focus for
the Audience and
Institutions section of your
• To understand the structure
of a Media Triangle
• To understand the different
sectors of the film industry
Section B: Institutions and Audiences
Candidates should be prepared to understand and discuss the processes of production,
distribution, marketing and exchange as they relate to contemporary media institutions, as well as
the nature of audience consumption and the relationships between audiences and institutions. In
addition, candidates should be familiar with:
•the issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice;
•the importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and marketing;
•the technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, distribution,
marketing and exchange;
•the significance of proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences;
•the importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences;
•the issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically, British) by
international or global institutions;
•the ways in which the candidates’ own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns
and trends of audience behaviour.
This unit should be approached through contemporary examples in the form of case studies based
upon one of the specified media areas.
• Looking for Eric
• Slumdog Millionaire
Who has produced
the media text
What they have
Who it is produced
THE FILM PROCESS
PRODUCTION DISTRIBUTION EXHIBITION
There are three distinct areas of the film industry.
Each one of these could be viewed as a type of media institution.
What would you expect to happen at each stage?
• Production involves the creation of the media
product and is the responsibility of the
• This includes all pre-production, production &
• Before that the writer/director/producer must
find finance for a film – which may come from
one or many production companies (a co-
Figment Films is the
Channel 4 (film 4)
financed the film
•Film distributors are responsible for prints and marketing:
PRINTS – producing physical copies of a film for cinema/home
release and finding the exhibitors/retailers to sell the film
MARKETING – raising audience awareness and anticipation of a
•A distributor may:
-Be a part of the same parent company as the production
-Have a long term arrangement with a production company and
provide financial assistance for many of their productions
-Provide financial assistance for a single film by a production
-Acquire a film after it has completed production
•A film will likely have different distributors for:
-Releases in different countries
bought the rights for
$750,000 – in your case
study look carefully at
how it was marketed
• Exhibition is divided into two sections:
- Cinema – the distributor is paid by the cinema for a copy
of the film
- Home – the distributor is paid by the company who is
selling the film for a copy
• A film’s success is often decided on the amount of
money it makes during it’s cinema release. This is
known as the Box Office Takings
• Home Exhibition is becoming an increasing valuable
and varied source for distributors to increase profits.
WHAT METHODS OF HOME EXHIBITION CAN WE THINK OF?
FilmFour made its
reputation with films
such as Trainspotting
in 1996, which made
£23m at the box office
but cost only £2.4m
and was the highest
grossing British film in
However, it was far
more successful on
numerous versions and
Why would this film be
more successful on DVD
than in the cinema?
HORIZONTAL AND VERTICAL INTEGRATION
Often a single parent company will own multiple
companies in the film industry.
This is divided into two types of ownership:
The parent company
companies at the same
stage of the film
industry. A smaller
company, owned by the
parent is a subsidiary.
The parent company
different stages of the
What are the
advantages for a parent
company of each type
For example Walt Disney also owns:
For example Warner Bros owns:
•Warner Bros Studios (Production)
•Warner Bros (Distribution)
•Used to own Warner Bros Cinemas
in the UK (Exhibition
RESEARCH TASK - THE LIFE OF A FILM
-SUBMIT AS A POST ON ABLOG – MAKE AS INTERACTIVE AS POSSIBLE
-DUE SUNDAY 7PM – email link to firstname.lastname@example.org
-STARTING POINT FOR RESEARCH SHOULD BE IMDB.COM – USE COMPANY CREDITS SECTION
1. YOUR FILM (EITHER SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE OR TRAINSPOTTING)
Provide a brief synopsis of your film’s story
Include some of your film’s marketing materials (trailers, posters, cast interviews etc.)
What was your film’s production budget?
Which Production Company (s) provided the finance? What other films have the company (s) produced?
Who are your films theatrical distributors? How many countries has it been distributed in and what are they?
Who are your films home distributors? How many countries has it been distributed in and what are they
What was your film’s box office takings? Would you expect it to be shown in BROMLEY CINEMA? Why?
What formats is your film available on for home exhibition?
5. HORIZONTAL & VERTICAL INTEGRATION
Is your film’s production company a subsidiary of a larger company (Horizontally Integrated)?
Are there any signs of horizontal integration between your film’s production company (s) and distributor(s)?
What do the following terms mean in relation to the film industry?
• Horizontal Integration
• Vertical Integration