Films co-funded with money from Britain & foreign investment, but majority of finance, cultural content & personnel are British. Films with mostly foreign money (but non-USA) investment and a small British input, either financially or creatively.
Social Realism The most 'typically British' of all film genres
‘ Trainspotting’ in 1996, both as far from ‘quaint’ ‘rose tinted’ representation of Britain as you can get. The films delve in to a world of drugs, deception, betrayal, addiction, and ultimately death, laced with pitch- black comedy moments that left audiences undecided to whether ‘Trainspotting’ promoted drug use or not. ‘ Trainspotting’ is often accused of ‘glamorizing’ the gritty lifestyle of heroin addiction, however the film was critically appraised for tapping into the youth subculture of the time, being given the title as ‘a true representation of British social realism’ the main theme being the exploration of urban poverty and squalor, in ‘culturally rich’ Edinburgh. The film did incredibly well in Britain, revealing that the heroin culture, although dark and forbidden, was also equally as fascinating. On its release in the United States, the first 20 minutes of the film were re-edited, with alternate dialogue. Because of the strong Scottish accents and language of the characters, it was believed that American audiences would have difficultly understanding them, as they were so culturally specific. The film was a huge success; it demonstrated that the American public hungered for glimpses into Britain’s dark and mysterious heroin culture. “ As British films go, it’s not merchant ivory, not angst ridden streets of London, while its slightly old fashioned-the first 10 words in the film are ‘fuck’ which helps the audience get in to it” – Tim Bevan
Audiences must like Social Realism as TFM cost $4m & took over $250m
EXHIBITION – things to consider… <ul><li>HOW DO PEOPLE CONSUME FILM: </li></ul><ul><li>Cinema </li></ul><ul><li>DVD and Blue Ray - </li></ul><ul><li>TV – VOD </li></ul><ul><li>Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Pirates </li></ul><ul><li>Illegal downloads </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Do you and your friends buy pirates or illegally download? </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Here are some key facts about illegal downloading and pirates </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>The film industry (according to experts) loses around £500- £700m a year to piracy </li></ul><ul><li>The revenue gained from pirate DVD’s alone is approximately £278m pounds a year. </li></ul>
Digital Distribution Pros & Cons <ul><li>The Digital Screen Network project is the Film Council's attempt to provide cinemas with digital projection facilities, and it is hoped (but by no means guaranteed) that more small-scale independent films will get seen this way. </li></ul><ul><li>digital technology has made life a lot better for low budget film makers and distributor </li></ul><ul><li>Digital film has the advantage of offering identical versions of the film to each viewer, and this will without doubt save billions of pounds at the distribution phase. </li></ul><ul><li>Despite the 'hype' over piracy and the digital enabling of this illegal activity, industry commentators believe that one advantage of digital distribution will be control and security, as most piracy is the result of a cinema-goer with a hidden camera </li></ul><ul><li>So the question is—will cinema always survive technological change ? </li></ul>
Synergy / Symbiosis Synergies – benefits in funding through various media outlets during film promotion such as TV, radio, magazines, internet etc. When different companies work together to promote a range of related products. E.g. High School Musical the film will enable spin-offs like Happy Meals, Easter Eggs, & a % of the profits will go back to the distributor. An example of synergy from Working Title Films…. DVD
Cross Media Convergence <ul><li>In film looks at ownership issues & companies coming together to benefit. </li></ul><ul><li>So Working Title make use of its parent company Universal to gain access to bigger stars and a better distribution network for their films. </li></ul>
This is how internet, film & TV are converging with PC’s, gadgets, Iphones etc & crosses over with PROLIFERATION
Proliferation The growing interactive use of digital technology in the film industry and media which enables people to share, consume and produce media that was difficult or impossible just a few years earlier. It affects: Production Distribution Exhibition Spread of film genres, CGI, new cameras, editing techniques etc (the spread of the new!) <ul><li>use of new software to add special effects in editing; the use of blue-screen. </li></ul><ul><li>Using new types of digital cameras like the one Danny Boyle used in “Slumdog Millionaire” (The Silicon Imaging Camera to shoot high quality film in tight spaces) </li></ul><ul><li>Internet to download a film rather than go see it in the cinema </li></ul><ul><li>watch it on YouTube; </li></ul><ul><li>special editing programs like Final Cut Pro to edit bits of a film </li></ul><ul><li>give it new soundtrack and upload it on YouTube; </li></ul><ul><li>produce illegal, pirate copies on DVDs from downloads and by converting the film’s format; </li></ul><ul><li>Blue Ray DVDs with greater compression which allows superior viewing and more features on the DVD; </li></ul><ul><li>distributors can use digital software to create high concept posters; </li></ul><ul><li>cinemas can download films to their projection screens and do not have to depend on a van dropping off the film! </li></ul>
Mobile phone apps and i-Tunes The following are also good examples of technological convergence http://www.goldengekko.com/news/31-universal-pictures-launches-another-iphone-app-to-promote-the-boat-that-rocked
The Concept: The idea/Production company In thinking about the processes that occur during the life of a film, it is easy to forget the first step in that journey is the original idea . This can either come from a writer, a director or producer in the form of a book, a play, or an original treatment for a script. In the case of ‘The Boat That Rocked’, the idea is an original one . Writing the script is only the first stage in getting a film to the screen. What Curtis (Writer) needed was finance in order to get ‘That Boat That Rocked’ actually made. He turned to Working Title, one of the leading British production companies with whom he had worked successfully in the past. Eric Fellner knew audiences would react well to the film, it was a great mainstream idea, with amazing music and cast. “ It had a number of things going for it, the first being that its Richard Curtis, he’s almost like a brand in this country, people look out for his next film” -Eric Fellner Directed by Richard Curtis Produced by Tim Bevan Eric Fellner Hilary Bevan Jones Written by Richard Curtis Starring Tom Sturridge Bill Nighy Rhys Ifans Nick Frost Philip Seymour Hoffman Talulah Riley Chris O'Dowd Rhys Darby Ralph Brown Jack Davenport Kenneth Branagh Studio StudioCanal Working Title Films Distributed by Universal Pictures Focus Features Release date(s) 1 April 2009 (2009-04-01) (United Kingdom) 13 November 2009 (2009-11-13) (United States) Budget over GB£ 30 million Gross revenue $36,348,784
Something to consider for your case study! Grass roots = local
In Working Titles’ case, they have a clear idea of the audience they envisage for the film before they bring a director on board, matching the director to the nature of the project and the target audience . When the film is complete, they usually test completed projects with UK audiences first, and then with American audiences, to get a good idea of how the movie will be received. The chairmen of Working Title claim good luck has played a huge part in their success. They are constantly surprised by reactions to their films. “ We often put down the number of what you think a film will ultimately do worldwide in gross revenue, but it’s amazing the one you didn’t think would work is suddenly huge” -Eric Fellner ‘ Four Weddings’ like most of Curtis’ films are all quintessentially ‘British’ therefore appealing to a wider target audience . Countries such as America enjoy seeing Britain, especially England represented as a charmingly quaint country, with chocolate box cottages, tea shops, and posh accents. However, this sort of idealization in British film is looked upon by some British filmmakers as a problem.