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Institutions and Audiences: British Film
 

Institutions and Audiences: British Film

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Slides for OCR AS Media Studies G323

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Institutions and Audiences: British Film Institutions and Audiences: British Film Presentation Transcript

  • Institutions and Audiences The British Film Industry AS Media Studies Examination Section B
  • Learning Outcomes Be able to… • Explain the requirements of the unit and the 7 key focus areas. • Explore the factors that influence whether a film is considered to be ‘British’.
  • What can you remember… We started this last June. Write down anything you can remember from those sessions…
  • The Course • Section B of the AS Examination • 1 question • 45 minutes to write your repsonse • The question is based on 1 or 2 of 7 key focus areas. • Your answer will be supported by reference to case studies (production companies and films)
  • What makes a Film British? Have a look at the handout and note down any questions you have…
  • Key Focus Areas: • 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.
  • British Film in the news… All of these films are have been nominated for a BAFTA or a Golden Globe award. But which ones are British? Gravity Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom Philomena Rush Saving Mr. Banks The Selfish Giant
  • ‘Best British Film 2014’ Read the handout and consider the following questions: 1. Why do people find it controversial that films like ‘Gravity’ are described as ‘British’? 2. What issues do these classifications have for the British film industry? What are the positives and the negatives?
  • Learning Outcomes • Be able to explain where the money comes from. • Be able to describe the different stages of pre- production. • Be able to evaluate the position of British Production Companies in relation to their American rivals.
  • Recap: What makes a film British?
  • Finance: Where does the money come from? In order to be made, the film needs to attract investment. There has to be a package: • A script treatment • A generic profile • A proposed budget • A visualisation or storyboard • Key personnel • Potential spin-offs and merchandising. Investment • In order to get the ‘green light’ all funding for a film needs to be secured first. • For some (UK) films this may be Lottery funding; for others it may be selling direct to a studio. • Obvious ‘above the line’ costs (actors, etc.) need to be calculated. • Hidden ‘below the line’ costs (over-lengthy shooting, etc.) need to be considered. • Once shot and cut the film will then have to be distributed.
  • Film Production Production is broke down into 3 stages: • Pre-production (preparation) • Production (filming) • Post-production (editing)
  • Pre-production Make a list of the different stages of Pre-production… • Choice of source material (original screenplay, novel, videogame etc) • Scripting • Storyboarding • Animatics • Location scouting • Casting • Shooting schedule • Budgeting
  • Production Companies – The Big 6
  • The Big Six What advantages do Hollywood studios have over British ones?
  • British Production Companies The British film industry has had a turbulent history, from its cottage industry origins in the 1890s to its 'golden age' in the 1940s, when giants like Alexander Korda, Michael Balcon and J. Arthur Rank ruled over a thriving business, through Hollywood investment in the 1960s, collapse in the 1970s and a succession of rises and falls from the 1980s to the present…
  • British Production Companies
  • The UK Film Council • Not a production company, but a vital source of information, funding and support for films and filmmakers. • Funded by the Government and the National Lottery, the UKFC supports the regional film agencies (such as Screen Yorkshire and Film London). • Since it’s creation in 2000, the UKFC has backed more than 900 films, shorts and features, entertained more than 200 million people and helped to generate approximately £700 million at the box-office worldwide. • More will follow in a future lesson…
  • Task… For each of the above companies, find… – Year established / brief history – Aims – Parent companies (if relevant) H or V integration, public or private? – The titles of five recent films (2010/2011) – Box office figures – Market share (www.the-numbers.com)
  • Useful Websites Summary of British Film http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_film Close analysis of the production of Shifty http://www.filmeducation.org/shifty/index.html BFI Screen Online http://www.screenonline.org.uk/film/index.html Pathe http://www.pathe.co.uk/ The Numbers (Box Office Figures) http://www.the-numbers.com/ International Movie Database http://www.imdb.com/
  • Production Pre-production Production Post-production
  • Production Pre-production Production Post-production Choice of source material (original screenplay, novel, videogame etc) Scripting Storyboarding / Animatics Location scouting Casting Shooting schedule Budgeting Filming! ?
  • British Film Facts and Figures… Slumdog Millionaire Budget: $15.1 million Box Office: worldwide $377,417,293 (£31m UK) Screens (opened 9th Jan 2009): 324 (379 by the 23rd, 449 by the 27th Feb) In the Loop Budget: £600,000 (Largely UKFC) Box Office: worldwide $4.3m (£2.2m UK) Screens (opened 17th April 2009): 104 (151 by the 24th) Shifty Budget: £100,000 Box Office (UK): £150,000 Screens (opened 24th April 2009): 51 Moon (BAFTA – Best British Indie Film) Budget: $5 million Box Office: worldwide $7,917,854 (£1.3m UK) Screens (opened 17th July 2009): 57
  • Shifty – Case Study As with almost all modern films, a number of companies were involved in producing and distributing ‘Shifty’. The main companies were: BBC Films UK Film Council Film London: Microwave Metrodome (distributor) The Following slides will summarise the nature of the companies. You will then research their roles in bringing ‘Shifty’ to the market.
  • BBC Films “BBC Films is the feature film-making arm of the BBC. It is firmly established at the forefront of British independent film-making and co-produces approximately eight films a year. Working in partnership with major international and UK distributors, BBC Films aims to make strong British films with range and ambition. We are committed to finding and developing new talent, as well as collaborating with some of the foremost writers and directors in the industry.”
  • BBC – Co-Production Funding “We secure third party financing for BBC Films theatric films in the commercial market place and public sector by sourcing equity, rights presales to agents or distributors, bank gap, tax funds and international co-production. We work together with the independent producer, to create and execute a finance strategy. We provide BBC Films with marketplace knowledge about talent values and information on sales and distribution results. The team seeks to maximise the BBC's return on investment and to achieve the maximum value-for- money for the licence payer.”
  • BBC Successes…
  • UKFC / Film London / Microwave • The UK Film Council is the government’s agency for film financing and production in the UK. • The distribute funds and expertise to the industry, ensuring continued suucess for UK films both domestically and internationally. • The UKFC runs the regional screen agencies, which in turn support film in different areas of the UK. An example of a regional screen agency is Film London…
  • Film London and Microwave • Film London has been granted over £2.4 million by the UKFC (as of January 2010). • As with the UKFC, it is responsible for promoting and supporting film in the Capital, both in terms of funding and resources (human and physical). • Microwave is Film London’s ‘micro- budget’ arm which promotes and supports films operating on strict running costs.
  • Metrodome “Metrodome is an independent all-rights distributor, in business for over 10 years. It acquires films and other product for exploitation in cinemas, on DVD and via broadcast. Metrodome has earned a reputation for acquiring and releasing quality independent films that challenge our audiences and provoke the critics - from box office smash hits Monster and Donnie Darko to the Academy Award winning The Counterfeiters, and Academy Award nominated Away From Her, Days of Glory and Water. Metrodome continues to engage an ever-expanding audience and provide distribution for some of the most invigorating voices in modern cinema.”
  • Metrodome - Funding
  • Questions Watch the clips and answer the following questions… 1. What did Metrodome find appealing about ‘Shifty’? 2. How does the Microwave scheme help? 3. What is the budget for films made through Microwave? 4. How do the BBC support the film production and distribution? 5. How was the film marketed? 6. How did the film attempt to reach it’s target audience? 7. Does the production of ‘Shifty’ rely on a vertically or horizontally integrated industry model? Explain. 8. Are the companies involved public or private? Explain. 9. What options are available for the consumption of ‘Shifty’? For each option, briefly explain the technology that would be necessary. 10. Synergy involves companies, industries and technologies working together to increase the performance or impact of a product. What synergy is evident in the production of ‘Shifty’?
  • Homework and Folders… Homework ‘Yes’… Chloe Isabel Holly Ryan Oliver James Rhiannon Terri Liam Homework ‘No’ Ben Chris Jack Louis Lauren Jordan Callum
  • Hollywood vs. The UK In the UK, vertical integration does not operate so commonly. Producers tend not to have long-term economic links with distributors, who likewise have no formal connections with exhibitors. This is known as ‘horizontal integration’. In the practice of Hollywood and other forms of industrial cinema, the phases of production, distribution and exhibition operate most effectively when 'vertically integrated', where the three stages are seen as part of the same larger process, under the control of one company.
  • Horizontal and Vertical Integration Production Production Production Distribution Distribution Distribution Exhibition Exhibition Exhibition
  • Production Production Production Distribution Distribution Distribution Exhibition Exhibition Exhibition EG: Warner Bros (US)
  • Production Production Production Distribution Distribution Distribution Exhibition Exhibition Exhibition EG: BBC Films (UK)
  • Film Distribution in the UK
  • The Different Stages of Distribution…
  • The Different Stages of Distribution… Distributor acquires rights to manage the release of a film (contract). Distributor develops a release strategy (when and where). Distributor presents the film to exhibitors (negotiates for screens). Marketing campaign aims to create a ‘buzz’ amongst the audience… …before ensuring people ‘definitely want to see it’. Film prints (featuring the BBFC) are ‘delivered’ to cinemas. Film’s run extends any number of weeks subject to demand. The film is then released in other formats.
  • Release Strategy
  • Marketing How do distributors create a ‘Buzz’? How is this developed to ensure that the audience ‘wants to see’ the film?
  • Other formats… Following the cinema release, what other formats can the distributor exploit?
  • Case Study: Bullet Boy Read the case study and consider the following: How was the distribution of Bullet Boy planned in order to maximise revenue?
  • You are the Distributor… Your team represent a leading distribution company, seeking to secure the rights for one of the following upcoming films: ‘Robocop’ ‘The Lego Movie’ ‘300: Rise of an Empire’ Working together, you need to create a pitch to persuade the film’s producers that your company is the best one to handle the distribution of the movie.
  • Groups… Liam Carter Jordan Cleaver Lauren Chadwick Chloe Taylor Louis Chadwick Isabel Redding Terry Yoxall Holly Savage Rhiannon Wayman Ryan Scragg Jack Eardley Ben Simpson Callum Morgan James Stephenson Chris Nixon Oliver Marks
  • Your Pitch… • Use your ‘Different Stages of Film Distribution’ resource to ensure you plan an effective Release Strategy and Marketing and Merchandising Campaign. • You’ll need to research the film to ensure that you are targeting the correct audience. • Pitches should last for up to 5 minutes and will be delivered tomorrow. • Prizes will be awarded to the winning team.
  • A different approach…
  • ‘A Field in England’ Read the hand-out (both sides) and answer the following questions: 1. Summarise (in bullet points) the release strategy for this film. 2. Why did the producers and distributors of the film choose to follow this release strategy?
  • Certification and Targeting an Audience Y12 Media Studies British Film
  • Learning Outcomes • Be able to explain the role of the BBFC and how they classify films • Know how and why film producers / distributors target specific audiences.
  • Starter • Write down the last five films you have seen. • Write down the certificate of each film (if you don’t know, make an educated guess). • Write down why you think the film was given that certificate. • Do you agree with the certificates? Why?
  • The BBFC • The British Board of Film Classification. • What is their role?
  • “The British Board of Film Classification is an independent, non-governmental body, which has classified cinema films since it was set up in 1912, and videos since the passing of the Video Recordings Act in 1984.”
  • Rate a Trailer! • All the trailers here were passed at U, PG or 12A - though many are for films which received a higher category in the end • Each trailer has a brief introduction which tells you how much examiner's knew about a film before they saw the trailer - remember, some films are already famous before they've been released (especially sequels and franchises) • Remember to look out for key classification issues like sex, violence and language • Don't forget to take into account the tone of the trailer and how it makes you feel • Keep in mind that trailers come to an audience unbidden.
  • The Classifications
  • Theme Mature themes are acceptable, but their treatment must be suitable for young teenagers. Language The use of strong language (eg 'fuck') must be infrequent. Racist abuse is also of particular concern. Nudity Nudity is allowed, but in a sexual context must be brief and discreet. Sex Sexual activity may be implied. Sex references may reflect what is likely to be familiar to most adolescents but should not go beyond what is suitable for them. Violence Violence must not dwell on detail. There should be no emphasis on injuries or blood. Sexual violence may only be implied or briefly and discreetly indicated. Imitable techniques Dangerous techniques (eg combat, hanging, suicide and self-harming) should not dwell on imitable detail or appear pain or harm free. Easily accessible weapons should not be glamorised. Horror Sustained moderate threat and menace are permitted. Occasional gory moments only. Drugs Any misuse of drugs must be infrequent and should not be glamorised or instructional.
  • Theme No theme is prohibited, provided the treatment is appropriate to 15 year olds. Language There may be frequent use of strong language (eg 'fuck'). But the strongest terms (eg 'cunt') will be acceptable only where justified by the context. Continued aggressive use of the strongest language is unlikely to be acceptable. Nudity Nudity may be allowed in a sexual context but without strong detail. There are no constraints on nudity in a non-sexual or educational context. Sex Sexual activity may be portrayed but without strong detail. There may be strong verbal references to sexual behaviour. Violence Violence may be strong but may not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury. Scenes of sexual violence must be discreet and brief. Imitable techniques Dangerous techniques (eg combat, hanging, suicide and self-harming) should not dwell on imitable detail. Easily accessible weapons should not be glamorised. Horror Strong threat and menace are permitted. The strongest gory images are unlikely to be acceptable. Drugs Drug taking may be shown but the film as a whole must not promote or encourage drug misuse.
  • In line with the consistent findings of the BBFC's public consultations, at '18' the BBFC's guideline concerns will not normally override the wish that adults should be free to chose their own entertainment, within the law. Exceptions are most likely in the following areas: • where material or treatment appears to the Board to risk harm to individuals or, through their behaviour, to society – e.g. any detailed portrayal of violent or dangerous acts, or of illegal drug use, which is likely to promote the activity. The Board may also intervene with portrayals of sexual violence which might, e.g. eroticise or endorse sexual assault. • the more explicit images of sexual activity – unless they can be exceptionally justified by context and the work is not a 'sex work' as defined below. In the case of videos and DVDs, which may be more accessible to younger viewers, intervention may be more frequent. For the same reason, and because of the different way in which they are experienced, the Board may take a more precautionary approach in the case of those digital games which are covered by the Video Recordings Act.
  • PG13 Vigilance on issues of harm and age appropriateness is also evident in the Board’s treatment of a number of blockbuster Hollywood cinema films which had received a PG-13 classification (cautioning parents but allowing unrestricted access for children of any age ) in the USA. Cloverfield, Disturbia and I Am Legend all featured extended periods of intense violent threat and moments of horror which the Board’s large consultation exercises suggest go beyond what most members of the UK public would consider appropriate for children younger than fifteen. In each case, the Board’s own judgement was that the films were likely to be disturbing to many younger children – a judgement tested and confirmed by the Advisory Panel on Children’s Viewing in respect of I Am Legend, and by the Consultative Council in respect of Disturbia. In each case, the distributor request for a ‘12A’ classification was refused and the films were all classified ‘15’.
  • The Dark Knight
  • Senior MPs have criticised the British Board of Film Classification's decision to allow young children to see the new Batman film, The Dark Knight. In a letter in the Times today, Iain Duncan Smith, the former Conservative leader, said he was "astonished" that the BBFC did not give the film a 15 certificate, which would stop children under the age of 15 from viewing it. Keith Vaz, the Labour chairman of the home affairs committee, has also said that the film should have been a 15. Instead the BBFC made it a 12A, meaning that children under the age of 12 can see it if accompanied by an adult. Duncan Smith decided to speak out after taking his 15-year-old daughter to see the film, starring Christian Bale and Heath Ledger, at the weekend. "Unlike past Batman films where the villains were somewhat surreal and comical figures, Heath Ledger's Joker is a brilliantly acted but very credible psychopathic killer, who extols the use of knives to kill and disfigure his victims, during a reign of urban terrorism, laced with torture," Duncan Smith wrote. "It is a relentlessly violent film, filled with dark themes, and as I left I wondered what the board could possibly have been thinking. There is no way that a parent could have been guided by the classification and realised what they were about to see." Duncan Smith said he enjoyed the film and thought it was well-made. But he thought the BBFC had "caved in to commercial pressures".
  • This is England From the opposite view point, we received a number of requests for our classification decisions to be lowered. Shane Meadows’ powerful anti-racist drama, This is England, prompted eight impassioned calls for the ‘18’, awarded to it for its combination of very strong, racially abusive language and racially motivated violence, to be reduced to ‘15’. All believed the film to be of significant educational value in tackling racism, and argued that teenagers should be able to see the film.
  • Targeting
  • Targeting • Why do films target specific audiences? – Generate maximum revenue (it’s no good having a film with a teenage subject matter and an 18 certificate). – Appeal to the biggest audience possible. • How do they do it? – Themes and issues that are raised (eg youth pictures, black and Asian identities). – Methods of advertising and marketing (place and type). – The certificate they ‘intend’ to gain.
  • Past Question Discuss the issues raised by an institution’s need to target specific audiences within the British film industry. British film in general… Working Title… Certificates… Gender… Age… Nationality Regionality Why do they need to do it? To make sure it is in the right number of cinemas in the right areas…to make money…to generate interest…
  • How do films target their audience? Production – Cast – Source – Location – Director Distribution – Advertising • Trailers, posters, websites... – Marketing • Spin-offs such as sound tracks, games, action figures... Exhibition – Where it is shown – When it is shown – How it is shown
  • How do films target audiences according to… • Certificates • Gender • Age • Nationality • Regionality • Ethnicity Give examples of British films and studios in your responses!
  • To start you off… There are a number of issues raised by an institution’s need to target a specific audience. The ultimate aim of most films is to make a profit whilst enhancing the reputation of those involved. In this sense, the main issue for an institution is ensuring that it appeals to as many people from it’s target audience as possible. This process begins with production. The source material for a film, whether it be a book, a game, or an original screenplay, often has an existing fanbase. This provides an existing audience for the Production Company and Distributor to build upon. A good example of this can be seen in the Harry Potter films (produced and distributed by Warner Brothers), where the popular novels ensured an interested audience, and also in Slumdog Millionaire, co-produced by FilmFour, where the popular TV show helped audiences to establish an idea about the plot of the film. Director and stars – Bullet Boy, This is England, A Field in England Distribution…
  • Some Keywords… Synergy Convergence Proliferation Two or more things working together to have a greater impact overall. EG – Production companies working together to create a better product (film). EG – Different types of advertising working together to reach a larger audience. Technological convergence is the tendency for different technological systems to evolve toward performing similar tasks (EG - PS4) Cross-media convergence occurs when a product is distributed through various media (EG – Guardian) The rapid increase of something. EG – Media technology EG – Popularity of a film
  • MOON Y12 Media Studies The British Film Industry
  • Feedback on essays... • Overall, not bad. • Strongest on production and distribution, weaker on exhibition. • Tendency to ‘list’ the different factors that affect audience, rather than linking them together. • Some technical language used, not enough in some cases. • Grades can be given when MS is available.
  • Genre? Target Audience? British?
  • Budget and Box Office Budget: $5 million (Although this may sound a lot, it really isn’t!) Box Office: worldwide $7,917,854 (£1.3m UK) (Very good considering it was originally going straight to DVD!)
  • Awards BAFTA Awards 2010 Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film - nominated Carl Foreman award for special achievement by a British director, writer or producer in their first feature film - won British Independent Film Awards 2009 Best British Independent Film - won Douglas Hickox Award for Duncan Jones - won Best Actor for Sam Rockwell - nominated Best Director for Duncan Jones - nominated Best Screenplay for Nathan Parker - nominated Technical Achievement, Original Score for Clint Mansell - nominated Technical Achievement, Production Designll for Tony Noble - nominated Fantastic'Arts 2010 Special Prize - won Critics' Prize - won
  • Critical Reception 89% Fresh Rating – 8.0 / 10 – IMDB “one of the best performances of the year” – Empire Magazine
  • Production • Directed by Duncan Jones (aka Zowie Bowie), UK. • Production Company: Liberty Films (UK, independent) • In association with Stage 6 Films. • Shot in 33 days. • Shepperton Studios (UK) Stage 6 Films is a label created by Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group that acquires, produces and distributes 10-15 low budget (capped at approximately $10 million) films and direct-to-DVD releases per year. SYNERGY!!!
  • Production - Cinesite (Visual Effects, UK) – Hunt says he turns down a lot of producers looking for free vfx in return for a stake in their films. But he is open to exploring cut-price deals on interesting indie projects, such as sci-fi drama “Moon”, the feature directing debut of David Bowie's son Duncan Jones. – "We're not doing it for the money, but because the script was good," Hunt says. "'Moon' is a great example of us helping a U.K. producer to use vfx for the right reasons, to open up their film”
  • Distribution Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group acquired distribution rights to the film for English-speaking territories. Sony was considering to send Moon to go straight-to-video; but after Moon premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival in January 2009, Sony Pictures Classics decided to handle this film's theatrical release for Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group. Sony Pictures Classics distributed the film in the United States theatrically, beginning with screenings in selected theatres in New York and Los Angeles on 12 June. Certified 15 Independent Film Co (UK) secured the rights for all other territories.
  • Exhibition • Opened on 57 screens (17th July 2009) • The film's British premiere was held on 20 June 2009 at the Cameo Cinema in Edinburgh as part of the 63rd Edinburgh International Film Festival • Released on both DVD and Blu-ray. • + OD, downloads, itunes, etc… What does this tell About the film’s Target audience?
  • Questions… 1. Who is the Target Audience for this film? How do you know? 2. How is the production of this film an example of Synergy at work? 3. Explain how Technological Convergence and Proliferation had an impact on the production, distribution and exhibition of this film. Consider niche or mass market, screens, premiere, release date etc…
  • BAFTAs 2014 What was controversial about this year’s awards? How could we use this in an essay?
  • Issues of Technology British Film
  • Learning Outcomes • Know how technology affects the ways in which you consume films. • Be able to explain the impact of new technology on the film industry.
  • Three Keywords... • Synergy – Synchronised Energy! Institutions, products or technology working together to have a bigger impact. • Proliferation – To proliferate = to grow or spread. For example the spread of technology as it becomes cheaper, or the spread of knowledge, such as viral marketing. • Convergence – To converge – to merge / link together. An example of technological convergence could be an Iphone or Xbox, allowing media to be consumed in a variety of ways.
  • Film Technology - Starter • Write down all the technology that you use to watch films. • Compare this to the people sitting on your table. Are there differences? Why? • Now consider, and note down, how your viewing habits have changed in the last five years.
  • Handout • Read and highlight the ‘Issues of Technology’ handout from your booklet. • Use the information from the sheet, along with your own knowledge and opinions, to answer the following questions…
  • Questions 1. CGI enables filmmakers to visually enhance their films. What other benefits does it have for production? 2. How can the internet be used by film companies to enhance the success of their film? 3. What could the film industry do to combat illegal film downloads? 4. What technology issues are helping directors (like yourselves) to make films? 5. DVDs offer improved sound and picture quality over tape. What other advantages can they have for viewers? 6. To what extent are special editions and director’s cut DVDs merely a marketing ploy by the film industry to make more money? 7. Cinema going is still seen as an ‘experience’. If that is the case, why hasn’t the IMAX experience with its bigger screens, sharper pictures and clearer sounds taken over from standard cinemas? 8. To what degree do you see the advent of home cinema, with large-screen televisions, home projectors and surround sound, threatening the profits of multiplexes? 9. How has the video games industry, with its advances in technology like Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, affected the way we watch films in our own homes? 10. What benefits do synergy-rich media conglomerates have when producing, distributing, marketing and exhibiting their films?
  • Technology: Pros and Cons Advantages Disadvantages Production Distribution Exhibition Try to think of films to support your points…
  • The Question… With reference to case study examples from the industry that you have studied, discuss the impact of new technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, distribution and exhibition. 1 hour – 50 marks
  • Technology: Case Studies Production • Proliferation – Slumdog Millionaire – FilmFour – the cameras used in Mumbai were small yet high quality to allow realistic scenes to be shot in a difficult location. – Affordable technology for British indie projects (eg Shifty (Film London / BBC)) making micro-budget films a possibility. • CGI – Moon (Cinesite) – example of synergy and proliferation. Simple, cheaper technology makes access to CGI a possibility for lower-budget films. Distribution • Digital Distribution – DSN – UK Film Council – This is England (FilmFour / Warp Films) – Blanket Release = less piracy – No prints = Lower environmental impact Exhibition • 3D – Hollywood – Avatar (20th Century Fox). Contrast to British Film Industry. – UK – Streetdance 3D (BBC) – proliferation of 3D technology. • Internet and web 2.0 – enabling amateur filmmakers and indie projects to exhibit films. • Games consoles – Blu-ray and dvd, Zune, rentals, downloads (example of synergy) • Other points could include: – On Demand – Downloads – Streaming – DVD and Blu-ray These all offer increased access for audiences and (potentially) increased profits for institutions. Option – compare and contrast two films throughout the essay
  • The Question With reference to case study examples from the industry that you have studied, discuss the significance of proliferation of hardware and content for institutions and audiences. 1 hour – 50 marks
  • Manchester’s Independent Cinema Exhibition case study
  • About “Cornerhouse” Cornerhouse is Manchester's international centre for contemporary visual arts and film. Located in the heart of the city and open seven days a week, they have 3 floors of contemporary art galleries, 3 screens showing the best of independent cinema, a bar, café and 2 bookshops. Cornerhouse's patrons are: Danny Boyle, Damien Hirst and Helen Mirren.
  • March 2014
  • Stoke Film Theatre Established in 1974, the Film Theatre ensures that a wider variety of films are shown in Stoke-on- Trent. Our program contains a wide range of independent, foreign (often subtitled) and more mainstream releases. The emphasis is on films which have either not been shown or have received a very limited release at the local multiplex cinemas.
  • Task… 1. Have a look at the current schedules for an independent cinema (Stoke Film Theatre, Cornerhouse, etc). 2. Compare this to the listings of a local Multiplex (Vue, Odeon). 3. Comment on the number of independent / non-mainstream films on show in each location. Also consider the genre and target audience of the films shown. 4. What does this tell you about multiplex cinemas? 5. Why is it important to have independent exhibitors?
  • The Question… Discuss the ways in which media product(s) are produced and distributed to audiences within a media area, which you have studied. Consider: How films are produced and distributed in order to target specific audiences The impact that technology has had in helping films to reach their audiences
  • Assessment feedback… Good times… • Some pupils managed to follow the points suggested in previous lessons • Some effective use of case studies • Some relevant terminology Bad times… • Lack of effort in some cases? • Not enough case studies – ‘Moon’, ‘Bullet Boy’, ‘A Field in England’ would have enabled full marks.
  • The mark scheme…
  • Synergy in the British Film Industry A Definition: • Synergy (from the Greek syn-ergos, συνεργός meaning working together) is the term used to describe a situation where different entities cooperate advantageously for a final outcome. Simply defined, it means that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. • It’s the ‘strategy of synchronising and actively forging connections between directly related areas of entertainment’. • New Technologies support this process – web, blu- ray, downloads... Media institutions exploit various platforms to sell various products related to one film (e.g. film and soundtrack and video game).
  • An example of synergy from Disney CD Game DVD Outlets
  • An example of synergy from Working Title Films…. DVD Sound Track
  • Convergence Cross Media Convergence… …is the way that different products are produced and distributed on different platforms. For example The Guardian used to be a purely paper-based media product. Now it's produced and distributed on iphone and ipad apps, the website… Cross-media convergence also applies to marketing strategies whereby products are marketed using print, web, film and TV-based platforms. Technological Convergence… …is the process by which a range of media platforms are integrated within a single piece of media technology. For example the new X Box One is a games console, a Blu-Ray player, a web browser… Media institutions recognise that audiences want to consume media in a variety of different ways .
  • Vivendi SA • Working Title films is owned by Universal films. • Universal films is part of Vivendi Universal. • It also owns major phone companies in many countries. • It also owns 60 publishing houses selling 80 million books a year.
  • • Vivendi Universal own Cineplex and Odeon cinema chains, as well as mp3.com. • Owns Canal+ (French TV subscription channel) which has 14 million subscribers in 11 countries in Europe. Canal+ part finance Working Title Films productions. • Owns Universal records. (22% share of global market across 63 countries). Vivendi SA
  • • Can produce their own TV shows and films at Universal Studios. • Have exclusive distribution rights of Working Title films and soundtracks. • Can distribute, market and exhibit films they own through their own 13 cable channels, eg Chiller channel for horror films, Movies 24 in UK and Canal+ in Europe. • They can distribute their content through their partnership with Apple via i-tunes. Vivendi SA
  • MP3.com • Vivendi Universal own MP3.com • They can use this as a platform to distribute Universal owned content • They can also use the MP3.com as a platform for advertising content and can sell advertising space to other related companies eg CBS have links to their film sites • Therefore the company benefit from audiences owning converged technology such as a video-ipod as this is where they will download and exhibit their content
  • Have integrated film, music, web and distribution technology into the company, including owning big stakes in cables and wires that deliver these services. Therefore they are vertically integrated because they own all the different companies involved in film, from production to distribution to exhibition. They are also horizontally integrated because they have all the expertise for producing media content under one roof – films, tv, magazines, books, music, games thus being able to produce all the related media content for one film under the same roof (see synergy). Vivendi SA
  • The Question… With reference to the industry and institutions that you have studied, consider the impact of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and exhibition. 50 marks
  • Convergence and Synergy Impact of CMC or S Examples Keywords Prod. Dist. Exhib. Try to think of films to support your points…
  • Convergence and Synergy Impact of CMC or S Examples Keywords Prod. S – production companies working together to create effective products. Moon – Liberty Films, Cinesite, Stage 6. Worked together to produce an effective sci-fi film on a budget… Synergy Convergence Prolifieration Release Strategy Advertising Marketing Niche Mass Digital distribution + different ways of watching films… Dist. S – combination of strategies used in advertising and marketing. CMC – range of media utilised to promote film. Bullet Boy – Festival release (= hype); TV, radio and online promotion. Soundtrack as spin-off. Exhib. CMC – films released on a variety of media platforms. A Field in England – synchronised release on all platforms. Wide range of options for a potential audience. Try to think of films to support your points…
  • Ownership and The Film Industry
  • Key Words – which key ownership terms are defined below? Two or more types of media coming together. Different elements of a company working together to promote related products. The process by which an increasingly smaller number of companies own most media outlets. A company which produces two or more types of media. A large parent company which owns a range of smaller companies. Smaller companies owned by a parent company. When the market is dominated by a small number of companies.
  • Key Words – which key ownership terms are defined below? Convergence Two or more types of media coming together. Synergy Different elements of a company working together to promote related products. Concentration of media ownership The process by which an increasingly smaller number of companies own most media outlets. Cross-media ownership When a company which produces two or more types of media. Conglomerate A large parent company which owns a range of smaller companies. Subsidiary Smaller companies owned by a parent company. Oligopoly When the market is dominated by a small number of companies.
  • What is media ownership? 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”
  • Key Issues For a question on “issues raised by media ownership” you will primarily write about the following key areas: • Piracy • The dominance of Hollywood over the industry • The destruction of the UK Film Council
  • Piracy • Piracy – the illegal distribution of media without the permission of its owner. E.g. Downloading, Pirate DVDs • Advances in digital technology (see digital cinema notes) 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.
  • 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 popular option. • Digital encryption means that films can be securely distributed. • The rise in digital film production and exhibition has paved the way for 3D cinema. • 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.
  • The American Film Industry The American film industry is dominated by The Big Six film studios. Can you name them? • Warner Brothers • Paramount • 20th Century Fox • Walt Disney Pictures • Columbia Pictures • Universal Pictures What is the combined North American market share of the Big Six? 90%
  • Who Owns the Big Six? Warner Bros. Time Warner (world’s 2nd largest media conglomerate) Paramount Viacom (4th largest media conglomerate) 20th Century Fox News Corp (3rd largest media conglomerate)
  • Who Owns the Big Six? Walt Disney Pictures The Walt Disney Company (world’s largest media conglomerate) Columbia Pictures Sony Corporation (5th largest media conglomerate) Universal Pictures GE (2nd largest company in the world) and Comcast (largest telecommunications company in the US)
  • Ownership and the American Film Industry The American film industry is dominated by 6 major studios, each of which are subsidiaries of major media conglomerates. The American film industry makes more money from international revenue ($30 billion) than domestic revenue ($10 billion). What are the implications of this ownership structure? • Concentration of media ownership (bias, stealth marketing) • Ability to take bigger risks – bigger budgets – spectacle • Synergy • Limited choice in cinemas • Endless sequels • Poor quality films • A dying British industry
  • Films helped by the Film Council Vera Drake, The Last King of Scotland, My Summer of Love, Bend it Like Beckham, Fish Tank, Adulthood, London to Brighton, Nowhere Boy, How to loose friends and Alienate People, This Is England, Happy-Go-Lucky For everyone £1 of lottery money invested, British films are reckoned to generate £5 at the box office.
  • UK Film Council axed! • The UK Film Council is essential to film-making in the UK. Put simply, if it wasn’t for the UK Film Council, many projects (films) wouldn't exist • Along with BBC Films and Film4, the Film Council is the main port of call for film makers trying to get feature films off the ground, especially if those films are outside the mainstream. • In 2010 the government announced that the scheme was going to be axed…
  • The King’s Speech • Would not have been possible without the support of the UK Film Council. Both Film 4 and the BBC turned it down. • Head of the UK Film Council's Film Fund, said "The rise of The King's Speech from a British independent film to a worldwide commercial and critical phenomenon is a huge testament to the creators…It's a magnificent final chapter for the UK Film Council”. • The film won 4 Oscars, including Best Picture.
  • FACT FILE: THE KING’S SPEECH • Directed by Tom Hooper • Released 2010 • Starring Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Derek Jacobi, Geoffrey Rush • Budget: £10,000,000 • The Weinstein Company, Alliance Films, Paramount Pictures
  • CRITICAL SUCCESS • Nominated for seven Golden Globes • Nominated for fourteen BAFTAs • Nominated for twelve Academy Awards • Won four Oscars for, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay
  • FINANCIAL SUCCESS • In the UK it took £3,510,000 from 395 cinemas on the opening weekend. • In the US it made $355,450 in four screens, • It was then widened into 700 screens and then 1,543 • The film has made $40 million in profit from the theatrical release alone. • Compare these figure to those of Shifty
  • FINANCIAL SUCCESS: SHIFTY • Opening weekend 51 prints – took £61,000 • After 3 weeks down to 12 prints after taking over £131,000 • Final box office - £143,000
  • Film and Britain • The film market in Britain is dominated by American products. • American produced films account for 75% of the total UK box office. • 18 of the top 20 most successful films at the British box office were produced by the Big Six studios. • http://www.ukfilmcouncil.org.uk/media/ pdf/1/6/The_UK_box_office_in_2010_fin al_version_20Jan11.pdf
  • Ownership and Globalisation One effect of the concentration of media ownership is that the global media market is increasingly dominated by a small number of Western (mostly American) conglomerates. Do you think this is a positive or a negative?
  • Sample Question Discuss the issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice within a media industry which you have studied. The main issues you will focus on are: • Piracy • Hollywood’s Dominance • The loss of the UK Film Council
  • • Discuss the issues raised by media ownership within a media area you have studied. – Relevant to the question – Accurate factual knowledge – Specific examples – Terminology – Personal experience
  • Essay Structure Introduction – state your focus, argument, and case studies. Media Ownership – general overview of key issues relating to the film industry American film industry – using _____to support points you make explain implications of ownership on institutions and audiences British film industry – contrast British film industry using examples such as _________ Conclusion – sum up your argument, relate to your own personal experience as a consumer
  • Public vs. Private (vs. Independent!) Funding – guaranteed from the licence fee And Government Answerable to the BBC Trust and licence payers Only answerable to the shareholders Able to form partnerships with other companies (synergy, HV) Not able to work in all genres? Can use their existing brands and media outlets to promote, exhibit etc
  • Ownership Issue Examples Keywords Piracy US UK Consider production, distribution and exhibition…
  • A Case Study: Watchmen An extra example that could be used in the exam UNDERSTANDING FILM RIGHTS
  • Film Rights • When an existing story (book, play, comic) is made into a film the “rights” have to be bought from the author – the product is their “intellectual property” • E.g. Warner Brothers bought the rights to make the first 4 Harry Potter for £ 1 million. (They bought the remaining 3 when the first had been a success.) • Film makes may “option” a script – meaning they only pay 10% of the fee and then pay the full amount if the project is “green lit” ( goes into production) . • There is normally a time limit on an “option” – usual two or three years. If the film isn’t made in this time the rights can be re-sold.
  • Film Rights… • 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: Watchmen
  • Watchmen • There have been numerous attempts to make a film version of Watchmen since 1986, when producers Lawrence Gordon and Joel Silver acquired film rights to the series for 20th Century Fox. • In 1991, Fox put the project into “turnaround” and was moved to Warner Bros., • A turnaround is an arrangement in the film industry, whereby the rights to a project one studio has developed are sold to another studio in exchange for the cost of development.
  • Watchmen • Gilliam later abandoned the project because he decided that Watchmen would have been un-filmable. Subsequently it was dropped by Warner Bros. • In 2004 the film went to Paramount Pictures but again it was placed in turnaround when the lead director left to work on other projects. • In 2005 Lawrence Gordon took the film back to Warner Bros where it was eventually brought to life.
  • Watchmen • 20th Century Fox filed a lawsuit to block the film's release, stating that they still had the “rights” to the film and that L. Gordon was supposed to resubmit Watchmen to Fox every time he came up with a changed element. • Warner Bros fought this claim but eventually the studios eventually settled. • Fox received an upfront payment and a percentage of the worldwide gross from the film and all sequels and spin-offs in return. • The film was released to cinemas in March 2009 a year after the original release date.
  • How you watch films… ‘Your consumption’
  • Your Consumption • You can’t answer this question with ‘I don’t really watch films…’ • Equally, your response can’t be a list of everything you’ve watched recently and whether you liked it or not… • The best answers will give a range of examples of the different ways an viewer could watch films, and will explain how this links to wider patterns in the industry.
  • Mr Taylor’s Film Diary • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug • Moneyball • Elysium • A Field in England • Blade Trintiy • The Wolf of Wall Street • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Mr Taylor’s Film Diary Film When/Where/How/Why? Link to the industry The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Moneyball Elysium A Field in England Blade Trinity The Wolf of Wall Street Inside Llewyn Davis December, IMAX Manchester. Hype, spectacle (big screen), 3D ‘occasion movie’ January, DVD. Supermarket promotion. Didn’t care enough to see it at the cinema. Like Brad Pitt and sports movies. BlinkBox 4OD Film4 Illegal download Cornerhouse, Manchester Large budget, blanket release, CGI blockbuster. Cross media convergence in marketing made it hard to miss! DVD promotions (distribution), star-appeal, genre.
  • Your film diaries… Film When/Where/How/Why? Link to the industry
  • For example…Introduction In a world in which changes in technology are a daily event, audiences are now able to consume films in a huge variety of ways. Proliferation of technology, along with increased technological convergence, has meant that films can be accessed anywhere and at any time, provided an internet connection is available. My film viewing habits largely reflect those of most teenagers in Britain today. They are influenced by both convenience and the highly effective distribution strategies that film institutions employ. The most common way in which I watch films is…
  • For example…Main Paragraph Cinema – ‘Desolation of Smaug’ Why – Source material, sequel, US Blockbuster (MGM), CGI, Release Strategy (Christmas), Cinema as a social occasions Link to wider trends – This reflects wider audience trends as this film is designed for maximum effect on the big screen. Also the Christmas release, combined with the multi-media, synergistic marketing approach, meant that there was a lot of hype created for the release. Also, the fact that this is a sequel, taken from a bestselling novel, would encourage audiences to make the effort to see it as soon as possible.
  • Feedback… Average mark: 30.785(low C)
  • The Question… With reference to case study examples from the industry that you have studied, discuss the impact of new technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, distribution and exhibition. 1 hour – 50 marks
  • Average mark: 34 (high C / low B)
  • General feedback… • Good range of points (for production, distribution and exhibition) • Some effective case studies (Moon (synergy and CGI), Gravity (CGI), A Field in England (release strategy)) • More use of keywords required • Not enough references to institutions • Case studies often lack the required detail…
  • Technology: Case Studies Production • Proliferation – Slumdog Millionaire – FilmFour – the cameras used in Mumbai were small yet high quality to allow realistic scenes to be shot in a difficult location. – Affordable technology for British indie projects (eg Shifty (Film London / BBC)) making micro-budget films a possibility. • CGI – Moon (Cinesite) – example of synergy and proliferation. Simple, cheaper technology makes access to CGI a possibility for lower-budget films. Distribution • Digital Distribution – environment, no loss of quality, blanket releases, cheaper – DSN – UK Film Council – This is England (FilmFour / Warp Films) – Blanket Release = less piracy – No prints = Lower environmental impact Exhibition • AFIE – unique release strategy created hype and lots of options for the audience • Internet and web 2.0 – enabling amateur filmmakers and indie projects to exhibit films. • Games consoles – Blu-ray and dvd, Zune, rentals, downloads (example of synergy) • Other points could include: – On Demand – Downloads – Streaming – DVD and Blu-ray These all offer increased access for audiences and (potentially) increased profits for institutions. Option – compare and contrast two films throughout the essay
  • Referring to a case study… A good example of how technology has proliferated and allowed films to make use of advanced editing techniques is ‘Moon’ (2009). Produced by Liberty Pictures (an independent British production company) and directed by Duncan Jones, the Sundance nominated film managed to use CGI to create a convincing moon setting despite its relatively low budget of $5 million. Part of this was accomplished through synergy; Liberty Pictures worked in partnership with Cinesite (a British effects company) to access CGI at a reasonable cost, but the increased availability of advanced technology was also a factor. The fact that the film’s distribution rights were secured by Sony Stage 6 shows how successful this partnership was and how new technology is having such a big impact. At the opposite end of the scale, recent UK hit ‘Gravity’ (2014) is an example of…
  • The Question With reference to case study examples from the industry that you have studied, discuss the significance of proliferation of hardware and content for institutions and audiences. 1 hour – 50 marks
  • Some definitions… Proliferation: rapid increase and growth Hardware: a technological device which assists the production, distribution and/or exhibition of a film. Examples of hardware would include the camera that captures the film, the computer and editing software that cuts and markets the film or a digital projector, to exhibit the film in a digital cinema. Also hardware for consumption in the home. Content: the products that audiences receive from the film institutions
  • Proliferation of Hardware and Content Proliferation of hardware Proliferation of content Production Distribution Exhibition
  • Proliferation of Hardware and Content Proliferation of hardware Proliferation of content Production Faster computers and high speed internet (Shifty) HD cameras – cheaper, smaller (Slumdog) Editing software CGI (Moon) NA Distribution Digital distribution (A Field in England) Viral marketing campaigns Social networks Synergy and cross media convergence in marketing Above the line (Posters, teasers, trailers etc.) and below the line (viral, social media, youtube etc.) advertising and marketing. Exhibition 3D, IMAX, Digital cinemas, smart TVs, tablets, downloads, streaming, Blu- Ray, On Demand, Netflix, Lovefilm, Iplayer (pick some films). Tech. convergence! Apps, websites, games, soundtracks…
  • Average mark: 34.0667 (high C / low B)
  • To improve… • Detailed case studies! • References to the institutions • No more Avatar!
  • Your homework… • Submarine / Warp Films case study – has to be included in your next essay! • Write the ownership essay • Revise your case studies (essays without notes next term wooo!)
  • Public vs. Private (vs. Independent!) Funding – guaranteed from the licence fee And Government Answerable to the BBC Trust and licence payers Only answerable to the shareholders Able to form partnerships with other companies (synergy, HI) Not able to work in all genres? Can use their existing brands and media outlets to promote, exhibit etc
  • Ideas… Production – Public – BBC Film – Private – Film4 and The Big Six – Independent – Warp Films Distribution (exchange) – Public – BBC Film – Private – Film4 and The Big Six – Independent – Warp Films Issues: Budgets, accountability, genres, mass vs.niche, importance of synergy, H/V integration, reaching an audience… Issues: Piracy, budgets, relaese strategies, above and below the line marketing, digital distribution, cross media convergence