Flipped classroom lesson 3 - the british film industry

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BTEC level 3 media film and television flipped classroom learning experience focused on the British film industry.

BTEC level 3 media film and television flipped classroom learning experience focused on the British film industry.

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  • 1. The British Film Industry What you need to know
  • 2. British film industry What you’ll learn in this flipped classroom lesson:  Brief history of British film  British film as ‘cottage industry’  Hollywood versus Britain – how do we compete?  Funding in Britain What we expect you to show us for the first lesson of this unit:  British cinema timeline  Notes on key players in British industry  Answers to the box office questions  Notes (maybe a mind-map) about the different funding avenues available for UK film-makers
  • 3. Brief history of British film Screen online is the BFI’s educational hub. Check our their timeline of British cinema. Create your own timeline on A3 paper which includes:  When major film studios set up and closed their doors. Why did they stop producing films?  Significant film releases in each decade  Major changes regarding censorship, tax and funding.  What are the five most interesting things you learned from this timeline that you didn’t know before about British film?
  • 4. Review your notes, have you mentioned the following key points: Primitives and pioneers of British Cinema Check your learning • Key early studios: British Mutoscope and Biography Company, and The Gaumont Company (both set up in late 1890s) • Cecil Hepworth – key player in early British film published first manual of cinematography. He set up a lab and production house in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey. • G.A.Smith and Charles Urban patented Kinemacolor in 1906 which allowed them to make the first natural colour films. Turbulent modern era  Decline in cinema attendance as television licences increase  1975 – introduction of Dolby Stereo optical sound • 1907 Balham Empire became the first theatre dedicated entirely to film screenings.  Goldcrest Pictures formed • 1909 Cinematography Films Act gives local authorities censorship control over screenings in their area.  1981: Rank closes 29 cinemas • 1912 the British Board of Film Censors established (now called the British Board of Film Classification)  80s – video nasty moral panic as horror films become available on video • Several film studios, including Twickenham and Elstree are set up in the mid- 1910s  1982- Film Four set up  1984 – introduction of the Video Recordings Act  Palace Pictures begins production  Thatcher abolishes the Eady Levy  British Screen Finance Consortium set up with £2 million government funding to support industry  Historical epic ‘Revolution’ (1985) is a massive flop putting Goldcrest at risk  1992 The Crying Game is released despite the bankruptcy of Palace Pictures during production  Finance (No 2) Act introduction to accelerate tax relief  Palace group goes into receivership  1995 – Lottery Film Found established  1997- DVD introduced  FilmFour Ltd becomes a separate company focusing on higher budget films  Launch of UK Film Council 2000  2002 massive cuts to FilmFour  2010 abolishment of UK Film Council  BFI take over UK Film Council’s responsibilities 1920s  Cinematography Act establishes quota for film exhibitors  Alfred Hitchcock releases the first British sound feature Blackmail (1929) 1930s  BBFC introduces the ‘H’ certificate for Horror  J.Arthur Rank (key player in British Cinema) forms British National Films 1940s-1960s  1947 Government decrees 75% tax on US film profits  Hammer Horror set up  Nitrate film begins to disappear with the introduction of Eastman Color positive and negative  Eady Plan imposes levies on box office takings to support British film production  Introduction of the ‘X’ certificate for adults  Obscene Publications Act revised introduces a defence of artistic merit.  British New Wave – Kitchen Sink Dramas and documentaries  Release of several large-scale projects such as Ben Hur (196) and Lawrence of Arabia (1962)  James Bond franchise begins
  • 5. Key players in Britain Check out the profiles of these key players in British cinema. Why did some of these studios close down whilst others survived? Make notes from the links provided. MGM British Studios Palace Pictures FilmFour The Rank Organisation BBC Film Working Title Films
  • 6. Who are the UK’s main competitor? Check out the all-time most successful films at the UK box office How many of the films are British? How many of these films were co-productions? Which country dominates the UK box office?
  • 7. Should we really be saying ‘hooray for Hollywood?’ Hollywood dominates the international film market. Why? There are six major studios who are owned by international mass media conglomerates. Sony own Columbia Pictures Time Warner own Warner Bros. Pictures The Walt Disney Company own Walt Disney Pictures Comcast and NBCUniversal own Universal News Corporation own 20th Century Fox Viacom own Paramount Pictures There are several mini-majors who are also owned by conglomerates. The conglomerates own a number of different organisations in different industries across the world. They are vertically and horizontally integrated (meaning they have several companies in production, distribution and exhibition) which allows films guaranteed distribution and exhibition internationally and opens doors for lots of cross-media projects and synergy to increase profit.
  • 8. Hollywood versus Britain – how do we compete? Hollywood Britain When British studios have tried to Hollywood film studios are owned by compete with Hollywood with highlarge global media budget productions they have conglomerates. These are big companies who own lots of smaller often failed causing studios to go (or subsidiary) companies in bust. different industries. The best way for Britain to compete is This enables Hollywood film studios to to offer something different. benefit from vertical and horizontal Therefore we focus on indigenous integration. They also benefit from productions with specifically synergy because they can make British themes. These may lots of other media products as emphasise minority voices or spin-offs of their films. regionality. The majors tend to produce highbudget, high concept films. They British producers have to find tend not to invest in risky independent distributors for their projects, preferring safe films because they are productions which can easily be independent therefore cannot marketed to a global audience. Feeling adventurous? Read more here benefit from vertical and horizontal integration. Social realism, heritage films (great exports), romcoms and British
  • 9. Key terms Not sure what some of the words in this PowerPoint mean? Check them out in the industries glossary on Moodle
  • 10. British film as ‘cottage industry’ British film is a small-scale industry in comparison to Hollywood. It is a ‘localised’ industry which tends to target British audiences primarily. It’s very easy to think of British cinema in very one dimensional ways though. See how different these examples are: Colin (2008) was made for £45. The producers advertise for zombie extras in the national press. The independent production was picked up by a distributor and shown at Cannes Film Festival in 2009 and made $798 in the opening weekend in one screen in the UK. This is England (2006) is a film focusing on 80s skinheads in the Midlands region. It was a coproduction between several companies and was a likely contender for national and regional funding schemes because it focused on an under-represented British region and was directed by a British auteur. The regional funding body Screen Yorkshire; the national funding body UK Film Council and private regional funding body EM Media all invested in the film. It was also supported by Channel 4’s film subsidiary FilmFour and the spin-off series was screened on the television channel. Warp Films was also involved in the film, an independent production house who originally focused on music and music videos but have gone on to produce highly successful UK films, including This is England, Four Lions and Tyrannosaur. Harry Potter (2001- ) – it can be difficult to think of the Harry Potter series as British because they have all the trademarks of Hollywood high concept films. However, all of the films feature a large British cast and crew, and were filmed in the UK. While the productions were supported by Warner Brothers, the Hollywood major worked in co-production with British company Heyday films (set up by ex-Warner Brothers employee David Heyman) and American production company 1492 Pictures. For large scale productions like this, Britain often has to turn to the US for collateral, but it pays off. Harry Potter has brought enormous tourism and employment to the UK.
  • 11. Funding in Britain 1) One of the main sources of government funding (through the lottery fund) was the UK Film Council. Their funding schemes now exist in new formats through the British Film Institute. 2) There are also a number of regional screens which support filming in local areas. Screen Yorkshire and Film London are examples of these. 3) European Council’s MEDIA programme supports European productions and co-productions between companies in different European countries 4) British television channels BBC and Channel Four have film subsidaries as we have seen 5) Co-productions with Hollywood studios can help large scale projects get off the ground. Working Title’s relationship with Universal means the British production house is perhaps our most successful. 6) Raindance support independent filmmakers with support, training, funding and an annual film festival. 7) Creative Skillset are the first port of call for most producers looking for advice and training. 8) Filmmakers can also raise money through private investment and crowdsourcing websites like indiegogo. Click on the links above and make notes about the different funding sche available to British filmmakers.