Jonathan WardExtended Diploma In Creative Media ProductionTask - Unit 26 Film Studies L02 Same Film, Different Time and Place REC and QuarantineIn this essay I will be comparing the two films REC and Quarantine,the relationship and their production contexts. I will becomprehensively explaining the purpose of the two films being madewithin a year of one another, one being a remake and giving fullinformation about the films such as directors, release dates,distributors, etc. Answering the question why such a similar film wasmade so soon after the original in a different location.RECThe film REC is Spanish horror which was released in November2007, directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza. Distributed byFilmax and made available with subtitles, it had a budget of 1.5million euros and made a huge gross of 32 million euros worldwide.The film is named after the *REC label seen when video recordingthrough the lens or viewer. The film has received top nominations/awards and has beennamed in the top 20 horrors of all time.The film follows a young reporter (Angela, Manuela Valasco) and her cameraman (Pablo,Pablo Rosso), sent to film a routine nightshift at a Barcelona fire station while recording for afictional TV series. Whilst there the fire station receives a call for a fire and an old womanbeing trapped in her apartment, after gaining access to thewoman flat she bites a policeman. The pair then begin touncover the hidden secrets as to what is really going on. Onlyto be confined to the building by the police.Quarantine
Jonathan WardExtended Diploma In Creative Media ProductionTask - Unit 26 Film Studies L02In October 2008, only one year after the release of REC the film Quarantine was released.This time made in the USA for the English speaking world, directed by John Erick Dowdleand distributed by Screen gems. The budget for the film was $12 million and it made $41million although the film is a remake, the film didn’t profit as much as REC due to spendingmore on making it.The film is basically a remake of REC but set in Los Angeles with new actors. Again itcentres on a female reporter (Angela, Jenifer Carpenter) and cameraman (Scott, Steve Harris)following a routine nightshift at a fire station and the discovery of the secrets of the apartmentblock. This time locked in by the CDC who have quarantined the building.SimilaritiesNot only is REC a horror but the film was made with shaky camerawork, basically filmedhandheld in a documentary style as though as the whole point of the movie is to gather newsfor the viewers. This technique was of some interest in the cinema franchise at this timebecause of films such as Cloverfield (Matt Reeves- Paramount Pictures, 2008). The film isinfluenced by video games. This style was a good choice because at the time it wassomething different to normal films, it makes it seem more realistic and it attracts audiencesbecause it is almost looks like a first person shooting video game, especially when thereporter is attacking the infected humans. The dark settings and a close proximity to theaction draws the audience in and enhances the shock and horror aspects of the film, whilst therough shaky style emphasises movement and gives a sense of urgency.Likewise Quarantine uses the same technique and is very much a shot per shot remake withthe same influences.Neither film used known stars both preferring small names rather than box office names.DifferencesApart from the language and location difference Quarantine has few additional and extendedscenes but the main difference is in the ending when the cause of the zombie virus isidentified. REC is based on religious beliefs and the supernatural whereas Quarantine amilitary super virus. The difference is probably down to many things the lack of socialacceptance of the audience of the supernatural and religious based stories of the Americanaudience versus the more believable creation of a super virus by a super power. There is alsosomething rather more sinister about something that you feel could possibly happen.Production ContextsWhen producing REC, Cloverfield and Diary of the Dead (George A Romero- ArtfireFilms, 2007) were already in production and there was a trend in the market for this type of
Jonathan WardExtended Diploma In Creative Media ProductionTask - Unit 26 Film Studies L02film. Quarantine following the trend and the previously successful REC attempted to bringthe sub-titled cult film to the blockbuster American market, with its mass audience it wasguaranteed to be a financial success with a low risk. The audience were interested in the firstperson type film and the industry wanted to keep up the interest in this type of movie so thatmore could be made. Meeting audience demand can guarantee a success.A big influence in remaking the film was the language barrier. The populations of Englishspeaking countries are often lazy when it comes to other languages and reading sub-titleseven when the script is short is effort. English is also understood internationally which makesthe market and the budget for the film larger. The Spanish film industry is relatively smallwhich means that the budget must be smaller to ensure a profit. Had REC been made inEnglish the remake could not have been justified by simple changing the ending it wouldhave left the studio in financial ruin. Distributing the film so quickly also meant that REChadn’t got established and the easier watch was available.Technology wise the films are both low budget, poor lighting and shaky cameras films beingfar easier to produce rather than a glossy smooth production where minor glitches can easilybe seen. This again added to the attraction for the audience who could see the rough shotsinstead of blue screen computer generated effects making the film so much more real.Distribution of the two films was totally different with the specialist film REC being shownat small cult and exhibition cinemas as a Spanish horror film whereas Quarantine wasdistributed as a normal cinema goers film in the horror genre.SynergyThe speed that Screen Gems was able to produce the film was down to it being a verticallyintegrated company. As part of the Sony Group there was a synergy between the companies,existing links meant that partnerships and co-operation in working together came naturally.Having this synergy and being able to work together contributed to the overall success.Horizontal integration also helped bring similar minds together on the project.I watched the film REC and then Quarantine, both films kept my attention and wereenjoyable. I could see and recognise the similarities as I watched them but this wasn’t toodistracting. Choosing a favourite was difficult but REC stood out being the most entertaining.It wasnt the sort of film I would usually watch but I found the use of a different language inthe film made me concentrate and focus more on keeping up with what was happening.Quarantine is a remake, when I watched it it did not have as much intensity as when Iwatched REC because I already knew what was about to happen. Maybe if I had watchedthem the other way round I would feel differently.
Jonathan WardExtended Diploma In Creative Media ProductionTask - Unit 26 Film Studies L02Other remakesThis isn’t the first film to be remade, over the years a number of films have beenremade; The Awful Truth (1925), was a silent film remade as a talkie in 1937 (Leo McCarey). ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ (Steven Soderbergh, 2001) is a colour remake of the 1960 Lewis Milestone film. ‘The Magnificent Seven’ (John Strurges, 1960) is a remake of the ‘Japanese Seven Samurai’ (Akira Kurosawa, 1954).These films were remade for specific reasons to add sound, colour and change thelanguage.Other films such as Karate Kid (John G, Alvildsen, 1984 and Harald Zwart, StevenSpielberg, 2010) and War of the Worlds (Byron Haskin, 1953 and 2005) were remade tomake them more contemporary and not look so dated. These were remade to keepfantastic stories alive and as the films were very successful at an earlier date, with morebroad and new generation minds of directors such as Steven Spielberg could only makethem more successful in the day and age we live in today. It isn’t just the advancing infilm direction but technology has advanced massively and distributors have developed,so money can be made in several ways just off one production such as DVD’s,merchandise, posters and most of all the huge development of film cinemas. With thelikes of the internet, famous actors can be a key eye catching way of making an audiencewant to watch a film. In a film such as in War of the Worlds, Tom Cruise is the mainactor and previous fans of films he has been in would know that his films are full ofaction. Whilst in Karate Kid, Jackie Chan stars and fans of his previous movies knowthat they full of action. The film also gave Jaden Smith an opportunity to make hisdebut as a huge main character, this caused a lot of interest and excitement amongst fans as they knew that he is the son of worldwide famous actor Will Smith. These films were made specifically to make money, their success with a good story and famous actors is a guaranteed money maker for the production and synergy partners who make the merchandise. I don’t mind a remake but some people would argue that you cannot remake a good film and that the real reason is
Jonathan WardExtended Diploma In Creative Media ProductionTask - Unit 26 Film Studies L02that there are no good films being written or that nobody wants to risk a new film whena remake will make a reasonable profit. Some remakes come round far too often and thecurrent trend seems to be to remake Spiderman. Having produced films in 1990, 1994,2002, 2004, 2007, 2011 and 2012 the next film is called ‘The Amazing Spiderman’ (MarkWebb) and is due out in the summer of 2012. Personally I think these are made purelyfor financial factors and I am sure that the interest in the films is beginning to fade.