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Unit 1 ownership and control

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Contextual Studies Week 2

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Unit 1 ownership and control

  1. 1. Unit 1: Contextual Studies Week 2: Distribution & Regulation
  2. 2. Unit 1: Contextual Studies Ownership & Control in the Media Today we will start; • To understand distribution systems in the context of the Film and TV Industry • To understand the impact of regulations and other forms of control in relation to the TV and Film industry
  3. 3. Distribution • Distribution, the third part of the film supply chain, is often referred to as 'the invisible art’. • Distribution is the most important part of the film industry, where completed films are brought to life and connected with an audience. • Distribution is about releasing and sustaining films in the market place.
  4. 4. Useful websites • http://redrockentertainment.com/how-are-films- distributed/ • http://www.screenonline.org.uk/film/distributiondistrib ution1.html
  5. 5. UK distribution • In Hollywood, 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. • In the UK, distribution is very much focused on marketing and sustaining a global product in local markets.
  6. 6. Example
  7. 7. Independent • In the independent film sector, 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. • In the UK, distribution is necessarily a collaborative process, requiring the materials and rights of the producer and the cooperation of the exhibitor to promote and show the film in the best way possible. • In this sector, distribution can be divided into three stages – licensing, marketing and logistics.
  8. 8. Logistics of distribution • Agreement - The distributor will enter into an agreement with the cinema to screen the film on certain dates. • Film transport - It is the responsibility of the distributor to arrange the transportation of the film to the cinema, as part of its wider coordination of print use across the UK. • Supply & demand - Logistics represents the phase of distribution at its most basic - supplying and circulating copies of the film to theatres and DVDs/Blu Rays to shops and managing the effectiveness of the supply. • Scheduling and marketing - Cinemas spend their money publicising film screening dates and times in local papers or through published programmes.
  9. 9. Picturehouse Cinema brochure
  10. 10. Distributor • Distributor handles the delivery of the film that is supplied to cinemas. Films are often supplied on a hard drive or downloaded directly to digital projectors. • Older cinemas still use 35mm film print. Each print can cost around £1,000 – or twice that if subtitled • In the UK, prints are generally broken down for ease of handling into smaller reels, each lasting around 18-20 mins when run through a projector at 24 frames per second. So a feature print, in its physical form, will usually be 5 or 6 reels, stored and supplied in a single hard case, weighing in at 20-25kgs. • Prints are hired by the exhibitor for the duration of their run, and therefore each print is made for repeat use.
  11. 11. Print/Digital file logistics
  12. 12. Cost • 35mm theatrical prints invariably suffer cumulative damage as they pass through different projectors, and the hands of various projectionists. • There are also overheads incurred by the distributor for the storage of prints at the UK's central print warehouse in West London. • Each theatrical print has a finite lifespan. Distributor will invest in sufficient prints to provide optimum coverage through the first period of theatrical release, usually lasting up to 6 months.
  13. 13. Film vs digital Making up a film reel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOuqd6ogw94
  14. 14. Digital Distribution • In distribution terms, the advantages of digital technology are clear. • Digital technology is seen to offer a more cost effective and logistics-light alternative to the tried and trusted, but unwieldy model of 35mm print distribution • It is now cheaper and much less stressful to send films as computer files to cinemas across the UK, than to transport 20-25kg tins of film in the back of a van.
  15. 15. A Field in England https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4DCE2bYlRE
  16. 16. Simultaneous distribution Case Study: A Field in England • The film’s budget of £316,000 was financed by Film4’s Film 4.0 division. The low budget nature of the film fitted Film4.0’s innovative model. • Film4.0 was created to find new ways of connecting talent and ideas to audiences using digital technology. • The low budget also reduced the financial risk involved. P&A spend of £112,000, including £57,000 from the BFI (British Film Institute).
  17. 17. Simultaneous release • The film opened on July 5th 2013 on 17 cinema screens, DVD, Blu-Ray, Transactional VOD (iTunes etc.), and free- to-air television through Film4. • Simultaneous multimedia release was suited to the cult following of the director Ben Wheatley.
  18. 18. Channel 4 & Film 4.0 • Channel 4 were involved in distribution to all platforms apart from theatrical. • Channel4 has its own DVD label (4DVD) which also distributes to transactional VOD (TVOD) • Platforms such as iTunes, as well having their own TVOD platform in Film 4OD. • Both the Film4 Channel and Film4.0 felt the multiplatform approach fit their brand positioning – exciting, innovative, and audience-centred
  19. 19. Marketing strategy • Marketing plan involved building interest across all platforms – Channel 4, Film4, Film4OD, Picturehouse Cinemas, related websites, social media, and VOD platforms. • The director had a strong, active fanbase, including 12,000 Twitter followers which contributed to the marketing of the film. His active use of Twitter, including retweeting audience reviews and comments played a key part in the marketing of the film. • The director also took part in special Q & A screenings which sold out the participating cinemas.
  20. 20. Synergy • The involvement of Film4 and Channel 4 offered another means of marketing to a large audience, with 23 million people engaging with the channel in some way. • Promotional trailers on Channel 4 and the Film4 Channel pushed viewers to both the television screening of the film as well as other platforms. • Without this promotion for the film may have to include paid advertising which would have affected the cost of the film’s release. This is an example of synergy. • The aim of the marketing campaign was to build a single momentum around the film in all its forms that would make its opening weekend a real event.
  21. 21. Testing audiences • Would the film have been more successful with a conventional release? • Results for the film’s theatrical, television, DVD, and VOD release were all close to or above expectations, and showed no signs of fragmentation on any platform. • Opening weekend theatrical revenue was £21,000. VOD rental figures were well above predictions for the opening weekend. The film was the most watched on Film4OD on the opening weekend, and also boosted rentals for the director’s other films.
  22. 22. Results • The Film4 television screening averaged 367,000 viewers, 3% of TV audience and higher than average for timeslot and channel. Opening weekend DVD/Blu-Ray sales of 1500. • Benefitted from unprecedented publicity which would not be available to any films using the same model in the future. • The big argument against day-and-date release is that it will take audiences away from traditional platforms, especially cinemas. • The Q & A was a major draw to theatrical screenings, with 51% of the audience saying that was why they had chosen to watch the film at the cinema. 77% of the cinema audience were aware they could watch the film for free on television but chose to watch it at the cinema anyway. This suggests frequent cinemagoers will not be swayed by alternative platforms.
  23. 23. • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-25302988 Does it matter that only 7% of British films make a profit?
  24. 24. Regulation • Regulation is the control of what is shown, advertised and produced for Television • This can be through the scheduling and the production of TV shows • Regulation can also stem into the censorship of TV
  25. 25. Regulation of the UK TV Industry • OFCOM – they are the independent regulators of the media and communication industries • https://www.ofcom.org.uk • Specification of Broadcast Code – this provides a set of mandatory broadcast rules, it covers: • Protection of under-eighteens • Harm and Offence • Crime • Religion • Sponsorship • Elections • Privacy
  26. 26. Other regulators • Rules on the amount and distribution of advertising • Examines specific complaints made by the public • Public consultations on matters relating to TV broadcasting • Committee for Advertising Practice – contracted by OFCOM to maintain the codes of practice for television advertising • Advertising Standards Authority – independent body which deals with complaints relating to the advertising industry
  27. 27. Licensing in the UK • All of the UK needs a license to view publicly broadcast services • The money from the fee is used for radio, TV and internet content for the BBC and its welsh language TV programmes for S4C
  28. 28. How is Film Regulated? • It is regulated through a classification system • This classification system is created and controlled by each countries respective government company • Ours being the BBFC
  29. 29. The Classification System  U – Universal  PG – Parental Guidance  12A – No-one under 12 is to see this film unless accompanied by an adult  15 – No-one under 15 is to see this film  18 – No-one under 18 is to see this film
  30. 30. The BBFC • Established in 1912 and originally called the British Board of Film Censors • Between the wars (1918-1939) – concerned about Gangster, Horror and films that dealt with sexuality • 1950s saw the rise of the teenage film, this caused problems for the BBFC
  31. 31. • 1960s – the ‘swinging sixties’ saw liberalisation in society and realism in film, not always accepted fully by the BBFC • 1970s – sex and violence was a common theme, many received several cuts before being classified Changing attitudes
  32. 32. The 1980s • Decade of the ‘Video Nasties’ • Examples – Evil Dead, Last House on the Left, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Cannibal Holocaust
  33. 33. • 1990s onwards – film was beginning to be more explicit though this was not frowned upon due to changing attitudes • 2002 – 12A created – parents controlled whether their children watch these films New certifications
  34. 34. Rate a trailer • http://www.bbfc.co.uk/education-resources/student- guide/rate-a-trailer
  35. 35. MPAA • This is the American Version • MPAA – Motion Picture Association of America • Founded in 1922 • Also helps to protect creative content from piracy
  36. 36. Task • Create a case study for a recent independent UK release. How have regulations effected your production? (You could look at certification issues or use of advertising) • How has online film distribution affected the film’s release? • How long before it was released on VOD? • What marketing strategies did it use? • How many cinemas was it released in? • What profit did it make against its release? • How was it funded?
  37. 37. Task • How are film and TV regulated in the UK? • Write a short summary of the key organisations • Ofcom • BBFC • Committee for Advertising Practice • Advertising Standards Authority

Contextual Studies Week 2

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