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GCSE Film Studies: Film exploration


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GCSE Film Studies: Film exploration

  1. 1. Film Exploration: Industry (5 marks)<br />Your first piece of coursework requires you to explore a film that you have particularly enjoyed and do some brief research into how it was produced, distributed and exhibited. All of your research for the film will be collected on a blog and then put into a specially design pro-forma which will allow you to summarise your findings. This initial piece of work will allow lead into a more detailed consideration of the ways in which the micro features of film language communicate meaning.<br />Steps to completing this coursework:<br />Choose a film<br />Start a blog<br />Research how your film was produced, distributed and exhibited<br />Record all research on your blog<br />Summarise research findings on the pro-forma or in a Word document<br />The following will help you understand the film industry <br />Production<br />Activities involved in the actual making of the film<br />All films begin with an idea which then gets turned into a screenplay by a screenwriter. Often film narratives [stories] are based on real-life events, books, plays or old films which are remade, sequelled or adapted. The screenwriter usually then pitches his/her screenplay to film studios/production companies or directors who will then take the screenplay on to the production stage and make the film. If a film has major stars in it the production budget could easily be more than $80 million. Generally the screenwriter is paid between 2.5%-5% of this budget, so a screenwriter with a really good screenplay could expect to earn $1 million.<br />Distribution<br />Deciding where a film will be shown and publicising this<br />Once any film is made it has to travel in order to reach its audience. Distribution involves acquiring a film from its producers and trying to make it reach the widest possible audience by selling it to the places where films are going to be shown—to exhibitors (cinemas). Distributors need to make sure that when a film reaches its destination there are lots of people waiting to see it. So, we need to know about the film before it arrives at its exhibition destination. A film usually needs to make about two and a half times what it cost to produce just to ensure it doesn't lose money. Distributors have a number of roles to fulfil. Firstly, they try to find out what kind of audiences might want to go and see the film, using test screenings with test audiences where people are invited to see the film and are then asked lots of question about it This can lead to changes being made to the film. Then there's marketing and publicity—posters, merchandising, festivals and premieres—a summer blockbuster would cost around $100 million to promote! Finally, timing is very important when the film is eventually released, particularly as the opening weekend can account for 50-75% of a film's overall box office takings.<br />The distributor also decides the release pattern for the film, release patterns refer to how often and where film will be shown – general release is as wide as possible, limited release may only be in London or specialist cinemas. <br />Exhibition<br />Where the film is shown – cinemas of varying types<br />This is the last of these three interconnected areas and is the point where we finally get to see the film. The ways in which we view films are changing rapidly. For example, big Multiplex cinemas are everywhere now, offering a variety of 'additions' to the cinematic experience such as fast-food, arcades and bowling alleys as well as a huge choice of blockbuster films to see. There are less and less smaller, Independent cinemas and many people choose to watch films at home on DVD or [legally or illegally) downloaded from the internet. During the exhibition phase, reviews are very important and can make or break a film when it reaches the cinema as audiences may avoid a film which has been negatively reviewed or make an effort to go and see one that has received positive reviews. This is not always the case; of course, Titanic critically slated in 1997 but went on to become one of the most successful films ever made.<br />1524098425USEFUL WEBSITES TO HELP YOU 00USEFUL WEBSITES TO HELP YOU <br />Use the following below to help you structure your research:<br />Section 1 - Introduction<br />Write a brief synopsis of your chosen film and give some reasons why you like it.<br />Add some screen shots of key scenes and/or a video link to a key scene.<br />Section 2 - Production<br />Find out where the idea for your film came from and who wrote the screenplay.<br />Who directed the film? Has he or she directed any other well-known films?<br />Who starred in the film?<br />Which studio made the film? Give some details about it.<br />What was the budget for the film?<br />Where was it made? Did the funding come from more than one country?<br />Can you find any other interesting facts about the production of your film?<br />Section 3 – Distribution<br />Find out about all the different ways your film was promoted before it reached cinemas. <br />Find a poster advertising your film and write an analysis of it, looking at: genre elements in cluding props, costume and settings; the use of stars; special selling points; target audience; references to other films/books/TV shows; images, colours, typography (fonts) used.<br />Find examples of any merchandising (the use of products—e.g. McDonalds toys) done to promote your film. Write a list and/or include images.<br />Was your film screened in any film festivals or at a premiere before its release?<br />Section 4 – Exhibition<br />Which cinema chains screened your film in the UK? Did any independent cinemas show it? <br />How much money did it make in the UK, the US and worldwide in its opening weekend and altogether?<br />Find at least two reviews of your film from different publications, one from the UK and one fromthe US and add them. Comment on whether you agree with the reviews or not and why.<br />Find out how much money your film has made in DVD sales (if it's been released to DVD) and/or how many copies it's sold.<br />