CASE STUDY PREPARATION – Rook Films ‘A field in England’ and Time Warner’s
You will need a broader understanding of the production company, their history and
the products that they have produced. Ensure you have explored their other film
releases (e.g their first film, biggest commercial success, biggest loss, most recent film
For each point consider how and why the film-makers (the institutions) targeted the audience for
Trace how your institution’s film progressed from the initial idea to its box-office success (or
failure). Use the internet/film magazines/books to help you with your research. But be practical
about the choice of your other film; make sure that relevant information will be available before you
make your choice. Choose a film that you have a good DVD with plenty of extras!
The one limitation on your choice is that the film must have been targeted at British audience.
Treat these questions as guidelines. You will not always be able to answer for some of these
questions and you might have ideas of your own.
Suggested format for your notes. Compare and contrast the information for the two films in a table
like the one below:
A field in England Pacific Rim
REMEMBER TO TIE ALL THESE POINTS TO THE FILM'S INSTITUTIONS
Research the production and distribution companies that made and distributed your film. Produce a
mind-map for each one so you can:
-Understand the film genres associated with each company. What issues do they suggest?
-Consider the budgets and prospects of how companies might distribute and market a film. Again,
-The synergies (benefits, cost savings and implications) of being part of a wider organisation? How
does it benefit the production company or distributor by being part of a media organisation?
-How is convergence an issue during production, distribution and with audiences? (Think here about
how technology is used in the making and distribution of your film.)
-Has the production company or distribution company been taken over by another company? What
issues are created or resolved by this?
How have audiences, the consumers of films, reacted to changes of ownership or films of the media
What are the pre-production issues for the production
company when making films?
-Whose idea was the film? Did the idea start with the writer, or were writers brought in to develop a
-What are the issues with the genre of the film?
-Where did the idea come from? Was it an original idea, or perhaps a book first, or TV series, or comic
strip, or from some other source?
-Who wrote the original script? Did other people become involved in the writing as the project
-How easy was it to arrange the financial backing to make the film? Who were the financial backers?
-Casting – who were cast in the main roles and why? What other films featured the stars? What were
the associations they brought with them?
-Who was the producer? How did he or she become involved?
-Who was the director? How did he or she become involved?
-Who composed the film music and why was he or she chosen? Consider the sales of the CDs on
Amazon, etc. Seek out reviews.
What were the issues for the production company during
the production phase?
-Was it an easy „shoot‟? If there were difficulties what were they? Were there tensions between any of
the creative personnel, often known as „the talent‟?
-Was any part of the film shot on location? If so, where? Why were some locations chosen over
others? Were costs a factor?
-Where there any difficulties with casting or with acquiring the stars/actors the producer wanted?
-How significant was casting to reach specific audiences?
-What did the studio film cost to make? How much did the stars get? Where did the budget go? Was
the film shot within budget? Was it ever in any danger of going over budget?
-Were there any changes to the script during production? How many changes or re-writes? Did the
same scriptwriter(s) stay „on board‟ all the time, or were some replaced?
-List some of the key people who made contributions to the production and highlight some of their
-What were the technological issues for the studio for producing and distributing the film?
Convergence and new technologies in production,
distribution and marketing & its importance for
institutions and audiences
-how important was new technology such as CGI, blue or green-screen, etc. important for the film and
-how important is digital technology for the distribution of the film? (in cinemas,
-how significant is internet, digital downloads, DVDs, high definition, CGI, digital television, etc for
distributing the institution‟s film? Again, what are the issues?
-What was the impact for production, marketing and consumption from the following aspects of
distribution for your film?
What was the impact for marketing and consumption
from the following aspects of distribution for your film?
-Who were the distributors? How well known is/was the company? What is their track record as
distributors? (other films they have distributed)
-Who was the target audience for your film? How do you know?
-How did the film-makers decide where to release the film and when? What was the eventual release
pattern nationally and locally?
-What deals were made for distribution abroad? How easily were these deals secured?
-Why did they at any stage change their plans for the release pattern, and if so, why?
-What was the marketing and advertising strategy for the film?
-Was there a premiere, and if so, where?
-Was your film distributed to digital cinemas?
-When did it go to DVD, HD-DVD and what are the sales figures?
-How important are internet downloads and YOUTUBE
-How does the official film website market the film? Are there any official and blogs, etc.?
-Find film posters and analyse them for how they reach their audience(s) targeted British audiences to
see the film.
-What outlets were used for advertising? Were TV spots used?
-Were there any merchandising tie-ins? (products/toys, posters, photos, etc. Who were the
consumers/audiences for those?) How were they introduced (as a marketing campaign in the weeks
leading up to the release of the film?)
-Was any additional publicity gained, and if so, how?
-How did the distributors market the film by utilizing “the talent” to appear on TV and radio shows? --
-What kinds of press stories were released as and before the film came out?
What were the issues during the exhibition and
consumption /audience phase of your film?
-When was the film released; also where and on how many screens?
-Was there a particular strategy attached to increasing the number of prints available?
-Were there any difficulties with the censors? How did the censors classify the film?
-Were there any other special restrictions placed on the exhibition of the film?
-What were the reactions of the critics to the film? Was it considered a critical success? Has it been re-
assessed since then?
-Find several good film reviews and make notes on common features
-Consider the public‟s response to the film; read and make notes on features from reviews on
-Did the film create a particular media debate, or create news headlines?
-How much money did the film take in its first year? Was it considered a commercial/financial
-Did it have „legs‟, that is did it continue to run in the cinema for some time?
-Carry out some primary research of your own (a survey) to establish who in your age group has seen
the film and the reasons why. Form a few questions on this. One might consider the effectiveness of
the marketing campaign and which aspect of it encouraged or discouraged your age group to see or
not see the film.
-How did the audiences‟ reactions affect the institutions (producing studios/distributors) and the
decisions that they might make to “green-light” future films? For instance, is the production company
making more films in the same genre with similar stars, etc. Or, has the studio decided to target
audiences through a different genre, actors, use of technology, etc. Have audiences‟ tastes changed?
-All the questions are offered as guidelines; there will be questions that you may not be able to
answer; it is down to you to work on the development of your own chosen film from concept to screen:
form the institution to audience.