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AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide
Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsor...
AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide
Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsor...
AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide
Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsor...
AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide
Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsor...
AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide
Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsor...
AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide
Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsor...
AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide
Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsor...
AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide
Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsor...
AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide
Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsor...
AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide
Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsor...
AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide
Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsor...
AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide
Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsor...
AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide
Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsor...
AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide
Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsor...
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AS Media Studies Revision Guide 2016

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Revision guide for OCR AS Media Studies.

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AS Media Studies Revision Guide 2016

  1. 1. AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsorAS TV Drama linkat the top of the page). Twitter - @nealewademedia Email –jhibbert@neale- wade.org AS Media Studies G322 Key Media Concepts Revision The AS Media Studies exam is 2 hours long. There are 2 sections to the exam, Section A: TV Drama, and Section B: Institutions and Audiences. You must answer both questions. In the exam you will be shown a 5 minute extract from a television drama 4 times. You will have 45 minutes to answer a question on representation in the extract. You will then have 45 minutes to complete a second question on the film industry. You will not be told when to move onto the next question – you must make sure you leave yourself enough time for the second question. Section A: TV Drama You will be asked to answer a question on how one social group is represented in the extract through camerawork, editing, sound, and mise-en-scene. The question will specify which social group to focus on from one of the following: ● Gender ● Age ● Sexuality ● Ethnicity ● Social class and status ● Regional identity ● Disability/ability In order to do well you should: ● Use a wide range of specific and relevant examples from the extract ● Explain how the examples construct representations of the specified social group ● Use a range of examples from all four technical areas ● Use terminology consistently and accurately The four technical areas: Camerawork can be used to represent characters in a variety of ways: ● High/low angles/tilts to show dominance/inferiority ● Point of view/over the shoulder to encourage the audience to identify with the character ● Camera movement to suggest the character is fast paced and energetic, or chaotic, anxious, etc. ● Two shots to emphasise the relationship between characters ● Zooms for emphasis ● Close-ups to show emotions/reactions
  2. 2. AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsorAS TV Drama linkat the top of the page). Twitter - @nealewademedia Email –jhibbert@neale- wade.org ● Long/establishing shots to show setting/costume Establishing shot Shot showing the location the scene is taking place. Master shot Shot showing where characters/objects are positioned in a scene Close-up Showing someone from the shoulders up. Mid-shot Showing someone from the waist up. Long shot Showing someone from head to toe. Wide shot Showing a wide view of the scene. Two-shot A shot showing two people. Aerial shot Shot filmed from the air. Point of view shot A shot showing the perspective of a character. Over the shoulder shot What it says. High angle The camera looks down on someone. Low angle The camera looks up at someone. Canted angle The camera is at a slanted angle. Pan The camera moves from side to side. Tilt The camera moves up and down. Track The camera follows a person or object. Crane The camera moves up or down on a crane. Steadicam The camera is strapped to camera operator’s body, creates a gliding effect. Hand-held A shaky handheld effect. Zoom The camera zooms in or out. Reverse-zoom The lenses zooms in or out whilst the camera moves in the opposite direction, creates the impression that the background is constantly moving. Editing can be used to construct representations by: ● The pace of editing (e.g. fast paced – young, energetic, slow –old) ● Contrasting characters or settings (crosscutting, shot/reverse shot) ● Creating links between characters or settings ● Showing us what a character is looking at ● Showing us what a character is thinking about (cutting, superimposition) Cutting The process where one shot is replaced on screen immediately by the next. Shot/reverse shot Cutting back and forth between people in a conversation. Eyeline match Cutting to show what a character is looking at. Graphic match A similar shape or colour linking two consecutive shots. Action match Cutting to show another angle of the scene.
  3. 3. AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsorAS TV Drama linkat the top of the page). Twitter - @nealewademedia Email –jhibbert@neale- wade.org Jump cut Cutting out the middle section of a shot. Crosscutting Cutting back and forth between two or more scenes happening simultaneously. Dissolve One shot fades out as the next shot fades in. Fade out/fade in The image fades out to a blank screen, or fades in from a blank screen. Superimposition One image is placed on top of another image. Slow motion What it says. Long take A single continuous shot that does not cut for an unusual length of time (e.g. over a minute). Fast paced/slow paced editing When the editing is fast paced the action will cut rapidly from shot to shot with each shot lasting only a few seconds. Slow paced editing will involve limited cutting from shot to shot. Sound can represent social groups in a range of ways: ● The language and accent of a character ● Use of music can tell you about the character ● Ambient sounds can tell you about the setting ● Dialogue Diegetic Sound originating from a source in the scene, e.g. dialogue. Non-diegetic Sound added in postproduction, e.g. background music. Sound motif A sound or piece of music associated with a character, place, or theme (like the JAWS). Sound bridge Sound linking the end of one scene and the beginning of the next. Dialogue Words spoken by actors. Voiceover Dialogue spoken by an unseen character over related images. Direct address When the actor speaks directly to the camera. Sound mix The way in which the different sounds in a scene are mixed together. Ambient sound Background noise Mise-en-scene is very important to representation: ● What a character wears ● Where the scene is taking place and how it appears ● Props can signify information about characters ● Lighting connotes certain meanings about characters Location Where the scene takes place Set design How the setting is designed Costume Clothes worn by the actors
  4. 4. AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsorAS TV Drama linkat the top of the page). Twitter - @nealewademedia Email –jhibbert@neale- wade.org Make up Props Objects used in the scene High key lighting Bright lighting Low key lighting Dark lighting Try analysing sequences from TV dramas in relation to how they represent one of the social groups through their use of camerawork, editing, sound, and mise-en-scene. BBC iPlayer and 4OD are useful resources. Extracts for this topic are on the Media Department blog. Section B: Institutions and Audiences You need to be able to discuss issues of production, marketing, distribution, and consumption in the film industry in relation to the following topics: ● Media ownership ● Cross-media convergence and synergy ● Technology ● Proliferation of hardware and content ● Technological convergence ● Marketing ● Consumption MediaOwnership The concentration of media ownership has led to the media industry being dominated by a small number of major global media conglomerates such as Time Warner and Disney creating an oligopoly. In the film industry the market is dominated by the Big Six studios, such as Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, and Walt Disney Pictures. Each of the Big Six studios is a subsidiary of a major conglomerate, for example Warner Bros. are a subsidiary of 21st of Time Warner. The Big Six Studios took 63% of global box office revenue in 2012, and take around 70-75% of UK box office revenue every year. As the studios are all subsidiaries of huge conglomerates with billions of dollars of annual revenue this allows the studios to have big budgets, meaning they can afford to use spectacle to appeal to a mass audience by using the most advanced special effects, impressive set design, and big name stars. This makes it harder for independent filmproduction companies to compete. The Avengers (2012) is an example of a typical studio blockbuster. Produced by Marvel Studios, a subsidiary of Disney, and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures the film was made on a budget of $220 million. As a result the filmmade extensive use of special effects with
  5. 5. AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsorAS TV Drama linkat the top of the page). Twitter - @nealewademedia Email –jhibbert@neale- wade.org over 2,000 effects shots, including use of CGI and motion capture (to create the Hulk character). The filmalso has mass audience appeal typical of Hollywood products. The film appeals to a wide range of different demographics by including characters from a mixture of age groups, ethnicities, and genders. The film is also pre-sold as it is based on a successful series of comic books. Using superheroes makes it easier for the film to appeal to a global audience as the characters are archetypes that can be easily recognised, and are not culturally specific. The Avengers demonstrates the mass audience, blockbuster model used by the major studios which allows them to dominate the film industry. This benefits the studios, but makes it difficult for independent, and non-American films to achieve global success. This may reduce the variety of types of films available to audiences. Cross-media convergence and Synergy Because the Big Six studios are all subsidiaries of major conglomerates they benefit from cross-media convergence and synergy. The Walt Disney Company is an example of cross- media convergence as it produces and distributes a wide range of different types of media. Disney is made up of five different divisions, including Walt Disney Studios (filmstudios, record labels), Media Networks (television channels), and Disney Interactive (video games, web-based media). Disney have been described as the ‘masters of media synergy’, and have developed a range of multi-platform brands, such as The Avengers which includes television series, theatrically released films, live shows, magazines, merchandise, and online games. Using synergy in this way helps Disney to maximise ancillary revenue and maintain brand awareness. Disney made extensive use of synergy to promote the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). A Pixar clip showing characters from the Disney film Inside Out (2015) reacting to the trailer for the latest Star Wars film was released on YouTube attracting over 1.3 million views. This is an effective way to use the popularity of Inside Out to help promote Star Wars: The Force Awakens to a younger target audience, whilst further promoting Inside Out prior to the DVD/VOD release of the film. Disney also released a Marvel Star Wars crossover comic book as an effective way of promoting both the Star Wars and Marvel brands. Disney used their television platforms to further promote Star Wars with ABC’s Good Morning America featuring a Star Wars-themed segment. One of the trailers for Star Wars premiered on Disney subsidiary ESPN’s Monday Night Football, this helped market the film to an older male target audience, and further demonstrates the benefits of synergy as this also boosted the ratings for the programme by 13%. Star Wars attractions have been added to Disney Cruise Line ships, and are being built at two Disney theme parks. The popularity of Star Wars is likely to encourage people to visit these attractions, whilst increasing the profile of the Star Wars franchise further.
  6. 6. AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsorAS TV Drama linkat the top of the page). Twitter - @nealewademedia Email –jhibbert@neale- wade.org The use of synergy and cross-media convergence was key to the success of The Avengers (2012). Disney bought Marvel Entertainment is 2009, and oversaw the release of a series of films such as Iron Man, and Hulk which built towards the release of The Avengers film. An extensive range of merchandise for the Marvel characters helped to increase brand awareness and generate ancillary revenue, as a result of synergy between the studio division, and the Disney Stores and merchandise divisions. The development of the Avengers Alliance Facebook game is another example of cross- media convergence and synergy, with the Disney Interactive division developing a game to promote the Avengers filmthrough social media. The game has had over 70 million users and been used to promote a range of films in the Avengers franchise. After the success of the Avengers film Disney produced two television programmes, one of which is shown on the Disney XD channel, and one (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) which is shown on the ABC network, another subsidiary of Disney. Disney is using the popularity of the Avengers’ filmfranchise to encourage viewers to watch their television subsidiaries. The television programmes also maintained interest in the film franchise before the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015. This demonstrates the way in which cross-media convergence and synergy allow major conglomerates to maximise revenue from a film brand, and help a range of subsidiaries to be successful. The successful use of synergy is another factor in the continued dominance of the film industry by the Big Six studios, as independent companies do not have the opportunity or resources to use synergy on the same scale as the studios. British Film Industry The British film industry is much smaller in scale than the American filmindustry. Independent British production companies such as Warp Films tend to be relatively small. As a result production companies often work together, and may rely on funding from government organisations such as the British Film Institute (BFI). The Selfish Giant (2013) is an example of an independent British film. It was funded by Film Four and the BFI with a budget of £1.4 million, and focuses on two working class boys in Bradford. The filmis culturally and regionally specific, and includes two unknown actors in the lead roles. As a result it lacks the mass audience appeal of studio films such as the Avengers. The Selfish Giant made £300,000 theatrical box office, showing the film made a loss. This reflects the fact that according to research by the BFI only 4% of low budget (less than £2 million) British films make a profit. The contrast between the social realist style of The Selfish Giant, and the mass audience appeal of blockbusters such as The Avengers is another factor in the dominance of US studios.
  7. 7. AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsorAS TV Drama linkat the top of the page). Twitter - @nealewademedia Email –jhibbert@neale- wade.org One of the challenges facing British films is distribution. In the UK film distribution is dominated by the Big Six American studios. They are consistently the top six distributors in Britain every year. As the studios are vertically integrated in terms of production and distribution this makes it harder for non-studio films to compete. The effect on distribution is suggested by the fact that films distributed by Disney such as The Avengers, and Captain America: Winter Soldier (2014) opened on wide release in the UK on over 500 screens, The Selfish Giant opened on just 35 screens. However, developments in technology affecting distribution may make it easier for independent films to reach their audiences. A Field in England (2013) demonstrates how new technology can help the distribution of independent British films. The film’s budget of £316,000 was financed by Film4’s Film4.0 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). A Field in England used day-and-date release, being released simultaneously on 17 cinema screens, DVD, Blu-Ray, Transactional VOD (iTunes etc.), and free-to-air television through Film4. Using this release model built momentum around a single release date, maximising the marketing campaign’s effect. Using a range of different release platforms helped the film to reach its audience. Nearly 400,000 people watched the film on free to air television through Film Four. Around 10,000 people bought or rented the film either using TVOD or on Blu Ray/DVD, and the filmtook £50,000 in theatrical box office. By making the film available in all formats simultaneously it allowed the audience to watch it using the most convenient platform for them. The unusual nature of the film’s release also generated publicity in newspapers and broadcast media. This demonstrates the benefits of day-and- date release for independent film releases. It also suggested that fears that day-and-date release will reduce theatrical box office are exaggerated, as 77% of the cinema audience for the film knew they could watch the film for free on television but wanted to pay for the experience of watching the film in the cinema. Technology Production Technology 3D Technological developments have been central to the revival of 3D. Whilst there have been 3D booms in the past, notably during the 1950s and 1980s, these have been short-lived due to image-quality issues. The emergence of digital technology has gone a long way to tackling these problems. The invention of the Reality Camera System by James Cameron and Vince Page allowed them to develop a camera, the Sony 3D-T, which captured
  8. 8. AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsorAS TV Drama linkat the top of the page). Twitter - @nealewademedia Email –jhibbert@neale- wade.org stereoscopic vision in a way that mimicked the human eye. In order to do this they used lenses which telescoped the image allowing them to use two HD cameras in a single rig, which replicated the human depth perception by being only 70mm apart. These cameras allowed James Cameron to use 3D effectively in the production of Avatar (2009) to create a spectacular visual experience. This was the basis for the film’s huge box office success, achieving the highest worldwide box office gross with $2.7 billion. One of the benefits of 3D for studios is that more money can be charged for tickets (usually £2/3 more), meaning 3D films can generate more money from less tickets. This success was one of the economic factors that led to the revival of 3D. Following Avatar’s release a large number of films were released in 3D, including Toy Story 3, Alice in Wonderland, and The Avengers. Another factor that drove the revival of 3D was the threat of online piracy. The rapid expansion of broadband has allowed audiences to stream or download filmreleases for free from piracy websites, which is estimated to cost studios billions every year. Using 3D was seen by studios as a way of producing a film that could not be pirated effectively due to its use of 3D technology. Furthermore, in order to get the full 3D experience the audience would have to watch the film in the cinema. Whilst the box office success of Avatar suggests its use of 3D technology was effective in encouraging audiences to watch it theatrically, it was also the most pirated film of all time, being watched illegally online over 21 million times in the year after its release. The popularity of 3D peaked in 2010 when seven of the top eleven films globally were released in 3D. 3D ticket sales accounted for 24% of UK box office revenue in 2010. Since then the popularity of 3D films has declined, falling to 12% in 2014. Whilst 80% of tickets sold for Avatar were in 3D, that had dropped to 52% for The Avengers in 2012. From the audience’s point of view 3D offers what The Hobbit director, Peter Jackson, calls a ‘more immersive experience’. Especially in films such as Avatar and The Hobbit 3D helps the audience to be drawn into the world of films. However 3D tickets are more expensive, and 3D can make the image appear darker. 2D films which have been cheaply converted to 3D are often ineffective and may have contributed to the decline in the popularity of 3D. Technological developments in both film production and exhibition were essential to the revival of 3D, coupled with the economic success of Avatar and the attempt to use 3D to counteract piracy. Whilst 3D appears to have peaked, it seems it has gone beyond the novelty status associated with it in the 1950s and 1980s, and given the large number of 3D screens globally filmproducers are likely to continue to use 3D. Audiences appear to have become more selective in terms of which films they watch in 3D, only being willing to pay for 3D tickets if the experience is likely to justify the additional cost. CGI/Motion Capture
  9. 9. AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsorAS TV Drama linkat the top of the page). Twitter - @nealewademedia Email –jhibbert@neale- wade.org Use of CGI has become a common feature of Hollywood studio blockbusters. Films such as The Avengers, and Captain America: Winter Soldier feature over 2,000 effects shots, and in Tron: Legacy (2010) 90% of background shots were created by CGI. For filmmakers CGI offers the opportunity to create visually spectacular images, which provide audiences with a more impressive viewing experience. The audience appeal of films that use lots of special effects is demonstrated by the box office success of films like Avatar and The Hobbit. However the high costs involved mean that only major studio productions can afford to use advanced special effects extensively, creating a barrier to entry to independent producers. Convergence Tangerine (2015) was shot on three iPhone 5s smartphones. Using DSLR cameras would have required more crew members and additional lenses which the filmdid not have the budget for. The Filmic Pro app used which allowed increased control of focus, aperture, colour, and image quality. An anamorphic adaptor was used to film in widescreen. Filming with an iPhone also allowed the filmmakers to shoot without people noticing enhancing realism. Tangerine premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and had a limited cinema release in the US and UK making $700,000. Convergent technologies have lowered the costs of producing a film benefiting independent filmmakers. Distribution Digital Cinema Projection Digital cinema projection involves in the distribution and projection of films in a digital format, instead of distributing films on 35mm filmreels. Over the last decade there has been a huge increase in the number of digital screens around the world. This was largely prompted by the economic success of Avatar (2009) which required digital projection facilities in order to be screened in 3D. This encouraged cinemas to rapidly convert in order to be able to make the most of any subsequent 3D blockbusters, despite the cost involved (around £100,000) for a digital projector. 100% of UK screens are now digital, and in January 2014 Paramount became the first major studio to stop distributing films on 35mm in the US with The Wolf of Wall Street being their first digital only release. The increase in digital screens has been largely driven by technological and economic factors. Distributing films in a digital format to cinemas significantly lowers costs. Each duplicate of a 35mm filmreel costs around £1,500, whereas digital distribution costs around a tenth of that. Duplication of 35mm cost studios around £100m in 2002, with further freight costs of £30m, meaning the introduction of digital cinemas has allowed studies to save a large amount of money.
  10. 10. AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsorAS TV Drama linkat the top of the page). Twitter - @nealewademedia Email –jhibbert@neale- wade.org Generally, now digital prints of a film are sent on a hard drive holding a data file of 150-200 GB. The projectionist uploads the film onto the digital projector and creates a menu for its projection. A digital key is used to safeguard the filmagainst piracy. Another benefit of digital projection is that unlike 35mm the film print will not deteriorate over time. Independent productions also benefit from digital cinema. High prints and advertising costs were widely seen as barrier to independent films being widely distributed, and in the UK independent releases were rarely shown on more than 30 screens in the opening weekend of release. This contrasts with major studio releases that generally open on 400-500 screens in the UK. Digital cinema also benefits audiences by increasing the availability of accessible cinema, with subtitles available for the hearing impaired and audio-description for the visually impaired, and event cinema allowing cinemas to show performances of plays, opera, and sporting events. Film distribution in the UK is still dominated by US studios. Major studio releases open on wide release of around 500 screens (The Avengers, The Lego Movie), in contrast to independent British films such as The Selfish Giant which opened on just 35 screens. Piracy The economic effects of online piracy are significant. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) estimated in 2005 that online piracy cost the film industry $7 billion a year in lost revenue. Further evidence of the economic impact of online piracy can be seen in the rapid decline in DVD sales. Sales of DVDs peaked in 2004, and have declined since then. Given that this coincides with the expansion of high speed broadband internet access it seems likely that a contributing factor to declining DVD sales was the ready availability of films through online piracy. DVD sales used to account for around half of a studio’s profits on a film. The 30% decline in DVD sales since 2004 has posed a significant economic challenge to the film industry. This is suggested by the fact the major studios are now producing less films now than they did 10 years ago, before the emergence of broadband. Loss of ancillary revenue from DVD sales has meant studios are finding more difficult to finance films. In 2012 Disney released 13 films, compared to 22 in 2002, whilst Sony released 18 films in 2012 compared to 31 in 2002. Clearly internet piracy poses a significant threat to the filmindustry. In order to tackle piracy film institutions are trying a range of tactics. This has included increased use of 3D, use of legal online VOD platforms and shortening distribution windows, as Disney did with the UK release of Alice in Wonderland making it available on DVD 12 weeks after theatrical release, instead of the usual 17 weeks. This helps to tackle piracy as consumers often pirate films as they do not want to wait for the film to come out
  11. 11. AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsorAS TV Drama linkat the top of the page). Twitter - @nealewademedia Email –jhibbert@neale- wade.org on a home entertainment platform. Some films such as Veronica Mars (2014), and A Field in England have used the day and date release strategy, making the filmavailable on all formats in the day of its release, thereby removing the need to pirate the film. This strategy is generally best suited to independent films, though Veronica Mars became the first filmto be distributed by a major studio to use day and date release. Early electronicsell-through is used by studios to make films available to buy by digital download four weeks before their DVD release, a strategy used for the release of Iron Man 3. Whilst online piracy has a significant impact on the filmindustry, it does appear that with the development of online platforms and devices allowing consumers to access content legally that the threat of piracy may be declining somewhat. Video on Demand Technological convergence has led to the rise of Video on Demand (VOD) as a distribution method for films. Convergent technologies such as tablets, smartphones, laptops, and smart TVs allow the audience to access filmcontent via the internet. The popularity of Subscription Video on Demand sites such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video has seen the market for online VOD in the UK increase by 123% in 2012. Netflix now has 4.5 million subscribers in the UK. The proliferation of online platforms including SVOD, and Transactional Video on Demand sites such as iTunes and Blinkbox, has boosted the market. Technological factors have also driven this growth, with broadband penetration of 76% in the UK, and average speeds increasing to 12 Mbps making it easier to access filmcontent online. The development of internet-enabled Smart TVs, and the popularity of tablet devices have also underpinned this growth. VOD benefits independent producers as it lowers distribution costs, and allowing more films to be distributed digitally to their audience. An example of this is the British film Pulp (2012) which became the first film to premiere on the Xbox (an example of technological convergence). Pulp was not given a theatrical or DVD release, meaning that games console platform allowed it to be distributed to an audience. Independent producers have made use of the opportunity to use VOD platforms as part of day-and-date release strategies which maximise audience awareness around one release date. Examples include Veronica Mars and A Field in England. The release of It Follows (2015) demonstrates the benefits of digital distribution to independent films. It Follows was planning to use a compressed window distribution strategy, coming out on VOD two weeks after the cinema release. However, the film was very well-reviewed, generated positive word of mouth, and was more successful at the cinema than expected. As a result the distributors decided to delay the VOD release to allow the filmto maximise theatrical box
  12. 12. AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsorAS TV Drama linkat the top of the page). Twitter - @nealewademedia Email –jhibbert@neale- wade.org office. This demonstrates the flexibility offered by digital distribution which is especially beneficial to independent productions. Netflix have also begun to distribute films directly to the audience, as demonstrated by Beasts of No Nation (2015). Netflix acquired the distribution rights for the film for $12 million. The film was given a limited theatrical release in the US and UK, before being made available to stream on Netflix almost immediately. Box office revenue was less than $100,000 and the four main cinema chains in the US refused to show the film as they are concerned that the Netflix release model threatens their long term takings. However the film was the most watched feature on Netflix worldwide during the first two weeks after its release reaching a wide global audience, and went on to win a BAFTA for best actor suggesting this model may have long term viability. This release model is especially beneficial to independent productions which would traditionally struggle to reach a wide audience. Funding The development of online technology offers new ways in which films can be funded. Some films now use crowdfunding to obtain funding from the audience using websites such as Kickstarter. An example of this was the film Veronica Mars (2014). Based on a cancelled television show the producers were unable to get studio backing for the film, so used Kickstarter to encourage the audience to pledge money in return for a variety of rewards. The filmreceived $5.7 million in funding, and went on to be distributed by Warner Bros. This suggests that online technology allows filmmakers to interact directly with their audience in order to secure funding, making them less reliant on established studios. For audiences offers the benefits of a sense of involvement in the project. Viral marketing and the use of social media are examples of how technology affects the way in which films are marketed (see below). Marketing Synergy is an important way in which the major studios promote their films. Synergy helps the studios to maintain their dominance over the film industry as independent companies are unable to use synergy to the same extent as the Big Six studios (see above). Viral Marketing Viral marketing involves using the internet to spread promotional messages (such as videos), relying on the audience to forward them on. The benefits of viral marketing are
  13. 13. AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsorAS TV Drama linkat the top of the page). Twitter - @nealewademedia Email –jhibbert@neale- wade.org that it is significantly cheaper than other forms of film advertising (e.g. broadcast and ambient media), it engages the audience, and can create hype around the release of a film. Viral marketing was used effectively to promote the release of Carrie (2013). A video showing a prank involving someone appearing to have supernatural powers in a coffee shop was uploaded to YouTube where it was viewed over 60 million times. This is a very cost effective way of reaching a wide audience and generating word of mouth. Social Media Social media has become increasingly important in the marketing of films. Using social media offers the benefits of being cheap, interactive, and immediate. It helps the audience to feel involved with film, can also be used to data mine information about the demographics of the audience. Low budget horror film Unfriended (2014) made extensive use of social media to promote the film, as social media was central to its plot. Social media profiles for the main characters were created, and YouTube videos filmed by the characters were uploaded. Audience members could also chat with one of the main characters using the Kik app. The use of social media raised the profile of the film and helped it reach its young target audience. The film achieved global box office takings of over $60 million from a $1 million budget. A Facebook game was also used to promote the release of Avengers (see above), with the Avengers Alliance game having 1.4 million daily users prior to the release of the film. This allows for passive advocacy as information about the game will appear in the newsfeed of Facebook friends. As part of the marketing campaign for Veronica Mars (2014) the official website included a Race to the Box Office page in which users could score points every time they mentioned the film, liked or re-tweeted official pages, and gain access to exclusive content. Trailers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens were uploaded to YouTube breaking records for the most viewed film trailer and attracting almost 100 million views. This is a cost effective way to promote a film to a vast, global audience and allow the audience to engage through social media. Section B Exam Advice ● Remembertoleave 45 minutestoanswerthe Institutionsquestion. ● Relate youranswertothe questionset. ● Use terminology. ● Use specificexamples. ● Evaluate the pointsyoumake.
  14. 14. AS MediaStudies –Exam RevisionGuide Additional resourceson www.mediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.com (follow ASMediaInstitutionsorAS TV Drama linkat the top of the page). Twitter - @nealewademedia Email –jhibbert@neale- wade.org ● Refertoyour ownexperience asa consumer. ● Include aconclusionsummingupandevaluatingyourargument. ● Get yourfacts right. Past Paper Questions 2015 To what extent does media ownership have an impact on the successful distribution of media products in the media area that you have studied? 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009

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