The Golden Era of Hollywood is considered to be
the period which spanned from the end of the
silent era (late1920s) to the late ’60s.
It is considered the Golden Era because of the
narrative and visual style of the films made during
this period and the surge in popularity of American
Most studios created strictly defined genre movies
and films were made on a ‘production line’ system.
Stable of ‘stars’
Along with writers and directors, film studios
had their own actors. Each of these were
associated with a specific genre.
They were all under strict contracts with the
studios (and were sometimes loaned out to
other studios) and some would argue that all
creativity was severely limited.
Case Study: Fred and Ginger
“He gives her class and she gives him sex appeal”
They made a total of 10 films
together from 1933-1949,
The Gay Divorcee
The Life of a film
Production (including pre-production such as
organising locations, caterers, actors, etc)
Distribution including marketing, DVD
releases, merchandise, soundtracks, etc
Exhibition where people watch it (for
• What are the three stages in the life of a film?
• What is vertical integration?
• What is horizontal integration?
Research the definitions of vertical integration and horizontal
integration (in relation to the film industry)
Research what ‘The Big Five’ and ‘The Little Three’ are.
WHY WERE THEY CALLED THIS??!!!
Post your findings (complete with images) on your blogs
under the page ‘Media Institutions’
Answer the following questions:
How do studios operate now?
What so you think are the pros and cons of vertical and
Paramount decree 1948
United States v Paramount Picture
In 1948 the supreme court ruled that film studios
were no longer allowed to own their own theatres
hold exclusivity rights over what was shown. This
would subsequently change the way in which films
were produced, distributed and exhibited. This
essentially put the first nail in the coffin of the
Hollywood studio system
Originally defined by audience response (boxoffice success)
Now, the term is used to define a high-budget
production aimed a mass-markets
Associated marketing strategies and
Financial fortunes of film studio or distributors
are decided by its success
Watch the teaser trailers.
What do they tell us about:
MARKETING: what ‘sells’ the film?
Also consider merchandise, soundtracks and
Pick a blockbuster of your choice (preferably a more
recent one). See if you can find the teaser trailer and post
it on your blog.
Find out the following information:
• The production company
• The production budget
• The distributor
• The box office takings
Write a paragraph or two which explains your
understanding how a blockbuster is produced, distributed
Where a film company controls the
production, distribution and exhibition process
of a film and receive all of the profit from these
Where a large media conglomerate controls
more than one media company (such as
film, newspapers, TV, etc) and can choose to
develop or invest in one particular area.
What have you found out about the
production, distribution and exhibition of
Hollywood blockbuster films?
Are there any companies who adopt a vertically
Are there any companies who invest in one
specific part of the process?
You will be asked to comment on the
production, distribution and exhibition of films.
There are different aspects of these stages that
you will need to know so that you are fully
prepared for all eventualities!
• Cross media convergence (where two or more
media products are combined)
• Cross media synergy (where media products are
combined with non-media products)
• Digital technologies and their impact on the 3
stages of the process
• Media ownership
• Targeting audiences
Many of these things are
interchangeable, however the question will
require a specific and detailed answer
You can achieve this by using case studies to
illustrate your answers and by linking your own
experiences of media consumption to
demonstrate your understanding of wider
What can you tell me about the production of
Remember: ‘production’ refers to everything to
do with the actual making of the film, including:
Technologies used whilst filming
What do you know about the distribution
process of blockbuster films?
Remember: distribution refers to all elements of
getting the film ‘out there’, including:
DVD/ Blu Ray release
Case study 1: Hollywood Production and
The Dark Knight Rises
In your groups, research the following:
The production and distribution company
The production budget
Origins of the film
The box office takings
At least one marketing strategy
It’s domestic and global appeal
Divide your research between group members and share
your findings with the rest of the group and post it on your
I will randomly select one person from each group to
feedback to the rest of the class
Answer the following question
‘what do you think is more important for the
success of a film, good production practices or
distribution strategies?’ Use The Dark Knight Rises
as a case study for your answer.
Use key terminology in your answer
For example: vertical integration, horizontal
integration, production budget, marketing
Possible exam question
Discuss the ways in which products are
produced and distributed to audiences, within a
media area that you have studied