The basics…Production: (Making Film) inception; optioning; writingthe script; pitching to a studio; setting a budget; crewingup; casting; filming; editing.Distribution: (The Middle Man) the studio buys therights; the studio makes a licensing agreement with adistribution company; they decide how many copies ofthe film are made; they negotiate deals to sell the leaseto buyers.Exhibition: (The Screen) how the film reaches the public;cinemas; DVDs; online; TV.
Friday 24th February 2012 Audiences and Institutions Learning Objective: To understand how investors play a major role in the film industry.
Production - Investors For a film to go into production it needs investors to provide the necessary funding. However, Box office success is never certain and so investors try to reduce the risk of losing their money by becoming involved in important decisions.
Production - Investors Key questions that investors will ask are: Is the film’s storyline similar to other films that have made money recently? Does it offer easy selling points? Are there obvious marketing spin offs to give added publicity? Is the star popular? Has the director had previous successes?
Production - Risks Key questions that they will ask are: Is the film’s storyline similar to other films that have made money recentlyIf the answer to any of theses questions is no thenchanges will be made to the “package” (the details ofthe film) to make sure all the answers are yes!Otherwise, the investors will take their money elsewhere.
Investigate the level of risk for: Shifty http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DT75k8sUXaQ The Dark Knight http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQ5U8suTUw0
Take into consideration… Director Writer Producer Cast Genre Sequel potential Location SFX Rating USP
Tuesday 28th February 2012 Audiences and Institutions Learning Objective: To develop an understanding of exhibition and consumption within the film industry.
HomeworkAsk at least 3 people to take part in thequestionnaire.Try to ask a wide range of people: age; gender;ethnicity; professionals; students; retired etc.
Group TaskInvestigate current cinema listings for Saturday 3rd March at the following: The Vue, Romford Rio Cinema, Dalston The Curzon, Soho The Odeon, Leicester Square Plaza Cinema, Skipton Cineworld, Cardiff Cineworld, Yeovil
Create a PowerPoint PresentationConsider the following: How many films are being exhibited? How many separate screenings are there? What is the most popular film? Timings of screenings – why, who is the audience? Location – how popular is the cinema and why? Is the cinema part of a chain? What else does the cinema complex offer, e.g restaurant, bar etc.? How much are the tickets? How user friendly is their website? Does the website advertise? If so, what and how? Look at the ‘Coming Soon’ section – are these new releases?
Friday 9th March 2012 Audiences and Institutions Learning Objective: To understand the role of distributor within the film industry. Keywords: distributor, bilateral, prints
Distributionhttp://www.launchingfilms.tv/distribution.php Individual distributors may release any number of films, sometimes just one or two, or as many as 25-30 a year. A typical week sees around ten new films opening in UK cinemas. Inevitably, with more than 500 releases a year all competing for screen time, media space and audience interest, the market place is highly competitive, churning, chopping and changing all too quickly.
Inception to Completion Producer or studio acquires the rights to the film story or treatment Screen play is developed Production finance is agreed Cast and crew confirmed Shoot – location / studio Post-production – editing, score etc. Master print is delivered to a distributor Distributor determines release date and strategyDistributor presents films to exhibitor and negotiates bilateral agreements Exhibition
Marketing ‘Arthur Christmas’ – Regents Street LightsWhy so serious?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpuC7HhCPWA
Tuesday 13th March 2012 Audiences and Institutions Learning Objective: To understand how cross media convergence is important to the film industry.
Cross MediaCross Media: different medias (TV/ radio/ print/ film) ordifferent media institutions (studios/ newspapers/ TVnetworks)Convergence: the joining of two or more mediacompanies or technologies to form a new object /promote a new productIn cross media convergence: more than one companybenefits from working in a partnership. Cross mediaconvergence ensures that the film reaches the widestaudience available. ‘The Dark Knight’ had one of the mostelaborate marketing strategies to date…
Distributing a BlockbusterThe Dark Knight – Case Study Produced by Legendary Pictures (with Warner Bros) Distributed by Warner Bros Directed by Christopher Nolan (Inception, Memento)
Promotional packs sent to those who had registered on the web page
The page was defaced in order to build suspense as the first images of Heath Ledger as The Joker were released. This is modern viral marketing and traditional print based marketing working together.http://www.thegothamtimes.com/
Fan Involvement – Word of MouthPublicity Stunts: Warner Bros invited fans to follow a ‘case’ of clues around the internet, tracking the Joker. Finally, they were given a date and time to meet up. Hundreds of fans arrived in New York to see the bat symbol projected onto the side of a skyscraper.
Warner Bros Warner Bros are a horizontally integrated company. They own: Warner Bros Studios, Rock Steady Games, DC Comics, Warner Bros Pictures, Cinemas, Home Entertainment, New Line Cinema The success of thefilm will influence sales ofrelated products and viceversa
Production of The Dark Knight Launching Films – new presentation onforthcoming release looking at marketing and cross media convergence etc.
Cross MediaInstitutions like Love Film need to keep up withwhat audiences want.The ‘new’ trend for watching films… http://www.lovefilm.com/browse/film/watch-online/ https://signup.netflix.com/?mqso=80031973&locale=en-GB&mkwid=scxFYTeEH&pcrid=9942356525
Friday 16th March 2012 Audiences and Institutions Learning Objective: To understand media ownership in relation to the film industry.
The Dark Knight Featured the opening sequence shot using IMAX technology. It was the first time ever that a major feature film was even partially shot on IMAX cameras. It broke box office records for IMAX, taking in about $6.3 million from 94 theatres in the U.S and Canada over the opening weekend.
The Dark Knight IMAX records and displays images at far greater size and resolution than other film formats. It increases the resolution of the image by using a much larger film frame. To achieve this, 65 mm film stock passes horizontally through the cameras. Traditional cameras pass film vertically. Standard film shoots at 24 frames per second. In order for IMAX to match this, 3 times the length of film rolls through the camera.
The Dark Knight The Dark Knight cost approximately $180 million to make. Warner Bros. held the world premiere for The Dark Knight in NYC on 14th July 2008. Screened at an IMAX cinema, the film’s composers (Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer), played part of the film score live. It was then distributed to 4,366 cinemas, in the U.S and Canada, breaking the previous record held by Pirates of the Caribbean. Released on 24th July 2008 in the U.K, it was just in time for the summer holidays. Warner Bros. re-released the film in January 2009, to enhance the chances of Oscar success.
Media Ownership All media (film, TV, print, music) is owned by a company. This company holds the ‘rights’ to publish, distribute and manipulate their work to make a profit to fund their next product. When an existing story, book, play, comic etc. is made into a film, the rights have to be bought from the author, as it is their ‘intellectual property’. Warner Bros. bought the rights to make the first 4 Harry Potter films for $1m. Film makers ‘option’ a script – meaning they only pay 10% of the fee to secure the rights and then pay the full amount if the project is ‘green lit’. There is normally a time limit on an option – 2 or 3 yrs. If the film isn’t made in this time, the option can be re- sold.
Media Ownership Warner Bros. Pictures produces and distributes, finances and co-finances films and maintains worldwide distribution rights. Hollywood is driven by profit and success. Through cross media convergence, The Dark Knight has become a global brand. Warner Bros. and DC hold the copyright to the brand.
Integration Vertical Integration (Home Video, Interactive Entertainment, Animation, Television) Horizontal Integration (New Line Cinema studio, DC comics, The CW network, Rock Steady games)
Media Ownership Audiences are loyal to brands and will see every film: Star Wars, Harry Potter, Toy Story, The Lord of the Rings, Spiderman etc. Profit is made through box office sales, DVD, Blu-ray, toys, games, clothes…
Piracy Piracy is the illegal distribution of media without the permission of its owner. A disadvantage of digital technology is the ease with which films can be pirated. This is a major problem for the film industry. It effects profits and breaks copyright law. Illegal downloads – leaking and sharing of films over the internet can spread within minutes. Illegal filming of screenings – fake DVDs.
Combating Piracy An advantage of digital technology is that it allows films to be released simultaneously, and legally, around the world. Previously, the delay in films reaching other parts of the world encouraged piracy. Digital encryption means that films can be securely distributed. 3D cinema is currently more difficult to piratehttp://www.thehobbitblog.com/?cat=8
Anti-Piracy : The Dark Knight Warner Bros. devoted six months to an anti-piracy strategy that involved tracking the people who had a pre-release copy of the film at any one time. Shipping and delivery schedules were also staggered and spot checks were carried out both domestically and overseas to ensure illegal copying of the film was not taking place in cinemas. A pirated copy was released on the Web approximately 38 hours after the films release. An illegal download website taunted the movie industry over its ability to provide the movie free, replacing its logo with a provocative message.
The Dark Knight Awards: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0468569/awards The Dark Knight Rises: Trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GokKUqLcvD 8 The Dark Knight Rises: Fan-made titles http://io9.com/5879763/fan+made-dark-knight- rises-titles-so-good-they-deserve-to-be-in- nolans-movie
Tuesday 20th March 2012 Audiences and Institutions Learning Objective: To identify key differences between Hollywood and British independent cinema.
Shifty There has been an expansion in films of very low budget - known as ‘micro-budget’ Shifty was made in 2008 under the Microwave scheme (UK Film Council) Microwave was set up to widen participation and access for young London-based filmmakers The scheme offers support for films to be made in 18 days and with a budget of less than £100,000
Shifty The film was written and directed by Eran Creevy. It was the second Microwave film to be released. Released on 24th April 2009 Opened with 51 prints through independent distributor Metrodome Opening weekend – took £61,000 After 3 weeks down to 12 prints after taking over £131,000 Final box office - £143,000
Shifty The film was distributed by Metrodome who marketed the film in the following ways: Spent about £50,000 on prints, administration and advertising They felt that the film was similar to Kidulthood/Adulthood and wanted to reach a similar audience – known as Urban Genre
Shifty However, to maximise the reach of the film Metrodome produced three trailers all tailored to appeal to different audiences. It was felt that the film could also appeal to the middle- class Guardian reading audience. The trailer targeting this audience featured a more classical style soundtrack whilst the ‘urban’ trailer featured a hip-hop style soundtrack that didn’t actually feature in the film http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=shifty+trailer&docid=1632815022351&view=detail&mid=4C519BF686951 F92296F4C519BF686951F92296F&FORM=LKVR18# http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=shifty+trailer&docid=1651745621403&view=detail&mid=C110D7428498 C480DCA8C110D7428498C480DCA8&FORM=LKVR# http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=shifty+trailer&qpvt=shifty+trailer&mid=5E71A2433C2215F6D1D05E71A2 433C2215F6D1D0&FORM=LKVR4#
Friday 23rd March 2012 Audiences and Institutions Learning Objective: To understand how independent British films can be produced on a micro-budget.
Shifty – Microwave Scheme What is the Microwave scheme? http://www.filmeducation.org/shifty/production_q 4.html What did you learn from the Microwave scheme? http://www.filmeducation.org/shifty/production_q 4.html
Shifty – Microwave Scheme What were the challenges of micro-budget film making? http://www.filmeducation.org/shifty/production_q6 .html They had to make the film in 18 days The Dark Knight started shooting in April 2007 and was released in July 2008 with location shoots in Chicago, London, Hong Kong
Marketing & Distribution: Shifty Metrodome had ambitious ideas for advertising http://www.filmeducation.org/shifty/production_q7 .html Metrodome allowed the producers to have an input into the posters and trailers of the film Metrodome was attracted to Shifty because it has a universal theme of friendship at its heart; an audience could relate to the story it was telling; and the location could be familiar to British cinema goers
Marketing & Distribution: Shifty To reach the target audience, cross media convergence advertising took place: Adverts ran on pirate radio stations Fly-posters were used ‘Business cards’ representing the character of Shifty as a drug-dealer were distributed Viral campaign through emails – ‘no publicity is bad publicity’ Music competition – music could be downloaded from website and remixed into new track. The winner received £500 and studio time with Riz Ahmed Shifty website Social networking sites (Facebook, Bebo, Myspace) Music – MP3 downloads CD – the soundtrack Youtube – the music video Cinema and television trailers (also on Youtube) DVD/Blu-Ray
Tuesday 27th March 2012 Audiences and Institutions Learning Objective: To understand the importance of issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences.
Hollywood vs British Indie Hollywood is dominant. American cinema chains show American movies. British independent film doesn’t have the budget to compete with the money spent on ‘talent’, SFX and marketing. However, since the digitalisation of cameras and projectors, British cinema can operate in a more cost effective way and target national audiences. Initiatives such as the Microwave scheme allow micro- budget British films that tell British stories, such as Shifty, to be made. Cinemas like Hollywood blockbusters because they will bring in revenue. Cinemas only make money from sales of extras (popcorn, drinks etc.), so they want to screen films that will guarantee an audience.
Marketing & Distribution: Shifty What attracted Metrodome to Shifty? http://www.filmeducation.org/shifty/marketing_q3. html Microwave scheme was instrumental in Shifty’s release http://www.filmeducation.org/shifty/marketing_q4. html
UK Film Council The UK Film Council was set up by the Labour government as a non-departmental public body in 2000. The purpose was to develop and promote the film industry within the UK. Along with BBC Films and Film4, the Film Council was the main port of call for film makers trying to get feature films off the ground, especially if those films are outside the mainstream, or ‘specialised’. The council received around £15m funding per year. Funded by the National Lottery, it channelled about £160m into more than 900 films over the last 10 years, including Bend It Like Beckham, This is England, The Last King of Scotland and Streetdance 3D. In July 2010, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced it would be abolished to save costs.
BFI The UK Film Council closed in April 2011. The BFI (British Film Institute) has taken over its core functions: distribution of lottery funding; production; supporting distribution and exhibition through Prints and Advertising Fund; certification of UK films (UK filmmakers benefit from tax relief); Research and Statistics; education; archive; National Screen Agencies; skills development with Skillset. Overall responsibility for the BFI is held by the DCMS. BFI increased the lottery fund by 20% from £15m to £18m in 2011/12 The UK Film Council’s Diversity Unit has not been transferred.
Screening British films nationwide Studios are selective about where and when they release their films. E.g, a Bollywood film would not do as well in an area where the population is 99% white. Looking for Eric is a good example of different ways of marketing in different localities and for audiences.
Digital is the Future The digitalisation of film makes it cheaper to produce, distribute and exhibit. Independent film makers can produce larger numbers of prints at a smaller cost, therefore they will not lose as much money if the film does not attract such a large audience in the cinemas. For Shifty, the cinema exhibition was mainly an advertising method – to get people to buy the DVD. This should ease the path for more independent British films into more cinemas across the country.
Websites Odeon’s Back British Film http://www.odeon.co.uk/fanatic/back-british-film/ British Council Film http://film.britishcouncil.org/about-us/about- british-council-film BFI http://industry.bfi.org.uk/ Film London http://filmlondon.org.uk/
Friday 30th March 2012 Audiences and Institutions Learning Objective: To learn how to understand and effectively answer an exam question.
HOMEWORK!!!! Due on Tuesday 17th April Upload to your blogs Write an essay of approx. 750 - 1,000 words Title: Film Industry Mock Exam Question Question: In what ways do your own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends in audience behaviour?
You need to be able to discuss… Production: The making of the film; pre-production and funding; shoot (format); post-production (SFX). Distribution: The way the film gets to screens; distribution company. Marketing: The process of raising awareness; targeting an audience; creating publicity through various methods. Exchange: The point of sale: buying the ticket (online or in person); downloading; receiving a DVD in the post etc. Exhibition: The way we view; getting the film to a paying audience. Nature of audience consumption: The different types of ways to watch films; what is the current trend. Relationships between audiences and institutions: Target audience; how do different types of people watch films and why.
With reference to case studies…The issues raised by media ownership in contemporarymedia practice. The problems or advantages, pros and cons. Large Hollywood companies, like Warner Bros., are a vertically integrated company (The Dark Knight) versus small independent films (Shifty). Budget. How this filters through to exhibition and profit. Is it fair that Hollywood can dominate and influence an audience’s taste by only allowing them to watch what they allow? Niche audiences – Curzon cinema goers.
With reference to case studies…The importance of cross media convergence and synergy inproduction, distribution and marketing. Media convergence is having an enormous impact on the film industry because of the ways in which institutions can produce and market for audiences/users on a widening range of platforms, capable of receiving their films. New technologies: mobile phones, internet, iPad, Playstation, websites. Traditional: posters, billboards, trailers, interviews, reviews etc. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london- 17099518 Viral campaigns – advancing the effective ‘word of mouth’ strategy Newspapers giving away free merchandise – mutually beneficial to both companies ‘The Hobbit’ blog. Warner Bros. as producer, distributor and exhibitor.
With reference to case studies…The technologies that have been introduced in recent years atthe levels of production, distribution, marketing and exchange. Digitalisation of film (cameras, cinemas, screens) and this effect on production costs, accessibility (downloading), audience consumption, piracy. Both positive and negative. Avatar – the highest grossing film of all time http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6JXUoWeZ7Q&feature=r elated Editing on laptops, shooting on stills cameras (Canon 5D etc.) CGI, 3D Audience ability to interact – through viral marketing campaigns and post-exhibition. E.g, fan made tributes Titles for The Dark Knight Rises http://www.comicsalliance.com/2012/01/27/dark-knight- rises-fan-titles-credits-video/ Prequel to LOTR, fan made The Hunt for Gollum http://www.thehuntforgollum.com/updates.htm
With reference to case studies…The significance of proliferation in hardware andcontent for institutions and audiences. This means the increase of something: i.e. digital cameras, editing software (Final Cut), CGI, 3D, film genres that need lots of SFX, etc. which are part of current trends. How significant is this for British Indies versus Hollywood? The hardware we use to watch films – iPad, mobile phones, video-on-demand, online, LoveFilm, illegal download.
With reference to case studies…The importance of technological convergence forinstitutions and audiences. The internet is acting as a hub for many aspects of film: banner ads, links to websites, You Tube videos, interviews, trailers, blogs, fan-made sites etc. Mobile phones don’t just make calls/text they are now alarm clocks, mini offices, cameras, cinemas. Think of multiple formats and platforms. Positives: greater audience; social networking word of mouth; cheaper; more choice. Negatives: piracy; less money for Hollywood; cost of changing from film to digital cinema projectors; earlier release; 3D.
With reference to case studies…The issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences(specifically British) by international or global institutions. BFI (previously UK Film Council) getting low budget British films made. Budgets – Britain versus Hollywood. Independent cinemas – Curzon, Rio in Dalston etc. Relevant marketing techniques to attract different audiences in different localities. Slumdog Millionaire was originally aimed at Asian audiences living in various parts of the UK and also at Danny Boyle fans. The films unexpected success at film festivals and being nominated for the Oscars led to another theatrical release and a crossover from the "indy" art-house into the mainstream. Disneys Mirimax (Pulp Fiction, There Will Be Blood, Trainspotting)and Foxs Fox Searchlight (The Descendants, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Black Swan) are examples of boutique, art- house off-shoots producing indies and foreign films.
With reference to case studies…The ways in which the candidates’ own experiences ofmedia consumption illustrate wider patterns andtrends of audience behaviour. Questionnaire Audiences are changing the way they want to consume – home cinema and downloads versus costly cinema. Identify trends. Examples: Orange Wednesdays (synergy), Netflix, LoveFilm, DVD, Blu-Ray, Sky Box Office etc. You have heard about illegal downloads – what problems does this present and what will companies need to do to combat/work with this in future?
The Devil is in the DetailMake sure you remember: There is only ONE exam question. Break it down, word by word, if you don’t fully understand at first. Use the correct terminology. Develop your answer so that you are incorporating as much information you have learnt as possible. Detail and examples from case studies are vital. Manipulate your knowledge to make it suitable to question.