Jonathan WardExtended Diploma In Creative Media ProductionTask - Unit 26 Film Studies L03 Producer and AudienceIntroductionA films success is measured by how much profit it makes. Profit is made by the number of peoplewho go to the cinema to watch the film; the number of DVD sales made and any TV rights sold. Infilm terms this is the gross figure and it is part of the producer’s job to target and market the filmmaking it attractive and worth watching to as large an audience as possible. I will describe in thisarticle the way that producers use publicity and a marketing strategy to try to win over the public byusing big stars and big stories to support their aim.Captain America First AvengerThe film Captain America First Avenger is a science fiction adventure. It is targeted at young filmwatchers who like superheroes, anybody who likes a good action adventure film and older peoplewho remember the Marvel comic stories. It was produced by Marvel Enterprises in 2011, directed byJoe Johnston and distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film which was released in the UK on the29th July 2011 was successful with a budget of $140,000,000 the worldwide takes were$368,608,363. So good that they are now creating a sequel ‘The Avengers’ which is expected to berelease in May 2012.The film is set during World War II, when a militaryreject Steve Rogers, who is sickly but determined, isaccepted on to a new secret project Rebirth and theSuper Soldier program. After taking part in a number ofexperiments Steve becomes super human, physically fitand strong. After the success of leading the Rebirthproject Dr Erksine is assassinated by Nazi JohannSchmidt (Red Skull) and the project is lost. The armydon’t want to loose Steve so decide to use him incostume to increase troop morale around Europe.When Steve hears of a Nazi plot he gets involved andbecomes the First Avenger to help save his country.Back home everybody loves him and he gets known asCaptain America. Later when on a mission against hisarchenemy Red Skull he sacrifices himself to stoprockets being launched against the troops ending upfrozen in ice for decades. After recovering he realisesthat he must find and join forces with other heroes tomake a difference.
Jonathan WardExtended Diploma In Creative Media ProductionTask - Unit 26 Film Studies L03Chris Evans helped market Captain America by appearing on television channels worldwide providingan overview of the basic synopsis of the film. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEGkp-yhvZcThe film was also available for file sharing and videos were posted on youtube such as trailers andinterviews which were shown on TV, this allowed the audience to catch up with the show which wason TV in case they missed it. Also as recently youtube has gone HD, viewers could visualise what toexpect properly. Social networking sites also provide encouragement towards watching filmssometimes, say if a lot of people post about it being great this will make you want to see it andsometimes there is actually a page dedicated to reviews on the movie. Cinema is probably the mostuseful for advertising as whenever you enter a cinema you will see billboards and posters all over theplace for films that are upcoming or already out or just when you are online checking film times forthe local cinema there is bound to be a banner in the corner or at the side of the screen of the film.Even before a movie is shown, the trailer for the film will most likely be played and as the film isn’t ahigh certificate it will have been shown across a wider range of screens in the cinema. Billboards willhave been put around city centres for Captain America as it was quite a big film, when I was in mytown centre a while back I saw the huge billboard advertising the movie before it was actuallyrevealed to the public properly as behind the huge billboard was an actual filming set for the movie,the picture below is the street I saw. Billboards were also shown at a high point so you couldvisualise at the motorway as you were driving down. Captain America was mentioned in magazinesand newspapers mainly a review or an interview it will have been shown in film magazines or othermedia magazines.
Jonathan WardExtended Diploma In Creative Media ProductionTask - Unit 26 Film Studies L03The film uses the Star Theory by introducingfamous film stars using their fandom to bringsuccess. Samuel L. Jackson even if just in asmall role draws in his followers who believein his reputation that his films such as TheExorcist (William Friedkin – Warner Bros.Pictures, 1973), Star Wars :Episode II Attackof the Clones (George Lucas - Lucasfilm,2002), Jurassic Park (Steven Spielberg –Universal Pictures, 1993) and Die Hard: WithAvengance (John McTieran – TwentiethCentury Fox, 1995), etc.Another actor which is quite well known to be in the film isTommy Lee Jones, he is well known for his role in the men inblack films and other films such as No Country for Old Men(Ethan and Joel Coen – Paramount Vantage, 2007), UnderSiege (Andrew Davis – Warner Bros. Pictures, 1992), BatmanForever (Joel Schumacher - , Warner Bros. Pictures, 1995),Menin Black (Barry Sonnenfield – Amblin Entertainment, 1997),etc.The film also uses the fact that comic book superhero films are successful films like Superman andSpidermanPolitically for the American market even the name Captain America makes for a good film theAmerican people become patriotic believing that the superhero is one of their own and a realsuccess for the country.Chris Evans plays the role of Steve Rogers, it was important target of the producer to make sure thatCaptain America was a good looking, muscularly, clean cut type of man to create an attraction forthe female audience. Attracting the female audience makes the film more acceptable to coupleslooking for a night out increasing audience figures.The film dates website shows a strong marketing synergy, informing the target audience that thefilm already has a sequel in the pipeline which will contain all their favourite characters.“This production will be followed up two months later with The Avengers, teaming the characterwith other Marvel screen heroes from their catalogue.”It tells the audience that they need to watch the first film in order to understand the next filmwhich promises to be bigger and better than the first.
Jonathan WardExtended Diploma In Creative Media ProductionTask - Unit 26 Film Studies L03To find out information about the target audience prior to production, the producer should usereception theory on other superhero films, looking back at the success of release dates throughout the year and what the overall takings were. They would also have to review the certification ofthe film to judge how a tamer film rated U would compare with those that are PG or 12 rated.I would start with Spiderman (Sam Raimi – Columbia Pictures Corp, 2002) and Ironman (JonFavreau – Paramount Pictures, 2008) both certified as PG the typical age that would go and seethis type of film.The Thing vs 50/50 – Star and Reception Theory AnalysisThe Thing (Matthijs van Heijningen Jr –Morgan Creek Productions, 2011) is a horrorfilm based in the Antarctic where an alienspacecraft has been discovered,it wasreleased on 2 December 2011. 50/50(Jonathan Levine – Summit Entertainment,2011) is a black comedy based around thediagnosis of Cancer and the struggle to beatit, it was released on 25 November 2011. TheThing was more successful during its openingweekend than 50/50 but was less successfuloverall. This is because The Thing wasadvertised more than 50/50 when it was firstbeing shown.The main reason it went on to failing to maintain it’s initial success was because it had no wellknown actors or actresses, that people would recognise from previous huge box office movieswhereas 50/50 did, meaning that people would be drawn to watch the film and tell their friendsabout it instantly.More people would be convinced to watch50/50 since it has the actor Seth Rogan beingin it. He is a well known star actor amongstthe teen age group. People of the 18 – 19 agerange when looking at cinema trailers wouldbe more convinced seeing one of theirfavourite actors who virtually guaranteeslaughter, than they would be seeing a horrorthat was originally developed before theirtime. It totally failed when it comes to StarTheory.
Jonathan WardExtended Diploma In Creative Media ProductionTask - Unit 26 Film Studies L03Being certificated as an 18 meant The Thing was available to a smaller portion range of theviewing audience market. The film was also a remake/prequel, the people who would enjoy thefilm the most being the people who have seen the John Carpenter’s version from 1982. As TheThing and 50/50 were released around Christmas time, this is more a more festive period a time tobe happy and full of joy so when a horror is trying to compete against a comedy that during thistime more people would rather see the lighter film rather than the dark. The Thing ignoredreception Theory.50/50 was a success because using startheory a famous actor was included in thecast, they also used reception theory bytargeting a larger proportion of the availableaudience by certificating the film as a 15 andreleasing the film during a holiday period.The Thing would have been more popular had they introduced at least one famous actor or actressand chosen a different release time, such as Halloween, when horror movies are more popular. Itwould also have increased its audience had it had a lower certification class but this might haveruined the film.ConclusionUsing the Start and Reception Theories helps market films to the correct audience increasing salesof cinema tickets, DVD, TV rights, etc. This boosts the gross figure for the film increasing profits.Captain America Articleshttp://news.softpedia.com/news/Captain-America-Takes-Down-Harry-Potter-at-the-US-Box-Office-213245.shtmlhttp://tjbrearton.com/2011/07/29/captain-america-film-review/http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1667551/captain-america-chris-evans-hayley-atwell.jhtmlhttp://www.filmdates.co.uk/films/402-captain-america-the-first-avenger/