Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Examples of Film Facts

Production Companies:
-          Marv Films
-          Plan B Entertainment
-          Universal Pictures
-          Lionsgate
Budget: $28million
Box Office (Gross Revenue): $106,125,903

Production Companies:
-          See-Saw Films
-          Bedlam Productions
Budget: £8 million
Box Office (Gross Revenue): $401,429,179

Production Companies:
-          Liberty Films UK
-          Xunga Films
-          Limelight Fund
-          Lunar Industries
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Budget: £5million
Box Office (Gross Revenue): $5,009,677

Production Companies:
-          Walt Disney Productions
-          Lisberger/Kushner
Distributor: Buena
Budget: $17million
Box Office (Gross Revenue): £33million

Production Companies:
-          Lightstorm Entertainment
-          Dune Entertainment
-          Ingenius Film Partners
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Budget: $237million
-          $9 million+ (Re-release)
Box Office (Gross Revenue): $2,783,165,628

Production Companies:
-          Celador Films
-          Film4
-          Pathé Pictures International
-          Fox Searchlight Pictures
-          Warner Bros. Pictures
Budget: $15,000,000
Box Office (Gross Revenue): $141,319,195

Monday, 11 April 2011

The Seven Key Areas of Representation

Social Class - Social classes are the hierarchical arrangements of people in society as economic or cultural groups. A person's social class reflects wealth, income, education, status and power. A person's occupation is generally used to indicate social class
Gender - The state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones)
Race/Ethnicity - The fact or state of belonging to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition
Regional Identity

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Posters: Films

The King's Speech Poster

Posters are another part of the marketing campaign designed to introduce an audience to the film. Displayed
in cinemas, bus stops, tube and railway stations or on billboards they are designed to catch the eye and convey a range of information to attract the viewer.

Future of the Media Industry

Film Release Patterns: Definitions

Wide Release - This is the most common release pattern that is released nationally in all markets. This pattern is used by the majors, since this type of release pattern requires a heavy investment in prints and national advertising. It has to reach all markets which is expensive. The producers and distributors can realize revenues to recoup their investment in a shorter time period (provided that the film is successful). Revenues from DVD sales can also be realized faster from a quickly-executed theatrical release (the shorter the time period between the theatrical release and the DVD release, the greater the potential for DVD income).

The Modified Wide Release - The film will open in a few major markets and expand week by week to build awareness and allow positive word-of-mouth reputation to develop. This type of release would initially be supported spot advertising (advertising in a specific geographical area, such as a city) and may move to national advertising once it expands to other markets.

Exclusive and Limited Runs - Exclusive and limited runs begin with engagements at a limited number of screens, traditionally in large urban areas, such as Toronto. Based on favourable reviews and positive word-of-mouth, the film may move slowly to additional theatres. This release pattern is almost always used for upscale 'art-house' or foreign films and may be part of a plat-forming strategy, where critical acclaim in an important market will assist in providing momentum for a wide release.

Territorial Saturation(a territory is an geographical area in which the film is released, i.e. Europe, the UK, USA, etc.)
Territorial saturation involves saturating a territory with bookings, heavy advertising and promotion, before moving on to another territory. This method would be used for films tailored to specific markets. In Canada, this would be seen with French-language films, which primarily would be well-received only in Quebec. It is also used by independent distributors for exploitation or family movies.

Universal Release – the film is released in several countries on the same day. For instance a major blockbuster is sometimes released in the USA and the UK on the same date.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Film Distribution

After a film has been produced, it needs to be released in cinemas. Film Distributors are a company or an individual that are responsible for releasing the films to the public, by cinema or for home viewing (DVD, Video-On-Demand, Download, Television etc). A distributor may do this directly (if the distributor owns the theatres or distribution networks) or through theatrical exhibitors and other sub-distributors.

If a distributor is working with a theatrical exhibitor, the distributor secures a written contract stipulating the amount of the gross ticket sales to be paid to the distributor by the exhibitor (usually a percentage of the gross) after first deducting a "floor", which is called a "house allowance" (also known as the "nut"), collects the amount due, audits the exhibitor's ticket sales as necessary to ensure the gross reported by the exhibitor is accurate, secures the distributor's share of these proceeds, and transmits the remainder to the production company (or to any other intermediary, such as a film release agent).

The distributor must also ensure that enough film prints are struck to service all contracted exhibitors on the contract-based opening day, ensure their physical delivery to the theatre by the opening day, monitor exhibitors to make sure the film is in fact shown in the particular theatre with the minimum number of seats and show times, and ensure the prints' return to the distributor's office or other storage resource also on the contract-based return date. In practical terms, this includes the physical production of film prints and their shipping around the world (a process that is beginning to be replaced by digital distribution) as well as the creation of posters, newspaper and magazine advertisements, television commercials, trailers, and other types of ads.

Furthermore, the distributor is responsible for ensuring a full line of film advertising material is available on each film which it believes will help the exhibitor attract the largest possible audience, create such advertising if it is not provided by the production company, and arrange for the physical delivery of the advertising items selected by the exhibitor at intervals prior to the opening day.

Film Distribution: Motherhood

It’s called ‘Motherhood’, stars Academy Award nominee Uma Thurman, UK star Minnie Driver, and TV show ‘ER’ helmer Anthony Edwards.

The plot outline for the film is: In Manhattan, a mother of two preparing for her daughter's sixth birthday party has no idea of the challenges she's about to face in order to pull off the event.

The total UK Theatrical Box Office for ‘Motherhood’ was $131 (£86) for just one weekend. Less than ten people in the whole of the UK actually bought tickets. Of which the tax man will take 17.5% of that £86 (VAT), the theatre will take 75% of the remaining, leaving nothing for the film makers. The film makers don’t get anything until the distributor has recouped thousands of pounds first, and take their fee for releasing it. Distributors, like the cinema owners, are not in business to cash flow any film, nor are they in business to lose money.

Distributors explained that Motherhood was not a hit because:
• The film is not very good (though it’s not terrible either)
• The film was released in one cinema in London only. Very little PR was done
• This limited release is a tactic to gain exposure and reviews for DVD, VOD and TV sales. They expected to do very little business in theatres (though maybe not this little)
• The distributor may have been contractually bound to release the film in theatres when in fact, it should never have appeared in theatres (but the film maker demanded it), therefore they did the minimum needed to fulfil their end of the deal.
• The DVD was released on the same day as the theatrical release (figures not available yet, but let’s not jump to any conclusions).
Metrodome released the film and their very own James Brown gave a presentation at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. He said:
• The GFC (Global Financial Crisis) has killed UK distribution, which is on life support. Retailers are going out of business. There is no theatrical audience over the age of 35 in the UK.
• In the UK, the audiences for theatrical and video are distinct. This means that, for example, you can make UKP 2.4 million on Broken Embraces at the box-office, but only ship 1,000 DVD's. Or UKP 800,000 on Away We Go and only ship 800 copies of the DVD in the 1st month. Conversely, it means there are massive DVD audiences for films which would not warrant a theatrical release.
• His main message: "I'm here to give you permission to make commercial crap to fund your passion project".

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Distribution: How "Slumdog Millionaire was promoted through Creative Search Marketing

UK Film Council on Distribution

Last year, less than 100 films (out of 505 released in the UK) accounted for more than 80% of the total box office generated. The good news is, audience for non-mainstream films is growing year on year. When cinema-goers know when and where they're being screened – so-called non-mainstream films like Brokeback Mountain, March of the Penguins, Closer, Volver and Pan's Labyrinth can attract large audiences.

The UK Film Council work's to make non-mainstream films more accessible in three ways:

Improving access – the Digital Screen Network is made up of 240 digital screens across the UK that now show non-mainstream films regularly.
Raising awareness – the Prints and Advertising Fund provides £2 million every year to help British distributors promote non-mainstream films.
Increasing information – the UK Film Council website, is one of the UK's leading websites for film fans looking to watch, buy, download or rent great films..

Digital Distribution

Online distribution, digital distribution, or electronic software distribution (ESD) is the practice of delivering content without the use of physical media, typically by downloading via the internet directly to a consumer's device. Online distribution bypasses conventional physical distribution media, such as paper or DVDs. The term online distribution is typically applied to freestanding products.

Content distributed online may be streamed or downloaded. Streaming involves downloading and using content "on-demand" as it is needed. Fully downloading the content to a hard drive or other form of storage media allows for quick access in the future.

The major attraction for online distribution is its direct nature. To make a commercially successful work, artists usually must enter their industry’s publishing chain. Publishers help artists advertise, fund and distribute their work to retail outlets.

By opting for online distribution, an artist can get their work into the public’s access easily with potentially minimum business overheads. This often leads to cheaper goods for the consumer and increased profits for the artists, as well as increased artistic freedom.

The effect of online distribution can have a major impact on a buisness. The rise of online distribution (of music in particular) has been blamed for a number of traditional retail venues closing, such as the iconic Canadian music chain Sam the Record Man in 2007-08.

Examples of Notable Online Distributors:
• 7digital
• CD Baby
• Direct2Drive
• DotEmu
• Good Old Games
• iTunes Store
• Mac App Store
• Nimbit
• PlayStation Store
• Steam
• Xbox Live Marketplace

Danny Boyle and how he matched new technology with old to film "Slumdog Millionaire"

Distribution: Mark Kermode on piracy

Production: Silicon Imaging the camera used on "Slumdog Millionaire"

Production: How and why the Coen Brothers used Final Cut Pro to edit "True Grit"

Production: The Social Network and Red One

Prodution: Red One Filmography

Production and Distribution: Disney 'Mars Needs Mums' a flop?

Production and Distribution: 3D at the Box Office

The invention of 3D is not going as well as expected. After nearly 80 percent of those who saw "Avatar" saw it in 3D, it was assumed that the format would quickly overtake theatrical distribution. But 3D's box-office has gone downhill ever since. People have become disinterested in paying high ticket prices for uneven quality.Studio executives have said that the public is losing interest in 3D.

For example, only 45% watched Universal’s “Dispicable Me” in 3D.The most recent 3D release, Warner's converted "Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore," grossed only about $6.9 million in 3D revenue for its opening weekend -- the worst performance in the 3D distribution.

BTIG Research analyst Richard Greenfield said “I think the overall message isn't that 3D is a fad or that it’s going away, but I’m not sure we’re moving to a point where 50 percent of the box office is derived by 3D ticket sales as some of the bulls currently believe.”

TRON: Legacy

National audiences are targeted by films by being promoted globally. This includes investment to market the film, so that the film can get as much publicity as it can get. Disney targeted the film Tron nationally by the following marketing they used:

- Ticket sales were opened for midnight screenings in IMAX 3D theatres.

- Disney held an IMAX 3D experience on 28th October called ‘TRON Night’. Selected 3D and IMAX 3D theatres worldwide (except Southern Sweden) played a 23 minute sneak preview of the film.

- ‘TRON Tuesdays’: Every Tuesday leading up to the release of the movie (17th December), exclusive new video content, including behind-the-scenes clips, trailers and artwork, was released on the web.

- TRON: Get on the Grid Sweepstakes.

- The TRON Soundtrack including music by Daft Punk was released on December 7th to promote the film before it was released in cinemas.

- TRON products were released to promote the film such as toys, clothing and even tech gadgets.

- TRON’s video game ‘TRON: Evolution’ based on the movie was released in stores on December 7th, as well as the soundtrack, to promote the film before it was released in cinemas to gain more publicity.

- The premier of the film was broadcast live on the internet, on the official TRON facebook page.

- Disney released the first theatrical trailer on March 5, 2010 along with other films. A new trailer was released on November 9, 2010. They also released sneak previews of the film, aired on November 5th (during popular TV programmes such as ‘Suite Life on Deck’ and ‘Pair of Kings’ on the Disney Channel to promote TRON.

As well as promoting the film nationally to gain as much publicity for TRON as possible, Disney also held local marketing events, to gain more attraction from the local area. This included:

- On October 8, at the Disneyland Resort in California, a night time dance/street event was held at Hollywood Pictures, Disney California Adventure to celebrate the release of the TRON film. A sneak preview with scenes from the film was shown in 3D with additional in-theatre effects.

- Disney was involved with the Ice Hotel in Jukkasiarvi, a high-tech suite inspired by the film TRON: Legacy. The suite uses electroluminescent wire to capture the art style of the film. It’s expected to get 60,000 visitors for the season from December 2010 through until April 2011.

Production and Distribution

The King's Speech

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Film 4 Institutions and Audience

1. What is Film4's remit (its reason and purpose for being)?

2. What types of films are green-lighted by Film4? Give examples of films and genres.
- Slumdog Millionaire
- Four Lions
- Last King of Scotland
- Venus
- Happy-Go-Lucky
- In Bruges
- This is England
- East is East

3. Why is Tessa Ross regarded as "the mother of British film-making" and therefore instrumental for Film4's success?
Ross' role has been confirmed to be one of the most important film industry executives in the UK, with a track record including the 8-oscars-winning film 'Slumdog Millionaire'. She was responsible for the making of the film and has now become like a mother figure to Britain's film industry, nurturing new talent and nursing more unestablished directors: "It's all about nurturing. This should be a very cosy place, it should be the safe place. If you can't make mistakes here at home, where can you?"

4. How much is Film4's yearly budget and how much of it did "Slumdog Millionaire take up? ( Be careful with this one as co-productions, UK Lottery money and deals with Pathe, etc. helps make Film4's budget stretch further!)

5. Why does Film4 form partnerships with other companies/individuals?

6. What is the future for Film4 - budget and film-wise?
Channel 4 is increasing the budget of Film4 by 50% to £15m per year to boost its total programming budget to £50m. The increased budget will provide the domestic film industry with a financial boost due to the Government's decision to close the UK Film Council according to David Abraham (Channel 4's chief executive).

7. What problems did Film Four face in the naughties?
Ever since 2001, after suffering a £5.7m loss (due to 'Charlotte Gray' being the most expensive film they made and a box office flop), Film 4 has been remembered for causing major financial problems.