Wednesday, 14 December 2016

AS Foundation Portfolio Brief


Print

Preliminary exercise: using DTP and an image manipulation program, produce the front page of a new school/college magazine, featuring a photograph of a student in medium close-up plus some appropriately laid-out text and a masthead. 

Additionally, candidates must produce a DTP mock-up of the layout of the contents page to demonstrate their grasp of the program.

Main task: the front page, contents and double page spread of a new music magazine.

All images and text used must be original, produced by the candidate, minimum of FOUR images per candidate.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Christmas 50: Audience And Institution


Your Christmas 50 homework consists of the following:

Reading:
Answer the two questions below:

Essay 4

“Media production is dominated by global institutions, which sell their products and services to national audiences”. To what extent do you agree with this statement?


50 marks
20 marks Evidence, Analysis, Argument 
20 marks Examples
10 marks Terminology

Essay 5


"Cross media convergence and synergy are vital processes in the successful marketing of media products to audiences." To what extent do you agree with this statement in relation to your media area? 


50 marks
20 marks Evidence, Analysis, Argument 
20 marks Examples
10 marks Terminology

Essay 5 - Extract

"Cross media convergence and synergy are vital processes in the successful marketing of media products to audiences." To what extent do you agree with this statement in relation to your media area? 

I agree with this statement in some aspects because cross media convergence and synergy are both very vital processes of which have to take place in order for particular films to become successful for the audiences that they are aimed at and marketed for. Cross media convergence is the way in which films and other different products are produced and distributed to other marketing platforms. An example of this would be how trailers for films have leaked onto the internet by accident to websites like Facebook and YouTube resulting in them being further marketed by accident to more people. Another example would be the marketing and distribution on iPhones and iPad apps and how people can access the marketing for films and things through this example of the media. Synergy on the other hand is the interaction and cooperation that two or more organisations have on particular products. This meaning that agents can produce better marketing techniques of which can then be seen by more audiences marketing the products in a more effective and greater way.

The two processes mentioned are important to the success of media products as without them, certain trailers for films or different advertising techniques might not be as accessible to the audience. An example of how cross media convergence affects the success of marketing a media product includes the use of YouTube. YouTube can almost be seen as a streamer for trailers and adverts for films and they quite commonly are found on there from different distributers. What I mean by this is that, members of the public can access film clips and then upload them to YouTube for further audiences to see. These audiences may not have originally seen the trailer and because the leak of the particular marketing techniques, films can become more available and open to more audiences. All this is done by accident and without the help of the film industries distributors. Another example of cross media convergence is how Facebook becomes a marketing technique. People post comments about what they have done and if someone was to go and see a new film, people might see that and become interested therefore watch the trailer of which another person may have shared from YouTube. This would also be an example of synergy. It is an example of synergy because it represents both Facebook and YouTube working together with the film companies and industries in order to advertise a film. It could be advertising the film through many different techniques such as a trailer or a film review.


Relating directly back to the statement of, "Cross media convergence and synergy are vital processes in the successful marketing of media products to audiences," I feel that without the use of the internet film marketing is a lot more difficult as the synergy between film industries and other companies within the internet are strong and are seen as reliant when it comes to films becoming successful or not.

Essay 5

"Cross media convergence and synergy are vital processes in the successful marketing of media products to audiences." To what extent do you agree with this statement in relation to your media area? 

50 marks
20 marks Evidence, Analysis, Argument 
20 marks Examples
10 marks Terminology

Refer to Ex Machina and Star Wars: The Force Awakens in your answer.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Essay 4


“Media production is dominated by global institutions, which sell their products and services to national audiences”. To what extent do you agree with this statement?


50 marks
20 marks Evidence, Analysis, Argument 
20 marks Examples
10 marks Terminology

Refer to Ex Machina and Star Wars: The Force Awakens in your answer.

Essay 4 - Extract

“Media production is dominated by global institutions, which sell their products and services to national audiences”. To what extent do you agree with this statement?

In general, global institutions do appear to dominate media production. For example, in film, Disney is a major player owning over 4 of their own studios like ‘The Prospect Studios’. However, small national companies are not entirely out of the picture. In 2011, for example, Bedlam Productions and See Saw Films, both small UK companies, achieved massive success with ‘The Kings Speech’, proving that small, national companies can reach global audiences.

Disney is considered a global institution it owns its film companies such as Pixar and Touchstone Picture, it has theme parks, crises, radio stations and TV channels. You could say Disney uses all it ‘arms’ to help sell to its target audiences also with horizontal marketing. Disney’s target audience is aimed at children but also adults because their films have a double meaning and has adult jokes.

For example, there new ‘Alice in Wonderland’ film is a fairy tale aimed at children. However, it sets a dark side to the traditional values aimed at the adults. It’s a British story and they use British actors.


Whereas ‘The Kings speech’ has similar strengths where it is a British traditional story, quite patriotic and uses famous British actors. For example, ‘Helen Bonham Carter’. ‘The Kinds Speech’ reached global audiences with a mere production budget of £15m compared to Disney’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ budget of £200m. Bedlam Productions and See Saw film would have had to use vertical marketing to compete with companies like Disney and the success of films like this show that they can achieve success.    

Photoshop Tutorial - logo design

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Exhibition and Exchange


Selected Key Terms for Institutions and Audience



 1.An institution (in the film industry)

Definition: any company or organisation that produces, distributes or exhibits films. The BBC makes films with their BBC Films arm; Channel4's Film Four produces films, Working Title also produce films, as does Vertigo Films, etc. Some institutions need to join with other institutions which distribute films. Vertigo Films is able to distribute its own films, Channel Four distributed Slumdog Millionaire through Pathe. Working Title's distribution partner is Universal, a huge US company which can make, distribute and show films. The type of owner ship within an institution matters as, for instance, Channel 4 and the BBC are able to show their own films at an earlier stage than other films made by other institutions. They are also better placed to cross-promote their in-house films within their media organisations. Use you work on Film Four as the basis for most of what you write, Moon is a good cross comparison as Duncan Jones had to create his own institution just to get the film made.


2.Distribution and Marketing

Definition: the business of getting films to their audiences by booking them for runs into cinemas and taking them there in vans or through digital downloads; distributors also create the marketing campaign for films producing posters, trailers, websites, organise free previews, press packs, television interviews with the "talent", sign contracts for promotions, competitions, etc. Distributors use their know-how and size to ensure that DVDs of the film end up in stores and on supermarket shelves. Distributors also obtain the BBFC certificate, and try to get films released as the most favourable times of the year for their genre, etc.


3.Exhibition

Definition: showing films in cinemas or on DVD. Media attention through opening nights and premieres How the audience can see the film: in cinemas, at home, on DVD, through downloads, through television, including premieres, the box office take in the opening weeks; audience reviews which includes those of the film critics, ordinary people, cinemas runs; awards in festivals, The Oscars, BAFTAS, etc.


4.Exchange

Definition: The unintended use of an institution’s media text (i.e. a film) by OTHER PEOPLE who use the film or parts of it to form new texts. What happens to a film, etc. after the public get their hands on it using digital technology.  Also relates to the selling of the product to the audience.

Examples: People unconnected to the institution/ film using WEB 2.0 applications such as Youtube, Blogger, reddit, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, buzzfeed to discuss the film or edit parts together to form a new text which they may then put a new soundtrack to and publish on Youtube, etc. When you add a trailer from a site like YouTube on your blog you have been engaging with exchange. 


5.Vertical and Horizontal Integration

Definition: Absorption into a single firm of several firms involved in all aspects of a product's manufacture from raw materials to distribution.

Example: Vivendi Universal have integrated film, music, web and distribution technology into the company, including owning big stakes in cables and wires that deliver these services. Therefore they are vertically integrated because they own all the different companies involved in film, from production to distribution to exhibition. They are also horizontally integrated because they have all the expertise for producing media content under one roof – films, TV, magazines, books, music, games thus being able to produce all the related media content for one film under the same roof (see synergy). This is important for the control the institution has over their product/film.


6.Synergy/Synergies 

Definition: The interaction of two or more agents (institutions/companies) to ensure a larger effect than if they acted independently. This is beneficial for each company through efficiencies in expertise and costs.

Examples: Working Title know how to make films and they have formed a business partnership with Universal, a massive US company, who have the experience and size in the marketplace (cinemas, stores, online, etc.) to distribute them. (They create the marketing campaign to target audiences through posters, trailers, create the film’s website, free previews, television and press interviews featuring “the talent”, drum up press reviews, word of mouth, and determine when a film is released for the best possible audience and the type of release: limited, wide, etc.) Channel Four’s Film 4 and Celador Films (Celador also produce Who Wants to Be A Millionaire and films, too) benefited by pooling their know-how, experience and expertise to jointly produce Slumdog Millionaire. These companies formed a business relationship with France’s Pathe to distribute this film. In the UK Pathe helped create the poster, trailer, website, etc. In the USA the film found another distributor after being nominated for the Oscars.


7.Viral Marketing

Definition: A marketing technique aiming at reproducing "word of mouth" usually on the internet and through existing social networks. YouTube Video pastiches, trailers, interviews with cast members, the director, writer, etc. You can find interviews of “the talent” trying to gain publicity for your case study films on YouTube. Find some clips from the films we have studied to help you in the exam.

8.Guerilla Marketing

Definition: The use of unconventional and low cost marketing strategies to raise awareness of a product. The aim is usually to create “buzz” and “word of mouth” around a film. Unusual stunts to gain publicity (P.R.) on the film’s opening weekend, etc.

Examples: Sasha Baron Cohen created “buzz” before the release of his film “Borat” by holding fake press conferences. The studio also accessed the popularity of YouTube by releasing the first 4 minutes of the movie on YouTube, a week before it’s release, which can then be sent virally across the nation. At a special viewing of “Bruno” Cohen landed on Eminem “butt first” from the roof MTV Awards venue, dressed in as an angel outfit with rents in the rear end.


9.Media Convergence

Definition 1: Convergence of media occurs when multiple products come together to form one product with the advantages of all of them.

Examples: More and more films are being marketed on the Internet and on mobile phones. You no longer need even to buy the DVDs or CDs as you can download films and music directly to your laptop, Mac or PC. Blue Ray DVDs can carry more features than ordinary DVDs and can be played on HD televisions and in home cinemas for enhanced/cinematic picture quality. You can save films on SKY digital, Free-box digital players, etc. You mobile phone has multiple features and applications. With media and technological convergence this is growing year on year. Play-Stations, X-Boxes and the Wii can can connect with the Internet and you can play video games with multiple players.


10.Technological Convergence

Definition 2: The growing interractive use of digital technology in the film industry and media which enables people to share, consume and produce media that was difficult or impossible just a few years earlier.

Examples: For instance, the use of new software to add special effects in editing; the use of blue-screen; using new types of digital cameras like the one Danny Boyle used in “Slumdog Millionaire” (The Silicon Imaging Camera to shoot high quality film in tight spaces); you can use the Internet to download a film rather than go see it in the cinema; you can watch it on YouTube; you can use special editing programs like Final Cut Pro to edit bits of a film, give it new soundtrack and upload it on YouTube; you can produce illegal, pirate copies on DVDs from downloads and by converting the film’s format; you can buy Blue Ray DVDs with greater compression which allows superior viewing and more features on the DVD; distributors can use digital software to create high concept posters; cinemas can download films to their projection screens and do not have to depend on a van dropping off the film! The is also the Digital Screen Network. There are tons of ways in which technological convergence affects the production, distribution, exhibition and exchange by prosumers. ( A prosumer is someone who not only consumes (watches films) but also writes about them the Net, blogs and make films out of them, often uploading them on sites like YouTube, etc.

11.A Mainstream Film

Definition: A high budget film that would appeal to most segments of an audience: the young, boys, girls, teenagers, young people, the middle aged, older people, the various classes in society. Distributors often spend as much or more than the film cost to make when distributing mainstream films that are given wide or universal releases.

Example:The Boat That Rocked was a mainstream idea and was given the mainstream treatment on wide release. The film flopped at the UK box office on release ( and has not done too well since mid November 2009 on release in the USA. This was mostly because of its poor reviews, particularly from “Time-Out”. However, when young and older audiences see the DVD they generally like the film because of its uplifting storyline and the well-chosen soundtrack.


12.Art House Films

Definition: A low budget independent film that would mostly appeal to an educated, higher class audience who follow unusual genres or like cult directors that few people have heard of. Therefore it is usually aimed at a niche market. Foreign films often come under this category.

Examples: The low budget film, Once (2007) which found a specialised, boutique distributor in Fox Searchlight fits this label. (FOX the mainstream company usually distributes big budget film and blockbusters); So does “Juno” from 2008 which began as a low budget film about teenage pregnancy that the big studios thought too risky to touch – but it found popularity through its touching storyline, engaging music and its Oscar nomination for best script. Like “Slumdog Millionaire” the film crossed over between art-house cinemas and audiences to mainstream ones because of the recognition it received from Canadian film festivals and award ceremonies like Britain’s BAFTAS and the Hollywood’s Oscars.


13.Ratings bodies 

BBFC - The British Board of Film Classification

How your institutions films are rated will affect audiences in so far as WHO can see them. Remember that sex scenes, offensive language, excessive violence, the use of profanity, etc. can affect the rating and certificate the film receives and therefore affect who is able to see the film.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

THE 25 BEST FILMS OF 2016: A VIDEO COUNTDOWN



The 25 Best Movie Moments of 2016, According to IndieWire Critic David Ehrlich.

Monday, 5 December 2016

12V/MS1 - Film case study


The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) - Rosie & Tegan
Under the Skin (2013) - Alfie & Will
Furious 7 (2015) - Cam, Alex & George A.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) - Steph & Ceri
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) - Isabel, Frank & Ben
Captain America: Civil War (2015) - George S.
Skyfall (2012) - James, Harri & Charlee
Kingsman: The Secret Service - George G. (2014)
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) - Rhiannon & Amy
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) - Jasmine & Nieeve

Film case study


  1. the issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice; (how does who owns a media company influence the type of film made and its potential success? For example do BIG companies make BIG films and therefore make all the money? Is it possible for small companies to succeed?)
  2. the importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and marketing; (how do companies work together to produce, distribute and publicize a film? How can Disney use their size to promote and publicise a film? How can small companies work together to promote their business' when making and promoting a film?)
  3. the technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, distribution, marketing and exchange; (how has the introduction of digital film, 3D, DVD, Blu-ray, internet streaming, downloadable content, home cinema influenced the types of films made, the way we watch them and the way we 'buy' them?)
  4. the significance of proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences; (how and why have film companies had to alter the way they work now everyone has web enabled phones, PC's, tablets etc? How have audiences changed their viewing habits now we no longer need to go to the cinema to watch a film)
  5. the importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences; (can you think of examples of how different technologies have come together to help the film industry?)
  6. the issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically, British) by international or global institutions; (how do film companies try and attract their audience? Do they do different things in different countries?)
  7. the ways in which the candidates’ own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour. (what is your opinion on the above? Do you see the developments as a good or bad thing?)
  • Choose a suitable presentation format.
  • Add trailers, images, clips (make it look interesting)
DEADLINE

Present to the class:
  • Wednesday 7th December (12Y/MS1)
  • Thursday 8th December (12Z/MS1)
  • Tuesday 13th December (12V/MS1)

Friday, 2 December 2016

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Gender Stereotypes

12Z/MS1 - Film case study


The Lobster (2015) - Becca
Gone Girl (2014) - Nicole
Legend (2015) - Jack
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) - Joshua
Dredd (2012) - James
World War Z (2013) - Ali
Locke (2013) - Georgia

Character Roles - Vladimir Propp


Propp suggested that every narrative has eight different character types, these character types are:
  1. The villain — fights the hero in some way.
  2. The dispatcher — character who makes the villain’s evil known and sends the hero off.
  3. The (magical) helper — helps the hero in the quest.
  4. The princess or prize — the hero deserves her throughout the story but is unable to marry her because of an unfair evil, usually because of the villain. The hero's journey is often ended when he marries the princess, thereby beating the villain and resulting in a “happily ever after” moment.
  5. Her father — gives the task to the hero, identifies the false hero, and marries the hero, often sought for during the narrative. Propp noted that functionally, the princess and the father cannot be clearly distinguished.
  6. The donor — prepares the hero or gives the hero some magical object.
  7. The hero or victim/seeker hero — reacts to the donor, weds the princess.
  8. False hero — takes credit for the hero’s actions or tries to marry the princess. 

Narrative codes


Gender


Representation Of Gender

 

Discuss the ways in which the extract constructs the representation of gender using the following: 

  • Camera shots, angles, movement and composition 
  • Editing 
  • Sound 
  • Mise en scène 

Textual Analysis and Representation

Candidates should be prepared to analyse and discuss the following: technical aspects of the
language and conventions of the moving image medium, in relation to the unseen moving image
extract, as appropriate to the genre and extract specified, in order to discuss the sequence’s
representation of individuals, groups, events or places:

Camera Shots, Angle, Movement and Composition
  • Shots: establishing shot, master shot, close-up, mid-shot, long shot, wide shot, two-shot, aerial shot, point of view shot, over the shoulder shot, and variations of these.
  • Angle: high angle, low angle, canted angle.
  • Movement: pan, tilt, track, dolly, crane, steadicam, hand-held, zoom, reverse zoom.
  • Composition: framing, rule of thirds, depth of field – deep and shallow focus, focus pulls.

Editing
  • Includes transition of image and sound – continuity and non-continuity systems.
  • Cutting: shot/reverse shot, eyeline match, graphic match, action match, jump cut, crosscutting, parallel editing, cutaway; insert.
  • Other transitions, dissolve, fade-in, fade-out, wipe, superimposition, long take, short take, slow motion, ellipsis and expansion of time, post-production, visual effects.

Sound
  • Diegetic and non-diegetic sound; synchronous/asynchronous sound; sound effects; sound motif, sound bridge, dialogue, voiceover, mode of address/direct address, sound mixing
  • Soundtrack: score, incidental music, themes and stings, ambient sound.

Mise-en-Scène
  • Production design: location, studio, set design, costume and make-up, properties.
  • Lighting; colour design. 

It is acknowledged that not every one of the above technical areas will feature in equal measure in
any given extract. Therefore examiners are instructed to bear this in mind when marking the
candidates’ answers and will not expect each aspect will be covered in the same degree of detail,
but as appropriate to the extract provided and to the discussion of representation.

Candidates should be prepared to discuss, in response to the question, how these technical
elements create specific representations of individuals, groups, events or places and help to
articulate specific messages and values that have social significance. Particular areas of representation that may be chosen are:
  1. Gender
  2. Age
  3. Ethnicity
  4. Sexuality 
  5. Class and status
  6. Physical ability/disability
  7. Regional identity

Monday, 28 November 2016

12Y/MS1 - Film case study


Frank (2014) - Jamie & Fin
Jurassic World (2015) - Maya, Abbi & Helen
Sing Street (2016) - Ethan, Jay & Sam
Skyfall (2012) - Jack
Spectre (2015) - Hannah & Kitty
The Hunger Ganes: Catching Fire (2013) - Caitlin & Daisy
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 2 (2015) - Abbie & Phil
Me Before You (2015) - Lily, Charlotte & Amy
The Martian (2015) - Ben

Roland Barthes - Narrative Codes


Barthes describes narrative as a series of codes that are read and interpreted by the audience:
  1. Action Code
  2. Enigma Code
  3. Semic/ Semantic Code
  4. Symbolic Code
  5. Referential Code

The five codes
  1. Action Code: (proairetic code)something the audience knows and doesn't need explaining e.g. someone being wheeled out on a stretcher tells us they are going to hospital
  2. Enigma Code: (hermeneutic code)something hidden from the audience (creates intrigue)
  3. Semic Code:something that the audience recognize through connotations
  4. Symbolic Code:Something that symbolizes a more abstract concept e.g. a darker than usual room of a murder scene could symbolize the depth of darkness and depravity
  5. Cultural Code: (referential code)Something that is read with understanding due to cultural awareness (e.g. youth culture use certain words that are understood by that culture)


Distribution - What is it?

Use the link below and find answers to the following questions

What part of the supply chain is distribution?
What is distribution often referred to as?
What does 'vertical integration' mean when discussing distribution?
Why isn't 'vertical integration' so common in the independent sector?
What three stages are involved in the independent sector?

Use the link below and find answers to the following questions

What is licencing?
What are the two levels of licencing?
What is the advantage of being a major US studio?
What three different types of rights can you acquire on a local level?
What are royalties?
What is the most effective way to increase interest in a film?
How long does it take for a film to reach 'free to air' TV?

Use the link below and find answers to the following questions

What are the two key questions surrounding the marketing of a film?
What day are films typically released on?
What will a distributor look at before releasing a film on a Friday?
What is a 'light' week in terms of distribution?
What does it mean to 'position' a film distinctively?
Why has this become increasingly difficult in the UK?
What are P&A?
How much can P&A cost?

Use the link below and find answers to the following questions

Typically how many prints will a 'specialised' film have?
How many will mainstream films have?
What is a key factor in developing the profile of a film?
How else can awareness of a film be raised?
Why is distribution in the UK seen as risky?
Why are companies looking towards viral marketing?
What are the benefits of a 'talent visit'

Use the link below and find answers to the following questions

In the pre digital film age what was a distributor responsible for?
How much does a 35mm print typically cost?
How many reals is a typical feature print?
Why do 35mm prints get damaged?
Where are prints stored?
How long did a theatrical release used to last?

Use the link below and find answers to the following questions

When did digital distribution begin in the UK?
Name two advantages of digital distribution
Which countries adopted digital distribution early and why?
How many screens were digital in 2005 and how many are now (you'll need to google this)
Why has digital distribution radically altered the operating model of distributors?
What has happened to the typical release period for a film?

What is a loss leader (google it) and why are companies using the Cinema as a potential loss leader?

Thursday, 24 November 2016

12Y - Essay 3 Deadline (Monday 28th November)

What impact does media ownership have upon the range of products available to audiences in the media area you have studied?


50 marks

20 marks Evidence, Analysis, Argument 
20 marks Examples
10 marks Terminology

Refer to Ex Machina and Star Wars: The Force Awakens in your answer.

Read the relevant information on the teacher blog.

THE DEADLINE IS MONDAY 28TH NOVEMBER (Period 3)

Cross Media Convergence & Synergy

Media ownership


Media ownership has a huge impact on the availability of the products that are able to be made. Huge conglomerates such as Disney horizontally integrate, meaning that when they synergise across other sectors such as TV, publishing and games, they work with companies and institutions that they already own or have created. They earn the name ‘conglomerate’ by having these subsidiary companies within themselves. This means that all profit made across the sectors, stays within the conglomerate, being Disney. The domination of a conglomerate has a huge effect on smaller media institutions. Smaller media institutions have little media ownership. Little media ownership may cause losses in their overall profit. This is due to the fact that for them to synergise to other sectors, they must work with other, separate companies and institutions, that specialize in that particular area. Doing this causes the company to share out its profit to any companies that have helped.

The ease to which a conglomerate can offer new products is great. The parent company can decide what products they want, and can use their subsidiary companies to create it. An example of this would be Disney wanting a TV show to be broadcast on The Disney Channel. Whatever this new show is, Disney will have full influence on its outcome. Smaller companies will have greater difficulty doing this as the reality of converging with another company is not guaranteed. Even if successful, part of the control of the product goes to this external company, influencing the final outcome. Media conglomerates will have full control of their products and how it turns out. The subsidiary companies are under control of their parent company.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Essay Question 3: Media Ownership

What impact does media ownership have upon the range of products available to audiences in the media area you have studied?


50 marks

20 marks Evidence, Analysis, Argument
20 marks Examples
10 marks Terminology

Refer to Ex Machina and Star Wars: The Force Awakens in your answer.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

12Z/MS1 - work to do (Tuesday 22nd November)


You need to use the time in today's lesson to work through any tasks that haven't previously been completed fully. You need to complete your reading and blog maintenance (all articles I've posted need to be on your blog too).

The essentials (links are embedded) are below:

Disney as a conglomerate
Marketing Star Wars
Film Piracy
Film Piracy 2
The Ex Machina Tinder campaign explained
Previous exam questions
Ex Machina research

Monday, 21 November 2016

Work To Do (12V/MS1 - Monday 21st November)


Unfortunately I can't be with you today. In my absence you can work on your essay.

The following tasks are essential and will therefore help:

  • Read the exemplar
  • Read any articles mentioned in last weeks lessons that you have not read so far
  • Plan your response using the key words as headings
  • Begin writing the essay


Essay Question:

Evaluate the role of digital technologies in the marketing and consumption of products in the media area you have studied.

50 marks
20 marks Evidence, Analysis, Argument 
20 marks Examples
10 marks Terminology

The essay deadline is Friday 25th November



Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Essay 2 - exemplar extract

The media area I will be referencing is ‘The Avengers’ film franchise, released 26 April 2012 in the UK.

Digital technologies has an important role in the marketing and consumption of film media products, as it widens the availability of film media project products and effectively creates awareness of the Product. By using digital technologies in marketing, it increases the number of people who see the product, as ‘The Avengers’ greatly used it to create anticipation for the product. There were a total of 14 trailers, both teaser and full-length trailers which were all available for download on iTunes, and by creating so many, which all advertised different characters or parts of the narrative, it meant the audience would want to consume their major product. For example, one teaser trailer focused on a few characters including Ironman, the Hulk and Captain America, where as the full-length trailers introduced us to all of the key protagonists, so the role is contributed to, as different members of the audience would find a different characters appealing. In addition to this, digital technologies play an important role as part of marketing due to a a lot of ‘The Avengers’ marketing strategy being online. There was a 30 minute live global Twitter chat to market the film with the director and Samuel L.Jackson and Chris Evans present, allowing fans to ask questions and find out information about the film, and by using this digital technology for marketing, it suggests that more people would become attracted to the product and would become interested, so would want to consume the product. This is evidence of digital technology having a big role in this media area.

Furthermore, digital technologies were also used for viral marketing, as images of Robert Downey Jr in an Acufa, which is a car that fans would instantly recognise and associate with ‘The Avengers’ was leaked online, which meant fans could spread the pictures and publicity for the film was being created due to this association of a well-known actor and a vehicle from the films, so this is part of synergy, and digital technologies effectively helped to market the product, so it is very important for technologies to be involved in marketing.

Digital technologies are important in the consumption of the product as well, as many members of audiences would use it in order to view the product. As part of the exhibition of ‘The Avengers’, it was released in September 2012 on DVD, Blu-ray, 3-D Blu-ray and was available for digital download. This meant that that the audience members, mainly male and female aged under 25 in these two quadrants of the four, would be able to view the film in a way that appealed to them, as they could download it from iTunes, and provide digital technologies they couldn’t do so to consume the film, so the role is very important. In addition to this, Digital technology allows for apps for phones and  tablets to be created and downloaded, as part of marketing the media product. This is extremely beneficial for both institutions and audiences, and there were apps created for ‘The Avengers’ that could not have been made without digital technologies. The app included a ‘Superhero Augmented Reality App’, in which users could play as their favourite superhero from the film, and there was another called ‘Avengers Alliance’, which was available to download from the App Store on iTunes. This allowed the audience to consume the product in a different way and interact ‘The Avengers’ franchise, and as technology has developed, it meant a greater audience was being targeted and the role of digital technologies in marketing and consumption is extremely vital in generating awareness and create an appeal.

On the other hand, it could be argued that the role of digital technologies is not extremely significant. Merchandise is a form of marketing that does not solely rely on digital technologies, and there was a lot of merchandise for ‘The Avengers’, and as the media product was the highest grossing film of 2012, it indicates that marketing and consumption can be successful with digital technologies having a more minor role. For ‘The Avengers’, individual character perfumes were created, which all differed in fragrance, and character merchandise was released in ‘waves’. For example, Iron Man and Captain America merchandise was released in the first wave, followed by Thor and Hulk merchandise in the second wave, and Black Widow and Hawkeye merchandise in the third. This merchandising did not involve digital technologies, yet it was still extremely successful, so it suggests that audiences will consume the media product differently by purchasing dolls and bags with their favourite character on, and do not have to be influenced by trailers and available apps. However, it could be argued that audiences would only consume the media product and the profits with it due to viewing a film trailer or participating in a global social networking event, as this is where the information they know about the film had come from.

To conclude, I think that digital technologies have a big role in marketing and consumption of films because it ultimately creates awareness and hype for the product, and the success from merchandising and other marketing techniques would greatly be down to the successful use of digital technologies. Some people may argue that technology is not essential but in order to appeal to the audience and publicise the film, the technology is necessary, and ‘The Avengers’ supports this as the various digital technologies used created excitement and anticipation for the film, effectively leading to the success of the product. 

This answer was awarded 50/50.

Essay 2 Deadline

Evaluate the role of digital technologies in the marketing and consumption of products in the media area you have studied.

50 marks
20 marks Evidence, Analysis, Argument 
20 marks Examples
10 marks Terminology

The deadlines are:

12Y Wednesday 23rd November (period 4)
12Z Tuesday 22nd November (period 1)
12V Friday 25th November (period 4)

Essay 2


10 films with amazing marketing campaigns (Ex Machina excerpt) by Meg



#8 Ex-Machina, 2015

A film about robots and love has the digital world at its fingertips when looking for marketing ideas, and Ex-Machina did exactly that; in the run-up to the film’s release, attendees at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas were approached by an attractive girl on Tinder (Alicia Vikander, the movie’s main actress) who asked them questions about love and being human, before revealing the stunt and breaking a few hearts.

An easy marketing method that’s free to employ – we like it.

What they did well: They picked the perfect platform – Tinder – as their main marketing hook.

What they could’ve done better: A lot of Ex-Machina’s marketing comes from word-of-mouth recommendations. Perhaps there should’ve been more adverts.

Street visibility: 2/10
Not many posters or signs at all.

TV presence: 3/10
I think I saw one trailer, in the cinema.

In the press: 7/10
Their rogue marketing trick got them into the mainstream press and everywhere else.

Interviews: 5/10
Both video press interviews and written press interviews.


Meg’s Marketing Magic score: 4/10

Mark Ritson: The innovative, brilliant marketing for Ex Machina deserves praise, not negativity


The breathtaking marketing for film Ex Machina ticks all the boxes for what great tactical work should achieve, which makes it all the more bewildering as to why the digital crowd has taken such a negative attitude towards it.

This article is worth reading.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Film piracy 2


Hypothetically, two movies come out on the same day: The Wolf of Wall Street and the new Transformers. You are allowed to see one in an IMAX theater and you will illegally download the other one online. Most people would choose Transformers over The Wolf of Wall Street due to the fact that there are robot dinosaurs and everyone else is going to see it in theaters. Those robot dinosaurs will look a lot cooler in a theater rather than on a laptop. Many people then realized how lacking the movie really was after walking out of their local theater’s showing of Transformers: Age of Extinction. Meanwhile, many of the same people went on to watch The Wolf of Wall Street online to realize that it was actually a really good movie. Most people don’t realize that this is at all a problem, and at first glance it’s not. However, after more in-depth research, the problem soon becomes apparent. Transformers: Age of Extinction only gained an 18% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (Transformers, Rotten Tomatoes), one of the most critical and most trusted film-review sites online. The Wolf of Wall Street, however, gained a 77% rating on the same site (Wolf of Wall Street, Rotten Tomatoes). It was also nominated for five different Academy Awards. The Wolf of Wall Street is clearly the better film. Yet, besides the fact that Transformers was clearly not a great film, it somehow managed to be named the highest grossing film worldwide of 2014 and earned over one billion dollars in the Box Office (2014 Worldwide Grosses). The Wolf of Wall Street went on to be the most pirated film of 2014 with over 30 million illegal downloads (Spangler, 1) and didn’t even gross $117 million, giving the producers and the studio under $17 million after the production cost, which is not a much of a profit at all for such a high-budget film.

Piracy has become more of a problem in the past decade than it ever has before, specifically movie piracy. In fact, a study from Columbia University came out recently that said at least 45% of US citizens pirate movies actively, but that number bumps up to 70% if you include the younger demographics as well (Mick, 2). This act of pirating is growing more and more common every year and most people do it mindlessly, not realizing what it costs. Everyone has seen the text at the beginning of movies saying “Piracy is not a victimless crime,” and this is completely true. Piracy is extremely harmful to the movie industry and its effects are larger than anyone could imagine.

But Where Do These Pirated Movies Come From?
There are many different ways that people pirate movies. One of the most classic ways people pirate is by “leaking” them. This involves a person going into a movie theater with a camera or a phone and recording the movie as it plays. It is usually a poor quality, but many people still download these recordings anyways instead of going to see it in a theater. This usually occurs when it is only in theater since that is the only version most people are able to see. Sometimes these leaks occur before the movie is even premiered, often because it is filmed during a special premier before the opening night. This is referred to as a pre-release, and they tend to result in a 19% decrease in how much the movie makes at the Box Office (Hart, 2). Many people defend pre-releases because it gives a movie more publicity so more people would want to see it, but the facts state otherwise. Leaking a movie that’s in the theaters always tends to decrease how much the movie makes regardless of when it is released and sometimes even leads to the movie not even making as much as there was put into it.

One of the other common ways for a movie to be pirated is for it to be digitally hacked. This one has become more common lately as technology improves. One of the most extreme and recent examples was the Sony hacking. Though some people will claim that Sony faked the hacking, evidence shows that they were legitimately hacked. During this hacking, many of Sony’s movies were released illegally online, such as Annie and Fury (Note: Annie had not even been released yet). A hacking involves someone digitally cracking into the studio or company’s computer system and taking the movie from their files. This logically would actually decrease a movie’s Box Office revenue by even more than someone’s recording of the movie would because it’s a better quality.

There are more ways to watch a pirated movie other than just downloading it online. In fact, some people tend to start their own pirating businesses. It’s very inexpensive and easy for a person to start one of these businesses. More recently, people only need to buy a bunch of blank DVD’s, the same amount of DVD cases and a computer that can burn a DVD. From there, they must find a source to get the pirated movies from. Sometimes they will personally film them in a theater, or find a hacked or leaked version online and download it. After that, all they need to do is download the stolen films onto their blank DVD’s and sell them to anyone who is willing to purchase it. Within a short amount of time, this person has made a great deal of money that should have gone to the movie studios.

What Kind of Effect Does it Have?
Most people would just say that pirating has a small effect on the industry and that the studios already have enough money. They believe watching a movie online isn’t going to hurt anyone. The Motion Picture Association of America looked into this belief and discovered that piracy costs around $20.5 billion annually in the United States alone (Plumer, 2). In fact, a study back in 2005 estimated that a 10% decrease in worldwide piracy, including both film and music, over the course of four years would add 1.5 million jobs, $64 billion in taxes and $400 billion in economic growth (Kai-Lung). That, however, was ten years ago and is outdated. Those numbers are likely to be much higher today due to inflation and an increase in popularity of the film industry. This means that the studios are making much smaller amounts of money than they should be making from their films due to piracy.

Quit Talking Numbers. How Does it Effect My Movie Experience?
The decrease in money from studios will often decrease the quality of other movies and even sequels, but more often it will decrease the quantity. A studio is much more likely to throw all of their money into the next big franchise sequel than give half of it to the franchise and the other half to a movie like Twelve Years a Slave simply because Twelve Years a Slave won’t sell as well in theaters as the franchise movie will. Movie studios and production companies don’t look at reviews and DVD sales nearly as much as they look at the Box Office Revenue, or how much it makes in the theater.
In many cases, piracy of a film will even damage the likeliness of a franchise sequel. For example, the Kick-Ass movies came to an end due to lack of funding from piracy. According to Chloë Grace Moretz who stars as “Hit-Girl” in the series, Kick-Ass 2 was one of the most pirated films of 2013 despite having an extremely low Box Office Revenue (Highfill). Because of this, the plans for the third movie in the series have been cancelled. Whether or not you like the Kick-Ass series, it is clear that piracy has become a serious problem and will only continue to damage the film industry.

What About New Movies That Aren't Franchises Yet?
It is not franchise movies that need to be worried about, though; it is the movies by the independent filmmakers. Due to the increase in film piracy, production companies and movie studios are now much less likely to loan money out to an independent filmmaker with an idea than they are to a team of writers and producers working on a Harry Potter spin-off. When people think of the term ‘independent filmmaker’, they think of a man in his 20’s with an Associates Degree in Theatre that wrote a screenplay in two weeks. Though these people are independent filmmakers, I refer to the higher kind of independent filmmakers that actually make Oscar nominated films, but take out enormous loans to do so. Now, due to piracy, no matter how many Oscars their movie is nominated for, many filmmakers are having to foreclose their houses or take out further loans from a bank to make up for the losses in the Box Office for their film due to piracy. It also means that the studios do not get their money back that they invested with and therefore stop funding films without promises of success like Birdman or The Theory of Everything, both of whom won Oscars this year.
Now Let's Think More Economically...
The loss of money affects more than just the filmmakers and studios, however. It helps the entire economy grow due to tax and job increase. Pirating less films will mean that the studios will get more money, which leads to more movies, which employs people like hairdressers, electricians, actors, costume designers and countless other occupations. This will add more jobs to the United States and will also add more tax money to help the country.

But Is It Really Stealing?
Many people argue that piracy is not illegal because they are not technically stealing anything. Though they are not physically taking away anything from anyone, they are stealing intellectual property. Just because you can’t hold a movie file in your hands does not mean that it is not someone’s property. Downloading a film online is the equivalent of stealing a movie from a movie store. It may not come in the same fancy case as a movie at the store, but it still carries the same contents. By pirating a film, you are stealing the money that should have been paid had you watched the movie legally. You do not have a right to watch whatever movies you want to watch without having to pay for them just as I do not have a right to walk into the local Dollar General and eat their candy bars without paying first. As much as people may argue it, film piracy is stealing. It is not your property, so it is not yours to take without paying for it first.

Going Back to my Original Example at the Beginning of All of This...
The Wolf of Wall Street was 2014’s most pirated movie with over 30 million piracies worldwide. Let’s do the math to see how much money piracy actually robbed this movie of had these people gone to see it in a theater instead. In 2014, the average price of a movie ticket in the United States was $8.17 (Linshi, 1). When a person goes to see a movie in the theater, the money spent on the ticket goes to two different places. It is split between the movie studio and the movie theater, with more going to the theater the longer the movie has been out (Campea). For the purposes of now, let’s average that overall the theater and the studio would each get 50% of the ticket price. Now for the part with the actual math. If each illegal download of The Wolf of Wall Street, which more specifically evens out to around 30,035,000 downloads (Spangler, 1) equals one movie ticket that costs $8.17, and the movie studio only gets half of the amount from each movie ticket, that results in about $122,692,975 that was robbed from Paramount Pictures for just that one movie. That amount stolen was more than the movie actually made in the Box Office, and that is assuming that only one person watched each illegal download. Several of those downloads were most likely copied onto multiple different blank DVD’s and given out to others to watch illegally. That is even more money that was robbed from The Wolf of Wall Street. In the Box Office, the movie barely broke even out of how much they spent making the film. These numbers would have helped the studio, the filmmakers and the crew a lot more in order to make even more Oscar nominated movies. Unfortunately, these thirty million people seemed to overlook that.

Now the Real Question: How Do We Stop Piracy?
It all starts at home, just like it takes a spark to start a fire. Many people argue that “everyone is watching movies illegally online, so why is it different if I do it?” Well the same argument could again go for people that steal candy bars from a store. It may cost more than you like and others may do it, but it is not your property to steal. Like voting, if just one person takes a stand against piracy it will make a difference. Simply quit pirating movies or watching them online. There are many different excuses people use about watching movies online illegally, but it does not override the fact that it is illegal. Even streaming movies online is illegal if it is not authorized by the studio that made the film. If you aren’t willing to pay to watch the film, you aren’t allowed to watch it. This is the way the industry works.

What Can The Theaters Do?
A way for movie theaters to prevent piracy is to change their types of projectors. In the past, the government came up with a way to prevent the filming of a movie in the theaters. They did this by projecting an infrared spectrum over the projected film. This infrared image was not visible to the audience, but it would make the video on the camera someone brought into film the movie into a very low quality that would make the video almost unbearable to watch. Since then technology has improved to attempt to improve the quality of the filmed video regardless of the infrared. Though this has worked to an extent, film pirates have not yet fully recovered from the addition of the infrared. Only more research will be able to help improve the projectors so that this does not happen anymore.

What Happens if Someone gets Caught?!
When it all comes down to it, one of the major reasons you should avoid pirating movies is that its an enormous risk. Since it is illegal, there are certainly punishments for those that choose to break this law. These punishments are severe. For example, if a person is convicted of a misdemeanor in piracy, as in they only downloaded or uploaded a small amount of movies without the owner’s consent, the person would be punished with up to a year of prison time and would have a fine of up to $100,000, depending on the extent of the piracy. That, however, is just for a small offense. For someone that downloads or uploads movies illegally without the owner’s consent in large amounts will be charged with a felony. The punishment of this crime is up to 5 years of imprisonment and up to $250,000 in fines. The fine, though, can be more. In some cases, the fine is set as double what the person gained for pirating the films if they made money off of it, or it set as double the amount of money the person cost the studios he or she stole from (AlanS). In any of these cases, it is clear that movie piracy is not worth the risk.

Piracy is Clearly an Enormous Threat
Filmmakers are in danger of losing their jobs and the movie theaters are in danger of only showing films like Transformers sequels and Terminator reboots. Helping the film industry does not just entail not illegally watching a movie, it also entails going to see those movies in a theater to reverse the mistakes made by those who don’t realize the consequences. Some of the greatest films do not get the proper credibility in the theaters because people are too distracted by other films or because people would think it’s smarter to illegally watch it on their computer than paying to see it in a theater. As stated earlier, this has many more consequences than these people would think, such as taking away jobs, taking over $20.5 billion from the US film industry and decreasing both the quantity and quality of the very movies they are downloading. In addition, is it really worth spending five years of your life in prison just because you didn’t want to pay to watch a movie? It’s time to stop pirating and to stop making excuses for watching a movie illegally online. Film is a form of art. People use it to tell their stories.

LINK to original source

Written by Trevor Norkey

Film piracy


The movie industry excels in selling dreams. But since the dawn of the digital revolution, there is one narrative they've consistently and conspicuously failed to sell: that piracy is theft and consumers who indulge ought to feel guilty about it. Recent research by Ipsos suggests that almost 30% of the UK population is active in some form of piracy, either through streaming content online or buying counterfeit DVDs. Such theft costs the UK audiovisual industries about £500m a year.

LINK to rest of article

Monday, 14 November 2016

Marketing Star Wars

Find as many examples as you can from different media that were used to market Star Wars: The Force Awakens - add still images and video clips to your blog. Include: 

  • Websites
  • Facebook 
  • Twitter
  • Trailers
  • Posters
  • Chat shows and other TV interviews
  • Product tie-ins
  • Toys
  • Any other areas you can think of

Work in groups to make this easier. This should take one lesson.











Disney as a conglomerate

Disney is a conglomerate

media conglomeratemedia group or media institution is a company that owns large numbers of companies in various mass media such as television, radio, publishing, movies, and the Internet. Media conglomerates strive for policies that facilitate their control of the markets across the globe.

Disney owns
  • Walt Disney Studios
  • Buena Vista Home Entertainment
  • Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group:
  • Touchstone Pictures
  • Pixar Animation Studios
  • Lucasfilm
  • ESPN
  • ABC Entertainment Group
  • Marvel Entertainment
  • Disney Music Group

The media industry is dominated by 'The Big Six'



Just how dominant are 'The Big Six' studios?


How many independent films can you spot?


Why might conglomerates be seen as a negative?

Global conglomerates can at times have a progressive impact on culture, especially when they enter nations that had been tightly controlled by corrupt crony media systems (as in much of Latin America) or nations that had significant state censorship over media (as in parts of Asia). The global commercial-media system is radical in that it will respect no tradition or custom, on balance, if it stands in the way of profits. But ultimately it is politically conservative, because the media giants are significant beneficiaries of the current social structure around the world, and any upheaval in property or social relations—particularly to the extent that it reduces the power of business—is not in their interest.— 

Robert W. McChesney, The New Global Media; It’s a Small World of Big Conglomerates, The Nation Magazine, November 29, 1999