Monday, 24 October 2016

Ex_Machina Research


Ex_Machina (2015) Directed by Alex Garland

Research the following areas:
  • producer
  • director
  • distributor
  • cast
  • budget
  • locations
  • technology
  • number of screen - opening weekend
  • number of screens - peak number
  • box office figures
Apply each of the seven areas from the specification to each film.
  1. the issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice;
  2. the importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and marketing;
  3. the technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, distribution, marketing and exchange;
  4. the significance of proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences;
  5. the importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences;
  6. the issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically, British) by international or global institutions;
  7. the ways in which the candidates’ own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour
This work will also be on SMHW.

Ex_Machina (2015) Trailer

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Essay 1 - Deadlines


The essay 1 deadlines are as follows for each class:

12V Monday 24th October period 4

12Y Wednesday 26th October Period 4

12Z Tuesday 25th October period 1

Missed deadline = Afterschool detention on Thursday 3rd November

Digital Vs Film


In 2002, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones became the first major movie to be shot entirely on digital video, even though, back then, it had to be transferred on to 35mm film for most cinemas to show it. The producers of Attack of the Clones estimate that they spent $16,000 on 220 hours of digital tape. If they had used the same amount of film, it would have cost them $1.8m.

Yet the real opportunity to axe costs digitally comes long after the final scene is shot. To produce and ship a 35mm print to an American cinema costs about $1,500. Multiply that by, say, 5,000 prints for a big movie and it comes to $7.5m. Digital formats can do the same job for 90 per cent less.

Overlaid on this is the growing importance of global box-office receipts. Digital distribution makes it feasible to launch a movie simultaneously on tens of thousands of screens across the planet, from Cartagena to Kolkata – and, while you’re at it, on platforms such as iTunes and on aeroplanes.


Moreover, no matter how carefully it is handled, every time a 35mm film print is run through a projector, it will degrade, collecting blemishes – scratches, tears, worn edges – that affect the viewing quality. Titanic reportedly played for so long in theatres that some prints fell apart in the projectors. In this sense, film is indeed mortal, perishable, fragile – human. This analogy would make digital “immortal”. You show a digital copy of a film once or a thousand times and the quality remains undiminished while the studios’ bottom lines grow.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens was distributed digitally


One of the biggest benefits of the digital format is the ease and lower cost of distribution. Sending around an encrypted hard drive is a lot easier than transporting and setting up multiple reels of film.
And there's also the fact that many film projectors have been replaced with digital counterparts. So with Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens being shot on 35mm and 65mm film, where are we going to be able to see it?
For the most part, screenings of The Force Awakens will be a digital transfer anyway – even in IMAX theatres. Despite it being hailed as the #bestformatever, only 1% of the theatres in North America will be showing the full IMAX experience and only a reported 15 theatres in the world will have the 70mm IMAX format.

Every other IMAX cinema will be showing the Digital IMAX version, which is barely any larger than standard cinematic widescreen.

Essay 1 - question and mark scheme

ESSAY QUESTION:

“Successful media products depend as much upon marketing and distribution to a specific audience as they do upon good production practices”.

To what extent would you agree with this statement, within the media area you have studied?


Areas you may wish to cover:
  • Production practices which allow texts to be distributed and marketed for specific audiences
  • The distribution and marketing of specific products or types of products
  • How audiences engage with distribution and marketing strategies
  • Audience strategies in facilitating or challenging institutional practices
  • Arguments for, or against, an institution’s success or failure
  • Explanation of synergy, cross media or digital initiatives and how these practices target specific audiences 
50 marks
20 marks Evidence, Analysis, Argument 
20 marks Examples
10 marks Terminology

Click here for the mark scheme.

Vertical and Horizontal Integration


Vertical Integration
This is when the production company has the ownership of the means of production, distribution and exhibition of the film by the same company, because of this they receive all of the profit.

Horizontal Integration
This is where a production company expands into other areas of one industry. This means that the company can develop in a particular area of production or they can buy out another company that deals with these areas.

Synergy
Synergy is the promotion and sale of a product within films, examples of this would be soundtracks, phones and laptops etc.
There are many advantages to using synergy in films, it can increase the profit made on the film, it enhances the companies image and it can influence public opinion.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Digital Distribution


Click on the image to access an article on digital distribution.

How Are Digital Movies Distributed And Screened?


Click on the image for answers to the question in the title.

Four Quadrant Picture



A Four Quadrant Picture is a marketing term used to describe a film targeted to all audience quadrants: men over 25, men under 25, women over 25, women under 25.

Usage
In the movie business, and it is most definitely a business, everyone is looking to maximize the audience for their picture. A four-quadrant picture is that magical type of film that attracts parents and kids, men and women, and brings in huge amounts of revenue on opening weekend. In the term “four-quadrant,” the quadrants refer to gender (male and female) and age (under 25 and over 25).
For most studios, the goal is to get enough details to line up so that they have broad-based, family-friendly appeal in designing a blockbuster or four-quadrant film. An important aspect of getting that appeal is the ratings system. An 18 Rating can be the kiss of death for a studio trying to market a film featuring pre-teen characters. A lowering from PG-13 to PG can mean millions more in revenue as parents feel more comfortable bringing young children to a given film like Evan Almighty.

Examples
One of the most famous four-quadrant, blockbuster films is Star Wars and all of its sequels. Jaws is another landmark blockbuster film. Other more current examples include Night at the Museum, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Shrek (1-3), Spiderman (1-3), Pirates of the Caribbean (1-3), andWall-E.

Implications
Another interesting by-product of the rise of four-quadrant films in the industry is cross marketing. Those films often are associated with toys and other products that both advertise the film and bring in revenue on their own. In addition, four-quadrant films are powerful vehicles for product placement advertisers looking to show their wares to the largest audience possible.
On the down side, many wonder how much effort is placed on credible, engaging story lines as opposed to marketing opportunities in these behemoth cinematic endeavors.

12/12A - Explanation from the BBFC



Films classified 12A and video works classified 12 contain material that is not generally suitable for children aged under 12. No one younger than 12 may see a 12A film in a cinema unless accompanied by an adult. Adults planning to take a child under 12 to view a 12A film should consider whether the film is suitable for that child. To help them decide, we recommend that they check the BBFCinsight for that film in advance. No one younger than 12 may rent or buy a 12 rated video work.

Discrimination
Discriminatory language or behaviour must not be endorsed by the work as a whole. Aggressive discriminatory language or behaviour is unlikely to be acceptable unless clearly condemned.

Drugs
Misuse of drugs must be infrequent and should not be glamorised or give instructional detail.

Imitable behaviour
No promotion of potentially dangerous behaviour which children are likely to copy. No glamorisation of realistic or easily accessible weapons such as knives. No endorsement of anti-social behaviour.

Language
There may be moderate language. Strong language may be permitted, depending on the manner in which it is used, who is using the language, its frequency within the work as a whole and any special contextual justification.

Nudity
There may be nudity, but in a sexual context it must be brief and discreet.

Sex
Sexual activity may be briefly and discreetly portrayed. Moderate sex references are permitted, but frequent crude references are unlikely to be acceptable.

Threat
There may be moderate physical and psychological threat and horror sequences. Although some scenes may be disturbing, the overall tone should not be. Horror sequences should not be frequent or sustained.

Violence

There may be moderate violence but it should not dwell on detail. There should be no emphasis on injuries or blood, but occasional gory moments may be permitted if justified by the context. Sexual violence may only be implied or briefly and discreetly indicated, and its depiction must be justified by context.

“Successful media products depend as much upon marketing and distribution to a specific audience as they do upon good production practices”.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens - The seven key areas


In pairs, apply your research of Star Wars: The Force Awakens to the seven key areas from the specification. Make sure you provide clear examples linking the areas to the film. Add images, graphs, figures to illustrate your points.

The Seven Areas:
  1. the issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice;
  2. the importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and marketing; 
  3. the technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, distribution, marketing and exchange; 
  4. the significance of proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences; 
  5. the importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences; 
  6. the issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically, British) by international or global institutions; 
  7. the ways in which the candidates’ own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour. 
The Seven Areas (Translations):
  • 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?) Which companies made Star Wars: The Force Awakens? How did this impact on the type of film that was made? 
  • 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?) Who publicised and distributed the film? How did these companies work together? What roles did they undertake?
  • 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, Blue Ray, internet streaming, downloadable content, home cinema influenced the types of films made, the way we watch them and the way we 'buy' them?) Research the types of technology utilised during these stages of the film production process of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
  • 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, consoles etc? How have audiences changed their viewing habits now we no longer need to go to the cinema to watch a film) Link this area to Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
  • 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?)  Consider, amongst other things, the many ways that the film was marketed.
  • 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?) How was the film marketed in the USA, Europe and the rest of the world (particular focus here on China).
  • 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?) Link this area to the film. Find figures for audience consumption on the different platforms for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.