Friday, 6 May 2016

UK and US marketing differences

Mad Max:

UK Trailer

US Trailer

The music is very different in both trailers. The Mad max trailer had much more aggressive music which builds up a lot more tension. 
A bigger plot is shown in the US trailer, allowing viewers to know what the film is about. 
There is a lot more narrative in the US trailer which would indicate what the characters are like. 

 UK poster
US poster

The UK poster gives a lot more information about the production and distribution of the film. More actors are also shown.
A closer image of the characters has been used for the US poster. This would draw more attention to them. 
The UK poster has a lot more mise-en-scene in the background. This makes the poster more exciting as more its going on.

Star Wars:

UK Trailer 

US Trailer

1. US have more dramatic music where as the UK trailer begins with silence and a 'humorous' moment. The UK trailer focuses more on the Star Wars soundtrack than other exciting music to build suspense. 
2.  There is more action involved in the US trailer which makes it more exciting and captivating (could create a bigger audience). The UK trailer makes the plot of the trailer more tame suggesting that the film needs to be watched to reveal the story line unlike US trailers. 
3. The US trailer includes more narrative to reveal more about the characters and the plot unlike the UK trailer that tend to keep the narrative to a minimum only including what is necessary.  

UK Poster

US Poster

On the UK poster the date is different to the US poster to apply to the difference release dates. 

Ex Machina:

UK Trailer

US Trailer

The UK trailer uses music by DJ Shadow and doesn't expose too much of the story.
The US trailer seems more intense and makes the film seem more action-like.
Both trailers hint that Ava will overcome her creator, but the UK one leaves more question surrounding it.

UK Poster

US Poster

The Ex Machina posters are quite similar, except the shot distance and background colour.

The US poster exposes more of Ava's body, displaying clearly that she is not human, also there is a tag question on the poster which gives an inkling to the film whereas the UK poster doesn't.

Release dates:
Mad Max:
Teaser trailer: 27th July 2014
TV Spot: 29th March 2015
Main trailer: Mar 31, 2015

Ex Machina: 
Teaser Trailer: 30TH OCT 2014
First TV Spot: APRIL 10TH 2015 (US)
Official Trailer: 31ST OCT 2015

Mad Max:
F-1 cars

Ex machina: 
1) Ava's Tinder and Instagram account
2) SXSW Exposure
3) DNA films, Film4 and Universal Pictures contributing to the films production and distribution
4) Ex Machina twitter page @ExMachinaMovie 

Friday, 22 April 2016

Digital Distribution: 25 questions

1. Why does Steve McQueen think digital is replacing film? Someone is making money out of it as technology is changing all of the time. Digital is faster and less time consuming. 
2. Which studio was first to announce that it would no longer make films using 'film'? Paramount Pictures.

3. What was the last 'film' to be shipped on 'film'? Anchorman 2: the Legend Continues.

4. What proportion of US cinemas have made the switch from 35mm to digital? Nine out of ten US movie screens have now made the switch from 35mm film to digital. 

5. What was the first 'major' film to be distributed in digital format only? The Wolf of Wall Street (December 2013).

6. What is the average cost of a digital projector? $60,000 and $150,000 each.

7. Why has the switch to digital meant that small independent cinemas have struggled? Many art-house theaters cannot afford to buy digital projectors and will therefore struggle for ticket sales as people are more likely to visit bigger, equip cinemas. Also they rely on rich benefactors.

8. Which major Hollywood director has attempted to make a stand for digital film? Christopher Nolan.

9. How much did the US box office make in 2014? $11 billion. 

10. How much did the home entertainment market (DVD, BluRay, Download etc) make in 2014? $18 billion.

11. What was the increase in home entertainment revenue due to? This was largely down to a 50 per cent increase in downloads of digital HD formats, which surpassed $1bn for the first time. Also streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have a huge impact. Netflix alone is expected to pay some $5bn for access to movies. 

12. What was the first film to be shot entirely on digital? Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones.

13. What would have been the cost of shooting that film on digital? The producers 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.

14. How much does it cost to produce and ship a film to a US cinema? $1500

15. What is the distribution benefit of digital? A film can be screen simultaneously on thousands of screens acrodd the planet

16. What happened to 'film' prints of Titanic? Prints fell apart in the projector

17. What has happened to the number of films made by Hollywood between 2006-2013? Number of films made by Hollywood fell by 40%
18.Why, according to Jan-Christoph Horak, is digital NOT immortal? The problem, in a nutshell, is that there is no such thing as a digital preservation medium,” he explains. “There is no physical carrier on which you can put digital information that will last anywhere near as long as the analogue alternative.”
19. Why is advancing technology also a problem for digital storage? The perishability of the physical equipment and every 18 months or so, a new file format comes along to displace its predecessors. 

20. How much, according to Jan-Christoph Horak, could transferring one form of digital to another cost the film industry? $10,000-$20,000 

21. How much did the camera used on The Avengers cost? £900

22. Apart from cost, what other benefits does digital offer to film makers? Digital cameras can breed indiscipline on a film set

23. How much has technicolour invested in digital post production? The company has invested more than $200m in digital post-production and visual effects facilities, including nine digital scanners that cost more than $1m each and are part of Technicolor’s “digital intermediate” process. 

24. What is a DCP? Digital Cinema Package.

25. What is the Electric Dusk drive-in? It shows films on DVD

Positive impacts of digital distribution:
From the research that I have done, I have came to the conclusion that there are positive impacts of digital disdribution. Firstly, it is cheaper to use digital tape rather than film. The producers estimate that they spent $16,000 on 220 hours of digital tape.  Also digital cameras can breed indiscipline on a film set. 

Negative impacts of digital distribution: 
There are also some negative impacts of digital distribution. To begin with, digital projectors cost a lot of money- between $60,000-$150,000 each. Independent cinemas couldn't afford this which would mean that they wouldn't get as many sales as people would go to the bigger cinemas. Titanic's prints also fell apart in the projector which is a big negative. 

Digital Distribution Essay

To what extent does digital distribution affect the marketing and consumption of media products in the area of media you have studied? 

Digital distribution involves a media product (film) being distributed in a way in which digital technology is used to exhibit that film. Technology has developed massively in the past years which has changed how institutions choose to distribute their films. The advance in digital technology has had an affect on how organisations are marketing their films. Consumption of Video-On-Demand (VOD), DVD and Blu-Ray has became increasingly popular which has meant that organisations have had to market on a bigger scale so that there are more sales made.

Mad Max:Fury Road is the fourth film in the Mad Max franchise. Fury Road is a perfect example of a film which decided to spend a lot of money on their marketing. They spent $7.5 million on 957 national airings across 42 networks. This would allow a wide spread of different people to be introduced to the film, meaning that a larger spread of people would be targeted. The trailer of the film was attached to Fast and Furious 7 and Avenger: Age of Ultron a month before its release date. Both films are action films which again would target a wide group of people. This is because action is the most popular genre of film and makes the most money at the box office. By having the Fury Road trailer shown to people watching action films, the correct audience would be being targeted due to Mad Max also being an action film.  They also turned F-1 cars into Mad Max cars as another way to market the film. This would target a different group of individuals- the car enthusiasts. By doing this, they would attract more potential viewers of the film, which would increase in the number of sales and money made 

Due to the marketing techniques which Mad Max: Fury Road used, a very large audience was reached. Mad Max is not a four quadrant film, however it is a mainstream film. This meaning that a wide audience already would be targeted due to most people wanting to watch mainstream action films. During the filming of the Fury Road, George Miller (the director) chose to create most of the stunts without using CGI. This made the film much bigger and more exciting to watch. Producers want to make films bigger so that people want to watch it in the cinema or buy a media product. However, Mad Max still became the most pirated film in the summer of 2015 and had 1.75 million downloads. The film also had 22.90 shares on torrent networks which demonstrated that Miller's idea to make the film bigger didn't result in less people illegally watching the film. When the film was exhibited in cinemas, it was shown in both 2D and 3D, due to the conversion to 3D during the post-production stage. Due to it being exhibited in both 2D and 3D, the audience had a choice as to how they wanted to watch the film. This would increase the number of sales due to the option which viewers had. Fury Road had a summer release which would increase the number of sales again, this being because summer is the peak time when most people go to the cinema. Overall, the marketing which Mad Max did allowed a wide spread of their target audience to be reached. This meant that the film made $374 million at the box office and it generated 48% in the second week of sales. 

Ex Machina used the technique of viral marketing which allowed them to reach a wider audience. They chose to use cheaper ways to market the film compared to Mad Max. They challenged institutional practices by marketing in un-traditional ways. They created Ava a Tinder account where other uses could interact and talk to Ava. This would attract Tinder users to watch the film as they would be intrigued after 'talking' to Ava. They also use the social media site Instagram to help market the film. Instagram is one of the most popular social media sites used, meaning that a lot of people would be targeted, creating a bigger profile for the film. The SXSW festival was one of the films main ways of marketing. They premiered the film at the festival and did a lot of promoting there. This was very clever as Ex Machina's target audience (film buffs) were at the festival. This meaning that their target audience would be targeted. Film 4 and DNA Films created a synergy which allowed them to create a bigger profile for Ex Machina by marketing in ways that they wouldn't have been able to without the other institute. This synergy allowed more people to be reached which is important because the film is a thoughtful Sci-Fi film, not a mainstream. This meaning that specific group of people needed to be targeted. 

Ex Machina was firstly released in 4 screens which then increased to 1200 and then went to 2000 in the US. This generated a good word of mouth and allowed people to recommend the film to others. It was released on the 12th January and piggy backed the Avengers. This was clever as most people go to the cinema twice in a row. Meaning that people would see Ex Machina after seeing the Avengers. Ex Machina's budget was only $15 million, meaning that it was far from being a blockbuster. Considering this, the film did well at the box office as it took over $38 million. Ex Machina is an Independent British film which usually means that the film wouldn't do too well outside of the UK. However, Ex Machina did. This demonstrates that the marketing worked very well and attracted the correct audience. The film was later released on DVD and Blu-Ray which also would mean that more sales are generated as you have the choice to watch the film at your own home. 

To conclude, I agree with the statement and think that digital distribution does affect the marketing and consumption of media products. Digital distribution changes how film have to be marketed. Films have to be marketed on a bigger scale in clever ways which would target a specific audience. 

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Festive 50- Star Wars work

Pre-Production and the Big Six
1. How much did Disney pay to acquire the rights to Star Wars from Lucas Film?
2. Which other major studios/franchises did Disney acquire in 2006 and 2009 respectively?
Pixar studios for $7.4bn in 2006 and Marvel comics for $4.2bn in 2009.
3. Why did Josh Dickey believe Disney was a good fit for Star Wars?
It would update it.
4. When did the UK introduce generous tax relief for the film indiustry?
5. How much has Disney earned in tax rebates since 2007?
6. How many people were employed at Pinewood studios when working on Star Wars The Force Awakens?
130 staff members.
7. What is Matthew Vaughan's criticism of the UK's tax arrangement (include the full quotation)?
“I think it’s crazy that we subsidise British movies with tax breaks but we don’t get any of that money back. We’re subsidising Hollywood. We’re service providers. We’re not an industry.”
8. How much was Harrison Ford paid to reprise his role as Han Solo?
As high as $20 million to reprise his role of Han Solo.
9. How much money must the film make before its stars earn 'back end bonuses'? (A back end bonus is when an actor agrees to take a lower fee for staring in a film in return for a share of any profit a film makes over an agreed figure.)

Distribution and Marketing
10. How much did The Force Awakens take globally on its opening weekend?
$529m globally.
11. Which 5 major companies have signed tie in deals with the film?

Pepsi, Burger King, M&MS/Mars, Hasbro and Kelloggs.
12. How was the White House linked with the film?

White House news conferences have been attended by stromtroopers and the President got a White House screening.
13. The article states "only finite resources for a movie like The Force Awakens are screens and seats: you cannot force four buttocks into one movie seat." What solution have cinemas dreamt up to cope with this problem?

Exponentially increasing the number of available screenings.
14. How many screens are being used for saturation play (placing a film on virtually every screen in a cinema)? 
2,500 screens in the UK and Ireland, at 670 cinemas. 
15. What is the % rise in box office takings thanks to Star Wars?
512% rise

16. How is the box office split between 2D, 3D and IMAX?
54% of box office in 2D, 36% in 3D and 10% in IMAX.
17. How many mentions has the film had on Weibo?
More than 700,000 mentions.
18. When does the film open in China?
9th January 2016.
19. How was the film promoted to China in October 2015? 
In October, the studio flew in an army of 500 stormtroopers to line up on the Great Wall of China as giant billboards flashed with the message “The Force Awakens” in Chinese and fans waved red and blue lightsabers. 
20. What other marketing strategy has been used?
The studio hired pop star Lu Han to introduce trailers, with the singer’s band EXO contributing the singleLightsaber.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Jan 2010 question plan


January 2010 

“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? 



DOMINATED - have power and influence over - aka choose what we watch, choose what 'types' of films are made, choose how we watch films (3D, 2D, IMAX, DIGITAL, DOWNLOAD, CINEMA, STREAMING)

AGREE Global box office stats - genre which dominates box office - country which dominates box office - format which dominates cinema - franchise(s) which dominate 
DISAGREE 'British film industry' - what qualifies as 'British' - Influence of 'British' culture on global cinema - British 'service' industry - British 'stars'

Friday, 11 December 2015

Distribution- What is it?

What part of the supply chain is distribution?
The 3rd part of the supple chain is distribution.
What is distribution often referred to as?

Distribution is referred to as 'The invisible art'.
What does 'vertical integration' mean when discussing distribution?

This is where the three stages are seen as part of the same larger process, under the control of the same company. 
Why isn't 'vertical integration' so common in the independent sector?

Producers tend not to have long-term economic links with distributors, who likewise have no formal connections with exhibitors.
What three stages are involved in the independent sector?

The three stages involved are- licensing, marketing and logistics. 

What is licencing?
This is the process by which a distributor gets the legal right to exploit a film.
What are the two levels of licencing?

International distribution and 'local' distribution are the two levels. 
What is the advantage of being a major US studio?

They often have their own distribution offices in all the major territories.
What three different types of rights can you acquire on a local level? 

Theatrical rights, for showing the film in cinemas; video rights, for video and DVD exploitation; and TV rights, if the distributor is able to sell the film to a broadcaster.
What are royalties?

A fee taken from the profit the film generates. 
What is the most effective way to increase interest in a film?

A theatrical opening is seen as the most effective way to create interest in a new film.
How long does it take for a film to reach 'free to air' TV?

Two years after opening in cinemas. 

What are the two key questions surrounding the marketing of a film?
The two key questions are 'when?' and 'how?'
What day are films typically released on?

They are typically released on Fridays. 
What will a distributor look at before releasing a film on a Friday?

The schedule for forthcoming releases.
What is a 'light' week in terms of distribution?

A 'light' week will ensure that there will be both screen space and adequate review column inches in the press allocated to any potential release.
What does it mean to 'position' a film distinctively?

The distributor will avoid a release date occupied by other films with similar traits.
Why has this become increasingly difficult in the UK?

The release schedule has regularly featured over 10 new releases in a week.
What are P&A?

P&A are Prints and Advertising. 
How much can P&A cost?

They can cost from less than £1,000 to over £1 million.

Typically how many prints will a 'specialised' film have?
Fewer than ten prints into key independent cinemas. 
How many will mainstream films have?

Often over 200 prints. 
What is a key factor in developing the profile of a film?

Favourable press response is a key factor. 
How else can awareness of a film be raised?

Advertising in magazines, national and local newspapers works in tandem with press editorial coverage to raise awareness of a release.
Why is distribution in the UK seen as risky?

It's seen as risky becuase the cost of print advertising is a lot higher.
Why are companies looking towards viral marketing?

They are looking forward to it because it will mean different forms of electronic word-of-mouth via the internet, email and mobile phones.
What are the benefits of a 'talent visit'

It wins significant editorial coverage to support a release.

In the pre digital film age what was a distributor responsible for?
To arrange transport of a film to the cinema. 
How much does a 35mm print typically cost?
It can cost around £1000.
How many reals is a typical feature print?
5-6 reals. 
Why do 35mm prints get damaged?
They get damaged as they pass through different projectors, and the hands of various projectionists. 
Where are prints stored?
The UK's central print warehouse in West London.
How long did a theatrical release used to last?
Usually it would last up to 6 months. 

When did digital distribution begin in the UK?
Towards the end of 2005. 
Name two advantages of digital distribution

It is seen as more cost effective and logistics-light alternative to be tried and trusted. 
Which countries adopted digital distribution early and why?

China and Brazil because conventional logistics cannot, for one reason or another, efficiently bring together supply and demand.
How many screens were digital in 2005 and how many are now (you'll need to google this)

There were 211 in 2005 and 90% are digital now. 
Why has digital distribution radically altered the operating model of distributors?

The comparatively low cost of film copies and additional logistical effectiveness of digital distribution provide the distributor with greater flexibility.
What has happened to the typical release period for a film?

It dramatically reduce the overall theatrical period from 3-6 months to perhaps 1-3 months. 
What is a loss leader (google it) and why are companies using the Cinema as a potential loss leader?

Loss leader is a product sold at a loss to attract customers. Companies use the cinema for this, because in the long run they would get more money.