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Film Industry (Full Institutions and Audiences- Production, Distribution, Exhibition )
Transcript of Film Industry (Full Institutions and Audiences- Production, Distribution, Exhibition )
The "big SIX"
Independent film companies
The film industry comprises the technological and commercial institutions of filmmaking, i.e., film production companies, film studios, cinematography, film production, screenwriting, pre-production, post production, film festivals, distribution; and actors, film directors and other film crew personnel.
What would you expect from a film
if you saw one of these logos?
Consider stars, locations, genre, action, etc.
Would you expect anything different
from a film if you saw one of these logos?
Part of massive media conglomerates
Big blockbusters, high concept films, mass marketed films - to appeal to mass audiences
Business is to make money
These are not part of the major studios or conglomerates.
Indie can sometimes mean art film or non mass marketed film.
The companies would rather tell a story than make money.
If an independent company become successful it’s likely that it will be taken over by a major studio or conglomerate.
Film production steps
Film Production Companies/Studios
Who the industry serves
A film studios target audience varies by movie.
Depending on the rating and the genre, they may seek to attract different people.
G Rated , PG Rated, PG-13 Rated, R Rated, NC-17 Rated
Action, Drama, Comedy, Romance, Thriller, Family, Adventure, Fantasy, War, Sci-Fi, Sports, Animation, Horror, Silent, Crime, Musical, Documentary, Western, Religious, Historical, Mystery, Gangster, Childrens, Animated etc.
200 most important directors of all time:
Here's the path a film usually takes to get to your local theater:
1. Someone has an idea for a movie.
2. They create an outline and use it to promote interest in the idea.
3. A studio or independent investor decides to purchase rights to the film.
4. People are brought together to make the film (screenwriter, producer, director, cast, crew).
5. The film is completed and sent to the studio.
6. The studio makes a licensing agreement with a distribution company.
7. The distribution company determines how many copies (prints) of the film to make.
8. The distribution company shows the movie (screening) to prospective buyers representing the theaters.
9. The buyers negotiate with the distribution company on which movies they wish to lease and the terms of the lease agreement.
10. The prints are sent to the theaters a few days before the opening day.
11. The theater shows the movie for a specified number of weeks (engagement).
12. You buy a ticket and watch the movie.
At the end of the engagement, the theater sends the print back to the distribution company and makes payment on the lease agreement.
Film Distribution Companies
The production company may be directly responsible for fundraising for the production or may accomplish this through a parent company, partner, or private investor. It handles budgeting, scheduling, scripting, the supply with talent and resources, the organization of staff, the production itself, post-production, distribution, and marketing. Production companies are often either owned or under contract with a media conglomerate, film studio, entertainment company, or Motion Picture Company, who act as the production company's partner or parent company. This has become known as the "studio system". They can also be mainstream independent (see Lucasfilms) or completely independent (see Lionsgate). In the case of TV, a TV production company would serve under a television network. Production companies can work together in co-productions.
Is the process of launching a film into the market place and sustaining public interest in the film.
A film distributor is an independent company, a subsidiary company or occasionally an individual, which acts as the final agent between a film production company and a film exhibitor, to secure the placement of the producer's film on the exhibitor's screen.
World-wide distribution is dominated by US Companies such as Paramount, Warner, and Universal.
Distributors may be involved in a film in any or all of the following three ways:
It may invest in the film’s production.
The distributor might buy the rights to the film once it is made.
If the distributor is part of a larger organisation that has made the film, then it will automatically distribute films made by the parent company.
Key elements in Film Distribution
Involves how and when the film should be released. Elements to be considered are the time of year, other film releases and the target audience.
how many copies of the film should be circulated to cinemas.
Each print costs around $2000.
The distributor should decide whether the film requires a ‘saturation release’ (700-1000 prints) or an ‘art-house release’ (around 20 prints)
Timing is crucial. School holidays are a prime time within the year for the release of blockbusters.
If the film is a potential award winner, then it will be released during the traditional season of awards competition: January to March.
Competition must also be considered.
Can often cost as much as making the film!!!
Main aim is to create a ‘must see’ feeling about the film.
Word-of-mouth is a powerful marketing aid for a film.
A media conglomerate, media 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 around the world.
According to the 2013 Fortune 500 list,
The Walt Disney Company is America's largest media conglomerate in terms of revenue
Time Warner, CBS Corporation
completing the top five.
Other major players are Comcast's
Sony Corporation of America
“I have a desire to tell stories. And I’m never quite satisfied.”
“Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision, and change the way we see things. They take us to other places, they open doors and minds. Movies are the memories of our lifetime, we need to keep them alive.”
“Basically, you make another movie, and another, and hopefully you feel good about every picture you make. And you say, ‘My name is on that. I did that. It’s OK.’ But don’t get me wrong, I still get excited by it all.
That, I hope, will never disappear.”
American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and film historian. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest directors of all time.
Mean Streets (1973), Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990) and Casino (1995)
What do you think?
Marketing Key Features
The Simpsons movie
They have made 3178 films
Film Company Case Study
One of the biggest media moguls in the world
Australian born now US citizen
Started by buying newspapers in UK
He owns Sky tv and myspace
Owns The Sun and The Times
Uses his media empire for cross-promotion
The Current Owner : Rupert Murdoch
Law forced the company to sell cinemas
No more guaranteed block booking
TV replacing cinema as most popular entertainment
The Post War Decline
William Fox lost most of his money and ended up in jail
Merger was the only solution
1935 merger / take over by 20th Century company
The new company called 20th Century-Fox
The Wall Street Crash
Set up a West Coast studio in 1917
Early success with the cartoon Gertie the Dinosaur
The move to Hollywood
Started in 1915 by William Fox
He was born Vilmos Fried in Hungary
He was a poor child immigrant to New York
He worked from the age of 8
Started his first nickelodeon at 24
The Fox Film Company
1965 The Sound of Music
Classic Film Success
Daryl F Zanuck ran the studios
Studio specialised in musicals and biopics
Their biggest stars on contract were:
Shirley Temple and Betty Grable
The Golden Age
Contain standard elements that are used to sell the idea of a film to the potential viewer.
The main image will often echo a key moment in the film.
Any stars or possible key personnel, will have their names featured.
Posters usually have a Unique Selling Point. This is the element that offers something special or different about the film.
Some blockbusters use a ‘teaser’ poster campaign. The teaser posters offer a few key elements of a film to generate interest.
Need to present a number of key elements to the audience.
The genre – through key scenes, iconography, dialogue, or other sound elements.
Narrative elements have to be introduced, being careful not to ruin the film though.
Is there is a star, then they will likely be featured.
Again a USP will be created this could be:
Images of an actor playing a different role to what the audience expects
A location that differs from that which is conventional within a particular genre
The presentation of a story not told before.
As with posters, there may also be a teaser campaign.
As film themselves do, posters draw on key elements of genre to communicate through the poster, and hopefully generate interest in the film.
Using other media texts to promote the film.
Posters in magazines and newspapers, and on billboards and bus stops.
Trailers on TV and radio (depending on the budget)
Stars and director appear as guests to be interviewed about the film.
A ‘buzz’ about a film can be generated on Social Media channels and dedicated websites. If positive word of mouth spreads this is good promotion, however, there is the other side of the coin too.
Individual films have their own website, which feature clips, images, interviews and so on. This helps create public awareness.
E.G. The Blair Witch Project. The film’s website provoked great debate about whether the film was based on a real incident or not. This created a large amount of publicity for a low budget film.
Big films often have tie-in promotion campaigns. E.G. toys given away in fast food outlets, displays in shop windows.
A large potential for profit lies in this area.
The distributor will oversee the sale of licenses to approved companies to allow them to use film images and logos.
Star Wars was perhaps the first film to profit through merchandising.
Are a carefully organised promotion tool. They generate articles in newspapers, magazine articles about those who attended, and T.V. interviews with stars.
The endless short interviews given to the members of the press.
It is an official element of the publicity campaign.
Free tickets might be given away or won in competitions. Distributors are careful to attract to the preview the intended target audience for the film, in order to try and generate a positive word of mouth.
Film festivals have a dual function. They are competitions in which if a film wins an award or receives critical acclaim, it will provide positive publicity for the film. Secondly they are a promotional tool where reviews are created and interviews conducted.
Marketing Key Elements
Marketing Key Features
Marketing Key Elements
Box office success equals finance success!
A premiere is used to launch the film to the media and public.
The UK has more than 3,500 cinema screens, but not all are British.
Distributors supply exhibitors with prints of the film. The more screens that the film is shown, on the more prints are needed.
Exhibitors take there share of the box office receipts, after which the distributors recoup their marketing costs.
When distributors have been paid the financiers recover their investments.
Stage 11. Exhibition
With the development finance secured it's down to the writer to deliver the product that the producer and financiers want.
First the writer produces a synopsis, he and the producer agree (or not) on the key scenes and events in the film.
Most writers create a step outline to plan their script.
Part of the writer's fee is conditional on delivery of the first draft, this can be the hardest part of screenwriting.
When the writer and producer are happy, the draft is sent to the financiers, all of whom will have their own ideas.
When everyone Is happy, the script is locked and becomes the final draft, the writer is then paid.
Stage 3. Script development..
‘Hospitality’ sales for hotel channels and flight entertainments can bring in millions.
DVD’s can make up for box office failure.
T.V is the final source of revenue. Rights are sold separately for pay-T.V showings and terrestrial broadcast.
Computer games and other product licences can be extremely lucrative sources of additional revenue.
Once the film has made profit, producers and key creative people can reap their rewards.
The final income from a film is never known. Distribution continues in perpetuity, and it may even be re-released in the future.
Stage 12. Other Windows
The producer sells the film but not outright to the public, she needs a distributor.
To help sell the film to the distributor, the producer secures the services of a sales agent.
A trailer is made to advertise the film.
The producer and sales agent collect everything they will need to sell the film to the distributors.
Producers go to great lengths to attract attention to the product.
High-profile screening at one of the top film festivals can be great for selling the film.
The producer can now negotiate good deals with distributors around the world.
Stage 9. Sales
Stage 10. Marketing
As finishing touches are being made, the distributors plan their strategy and begin to market It.
The marketing team runs test screening to see how the film is received from the audience.
Potential audience for the film is targeted by posters, cinema trailers, T.V spots and other marketing materials.
T.V, newspapers and magazines all help spread word about the film.
Digital media and internet has flooded the world with information but has also made niche marketing possible.
To get the audience to see the trailers, distributors must negotiate a deal with cinemas to screen it.
Post production usually starts during the shoot.
As the processed footage comes in, the editor assembles it into scenes and creates a narrative sequence for the film.
Once the picture is locked, the sound department works on the audio track laying, creating and editing every sound.
Digital effects, titles and credits are added.
Picture and colour are adjusted.
Rough sound mix goes into dubbing theatre where sound mixer sets final levels.
After final lock the film reaches full lock and is now finished and ready for duplication.
Step 8. post production
Producers must secure enough funding to make the film to the highest standard possible.
Financiers can be anywhere in the world and if the producers want to make enough money, they must travel.
Private individuals. Production companies and public bodies all invest in films. The producer’s lawyer draws up contracts to seal the deals.
Producers can also make money from pre-sales, selling the rights to film before it has even been made.
There are departments of banks that specialise in film finance.
Most financiers insist that a completion bond is in place before they agree to invest. It is insurance for the production.
When all the insurance and funding is secured, the film gets the ‘green light’ and the producer celebrates.
Stage 5. Financing
All films start with an idea, a moment of inspiration.
Inspirations are all around us for example in books, newspapers and even something as simple as a conversation.
Wherever and whoever the idea comes from it's always the producer who decides to make the magical moment into reality.
take and visualise the script. They know how to put it onto the BIG screen!
Next the writers define and clarify the idea, the plot, and the main characters. The writers then write a treatment, a one page description of the main story and characters of the film.
contains all the information the producer needs in order to sell the idea to the financiers to commission a script.
In general most film ideas come from making a film from a book or an idea from a newspaper, rarely a film is made from a completely fresh new idea. For example Harry Potter was made because of a book however, Avatar was a fresh idea.
Stage 1. THE IDEA
Film making can be a constant struggle to keep it on schedule and budget.
Shooting begins, funding is released.
The camera department is responsible for getting all the footage that the director and editor need to tell the story.
Lighting, sound, hair and makeup must be done before the shot can be taken.
Actors must create an emotional world and draw the audience into it.
Every special effect is carefully constructed and must be filmed with minimum risk of injury to cast and crew.
Film productions are run with military precision. If they fall behind schedule the financiers and insurers may step in.
Stage 7. The shoot
With everything secured, the full cast and crew are hired and detailed preparation for the shoot begins.
When all heads of departments are hired, the shooting script is circulated, and pre-production begins in the earnest.
The casting director, with the director and producer begins the long process of identifying and casting the actors.
Storyboards are the blueprints for the film, where every shot is planned in advance by the director and DOP.
The production designer plans every aspect of how the film will look, and hires people to design and build each part.
Effects shots are planned in much more detail than normal shots, and can take months to design and build.
The 1’st ad, the line producer and production manager make up the key logistics triangle of the production.
Stage 6. pre-production
With the script complete, the director and producer decide how they want to film it and who they will employ to help them.
The producer and director must package the script into a full commercial proposition ready for financing.
A common way to make the project more commercial is to attach well known stars to the script.
Commercially successful heads of department carry considerable clout with knowledgeable financiers.
The producer must know how much it will cost before turning the film into a proper business proposition.
Potential investors will want to know how the producer plans to raise the money, and how she plans to pay them back.
The producer packages the film into a viable commercial proposition, now they need to see what people think of it.
Stage 4. Packaging..
Stage 2. development finance
All films cost money, a lot of it.
The producer uses the treatment, pitch and persuasion to get money for the development of a script.
Producers approach film production companies for development money but they don't always have time, they have projects of their own.
Producers offer future sales and broadcast rights to the film in return for money to develop the script.
Producers can also apply to a public funding body such as the UK film council for a development grant.
Producers can pitch the film to a private investor In the hope for support for the project.
7. The shoot
8. Post production
12. Other windows
1. The idea
2. Development finance
3. Script development
The 12 Stages of Filmmaking
Independent companies often find it difficult to find a distributor.
Unlike movies made by Hollywood Studios or their subsidiaries, who already have a distributor in place before production even begins, many independent films are completed and then must find a distribution deal.
Distributors will buy an independent film, either for a set fee (after which the producers receive none of the profits) or offer the film-makers a cut of the film’s profits.
The process of a distributor buying a film is called acquisition.
How would you expect an independent producer to find a distributor once their film is finished?
Example Indiegogo support distribution: http://go.indiegogo.com/blog/2014/01/indiegogos-new-film-distribution-program.html
How would you expect the process of distribution for Hollywood and Independent films to be different?
Hollywood vs. Independent
Hollywood companies tend to be
This means they will usually own a number a of stages involved in getting a film to an audience.
For example, a studio may own the production company (
the production stage
), the distributor (
distribution and marketing stage
) and sometimes even the cinema (
the exhibition stage
What would be the advantage of vertical integration for a Hollywood Studio?
is a district in Los Angeles, California, famous for its commercial area and entertainment industry, and a name used to represent the motion picture industry of the United States. It is also a highly diverse, densely populated, mostly immigrant, low-income residential neighborhood.
Case Study : Distribution of
The Boat that Rocked
a 2009 British comedy film written and directed by Richard Curtis, with pirate radio in the United Kingdom during the 1960s as its setting.
How many different distributors would you expect to be involved with this film?
Alliance Films (2009) (Canada) (theatrical)
Bontonfilm (2009) (Czech Republic) (theatrical) (subtitled)
Focus Features (2009) (USA) (theatrical)
Lusomundo Audiovisuais (2009) (Portugal) (theatrical)
SPI International (2009) (Slovakia) (theatrical)
Studio Canal (2009) (France) (theatrical)
Toho-Towa (2009) (Japan) (theatrical)
United International Pictures (UIP) (2009) (Sweden) (theatrical)
United International Pictures (UIP) (2009) (Singapore) (theatrical)
Universal Pictures International (UPI) (2009) (Germany) (theatrical)
Universal Pictures International (UPI) (2009) (UK) (theatrical)
Universal Pictures International (UPI) (2009) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
Argentina Video Home (2009) (Argentina) (DVD)
Finnkino (2009) (Finland) (all media)
Studio Canal (2009) (France) (DVD)
Studio Canal (2009) (France) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
Universal Home Entertainment (2009) (UK) (DVD)
Universal Home Entertainment (2009) (UK) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
Universal Pictures Benelux (2009) (Netherlands) (DVD)
Universal Pictures Benelux (2009) (Netherlands) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
Universal Pictures Nordic (2009) (Sweden) (DVD)
Universal Pictures Nordic (2009) (Sweden) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
Universal Pictures (2009) (Germany) (DVD)
Universal Studios Home Entertainment (2009) (USA) (DVD)
Universal Studios Home Entertainment (2009) (USA) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
There are 25 in total if you include both cinema and home video distributors.
14 of these companies are owned by Universal (or part owned as UIP is joint owned with Paramount) – a great example of vertical integration!
Case Study : Distribution of
THIS IS ENGLAND
a 2006 British drama film written and directed by Shane Meadows.
How many different distributors would you expect to be involved with this film?
IFC Films (2007) (USA) (theatrical)
IFC First Take (2007) (USA) (theatrical)
Madman Entertainment (2007) (Australia) (all media)
NetFlix (2007) (USA) (DVD)
NonStop Entertainment (2007) (Sweden) (theatrical)
Optimum Releasing (2006) (UK) (theatrical)
Red Envelope Entertainment (2007) (USA) (DVD)
Sandrew Metronome Distribution (2008) (Finland) (DVD)
The film has only 8 distribution deals – one of which partly financed the film (Optimum Releasing).
Produced by Universal
The Exhibition Department provides the final link in the film production chain, and is responsible for bringing the finished product to its audience. It provides a vital service to the industry, as without faultless projection to the appropriate audience no film, however vast its budget, can be deemed a success.
Exhibition Departments may be employed in a variety of different organisations, ranging from small, art-house cinemas to large multiplexes, and from regional film festivals to national or international events.
Produced by Film 4 Warp Films
Unique Selling Point:
1. Each advertisement must make a proposition to the consumer—not just words, product puffery, or show-window advertising. Each advertisement must say to each reader: "Buy this product, for this specific benefit."
2. The proposition must be one the competition cannot or does not offer. It must be unique—either in the brand or in a claim the rest of that particular advertising area does not make.
3. The proposition must be strong enough to move the masses, i.e., attract new customers.
The branch including the theaters in which films are shown; the people and technologies involved in exhibition—projectors and projectionists, sound equipment, and so on.
The first public showing of film by the Lumière brothers cost one franc per patron (about 20¢). This first audience contained 35 spectators. However, within a month, the showings earned about 7,000 francs per week, and commercial film was born.
The Lumières were their own producers, distributors, and exhibitors. But these jobs would be quickly compartmentalized.
What Distributors consider
The first three days of a film’s showing are the most important, it has been shown that 30% of films make their largest profit in these first days.
Distributors must consider:
The type of audience and who will view it.
What people does the film appeal and speak to?
Does the ideology, characters, setting etc. attract people to watch?
Does the make up for the cost? E.g. Theatrical release, production cost.
What audiences have been attracted by similar films?
Is there any competition?
What films are being released along side the one they are distributing, will this affect their profit?
the distributor is paid by the cinema for a copy of the film
A film’s success is often decided on the amount of money it makes during it’s cinema release.
This is known as the
Box Office Takings
Exhibition is divided into two sections:
Home Exhibition is becoming an increasing
valuable and varied source for distributors to increase profits.
Online: NETFLIX, Vimeo, etc .
Offline: DVD, BluRay, rental, TV, VOD.
Usually found nowadays in design and open source software and engineering, it can be found also in filmmaking. Example: studios.amazon.com
How would you comment on the idea of
Open Source Movie?
-The major revenue that exhibitors gain comes from popcorn sales, drinks sales etc.
-They are dependent on the popularity of the film they show and the work of the distributors marketing team, to sell more popcorn and increase their profits.
- Therefore they are very selective about the films they show.
is a high-definition video digital recording videocassette.
Digital Cinema Package- DCP (2012, 200-300GB)
is a collection of digital files used to store and convey digital cinema audio, image, and data streams. ( a cinema exhibition product, not a format that will be useful for delivery to distributors, consumer-facing platforms, DVD replicators etc. = expensive )
BluRay (2006, 128-200 GB)
inexpensive to produce and inexpensive to ship – to go along with inexpensive players and projectors that can be bought at consumer-level prices. And the quality of both image and sound is usually shockingly good. BUT - not professional, its failure rate in live exhibition context is dangerously (if not outright unacceptably) high.
DVD (1995, 4,7 GB)
is a digital optical disc storage format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than compact discs while having the same dimensions.
is a line of intermediate codecs, which means they are intended for use during video editing, and not for practical end-user viewing. From the ProRes 422 file, you would be able to make any format you need for today’s distribution landscape….from DCPs and BluRays to HDCAMs and any digital files you may need for platform distribution worldwide. This makes it ideal as an intermediary format as you consider your next steps forward.
Usually a movie is released first in USA, and then , the prints used there are taken in Europe, UK, etc. Companies are now launching movies in the same time worldwide to discourage piracy = very expensive.
Creative ways to get people to talk about the products they are promoting using the internet or offline media.
Do you know any examples?
A definition of an open-source film is based on the OSI's open-source software definition and the definition of free cultural licenses. This definition can be applied to films where:
The license of the movie is approved for free cultural works. Specifically this is true for the Creative Commons licenses by and by-sa.
The materials used in the movie (sources) are also available under a license which is approved for free cultural works.
The movie and its sources are made publicly available via an online download or by other means that are either free or with a cost that covers reasonable reproduction expenses only.
The sources should be viewable and editable with free/open-source software. If this is not the case, they must be convertible into such a format by using free/open-source software. The same applies to the movie itself.
It should be possible to re-create or re-assemble the movie using the source materials.
Films or film projects which do not meet these criteria are either not open source or partially open source.
In 2009, a poster campaign for the Peter Jackson produced District 9 in bus stops. The film about an extraterrestrial race forced into slums while trying to live amongst humans on earth got its messages of xenophobia and segregation across loud and clear with their widespread campaign (that also included various stickers and other posters/signs). Viral websites and blogs — one run by aliens complaining about the government’s relocation efforts — also popped up.
What about a collaborative documentary?
1888, the first footage recorded
1895 - Lumiere Brothers
Online video streaming
Video on Demand
$2000 vs. $100
digital support or digital file transferrred in the cloud