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Film Studies: Unit 5 - Blockbusters

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by

john meehan

on 31 March 2014

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Transcript of Film Studies: Unit 5 - Blockbusters

UNIT 5: BLOCKBUSTERS
A TENT POLE FRANCHISE
is a film that a studio invests a great deal of money into with the expectation that the film will bring in MAJOR revenue for the year.

These films typically have built-in audiences and the potential for
spin-offs
,
sequels
, and
merchandise
.
When tent pole franchises flop...
Studios lose a LOT of money.

Sequels and merchandising are scrapped.

Many smaller projects are dropped.

Fewer unknown properties are optioned.
It creates a major domino effect in the industry.
BLOCKBUSTERS
Which makes it easier for them to draw crowds all over the world.
are LARGER THAN LIFE
and typically driven by ACTION
Budgets are MASSIVE

Attract BIG-NAME DIRECTORS

Feature "A-LIST" ACTORS

Driven by ACTION and SFX

Boast WIDE APPEAL (worldwide)
TYPICAL MOVIES BY SEASON
SUMMER:

WINTER:
BLOCKBUSTERS
A BLOCKBUSTER
Can serve as a TENT POLE franchise to fund all sorts of projects for the rest of the year.
BLOCKBUSTERS

$100,000,000
JAWS Box Office Exceeds
And it inspires a generation of imitators.
Avatar (2009)
Titanic (1997)
The Avengers (2012)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011)
Iron Man 3 (2013)
$1,511,757,910
$1,341,511,219
$2,186,772,302
$2,782,275,172
$1,215,439,994
HIGHEST GROSSING FILMS (ALL TIME)
(or "Popcorn Movies")
Are notorious for following the "cookie cutter" three-act structure.
LESS EMPHASIS ON
Acting
Character Development
Story Originality
MORE EMPHASIS ON
Impressive Visuals
Elaborate Set Pieces
Big Budget Items
MOST BLOCKBUSTERS
adapt an existing INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY into a film in order to tap into a ready-made fanbase.
A "Blockbuster"...
is the industry term given to a film that makes a tremendous box office (in excess of $100,000,000)
Named for a type of bomb in WWII
An original property is developed (books, tv shows, toys,
web, etc.)
A film studio purchases (or leases) the rights to the property
STEP 1
STEP 2
STEP 3
The studio finds a director or actor interested in the project.
STEP 4
The director (or studio) hires a screenwriter to develop a script.
"DEVELOPMENT HELL"
STEP 5
The project receives a
"GREEN LIGHT"
and
production
begins.
STEP 6
Actors are hired, sets are built, budgets are set, and filming begins.
STEP 7
The film goes into
POST-
PRODUCTION (test screenings and re-shoots)
STEP 8
Marketing efforts and
media blitz as
the film is released.
|---"IN PRODUCTION"---|
|--"PRE-PRODUCTION"--|
|--------"RELEASE"---------|

First Three Pages:

Inciting Incident:

Break Into II:

Midpoint:

Break Into III:

Climax:
Upsets the status quo
Entering a "new world"
False victory / false defeat
Hero devises a plan
Final showdown
Chief Martin Brody
Matt Hooper
Locks the viewer in
Mayor Vaughn
Sam Quint
THE BLOCKBUSTER FORMULA FOR SUCCESS
HIGH CONCEPT
A
MOVIE CAN BE "PITCHED"
IN A SINGLE SENTENCE.
(often answers the question "what if...?")
CAN YOU THINK OF ONE NOW?

FALL:

Family films
Blockbusters
Suspense / Drama
CHRISTMAS:
Blockbusters
Award dramas
"Shelf" projects
Historical epics

Comedies
Romances
Family films
SPRING:
1975
AUDIENCES CAN VISUALIZE EVERYTHING THEY'LL NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BLOCKBUSTER SIMPLY BY LOOKING AT THE ONE SHEET.
Full transcript