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Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

1 issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media


practise
A films success often depends on which production company produces the film in
the first place. The bigger production companies such as the big six (Warner Bros.
Pictures, Paramount pictures, Walt Disney, Columbia pictures, Universal Studios,
20th Century Fox) will often have an unfair advantage over the other, smaller film
production companies in terms of what budget they are given and their access to all
of the best technologies and stars.
This is relative to Mark Kermodes rules that will determine whether it is
impossible for a film to lose money or not. Kermode says that it is impossible for a
film to lose money if it complies within four rules, these rules are: newsworthy
budget, spectacular visuals, not to be a comedy and to include an A list star. A
larger film company stands a better chance when creating a film that complies
within these rules as they will have the newsworthy budget to be able to have the
spectacular visuals and the A-list star and because their company is so well
known anyway, the film wont have to be of a genre that is simply there to attract
attention such as a comedy.
For example, Warner Bros. pictures released The Green Lantern in 2011. The film
itself was a complete flop, receiving bad reviews (especially from fans of the comic
books) and losing out on an estimated $90,074,414 after only grossing
$219,851,172 worldwide when their films original budget cost $200,000,000.
However, the film still had an A list star, (Ryan Reynolds), spectacular visuals and
special effects due to the company being able to afford the newest technologies that

were available at the time. This film was not intended to be a comedy, although
parts of it did come across as slightly comedic. Whilst this film wasnt great, it was
still popular as it was produced by a very well-known company that had the
budget, the technology and the stars to attract some attention. This shows the
issues within media ownership as the bigger companies will almost always have a
larger hand over the small film companies as they have the fame and the money to
attract attention anyway, whereas a smaller company could produce a very well
made film which would gain more interest but they simply do not have a large
enough audience or enough of a reputation to gain a larger audience.

Mad Max: Fury Road was created by Village Roadshow Pictures along with
Kennedy Miller Pictures in 2015, it is very current and popular as a new release.
Because the film is part of a sequel, it already has a large fan base and is popular
anyway, even for those who havent seen the other films. Neither Village Roadshow
or Kennedy Miller Pictures are very well known and are not of the big six
production companies. Collectively, the two companies have worked on
successful/well known films such as The Lego Movie (2014), Dark Shadows
(2012) and Happy Feet (2006). Both companies have worked on the previous Mad
Max movies. This movie complies within Kermodes rules as it includes A list stars
such as Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy and Nicholas Hoult. It had a newsworthy
budget of around $150,000,000 and fell into the categories/genres of action,
adventure and Sci-Fi. On its opening weekend it received $44,440,000 in the USA
and its overall gross is $153,629,485. This supports Mark Kermodes rule that if a
movie complies within these areas, it will be successful.

2 The importance of cross media convergence and synergy in


production, distribution and marketing
The production companies that worked together in collaboration to make this movie
are not of the big six in Hollywood and therefore might not stand a greater chance
at releasing a movie due to their lack of reputation. However, by working together
with other, even smaller companies through their marketing and post-production
phases, e.g. Posters, teaser trailers, etc. they were able to create a very successful
film. The fact that the movie already has a fan base would have aided the marketing
stage of the films production as it already has an eager audience.

3 Technologies introduced in recent years at the levels of


production, distribution, marketing and exchange

Blu Ray:
Blu Ray is a more enhanced version of a movie which shows the footage in high
definition. In a film with so many special effects and visual creativity, blu ray is a
must in order to experience the extent of the effects.

Internet streaming:
After this film had been released, it was then made available on internet sites such
as Netflix, Lovefilm and the Sky Box Office.

3D:
The image onscreen becomed three dimensional and comes out of the screen. This
is very popular for films with large, impressive visual effects.

4 Proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and


audience

Green screen:
Used to clean up the original landscape that the movie was filmed on

Photoscan technology:
Still photography of the surrounding environment was used to create a digital 3D
image on screen of the environment for the film used a Canon 5D camera on
sensefly drone.

Marketing:
This movie was advertised using clips from the movie in the trailers as well as
using posters. The posters were digitally edited using elements of Photoshop along
with stills from the movie.

5 - Importance of cross media convergence and synergy in


production, distribution and marketing
This film is a part of a sequel which makes it easier to advertise as the other films
are evidence of what the film will be like and as they are successful, it already
creates a positive review form its awaiting audience.
This movie was advertised through teaser trailers and various film posters which
showcased the effects as well as the stars of the film. The use of Charlize Theron in
the poster advertisements aided the success of the marketing campaign as she is a
well-known A list star who is recognisable, even though her head is shaved.
The timing of this movies release is significant as it was released around the same
time as the new James Bond Movie Spectre. This means that the amount of people
going to the cinema will increase and will therefore see advert and posters as well
as timings for Mad Max: Fury Road.

6 Issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences


(specifically British) by international or global institutions
The marketing stage usually occurs within the distribution phase of a films release
and will usually be dealt with and organised by the exhibitors and distributing
companies. In a way, the marketing and distributing of a movie is just as if not
more important than the movie itself especially as the marketing budget can come
up to around half of the movies overall budget, giving it a considerable amount of
money to make sure that this vital stage is successful.
This film has a UK/USA site as well as a French site as well as being mainly
marketed in the UK, USA and Australia through its posters, teaser trailers and
previous films.

7 The ways in which the candidates own experiences of media


consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience
behaviour
I agree that the bigger, more renowned film companies such as the big six do stand
a better chance of producing, marketing and distributing movies as I myself will
partly judge whether I want to see a movie based on what company logo I see at the
beginning of a trailer. This is because we associate the success of a movie and its

expected quality based on what the company has produced previously. Smaller film
companies will start to advertise and market movies before they have even finished
being made because they need the extra time for it to become known and popular
as their target audience wont have heard of the movie company. By the time the
film has become known to the mainstream audience, it will have already been
advertised for around a year whereas a larger audience could bring out an advert
for a film a couple of months before its release date and still generate a huge
audience that often outnumbers the audiences that a film produced by a smaller
company will ever gain. For example, the How to train your Dragon film have been
one of DreamWorkss recent successes over the last few years, however they took a
lot of marketing through toys, spin off TV shows and multiple trailers/posters to
gain an audience even though the books were successful, it still needed more. The
third of the How to train your Dragon series comes out in 2016, but advertising
campaigns have already started now, a year early, as DreamWorks knows that it
has a lot to compete with such as the new James Bond movie Spectre which only
released its trailers and official song a couple of months ago and has already
received a huge audience and publicity.
Personally, I think that going to see a movie at the cinema is the best way to see a
new release as they are shown in good quality in a good atmosphere where you can
witness the special effects such as 3D and in some case 4D experiences. The
appearance of Blu-Ray however has meant that a lot of people have decided to wait
for the film to be released on DVD so that they can see it in the comfort of their own
home whilst still having the high resolution experience. Online
streaming/downloading has also become more prominent, especially with todays
young adult audiences as there are now more ways in which illegal copies of movies
can be accessed and not much can be done about it therefore the companies lose
out on money as people arent going to the cinema to see it. However, a lot of the
time people decide to illegally download a film because it takes too long to come out
on DVD and the audience gets impatient. Whilst Blu-Ray, 3D TVs and the addition
of special features have made it more tempting and easier to get the same level of
experience when watching a film at home, I still believe that going to the cinema is
the best way to watch a new release as you get to see it sooner, there is a better
atmosphere of a whole audiences anticipation, you can witness effects such as
3/4D which you otherwise wouldnt be able to witness at home and you can see
trailers for other films that you might want to see in the future.