Discuss the issues and patterns which enable your institution to thrive as a film business with a focus on the

production process

In my essay I am going to look at the similarities and differences between British and American films giving examples of µWorking Title¶ productions and µWarp Films¶ independent productions, to see how each thrive as a film business. There will be significant differences within my work but also some similarities within the main sections of making the films. We have done previ ous work on Working Title and Warp Films productions as a class, so I will include my findings from that within this essay. For a film to be successful it is ideal to have a well known famous producer and director, the producer is the centre of everything about a film. The producer has to have the original idea and is in control of all the costs involved in the making of a film, the idea of visualising a film but then trusting the cinematographer and director to put your ideas into action is a big responsibility. If something goes wrong whilst filming the producer immediately takes the blame as they have the ideas and script in their hands. The role of the producer is to inspire the director with their ideas so they can develop them further, they must hire the correct style of director and cinematographer for the genre of film. Most directors think that the developing of the film, followed by raising money or find funding for the sponsor of the film. The package of the film involves who will star in it, how it will be made and what production team will be used. The cast in a Hollywood film would be A -list actors and actresses, for example µPirates of the Caribbean ¶ starring Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom, this is an excellent A -list cast for a successful film. How the film will be made depends entirely on the thoughts of the producer, American companies base their ideas around the budget and the target audience and think ahead about release dates and which cinemas the film will be shown in. Th is differs very much to the thought track of most British production companies, they choose to go straight ahead with the making of the film and have the budget in the back of their mind, just in case they happen to go over the limit. For the production te am it is vital to make the script match the chosen cast, the actor has to be similar or have similar interests to the character they¶re playing, this is crucial for the roles to be convincing. Investing in films is easy for huge companies like µUniversal Studios¶ or µDreamworks¶ because they supply their own funding from their earnings of previous successful films. This is harder for small companies such as Warp Films as they have to find funding for themselves, whether it¶s from the National Lottery or Ta x Schemes; however this means they have much lower budget films than Hollywood. This affects the popularity of their films and causes their name to be less well known, the most famous production they made was µThis is England ¶86¶, but this name is only we ll known recently because a new Channel 4 series called µThis is England¶ so the majority of people in the UK from the age of 16 to 50 will know about this series. The plan of a film is simple for most producers as they think in the same way, usually the production team want to get the hardest scenes to film out of the way first of all. Whether this is because of location, actors or props they narrow down the hardest scenes and produce them first. After deciding which scenes to film first the producer choos es the appropriate cast for the character list, this is down to the dialogue and body language and visual appearance of a character description. The cinematographer plays a key role in production as they have to put the producers ¶ ideas and the directors¶ instructions onto the camera in the best visual

way possible. They are the right -hand-man of the film as if something doesn¶t look right on camera it¶s their fault as they¶ve been given clear directions by the producer of how to film it. The budget of the film is made up entirely of above the line and below the line costs, this marks a border between the most expensive costs that should be taken care of first but without forget the lower costs of added extras. Examples of above the line costs are, the script writer, director, editor and cast; examples of below the line costs are, sales people, extras, set-up design, costume, photography and props. The audience are crucial for the film production company to start filming, it is ideal to know what the audien ce wants from the film and who the target audience is. Although, British film companies don¶t plan around the target audience as much as Hollywood films, they tend to jump forward and focus on the filming rather than the attraction and response of the audience. American companies usually take into consideration which cinemas the film will be shown in and where; this then determines how much money the film will make after being released, this must be above the budget line for the film at the start of the pro duction otherwise the producer has failed to sell as well as they would have liked to. The marketing of the film is crucial as the company needs to earn as much money as possible to cover funding. Every film company tries to advertise their new films by ma king them stand out, causing them to be µneed -to-see¶ films that the public will be interested in. Additional costs of marketing are creating products such as DVDs, TV series and soundtracks; cinema also brings in a lot of money for the production company so they will pay extra for adverts to be shown around the world or country depending on the film budget. In Hollywood they would look ahead at the costs of marketing as their films are mainly about entertaining the target audience and making the most money possible, whereas in British film production the producer will focus on getting the film spot on to their idea, then afterwards think about who this will appeal to and why. Every film production company will aim to try and make their film appeal to the fo ur quadrant audience, meaning ± men, women, old and young, the advantage of this is that it becomes a worldwide, well known successful film.

Jess Pardoe

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