INST ITUTI ON S AN D AUDIEN CES

FIL M IN DUSTR Y
LE SSON 1 INT RODUC TION T O P RO DUCT ION, DIST RIB UTI ON AND MA RKET ING

AIMS
• To understand the focus for the Audience and Institutions section of your January Exam • To understand the structure of a Media Triangle • To understand the different sectors of the film industry
KEY TERMS Audience Institution Production Subsidiary Distribution Marketing Exhibition Horizontal Integration Vertical Integration

THE EXAM Section B: Institutions and Audiences
Candidates should be prepared to understand and discuss the processes of production, distribution, marketing and exchange as they relate to contemporary media institutions, as well as the nature of audience consumption and the relationships between audiences and institutions. In addition, candidates should be familiar with: •the issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice; •the importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and marketing; •the technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, distribution, marketing and exchange; •the significance of proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences; •the importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences; •the issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically, British) by international or global institutions; •the ways in which the candidates’ own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour. This unit should be approached through contemporary examples in the form of case studies based upon one of the specified media areas.

MEDIA TRIANGLES
Wh at th ey h ave produc ed

Media Text

Institution
Wh o has p roduc ed the m edi a t ext

Target Audience
Wh o it is produ ce d fo r.

Devise your own example for Clerks.

THE FILM PROCESS
There are three distinct areas of the film industry. Each one of these could be viewed as a type of media institution.

PRODUCTION

DISTRIBUTION

EXHIBITION

What would you expect to happen at each stage?

• Production involves the creation of the media product and is the responsibility of the PRODUCTION COMPANY • This includes all pre-production, production & post-production processes. • Before that the writer/director/producer must find finance for a film – which may come from one or many production companies (a coproduction)
Clerks had a production budget of just $27,000. This budget was mostly provided by director Kevin Smith’s credit cards. Why would this film have found it difficult to get finance from a production company?

•Film distributors are responsible for prints and marketing: PRINTS – producing physical copies of a film for cinema/home release and finding the exhibitors/retailers to sell the film MARKETING – raising audience awareness and anticipation of a new release •A distributor may: -Be a part of the same parent company as the production company -Have a long term arrangement with a production company and provide financial assistance for many of their productions -Provide financial assistance for a single film by a production company -Acquire a film after it has completed production •A film will likely have different distributors for: -Releases in different countries -Cinema Release -Home-Video Release

In 1993 Clerks was bought by distribution company Miramax for just over $2million It has only been distributed in seven countries – why would that be?

• •

Exhibition is divided into two sections: Cinema – the distributor is paid by the cinema for a copy of the film Home – the distributor is paid by the company who is selling the film for a copy 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 Home Exhibition is becoming an increasing valuable and varied source for distributors to increase profits. WHAT METHODS OF HOME EXHIBITION CAN WE THINK OF?
Clerks made just over $3million at the cinema – a respectable amount! However, it was far more successful on DVD, spawning numerous versions and special editions Why would this film be more successful on DVD

HORIZONTAL AND VERTICAL INTEGRATION
Often a single parent company will own multiple companies in the film industry. This is divided into two types of ownership:
PRODUCTION PRODUCTION PRODUCTION
HORIZONTAL The parent company owns multiple companies at the same stage of the film industry. A smaller company, owned by the parent is a subsidiary. VERTICAL

DISTRIBUTION For example Walt Disney also owns: For example Warner Bros owns: •Miramax Studios •Warner BrosFilms (Production) EXHIBITION
•Warner Bros (Distribution) •Hollywood Pictures •Used to own Warner Bros Cinemas •Pixar Animation in the UK (Exhibition

The parent company owns multiple companies across different stages of the film industry. What are the advantages for a parent company of each type of ownership?

RESEARCH TASK - THE LIFE OF A FILM
1. YOUR FILM Provide a brief synopsis of your film’s story

-SUBMIT AS A POST ON YOUR BLOG (MAKE AS VISUAL AND INTERACTIVE AS POSSIBLE) -DUE SUNDAY 8PM -STARTING POINT FOR RESEARCH SHOULD BE IMDB.COM – USE COMPANY CREDITS SECTION

Include some of your film’s marketing materials (trailers, posters, cast interviews etc.) 2. PRODUCTION What was your film’s production budget? Which Production Company (s) provided the finance? What other films have the company (s) produced? 3. DISTRIBUTION Who are your films theatrical distributors? How many countries has it been distributed in and what are they? Who are your films home distributors? How many countries has it been distributed in and what are they 4. EXHIBITION What was your film’s box office takings? Would you expect it to be shown in Romford VUE? Why? What formats is your film available on for home exhibition? 5. HORIZONTAL & VERTICAL INTEGRATION Is your film’s production company a subsidiary of a larger company (Horizontally Integrated)? Are there any signs of horizontal integration between your film’s production company (s) and distributor(s)?

RECAP
What do the following terms mean in relation to the film industry?
• • • • • • • Production Subsidiary Distribution Marketing Exhibition Horizontal Integration Vertical Integration