Evaluation

What impact did the media institution Film4 have on each production stage and why? Zak Lake Gorman

Pre-Production
‡ When planning commenced on my then untitled British Social Realist film I knew that the fact it would be presented by ³Film4´ would have a huge impact on what would be my finished product. I researched recurring themes in both ³Film4¶s´ body of work and British Social Realist films and found that aspiration, negative and surrogate father figures were often shown in these films (³This Is England´, ³East Is East´, ³Slumdog Millionaire´, ³28 Days Later´, ³Fish Tank´, ³Bullet Boy´, ³Kidulthood´)in addition to the characters often living with working class families in urban areas. I incorporated these themes into my work because I wanted this film not to feel unlike a typical ³Film4´ British Social Realist film. Due to the success of British Social Realist films such as ³East Is East´ that have a niche British Asian target audience that is usually untouched ,I decided to market the film at this audience especially after the success of the ³Film4´ film ³Slumdog Millionaire´ which was well received by this audience. Due to the fact this film was commissioned by ³Film4´ in my planning I knew my story had to be realistic and deal with subject matter that isn¶t explored in mainstream Hollywood cinema. Using this knowledge and the fact my target audience was a young Asian British audience I decided to have the story revolve around a British Asian family but in particular a young girl in the family because this would go against stereotypes (,that ³Film4´ I believe would benefit from avoiding) in addition to having a more dramatic protagonist. In my research I discovered a ³Channel 4´ documentary ³Ambreen: The Girl Boxer´ about a teenage British Muslim girl trying to become a boxer. The story of the documentary had everything I needed for my film and also because it was based on a true story appealed even more to me because it would already have an established audience and the documentary was owned by ³Channel 4´ so I knew I would be able to use this documentary as a source of inspiration. ³Film4´ had a constant presence in my work which made me create characters which could particularly conform to the characters in their previous body of work while also appealing to my target audience because they¶re realistic characters who my target audience may be familiar with; in particular the brother who is considered a bad Muslim and has a history of violence and drug abuse.

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Production
‡ When looking for locations to film at we knew they would have to be true to where they¶re supposed to represent, so we could not cheat with locations by filming in an area which is renown for a high Caucasian population or filming in locations that have had to be set dressed to suit our purposes. Baring this in mind we used existing real locations that had high populations of British Muslims and also the locations had to be what we said they were, so scenes were filmed in real gyms and real changing rooms to give the film the authenticity ³Film4´ is renown for in addition to being filmed entirely in Ilford, Forest Gate and Seven Kings where there is a large Asian population. The authenticity of our work was something we knew we had to have to a high standard because it¶s a ³Film4´ British social realist film so we made sure that all our actors portraying British Muslims were British Muslims in addition to having the character ³Hashaem Khan's´ actor (the protagonists older brother) have past experiences with boxing and drug abuse so the authenticity of the actors performance was high enough that the audience would be engrossed in his performance. When casting my principle actors I made them take part three times a week in boxing classes so when filming their training it would be realistic and seem like a real boxing warm up. Our actor Farhan Soogun who portrays our referee was selected to play that chosen character because he has past experiences of refereeing boxing matches as a hobby and could therefore accurately portray the character with not much direction needed because he had done so refereeing before. The equipment we used also had to represent the fact it¶s a ³Film4´ production. We decide to use handheld camerawork from a Mini DV with a tripod used for certain shots after viewing Danny Boyle¶s ³28 Days Later´ which gives off an almost documentary style to the film which we believed would benefit the films style, it should also be noted that ³28 Days Later2 is a ³Film4´ production so we knew that this directing style would help the product feel in house to ³Film4´. To enhance the documentary style of filmmaking we would often rest the camera on objects or structures in the environment to engross the audience by making them feel like an observer in the film.

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Distribution
‡ We believe that our film distributor would most likely be ³Optimum Releasing´ due to the success they have had with distributing ³Film4´ films by Shane Meadows. I believe that much like Shane Meadows¶ ³This Is England´ , ³Queen Khan´ would first be released with a limited cinema release around the United Kingdom and then eventually getting a television premiere on ³Channel 4´. Unlike ³Film4´ it¶s United Kingdom release would specifically be targeted to areas of the United Kingdom where my target audience are such as Manchester, London and Birmingham would be areas that I would specifically target for a cinema release. My television premiere would be held on ³Channel 4´ over ³Film4 (the channel)´ because if my film is shown on ³Channel 4´ it maximises the films chance of being seen due to the fact the channel ³Film4´ is only available to people with Freeview or some form of monthly subscription television whereas ³Channel 4´ is available to anyone with a television. The relationship between ³Channel 4´ and ³Film4´ is very significant in my distribution because ³Queen Khan´ is funded by ³Film4´ and ³Film4´ is owned by ³Channel 4´ so when I choose to have a network premiere or choose to air ³Queen Khan´ on either ³Channel 4´ or ³Film4´ it costs us no money because the film is owned by ³Channel 4´. In addition to my limited cinema release and my television network premiere I would use ³Film4 On Demand´ to have my film available to people all over the world to view and download so I can gain a larger audience and appeal to my target audience with ease while not having to spend copious amounts of money on a cinema release. I have chosen ³Film4 On Demand´ as my online distributor because once again it is owned by ³Channel 4´ which means the money we put into putting it online we will get back from the people who download the film. My limited UK cinema release would possibly stretch to a limited global release which I would have handled by ³Fox Searchlight Pictures´ due to the success they had with ³Slumdog Millionaire´ and ³Bend It Like Beckham´ which appeals to my target audience while they also have a healthy relationship with ³Film4´ because they have released multiple amounts of their films in both the United States and in some non-English speaking countries. With ³Fox Searchlight Pictures´ handling my United States and non-English speaking countries I would have them release the film in Pakistan and India because of the success that ³Slumdog Millionaire´ found when released in these countries. I chose India and Pakistan as the nonEnglish speaking countries to release ³Queen Khan´ in because members of my target audience live in these countries and/or have families in these countries and also because ³Slumdog Millionaire´ received a very good reception in these countries I believe that ³Queen Khan´ can capitalise on ³Slumdog Millionaire's´ success.

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