Thursday, 20 November 2008

An excellent website for finding and analysing film posters

Find the film poster(s) for your case study film poster and then click on the green cross on the side of the poster to enlarge it, etc.

Otherwise find your film posters on the web or in Google Images.

Remember that several posters will possibly have been made for your film, i.e. a teaser poster, the theatrical poster and perhaps a poster with snippets of press reviews or Oscars or awards claimed for it. Think also how some films begin with art-house or minority audiences and cross over into the mainstream (audience-wise) if they become more popular than first expected.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Typefaces and Film Posters

As you click through the posters in the link below read Sebastian Lester's commentary about why each type face was selected by the films' distributors. You should try to indentify the typeface used for film posters on your case study films and the reasons for selecting them. This will prove useful when you discuss in your essays how your case study film was marketed.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Movie Terms Explained by USA Today Critic, Kevin Maynard

What is "platforming" when distributors release films? This and other questions are answered by Kevin Maynard, film critic of USA Today. For other terms explained go to:

Monday, 3 November 2008

How might music programmes be described as multi-modal?

Definitions: can music programmes be defined as a specific genre?
Music programmes may not fit into any one genre at all as they can be interpreted as varied a form of communication that is made up of a range of elements (recorded music, music performance, music video, documentary, etc.) If you agree with this than you will accept that music programmes are multi-modal, which means that they combine a variety of forms of communication (dance, spoken language, visual language, editing, rhythm, and various elements of music).

Kress Van Leeuwen (in 1996) argues a social trend away from the dominance of the written word (language-as-writing) and towards technological modes that stress the visual and the integration of multiple modes at the same time (multimedia, hypertext, etc.).
Kress Van Leeuwen offers a theoretical approach for multimodal analysis. Looking at videos this way we need to:

· the medium (or media) for production (i.e. Pop, Rock, Rap, Classical, Hip Hop, etc.)
· the modes (types) of communication chosen for the design of the text. (i.e. live show, music video, dance, singing, talking, adoption of a genre, reality TV, intertextual references, etc.)
· the various ways in which the text is distributed. (i.e. MTV and its channels, TOTP’s, The Chart Show on ITV, etc.)
· the kinds of discourse (language and messages) being communicated (the dominant representations of people and the world), i.e. for sex, race, age and class.

Music programmes are multimodal in their reliance on the above combinations. It is useful to use this theory if we think that the kinds of media texts we are dealing with are more complex and involve combinations (mainly due to technology and new audience behaviour) than the traditional concepts usually associated with Media Studies.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

A history of film distribution

A useful site for the history of film distribution and for other links for this topic.

Film Distribution and Marketing in the UK

This article and the related articles on the right of this link's page are crucial for understanding how distribution and marketing is carried out in UK cinema. For students studying independent films this and the related articles offer valuable insight into how independent films are released and marketed. Hollywood films have a major advantage over independently produced films as they are often made by studios owned by companies that have control over every aspect of a film's production, distribution, marketing and exhibition. In other words the companies are vertically integrated in terms of ownership.

Build your understanding by reading the related articles in order as the case study article on "Bullet Boy" refers back to points made in the previous articles. Apply your new knowledge to your own case studies by finding out the relevant information and including it in your blogs, Power Points, Word documents, etc.

If you haven't already started one, begin an Audiences and Instutions Glossary with words and terms under each of the key areas: Production, Distribution, Marketing and Exhibition in Word.

Add topic specific key words and phrases to your glossaries as you read. For instance for distribution and marketing add the following and others that you notice during your studies:
'vertical integration'
'viral marketing',
'local distribution' (in a particular country)
'a release date',
'a release pattern'
'the big screen'
'theatrical openings'
'market territories'
'the marketplace'
'free to air television'
'theatrical rights'
'theatrical distribution'
'theatrical leg'
'word of mouth'
'marketing platform'
'marketing - when and how'
'a light week'
'P & A'
'Other films with similar traits (story, subject, country of origin)'
'The cinema poster - in the UK this means the standard 30" x 40" 'quad' format - is still the cornerstone of theatrical release campaigns. Numerous recent examples indicate that the poster design is highly effective in 'packaging'
'favourable press response'
'advertising campaign'
'Press advertising campaign for specialised films will judiciously select publications and spaces close to relevant editorial.'
'Press materials, clips reels, images, press previews, screener tapes'
'The use of talent - usually the director and/or lead actors - wins significant editorial coverage to support a release.'
'A pre-release campaign.'
'Preview screenings to create ''buzz" and "word of mouth" (usually amongst the press although the public can also be asked, too.)
'mainstream films'
'specialised films'
'For mainstream films scale and high visibility is the key'

These are just SOME of the topic's key terms that you need to use in your essays. Add others to your glossaries as you notice them.