Sunday, 20 December 2009

An Institutions and Audiences question

Consider why it is most sensible to begin at the end (with Exhibition - Audiences and Exchange) rather than with production and distribution, etc.

So that your answer is not too narrowly based be able to make comparisons with a US film institution and film for production, distribution and exhibition. This will give your British case study a wider context and you will be better placed to argue how film practices in the British Film Industry are directly affected by the giant US conglomerates based in Hollywood. 

Distribution: How "Slumdog Millionaire was promoted through Creative Search Marketing

Technological convergence is present at each stage in the media and in this instance, the distribution part of the film industry. Here, "Tug" plays up its part in the use of search marketing for Pathe to publicise Slumdog Millionaire using online marketing on the Internet. For those researching case studies on this film and its institutions notice also how niche audiences were targeted: "Indian moviegoers and Danny Boyle enthusiasts".

Launching Pathe’s Slumdog Millionaire Using search marketing

Date Published: 07th May 2009

• Pathe was launching a new independent movie in the UK: Slumdog Millionaire.
• They wanted to use online marketing to build awareness with the public while also targeting niche audiences such as Indian movie goers and Danny  Boyle enthusiasts.
• To support their above the line advertising, Pathe developed a suite of online marketing collateral including a viral, a widget and a trailer focused microsite
• But how could Pathe cost effectively, gain an online share of voice in the competitive January release season, create engagement and drive traffic to their online assets?

Tug developed a PPC campaign on the major UK search engines targeting searchers interested in: Pathe, Bollywood, Danny Boyle, Slumdog, Indie movies and the like
• Tug launched targeted banners across the Google Content network to build
awareness of the film on a cost per click model. Eye balls were free.
• Tug worked with Google to create click to play trailer ads. Pathe only paid
when the surfer clicked through to the microsite. Banner and even trailer views were free!
• Tug tested and improved ad copy weekly and included Bafta award and box office hit messaging when the movie met these milestones.
• A tactical SEO programme was also put in place concentrating on the film name to ensure top positioning for the difficult to index, flash microsite.

• PPC drove over 75,000 new visitors to
• More than 21 Million ad impressions were served and viewed by targeted audiences – for free. On a blind network at £5 CPM that would have cost over£100K
• 73,000 movie goers engaged with and viewed the video trailer
• These terrific results cost a mere £13,000 in media spend over a 5 week burst.
• Slumdog Millionaire smashed UK box office records and has won 7 Bafta awards and 8 oscars!
• Tug are working on an integrated SEO & PPC template campaign structure for further Pathe film releases.

Creative Search Marketing
77 Leonard Street
London, EC2A 4QS

Monday, 14 December 2009

The Distributor's Marketing Campaign: how to analyse film posters

Of course, in the Exam there is no way that you can say everything about how your distributor's film poster targets its audience. Still, an analysis of two- three of its most important features will go a long way to earning you marks when writing a  paragraph or so about this in your exam essay.

When you analyse any film poster you need to establish the type of film poster you are looking at.

The type of poster: Identify which type of poster it is: the teaser poster -this poster contains basic information to whet your appetite. It often does not indicate much about the plot, but may have a picture of the stars, and the name of the film.

The main theatrical poster- This contains information about the production personnel, the stars, and the distributors.

Video/DVD release poster - This one comes out when the film is released on DVD/video and often has all of the above plus short, one line reviews from relevant publications.

Character Poster – this one features the main character. Remember that the posters could be a combination of two types. The poster above focuses on the 'ensemble cast'.

For greater depth consider:
Images of the key settings and the main characters. What is the title of the film? What can you say about the way in which the title graphics have been written? Who is starring in the film? Where are the stars’ names placed on the poster? Why? Describe the key images on your poster. Why have they been chosen? Talk about what images are used - stars, setting, colours, symbols, (mise-en-scene). What do they suggest/signify? What other pictures can you see? What is their purpose? What are the most important colours on your poster? Why do you think these were chosen? What do you think the film will be about? Who is the target audience?

Narrative: What clues are there to the narrative? What can you tell about the genre of the film and the types of characters from their facial expression, body language, stance, appearance and position on the poster? What makes you say this? What impression do you get of the character/personalities from their expression, clothes, props. Is there an enigma being presented? Is the poster composed of a series of images (montage, lack of perspective) Is the key image a still from the film?

Colours: What colours are used in the posters? Are they relevant to the genre e.g. horror posters generally use dark strong colours especially black and red to represent death and evil. Romance films tend to employ lighter pastel and warm colours such as pinks, purples and other warm shades. Are the colours on your poster important? Why? What clues do they give about the genre, and how do they attract the target audience?

Layout: Write about how the images are laid out. Are they are blended in without any concern for real perspective or size relationships between people and setting. Why do you think they are laid out like that? Do you know what the plot, genre and/or theme of the film is? If so,how? Most posters are Portrait or Landscape in shape. What shape is yours? Describe and discuss the title, font, typeface and graphics on the poster. What style are they in, where are they positioned etc? has the poster been painted and printed or produced using DTP 
(mention how improvements in technology have changed production values)

Written text: Is there a catch or tag-line? What does it tell us about the action, genre and attitude within the film? Who do you think is the target audience for the film? How has the poster been made attractive to these people? Discuss the billing/credit block. What information does it include about credits and information? Do we get information about who is in the cast, who directed the film, which company distributes it and promotes it etc? Where is the certificate? What does it indicate about the target audience and the content of the film? Does the poster list a website? If not, why not?

Finally, what is the USP (the unique selling point) in each poster? What makes it different from other films? The plot, stars, themes, setting or characters? Sometimes you can have  more than one USP.

For your case study institution's film you should   focus  your attention on the main theatrical poster. The one below is a teaser.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Technological Convergence

Still struggling with this concept/term? Rose's brief video should help you finally understand. The thing is that you need to think about where you can apply this concept to the following areas of the film industry: audience, production, distribution/marketing, exhibition, exchange.

Advice for writing your essay's argument for the Institutions and Audience section of the Exam

Whatever you do you should always read the question and underline or circle its key words. Then make your plan for your answer. Remember to use key words from the question to keep your essay's argument relevant. You also need to use key concepts such as Audience, Production, Distribution, Exhibition and Exchange. Remember to use and apply concepts such as Technological Convergence, Synergies, Media Convergence (for media ownership) etc. There are several other terms listed in a previous post on selected key terms for Institutions and Audiences.

Rather than just plough through the expected format of production, distribution/marketing/exhibition issues with key terms tagged on, why not begin with the audience's reception of the film. Its the most important part of the process and what happens there can decide the genres and casting, etc. of future films which institutions may then "greenlight". Given how much of the audience first finds out about a film on the Internet and then discusses it on various websites, is a good way to discuss technological convergence early on. After all, YouTube, Face-Book, Blogsites, Amazon UK message boards on  films, etc have put people onto films that they would otherwise never have found.

Moreover, like a detective you can go over the ISSUES as to why a particular film was a success or not for its institution(s) by beginning with the audience's reactions to the film (both critics and ordinary people) and then by raking over  the production, marketing and exhibition issues associated with the film and its institution.  You will be better placed to decide why a film succeeded or failed to make money and please its audiences. After all, in the regular pattern of film-making and the decisions taken at each stage, errors can take place which could be rectified in future.

Another possible angle is to begin with the importance of technological convergence and begin with its ever widening role in enjoying, making and marketing films.

As mentioned at the beginning you need to address the question's key words and not just spill down everything you know about your case study. Relevance is everything.

The Boat That Rocked/Pirate Radio - Exhibition issues - postmodernism

For A2 students who have studied postmodernism!
Like all postmodern texts the film does not take itself seriously. This "text" is playful. Its characters indulge in being self-referential, the film trades in nostalgia and is heavily laden with irony; it breaks conventional narrative boundries of length and character development and is decidedly intertextual ( it includes references to other films in both image and sound -  for instance, see and hear the "Good, The Bad and The Ugly" "chicken" scene in which The Count and Gavin prove their manhoods and honour by climbing up a boat's steep radio mast; some of the songs were also released outside of the setting of the film.

On the original pirate boats there was at least one wedding and this is referred to in the film. However, the seriousness of a marriage at sea and the institution of marriage ceremony itself  and religion is treated in a typically postmodern, ironic, manner in which very little is taken seriously. Of course the film's comic genre aids this undermining of modernist conventions. The fact that the marriage only lasts for 17 hours shows how the bride never took it seriously either as January Jone's Elenore only goes through with it to be close to Rhys Ifan's character, Gavin. This is highly ironic for the  60s"wife" who is faithful for so long to her unfaithful husband, Don Draper from AMC's Mad Men, set in the early 1960s

Exhibition Issues for "The Boat That Rocked" - Audience reception and digital piracy

These are just a few comments on the longest theatrical trailer:

Notice how several, "spam" comments, refer to websites where you can download the film free online. YouTube clips for the film are riddled with spam like this. This is one of the results of WEB 2.0 and the interactive nature of digital technology. It's a form of piracy, of course, and another example of technological convergence - something which can cut both ways for the distribution of the film - profitably and unprofitably. This is somewhat ironic given the fact that the original  pirate radio DJs on Radio Caroline didn't pay royalties to recording artists when they played their songs in the mid 1960s! The spam is aimed at young people who are "time rich and cash poor".

Text Comments (211)   Options

frederickbington (7 hours ago)  
it was so damn superb to watch it. I seriuously just want to see it one more time at movies.ovemedia. com
gisellegingerih4 (19 hours ago)  
i saw this movie last night very stupid but at the same time creepy but it got better at the end .. anywayz this site offers the whole movie movies.ovemedia. com
Comment(s) marked as spam Show
wanessawilliam (1 day ago)  
This film is superb but highly over rated still keeps up with the high end budget horrors... I always find to make it more scary you need to watch it late at night while home alone... Anyway for anyone who hasnt see it you can watch it where I did movies.ovemedia. com
Comment(s) marked as spam Show
revolutionschild666 (2 days ago)  
This trailer implies that The Count is the protagonist of this movie, which is wrong of course

No worries tough, it still is a genius movie
burnyholley (3 days ago)  
I seriously can't believe that they already got this movie to the internet! my pal showed me this web site uploaded at movies.ovemedia. com
jimifloydrix (3 days ago)  
what the hell, 8 spams in a row?
also: looks good. even if 1:41 ...
adeleeaster (3 days ago)  
You can watch the newest movies here: free-movies-on-line( . )com
pingugore445 (3 days ago)  
whats thee name of the song at 0:28?