Thursday, 21 October 2010

Matthew Vaughn Talks To Jonathan Ross about Kick Ass and the British Film Industry

The discussion on the state of the British Film industry begins four minutes in - but it is worth waiting for! Use this information for your case studies.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

British film institutions, film makers and films are on the up!

If you need a comparative film institution and film which reflects the creativity and ingenuity of the British film industry you could hardly do better than "Moon", starring Sam Rockwell and made by the UK's Liberty Films. There is a link on Liberty Film's' website which gives you most of what you need to know about the production of this film. You can also Google the film's production notes. The extras on the DVD has a great interview with the creative team behind "Moon" at the Sundance Film Festival in which they discuss several issues that would be perfect for a case study for 322 Section B. What with Edgar Wright, Matthew Vaughn and "Moon's" Duncan Jones young British directors, screenwriters, cinematographers, producers, special effects people, etc. have made a huge impact on audiences in the UK and USA this year.

Monday, 18 October 2010

The aim of this blog

My aim is to share information, advice, explanations, analysis and links in a readily accessible place.

Tasks and essays for my students will be placed on Moodle. My students need to submit their assignments and essays there. No doubt, I hope that looking over this blog and the links to other blogs and websites will help my students and others achieve tasks, etc.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Advice on how to create your case studies for Institutions and Audiences G322, Section B

    This is aimed my students and anyone else who might find it useful.

Creating and maintaing your case study on film institutions and example films
You need to keep your work together on a word-processing program like Microsoft's Word or Apple's Pages. Everything you do should have clear headings, titles, etc. so you can find, add or edit your information. You can use a blog, if you wish to do this.  I need to see what you have covered in your case study so you it should be available for me to see on your computers, online or on hard-copy. If you have made written notes type them up with headings on one of the word processing programs mentioned above. Add images and links where appropriate. Aside from class tests I will ask to see your case studies regularly and grade them each half term.

Revising for class tests and the exam
When revising for class tests and the exam you will need to be able to pull your work together to get a clearer overview.  You could then use Prezi or Power Point or the mind-mapping program, Inspiration, etc. to do this. Of course, you can create your own mind-map on A3 paper and keep your overview that way. This worked well for several students last year who did well in the exam. It is harder, however, to get an overview of your case study from a blog, given the way they record and show information.

Your case study which focuses on the British film industry
You need to be able to establish how the British film industry survives in the face of the overwhelming dominance of the main competitor for English-speaking films, the USA. That means alongside your British case study institution, for instance, Channel4's Film4 and Slumdog Millionaire, you will need to create another, US-based case study by choosing another institution for comparative purposes and at least one of their films from which you can use as an example: for instance, the US's Legendary Pictures whose agreement with Warner Brothers enabled to to produce Watchmen which was distributed by Warner Bros in the US and Paramount Pictures in Europe.

Your case studies as journeys
The order in which you may find your information will vary as gain experience. Yet you should find your institutional information first. You have been give lists of things to find out for Film4 and Slumdog Millionaire. But you should find out about the types and genres of the films Film4 produces and be able to compare their budgets and genres with Slumdog Millionaire to establish how Slumdog fits into the slate of films which Film4 produces these daysWikipedia and IMDB are great places to begin your search for institutional information. Get hold of a copy of the film, too and examine the opening credits for institutional information and key personnel. You will need to track down and establish the significance of the information you research from doing this. Other sources of information apart from the Internet would be Empire Magazine's back issues and other hard copy sources that may be found in libraries such as film books, etc. which examine issues like this. Don't forget that a key resource is the production notes for the issues and patterns in any film. You should Google them.

Remember as you work that the issues and patterns that film production companies, distributors and cinema exhibitors have to contend with are ALL AUDIENCE RELATED. This is the key factor that affects institutions at each stage in the process of producing, distributing and marketing and exhibiting (showing) a film.

The areas covered in your case study

  • Production (the decisions, issues and patterns in making a film with audiences in mind)
  • Distribution and Marketing (how the campaign targeted audiences)
  • Exhibition ( the theatrical, TV and DVD releases and again how audiences saw and reacted to the film )
  • Exchange ( how the public use Web 2.0 digital technology to interact with the film, to post bits of the film on You Tube, create videos and blog sites about films, Twitter and discuss the film on Facebook, make pirate copies, file share, etc.)

There are seven key concept areas from which the exam board will select one for an exam question.
(My students have been given a hard copy of those so they can refer to them as they produce their case studies.) I will post these areas with brief explanations in the next post.

The up-dated lists of what would be profitable to research for case studies under the key case study headings will be given in forth-coming posts.

For your coursework ( Unit G321 ) you will need to keep a blog so you can show how your work progressed.

Scott Pilgrim" and its post modern features

Here's a few reviews, etc. to read on this film. I'll be asking my students after Half Term to give brief presentations of post modern films and will expect them to identify post modern features in scenes and trailers as well as in a macro sense across the films.

Scott Pilgrim review which touches on its post modern features

The Director, Edgar Wright, talks about his film ( a review which touches on reality).


Scott-Pilgrim-vs-the-World-Notes  Useful also for producing an institutions and audience case study.