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.

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