Monday, 24 October 2016

Ex_Machina Research

Ex_Machina (2015) Directed by Alex Garland

Research the following areas:
  • producer
  • director
  • distributor
  • cast
  • budget
  • locations
  • technology
  • number of screen - opening weekend
  • number of screens - peak number
  • box office figures
Apply each of the seven areas from the specification to each film.
  1. the issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice;
  2. the importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and marketing;
  3. the technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, distribution, marketing and exchange;
  4. the significance of proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences;
  5. the importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences;
  6. the issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically, British) by international or global institutions;
  7. the ways in which the candidates’ own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour
This work will also be on SMHW.

Ex_Machina (2015) Trailer

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Essay 1 - Deadlines

The essay 1 deadlines are as follows for each class:

12V Monday 24th October period 4

12Y Wednesday 26th October Period 4

12Z Tuesday 25th October period 1

Missed deadline = Afterschool detention on Thursday 3rd November

Digital Vs Film

In 2002, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones became the first major movie to be shot entirely on digital video, even though, back then, it had to be transferred on to 35mm film for most cinemas to show it. The producers of Attack of the Clones estimate that they spent $16,000 on 220 hours of digital tape. If they had used the same amount of film, it would have cost them $1.8m.

Yet the real opportunity to axe costs digitally comes long after the final scene is shot. To produce and ship a 35mm print to an American cinema costs about $1,500. Multiply that by, say, 5,000 prints for a big movie and it comes to $7.5m. Digital formats can do the same job for 90 per cent less.

Overlaid on this is the growing importance of global box-office receipts. Digital distribution makes it feasible to launch a movie simultaneously on tens of thousands of screens across the planet, from Cartagena to Kolkata – and, while you’re at it, on platforms such as iTunes and on aeroplanes.

Moreover, no matter how carefully it is handled, every time a 35mm film print is run through a projector, it will degrade, collecting blemishes – scratches, tears, worn edges – that affect the viewing quality. Titanic reportedly played for so long in theatres that some prints fell apart in the projectors. In this sense, film is indeed mortal, perishable, fragile – human. This analogy would make digital “immortal”. You show a digital copy of a film once or a thousand times and the quality remains undiminished while the studios’ bottom lines grow.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens was distributed digitally

One of the biggest benefits of the digital format is the ease and lower cost of distribution. Sending around an encrypted hard drive is a lot easier than transporting and setting up multiple reels of film.
And there's also the fact that many film projectors have been replaced with digital counterparts. So with Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens being shot on 35mm and 65mm film, where are we going to be able to see it?
For the most part, screenings of The Force Awakens will be a digital transfer anyway – even in IMAX theatres. Despite it being hailed as the #bestformatever, only 1% of the theatres in North America will be showing the full IMAX experience and only a reported 15 theatres in the world will have the 70mm IMAX format.

Every other IMAX cinema will be showing the Digital IMAX version, which is barely any larger than standard cinematic widescreen.

Essay 1 - question and mark scheme


“Successful media products depend as much upon marketing and distribution to a specific audience as they do upon good production practices”.

To what extent would you agree with this statement, within the media area you have studied?

Areas you may wish to cover:
  • Production practices which allow texts to be distributed and marketed for specific audiences
  • The distribution and marketing of specific products or types of products
  • How audiences engage with distribution and marketing strategies
  • Audience strategies in facilitating or challenging institutional practices
  • Arguments for, or against, an institution’s success or failure
  • Explanation of synergy, cross media or digital initiatives and how these practices target specific audiences 
50 marks
20 marks Evidence, Analysis, Argument 
20 marks Examples
10 marks Terminology

Click here for the mark scheme.

Vertical and Horizontal Integration

Vertical Integration
This is when the production company has the ownership of the means of production, distribution and exhibition of the film by the same company, because of this they receive all of the profit.

Horizontal Integration
This is where a production company expands into other areas of one industry. This means that the company can develop in a particular area of production or they can buy out another company that deals with these areas.

Synergy is the promotion and sale of a product within films, examples of this would be soundtracks, phones and laptops etc.
There are many advantages to using synergy in films, it can increase the profit made on the film, it enhances the companies image and it can influence public opinion.