Thursday, 18 April 2013


Independent vs Mainstream
Today in the lesson we did some activities on independent vs mainstream. This has informed me of the difference between Film (an artistic form) and a Movie (a less meaningful form of entertainment). Also both mainstream and independent use some of the same methods of attracting audiences such as there would be local interest in both One Mile Away and Skyfall such as Birmingham and London. They both also use viral marketing due to it being free and is a very successful way of getting people to follow the film.
However Skyfall can do a lot more to advertise itself due to all mainstream movies having more money and can then have things such as well known actors to star in the movie which would bring more fans with. It also has a much larger global appeal due to the ability to advertise to many places around the world. One Mile Away has classification controversy due to it being realistic and could be then seen as it not being seen as suitable for all audiences.

Independent vs Mainstream

World cinema - Foreign language film
Independent - professional film production resulting in a feature film that is produced mostly or completely outside the major film studio system
Mainstream - anything that is not independent or world cinema

Clear ways to distinguish an independent - Usually uses hand held camera, small costs, small scale, realistic,                                  subject matter and social realism.

Examples of Independent films: Reservoir dogs, Donnie Darko and Monty Pythons life of Brian.

Examples of Mainstream films: Harry Potter, Avengers, Argo and Lincoln.

Section B question:
"Media production is dominated by global institutions, which sell their products and services to national audiences." To what extent do you agree with this statement.

  1. Bigger budget To spend on advertising along with big actor names.
  2. They have "safe" genres. The genres are all generic and a way to let the audience escape from life.
  3. They use well known production companies (e.g. 20th century fox, Columbia, Paramount etc..)
  4. Branding; convergence and synergy when two institutions work together.
  5. High audience expectations due to high level of money been spent in producing it.
  6. In English due to it being most spoken language and dominates the markets.
Skyfall abides by all the "rules" above but was had an independent production company by the name of EON and distributed by the mainstream company MGM. 

One Mile Away

One Mile Away was directed by Penny Woolcock and produced by James Purnell, and documents what happens after two rival gang members; Matthias 'Shabba’ Thompson, 33, (Johnsons) and Dylan Duffus, 31, (Burger Bar Boys), make the decision to call a truce and campaign for peace.It was set north-east of Birmingham city centre, in an area of Aston known for violence among gangs and drug dealers. The older members teach younger members how to follow in their paths, imparting their knowledge to the next generation. This would mean those as young as twelve are being taught how to sell drugs and use knives.The film follows a group of rival gang members in Birmingham during the intense summer of 2011, as they fight for a truce after the best part of 20 years of gang warfare.Each of the characters present in the film have all been through a tragic experience in the 'hood life'. One of the characters was shot in the leg.

The film was funded by Channel 4, Barrow Cadbury Trust and Creative England, with development grants from PUMA (development grant) and Fallon (development grant) and  Influence Film Fund. Also distribution and the social impact work of the film is funded by Bertha Foundation as well as donations from the public.

The main promotion for this film is free social networking sites. This is because the budget for the film was very small and so had no money to spare for things such as advertising/marketing. Also social networking sites are so popular nowadays that words has the ability to travel quickly.

The work that Shabba, Dylan and Penny started didn’t stop when the film was released. A group of the gang members from both the Burgers and the Johnsons have formed a group to take the message of the film into schools and to bring about change in areas around the country most affected by gang violence.Their work will focus on engaging youth and gang members with the aim of stimulating a change in the mentality, which has held their communities in a state of destruction for the last twenty years.

Monday, 15 April 2013


Have you ever been to an independent cinema?
I have not been to an independent cinema due to the Mainstream cinemas have a better ability to advertise and can offer deals. Mainstream cinemas are easily assessable due to the location of them (usually shopping centers and city centers) and shows mainstream films that target a larger audience and are made more known to the target audience.
What is more appealing about viewing at the cinema than viewing on DVD/online/TV?
It is shown on a bigger screen and your whole attention is put onto the film due to nothing else happening around. The film is always of good quality and all sound is clear for the audience. However viewing a film of DVD is often cheaper and has the ability to re watch over again, whereas due to increasing cinema ticket prices many are choosing to avoid the cinema.
Why has there been a recent trend in Hollywood 're-making' a lot of films?
 This is done because there would be a large audience that was interested in the films already released and is then an easy way to make money by just slightly re branding the film. It would still hold a large number interested in sequels to films and re made films due to liking the previous film. A lot of recent films tend to go along the same lines due to the difficulty to be original now.
Can you see any patterns or trends in films of the last 5 years?
As well as that they make films to go with the time such as disaster movie around the time of a new century because individuals get paranoid about the world ending. This simply gets the audience interested because they believe that there is a possibility for it to happen.
What were the top ten highest grossing films of 2012?

 How many of these films were American/British?
 All of the top ten grossing films of 2012 were American or British due to the biggest market for these films being in the two countries. Also the fact that most mainstream films and made in English due to it being the most commonly spoken language world wide. Seven of the top ten were American, one English and two were both American and British.
How many films were sequels or remakes?
Eight of the top ten were either sequels or remakes, with only the Avengers and The Hunger Games not being so. However the Avengers is effectively a sequel to a number of Marvel films with all the characters coming together in one film. Also The Hunger Games is a film adaptation of a book and a first in a sequel so it had a large fan base prior to its release.
Who distributed the films?
All of the films on the top ten list were distributed by large world wide companies such as Columbia, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and 20th Century Fox.
What percentage of box office takings were from multiplex cinemas compared to independent cinemas?
The majority if not all of the taking were from multiplex cinemas because independent cinemas can not afford to have showings of huge box office films such as The Avengers and Skyfall. Also the advertising ability of the big multiplex cinemas greatly out ways that of the independent cinemas, so everyone will know about them and then choose to go there over an independent cinema.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Case study research

James Bond-Skyfall

How was it produced?
The cast consisted of mainly English actors such as Ralph Fiennes and Naomie Harris. This was done to stick with the major English influence in James bond films and helps generate interest by having well known English actors. There were also a foreign influence in the cast with Javier Bardem (Spain) and Bérénice Marlohe (France), these actors are well known in their respective countries and would help stir up interest there.
The director of Skyfall was Sam Mendes who is an English director which further reinforces the English grip on the James Bond franchise. The film was produced by Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, both had work on many previous Bond movies and have worked together before aswell.
For Skyfall they filmed in many different countries, for example, Turkey, China, Scotland and England. It was cleaver to involve scenes from different countries because countries such as China would be more interested in films that have a connection to their contry. This would generate a lot of money for the film due to the vast size of foreign markets like China’s.
How was it marketed?
It was marketed very well to generate interest in it. They emphasised a lot of the marketing around James Bond 50th anniversary and was the reason why England had an early release date. It also took advantage of events happening in the UK such as the London Olympics which in the opening ceremony that had James Bond meeting the queen and making it look like them jumping out of a plane.
How was audiences targeted?
Audiences were targeted by James Bond being put in everyone’s faces before being released into cinemas. This was mainly done via social networking cites such as Facebook and twitter that both had their own pages with millions of likes or followers.
How accessible was it?
It was released early in the UK which is unusual as it is normally released earlier in the USA. It was a box office film and was a priority screening in most film chains. It sold record amounts in the UK as the public felt connected with it through the clever advertising.