Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Sightseers Research Task

Studio Canal
The original function was to focus on French and European productions, but later made strategic deals with American production companies. StudioCanal's most notable productions from its early years include Terminator 2: Judgment Day, JFK, Basic Instinct, Cliffhanger, Under Siege, Free Willy, and the original stargate movie. In those days, it was known as Le Studio Canal+.
Studio canal is a spin off of canal+. Studio canal are very closely linked to one of the major 6 film companies, universal studios.
Studio canal have a small film library of 10 films having been founded in 1988

Big Talk Pictures
The total gross for all Big Talk films was $313,717,990.
They specialise in British films.
Big Talk was founded by Nira Park.

Film4 Productions
Channel four television corporation owns Film4 Productions.
It was re-established in 2006
Film 4 is connected to Film4 Productions.

Bfi Film Fund
The purpose is to invest in lottery money into film development, production and distribution in film industry.
The budget is set to rise from 26 million to 30million by 2017.

The significance of proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences
The film is available on TV, VOD, Magazines, National and Specialist Press, Outdoor – Underground, High Impact Online Display, Video, Social.
It didn’t have a release date at the time, and now it does. Sightseers will show you a love story like no other whenever it hits theaters on May 10.
It was marketed by giving away the movie for free. "It’s kind of counter-intuitive to give a movie away for free. But at the same time, if you’ve got a million people talking about it, that’s’ a pretty amazing bit of marketing. And if you’ve got big resources, you’ve got to use them."
Created a Facebook and twitter page and kept up on information on the film. They made fake posters for the "missing dog". This made the film feel more realistic.
They set up deck chairs, camping chairs and trams to go with the theme of the movie at the premier.
At the premier they were sponsored by stella artois and it was hosted by the drink too.
Stella Artois Bursaries are unique funds that directly support the film community.

The issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically British) by international or global institutions
The film came from a short comedy sketch which was made and then turned into a movie.
Filmed by british people, funded by british people, the actors are british, the film places are british and the storyline is british.
Ben Wheatley has directed other fins such as Kill List, Down Terrace and A Field in England.
Sightseers got shown on 10 cinemas and for 1-2 weeks in the US.Averagely scored 69 out of 100 based on 22 reviews.
The British Independent Film Awards was where Sightseers was nominated for 7 awards and won the best screenplay in 2012.
At the box office Sightseers made $2,102,166.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

People of certain ages are often put into certain stereotypical groups, most noticeably though in TV dramas. For example, teenagers are portrayed as being rebellious and disrespectful hoodlums who only live to cause trouble, whereas older people are given the image of useless and grumpy. Throughout this extract from Waterloo Road there are many points which I think fit this idea of stereotyping the characters according to age. This is done through camera angles, mise en scene, sound and editing.

The establishing shot of the extract is a low close up shot of a pair of brown heavy duty shoes walking through what seem to be table and chair legs, this immediately shows us that this scene will take place in a classroom or formal setting of some sort. The extended close up shot of the shoes intensifies the importance of the shoes to the audience and allows them to wonder at who is doing the somewhat suspicious walk. The next shot is a two shot of two teenage boys. The sudden cut from the shoes to the boys displays the connection between them, and their shifty acts are clearly the reason for the slow walk from the brown shoes. As the teacher is first introduced to the scene through a stern 'ahem' (showing his power over the two younger boys) there is a sudden increase in the speed of the editing. There are 4 shots which only last around half a second each as the boys hurry to hide whatever item it is that they were trying to be secretive about. This fast editing represents the youth's lack of composure when faced with 'danger' using the fast cuts as a signal of panic. There is then a close up of the teacher and students faces as they begin to talk, these shots give the first clear shot of their faces so allow us to pick out the significant contrast between the boys' youthful faces and uniform, and the teacher's wrinkly aged skin. The next shot is a mid shot which shows us a contrast between the two age groups, this time through body language. As the older teacher looks at the students with a stern look yet a smug one, the boys stand very closed and almost never make eye contact. This fits the stereotype that the older generations always have authority over the younger ones and they also enjoy having this power. The use of the broken camera in the scene also shows that the younger students are lacking in discipline and are also careless with their property. However shortly after this camera is revealed, another character is introduced who fits different parts of each stereotype. She is a teacher so shows power over the boys, but is also dominated by the older male teacher. She also dresses smartly like the older teacher, but sports a more vivid pink as apposed to the other teacher's grey suit tying her in with the younger characters as well.

In the next scene there is an establishing close up two shot of the student and the care taker. The student is shown slouching against the wall, which is the stereotypical posture for a 'lazy' teenager. When the two characters start talking about the broken window, the care taker automatically assumes that it was this boy who had broken the window. This shows clearly the caretaker's hostile manner towards the student, thinking the only reason for a mischievous teen telling him about such a thing is if he himself did it. After explaining that the broken window wasn't his handy work, the student says its because he wants to do something he's good at if he's going to be 'stuck in this place'. This use of wording is common from teenagers as they are all perceived to hate school and want to rebel against the system. There is then a series of over the shoulder shots whilst they come to an agreement on the conditions for the student to help out, this shows us each of the characters personal view of the other character. This teacher however is not like the other ones seen in the scenes before, as he is wearing a loose fitting unbuttoned shirt, rather than a suit or tie. This connotes his inner youthfulness and also explains why he feels so inclined to help out this student.

The next scene starts of with a long shot down a school corridor filled with students. These students are almost all wearing the wrong uniform or pushing the rules at least. They wear short skirts and loose ties without their top button done up. This displays the youthful rebellious mind clearly to the viewer. The walls and displays are also mostly brightly coloured and filled with posters, connoting the bright and inventive mind of the youth that most adults do not get to see. The students speaking about the girls' parents divorcing use very informal language compared to the older characters to once again show their rebellious nature against conforming to the 'norm'. Teenagers are also notorious for not being able to stay out of each others business, so talking about their friend's family issues backs up this idea. This is also seen in the following scene of the students in the English classroom. Throughout this scene the camera focuses mainly around the girl and boy sitting in the middle of the class. Even when it is announce that the girl has some happy news with another boy, the original boy is always in frame, connoting his interference in the situation.

The final important scene starts with an establishing shot of a pair of Nike high top trainers. The camera then pans up the body of the person wearing these shoes, revealing it is a fairly old man. The non-diegetic grime music playing and the clothes that this man is wearing are complete ill fitting and do not go together well at all. There are then some students who laugh at this man, conforming the idea that for an older person to wear those type of clothes is completely not socially acceptable and should therefore be made humorous. Even following his humiliation he is told he looks ridiculous by a fellow colleague, and next to this teacher he look completely out of place.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Marketing Essay

A film's success is largely bound to the marketing and distribution to the target audience. For many companies, they need large advertising and distribution methods in order to attract attention to their films. One company that is renowned for their excellent distribution and advertising is 20th century fox; due to this they influence and control a large majority of the film industry. They are able to distribute their films and products worldwide effectively, resulting in their products getting publicity from all ages and audiences. This immediately gives them an advantage over films and companies who can not advertise their products as effectively. Being a large and well established company 20th Century Fox has many connections to television companies, print companies and other business's that they can collaborate with. One example of a convergence project that 20th century fox did was a line of McDonalds Happy Meal toys in order to advertise their animated film 'Ice Age'. This allowed their target audience of young children to be exposed to the film before it was released. This made the film a global amount of $879,765,137 worldwide. The film was also released shortly after on DVD all over the world which gave it extra publicity and sales even after it had finished screening at the cinema. Other films that were affected positively by convergence were the 'Planet of the Apes' franchise. They featured on many TV adverts and made many feature-ette length films which they published on Youtube. These films where then published in the popular magazine Vice. This got the films out to an exclusive audience that only Vice could reach out to. These people are the people that buy and wear high fashion clothing and are also interested in street culture, therefore meaning that they are more likely to spend more money. Planet of the Apes also did a collaboration with the high class street wear brand 'A Bathing Ape' which attracts this audience again.

One film that did poor due to bad marketing, advertising and distribution was the film 'Dredd'. This film was produced by the entertainment distributors Lionsgate Productions. Because of their tight budget of $45 million, their advertising campaign was significantly smaller scaled compared to larger budgeted films like 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' (Which I will come to later). Their distribution was the area which let them down greatest as they only sent the film to most cinemas in 3D rather than 2D. The only places that showed the film in 2D were the larger cinemas which most people would not be able to easily access. This was a poor choice made by the distribution company as instead of travelling the longer distances and paying more money they just chose not to watch the film resulting in them making a very small amount of money. Another poor move from the distribution company was releasing the film on the same year as 'Raid' which has a very similar storyline to 'Dredd's' so people who had seen 'Raid' didn't want to watch 'Dredd'. This once again supports the statement that marketing and distribution plays a huge part in a film's success.

On the contrary, a film that did very well due to it's balance of marketing, distribution and advertising was 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'. One major factor in the films success was the sale of rare and collectible items sold on eBay which relate to the film such as fake moustaches and suitcases were auctioned. 20th century Fox also collaborated with Prada in order to attract a higher class market to watch their film. This benefited both the film (and the companies which helped to create it) as well as the cinema's which showed it. This is because the richer audience would go and watch the film and obviously spend more money than an average viewer, which would make the cinema more money. This meant that the cinema would want more copies of the film to screen which then results in the film production and distribution companies making money as well. A large scale model of the grand hotel was toured around many larger cinemas in the UK which also attracted more people to watch the film. As a result of all of these marketing and advertising strategies the film made the grand total of $172 million profit at the box office from a budget even smaller than 'Dredd's' which only made a measly $41 million. 

After researching, I do agree strongly with the statement as even films with a 'large' budget can fail if they are not advertised and distributed effectively, as shown by the evidence above.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Sexual Representation in TV Drama

Grand Budapest Hotel Research

Task 1

Indian Paintbrush is an American production company which is owned by Steven M. Rales. It has funded many Wes Anderson films including 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'.

Fox Searchlight is a subsidiary of 20th Century Fox.

Fox Searchlight produce independent and British films, or films that would not do well if released in the cinema.

England and Germany financed the film on a 50/50 split basis.

Wes Anderson used stop-motion instead of CGI in his film in order to fit with the films' style and to cut costs.

The Grand Budapest Hotel was inspired by the writings of Stefan Sweig.

The film premiered at the 64th annual Berlin Film Festival.

Alexandre Desplat also wrote the score for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part 1 and 2) as well as Godzilla.

The Grand Budapest Hotel has won 5 awards including Best Foreign Film.

The film was initially shown in 4 cinemas.

On average it made $200,000 in each cinema.

Having the film released on UltraViolet Blu-Ray enables people to watch the film on many other devices by adding them to your own online library.

Walt Disney do not support the UltraViolet Blu-ray, as well as Apple, Amazon and Google.

UltraViolet Blu Ray received complaints that the films could not be played on any Apple Products. 

Task 1

Edward Norton (Henckles)
Owen Wilson (M.Chuck)
Ralph Feinnes (M. Gustav H)
Tony Revolori (Zero)
Jeff Goldblum (Deputy Kovacs)
Tilda Swinton (Madame D)
Adrien Brody (Dimitri)
Saoirse Ronan (Agatha)
Jason Schwartzman (M.Jean)
Willam Dafoe (Jopling)
Harvey Keitel (Ludwig)
Bill Murray (M.Ivan)
Mathieu Amalric (Serge X)
F. Murray Abraham (Mr. Moustafa)
Lea Seydoux (Clotilde)
Tom Wilkinson (Author)
Bob Balaban (M.Martin)

Task 2

Scouting for the film took place in Central Europe.
Görlitz in Germany was the final location. 
They Filmed on Location.
The production offices were located on the top floor of the hotel.
They built the 60's set first then peeled that away then revealed the 30's set.
The inspiration for the hotel's interior came from from 
There were over 150 extras.

Task 1

1. Selling promotional merchandise was sold on eBay, ranging from moustache cream to bow ties from the film.
2. They toured a large scale model of the hotel to theatres around the world.
3. They created instructional videos detailing how to bake pastries inspired by Mendl's pastries.
4. Due to the success of 'Moonrise Kingdom', younger audiences were attracted to the idea of 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'.
5. The film is accessible to audiences.

Anderson and members of the cast did a Q&A with members of the public whilst on board the QE2 as promotion for the film.
Prada created custom luggage bags to be be used in the film.

Monday, 13 October 2014

The Male Gaze

Tyga - Rack City

The music video which I will be analysing is Rack City by the rapper Tyga. I will be looking specifically through the video for parts which identify the male gaze in the media.

What is the male gaze?

The male gaze is the when the audience is put into the perspective of a heterosexual male. Females are over sexualised and they may have certain parts of their bodies emphasised to appeal to these males.

In the video

It does not take long for the male gaze to become apparent in this video. The scene shows Tyga sitting in what appears to be an unlicensed strip club, watching the semi-naked women dance amatively. These woman appear to have above average features which would most certainly appeal to the male gaze. Even though these women are dancing in such a manner in the presence of Tyga, the shot above shows the rapper paying no attention the these women. This could suggest the fact that perhaps he see's many women, and views them as nothing more than ornaments and/or sexual objects.

Just slightly later on in the video, this woman is presented to the viewers. She is shown sitting in a sexual manner on Tyga's motorcycle with very short shorts on. She then glances towards Tyga with a lustful look in her eye, which once again shows her sexualisation in the video. The next shot cuts close up to her, where she is shown seductively sucking on a piece of candy. This could hint at some of the sex acts that she wishes to perform on the rapper, as she views this as 'fun' and 'appealing'. This is once again the male gaze, as the male gaze also refers to the way in which women see a women, and what they deem is attractive for men.

This scene shows another great example of the male gaze. In the scene, Tyga and another man are discussing the whereabouts of the gold which Tyga and his accomplices had stolen. All the while, there is another semi-naked woman playing golf in the background. This could represent the fact that the rapper/all men see women as a 'game' which they can pick up and play whenever they choose to and can then also put down and leave whenever.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Why Did Judge Dredd Flop?

The film is set in the futurist version of New York City (Mega City 1), a place overloaded with crime and disorder. Based around a ‘super-cop’ called Judge Dredd, the film sees Dredd - along with the other judges – try to restore and maintain peace in a seemingly un-rescuable section of ‘Mega City 1’, otherwise known as the Peach Trees tower block. The Ma Ma clan, who are the known distributors of a new hallucinogenic, control this tower block and give the Judges a real run for their money when they try and enter the Ma Ma’s territory.

The film was written and produced by Alex Garland, a producer who has worked on films such as ‘Never Let Me Go (2010)’ and ’28 Days Later (2002)’. This brings me to my first point regarding how and why ‘Dredd’ flopped, which is, the fact that the director was very inexperienced. As I researched these other films which Alex had directed, I saw that the films he had previously had directed had very low budgets compared to that of ‘Dredd’. ‘Never Let me Go’ had a budget of $15 million, and ’28 Days Later’ had a budget of only $8 million. Comparing these, with the likes of ‘Dredd’s’ $45 million budget spells disaster for me. Giving a ‘low budget director’ a much higher budget does not necessarily mean that a higher quality film is going to be produced, and that is certainly the case with this film. A lot of the films money was spent on the film’s star actor Carl Urban, which was a huge waste of money in my opinion, as you never actually get to see his face. Unless you are a huge comic book fan, and went to the Comic Con festival in 2010 (this was where Carl announced his role as Dredd) then you wouldn’t actually be aware that he starred in the film. This means that you are immediately narrowing your market to ‘film nerds’ as it were. Most people only want to watch films with big Hollywood stars in, look at the Iron man franchise for example. These films are probably not as mentally involving as Dredd, but because of the fact that it had Robert Downey Jr in it, it was a huge success, taking over $1.2 billion worldwide at the box office.

I think that the whole ‘Film Nerd’ stereotype also ties in with another reason as to why the film failed, and that’s because of its very high expectations. The ‘Judge Dredd’ franchise originates from the comic book strip, which first appeared in 1977 and was later turned into a film in 1995, which stared Sylvester Stallone as Dredd. The history behind Dredd clearly means that people will expect a high standard from the much newer and technologically advanced remake of the film, and I feel as though it did not meet its expectations. Going from an actor like Stallone, to Karl Urban (who’s face you never actually see) is a very big step down, and for this reason along with others regarding the films expectations, and the fact that it did not meet these expectations is another reason as to why the film flopped. If you were to compare this once again to the Iron man franchise, it is clear to see why it didn’t fail like Dredd did. This is because although Iron Man is an iconic comic series, there was not previously a dedicated Iron Man film (although he does appear in the 1978 version of ‘The Avengers). This therefore meant there was nothing to look at to compare it to, so there could be no kind of expectations.

Although this was a high budget for Alex Garland, compared to other films of the same category it was very, very low. They attempted however, to reduce the films production costs by filming in South Africa where the cost of employing crew is much lower in comparison to those in the USA and Europe, but nevertheless the films budget did not allow the same facilities and opportunities that much larger budgets do. It also spent lots of its budget on cameras such as the RED MX’s and also paying to create new rigs made specifically for Dredd. The idea behind these rigs was to be able to bring the audience much closer to the action, without losing any slo-mo features or the high quality picture that the cameras produce. It is also common knowledge that a film which is given a low budget is most likely to produce a lower profit and this rule does apply to Dredd which had a $45 million budget and only turned over $41 million at the box office. If you were to compare this with the Iron Man once again, the difference between both budget and profit are clear to see. The film had a much higher budget of $140 million, but this allowed for better special effects, and better actors therefore resulting in a better profit, which was in fact $585.1 million.

One of the final reasons as to why ‘Dredd’ failed at the box office was down to the distributors of the film which was ‘Lionsgate’. They rejected almost every screen that wanted to show the film in 2D, leaving 2,200 of the 2,506 locations with access only to the 3D version to the film. They did this, as they wanted to make money off of the higher prices that the cinemas charge customers for tickets to see the 3D version on the film. This plan backfired however, as it just resulted in people not watching the film all together due to many peoples dislike towards watching 3D. This resulted in a lot less people going to see the film and therefore resulting in gaining less money at the box office. Iron Man however was not available in this obviously less desirable 3D option, meaning that anyone who had wanted to see the film was able to watch it comfortably in the traditional and more comfortable 2D.

Another marketing error that ‘Dredd’ made was making it an 18 rated film. This narrowed down the audience significantly, and also gave the film a bad image, as most people rightfully associate the 18 rating with edgy or adult subject matter, meaning that many people did not feel comfortable going to watch it. Iron Man however, was rated only a 12a. This meant that younger people were attracted to, and could independently watch it, which is important and the main group of people who watch films at the cinema are aged 16 or under.

In conclusion, financially ‘Dredd’ flopped majorly, and this was mainly down to the poor choices which were made in terms of production and marketing/distribution. This does not reflect peoples reviews on the film however, as many people who have actually watched the film very much enjoy it, so, maybe it wasn’t such a failure after all?

By Tom Brown

Word Count: 1155

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