Evaluation question 3: Renewed

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Question 3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

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Page 1: Evaluation question 3: Renewed

Question 3.

What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

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Real Production/Distribution companies: UK & US

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Film distribution describes everything that happens in between production (making the film) and exhibition (people watching the film in cinemas ,DVD/UMD, TV, through the internet or on a plane or anywhere else). Distribution involves all of the deals done to get films shown and just as importantly promoted. There has to be release cycles e.g. 0 months- Theatrical release & then 36 months- free- TV (BBC1). They have to decide which date to release the film and take into consideration when is the right time to release seasonal films. Take for instance Paranormal activity 3 which was released in October on the 21st around Halloween.

The key players, the big companies who control much of the industry, control distribution of their own products and of others e.g. 20th Century Fox & Avatar.

Five major distributors dominate the UK film industry which are1. United international pictures which Universal is a part of)2. Warner bros3. Buena vista4. Twentieth century fox5. Sony

They deal with exhibitors who are no longer owned by the same Hollywood companies but for reasons of profit, prioritise Hollywood films over others. Usually the blockbuster films we are familiar with are distributed through ‘blanket release’. This means that even if a small UK independent company manages to get its product into cinemas, it is usually competing for attention with one or more films that take on the status of an ‘event’. One of the outcomes of the distribution agreement outlined above is that half of the films released in Britain do not reach the whole country.

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Marketing & Advertising

MarketingTo market a film you’ll have to think about • Finding the hook of the film• genre of the film,• Who? What? When? where? And why?

( audience/target audience-teens or family?),• The unique selling point• Try attract as many people to watch the film.Distributors will then need to • Create a market campaign for the film to stand

out• Build up a reservoir of information• Campaign ways include: Print/poster, internet,

mobile e.g. an image of Spiderman which is a global image

Teaser campaigns are made to keep people aware of the film coming to screen, ad sells and most importantly create a trailer. There's three types: Teaser trailer, Main trailer & Shorter main trailer. The trailer is important because it’s the first exposure to what the film will be about therefore it has to be portrayed well.

AdvertisingThere are many ways your film can be distributed

when marketing it. Distributors might go for a range depending on the budget they have. To advertise a film there are a range of things you could use to do so.

Three key things in advertising-• Advertising• Cost of production• Promotion/third party e.g. RadioAlso they could use Billboards, Official websites,

flyers, Buses, TV or cinema adverts.

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Type of distributors that might want distribute our film

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StudioCanal UK (formerly Optimum Releasing/Home Entertainment/Classics) is a film distributor company working in the UK and Ireland. They are vertically integrated and the company releases many films, including foreign language films, anime releases such as Studio Ghibli's films and independent British, Irish and American films in the UK and sometimes Ireland.

Optimum was acquired by StudioCanal, a subsidiary of Vivendi SA, in 2006. Since StudioCanal bought Optimum, the French company distribute their large back catalogue of classic British films (many from the Cannon and EMI catalogues) through Optimum releasing under the strand 'Optimum Classic'. When named Optimum, the company's image was that of a modern, independent new release and back catalogue distributor.

Films were released under four strands: Optimum Releasing (Theatrical New Releases), Optimum Home Entertainment (DVD, Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD New Releases), Optimum Classic (DVD Re-releases of back catalogue films) and Optimum World (New and Back Catalogue World Cinema). The latter three appear to be still being used, despite the company's name change.They released over 200 films a year and were one of the most prominent distributors in the UK independent film and world cinema market since the closure of Tartan Films in 2008.

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Optimums distributions

The genre of films they distribute vary from comedy, Horror, Romance and thrillers. Some of the thrillers they have distributed are:

• Orphan• The Hurt Locker• The Loved Ones

Films they have distributed which have done well include Vicky Cristina Barcelona a Drama Romance film which had a budget of $15,500,000 estimated. It managed to gross a total of $23,213,577 which is a fair amount. Another film is The Last Exorcism which had a budget of $2,000,000 estimated and on opening weekend made over $20,366,813 but in total overall it grossed $40,990,055. This is more than triple the amount of the budget which just shows how a low budget film can do extremely well.

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• Universal Pictures a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, is one of the six major movie studios. They are horizontally integrated and on May 11, 2004, the controlling stake in the company was sold by Vivendi Universal to General Electric, parent of NBC. The resulting media super-conglomerate was renamed NBC Universal, while Universal Studios Inc. remained the name of the production subsidiary. In addition to owning a sizable film library spanning the earliest decades of cinema to more contemporary works, it also owns a sizable collection of TV shows through its subsidiary NBCUniversal Television Distribution. It also acquired rights to several prominent filmmakers' works originally released by other studios through its subsidiaries over the years.

• One of the pros of Universal Pictures is that they would be able to distribute a film internationally without any outside help because they can afford to do so and the majority of their films do successfully well in the cinema and eventually go to DVD which also sell well. Unfortunately they don’t have their own TV channel which they can show their films on but most of their films et shown on various channels after 12-18 months so its still quite good.

• If I’m honest I don’t think they would be a good option for us to distribute our film because they have high budgets and since our film is an amateur independent film I feel that its best for us to have our film distributed by an British Independent film company.



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Universals distributions

• Just like Optimum releasing they distribute a wide range of films and the genres vary from Romance, Comedy, Action and thrillers. Examples of thrillers they have distributed are Stay Alive, Drag me to hell and The Unborn which have done pretty well. Other films they have distributed which have done successfully well was King Kong which had a high budget of $207 million but made $550.5million at box office which became the fourth highest grossing movie in Universal pictures history.

• DVD sales contributed over $100million towards the grosses. Another example of a film they have distributed which has done extremely well at box office is the 1999 movie The Mummy. The Mummy had a budget of $80million and grossed total of $415,933,406 at the box office, this led to sequels and TV shows. It was nominated for Best Sound at the academy awards & Best Visual Effects at the BAFTAs and in 2004 Universal pictures and Amblin Entertainment decided to open a roller coaster called Revenge of the Mummy.

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• Founded in 1991 by film producers Bernd Eichinger, Arnon Milchan, and Andrew G. Vajna, initially to handle film sales in foreign countries. Summit later expanded into producing and co-financing films in 1995, and started fully financing films by 1997.Summit officially launched in 1993 by Patrick Wachsberger, Bob Hayward and David Garrett under the name Summit Entertainment LP as a production, distribution, and sales organization, thus making them vertically integrated.

Summit is also distributed theatrically and on DVD in Europe and in Canada by Entertainment One. Without doubt they would be able to distribute their films internationally as stated before" distributed theatrically and on DVD in Europe and Canada but they do need the help of other conglomerates such as Universal Studios and Sony pictures to release their films on DVD. They do not have any links with TV channels but again this is not a major problem because people can still consume their films elsewhere.

Among the company's early successes was American Pie, which Summit distributed outside of English-speaking territories. In 2006, it became a fully independent film studio, Summit Entertainment, with the addition of Rob Friedman a former executive at Paramount Pictures. The new company added major development, production, acquisitions, marketing and distribution branches with a financing deal led by Merrill Lynch and other investors giving it access to over $1 billion in financing. With that, Summit now releases their own films on DVD with the help of Universal Studios and Sony Pictures.

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Summits distributions

They finally found success in November 2008 with the release of Twilight, a teen romance that made $408,773,703 worldwide. In the spring of 2009, Summit released Knowing, the company's second movie to open at number one at the box office and made $182,492,056 worldwide.

Other films they have distributed include thriller ‘The Hurt Locker’ grossing $16,400,000 at box office which gave Summit its first Oscar-winning for Best Picture, the animated film Astro Boy, the teenage horror thriller Sorority Row which made $11,965,282 at box office, the low-budget Action thriller Push and the 2010 hit ‘RED’ also grossing a high amount of $87,940,198 at box office and nominated for a 2010 Golden Globe in the Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical category.

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Distributors for our film continued…

Our thriller film, called ‘Live To Tell’, is an independent thriller film and the group and I discussed the sort of media institution which would distribute our media product and realised that our thriller film is of non-mainstream culture. Our film, I believe, would not appeal to the likes of Universal Pictures because such a huge media conglomerate would require our film to have a high budget and use better technology. Also it would mean that our film would have to include mainstream actors/actresses which Universal Pictures nearly almost always have in their films. Popular ‘Universal Pictures’ actors and actresses would include names like Denzel Washington & Russell Crowe from the 2007 crime film American Gangster.

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• Fox searchlight pictures established in 1994, may be a Distributor we could use as they specialise particularly in independent and British films. They’re a film division of Fox Filmed Entertainment alongside Fox Studio 20th Century Fox. They’ve distributed many low budget films which have done extremely well at box office e.g. Napoleon Dynamite, Juno and Slumdog Millionaire as mentioned before. Napoleon Dynamite had a budget of $400,000 but its gross revenue was almost $50million. Although the above films which have been low budget have done well, I think the best low budget media product which resembles our thriller is the 1999 film, The Blair Witch Project.

It had a budget around $600,000 and lead to a worldwide gross of over $248.3million which is good considering the fact they used a handheld camera and the woods to create such a film. But while most low budget films are backed by distributors, it’s common for low budget films to be produced without one and this results in producers much like me and my group to rely on audience reactions at film festivals. So maybe if we show our film at a film festival it would help in terms of pre-promotion and help us gain acclaim and attention for the film and might lead to a limited release in theatres. In terms of advertising our film and gaining recognition many people sign up to sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and even You Tube to view and watch online activity. If we publicly broadcast our thriller film across these websites, we can engage with the general public to get insight into what they think of our media production.

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Distributor I think would want to distribute our film

• After doing research into different media institutions I’ve thought about the type of distributors that I think is best suitable to distribute our thriller and have settled for Optimum Release. The reason I have chose them is because they are an British film distribution & production company who release independent British films which is what our thriller is. Leading on from the point I made earlier, they do thriller genres too and because they distribute independent films and they are an independent film company based in the UK it comes as an advantage for us because out film is of British heritage and will appeal more to a British audience. Films they have distributed which have done well include Vicky Cristina Barcelona a Drama Romance film which had a budget of $15,500,000 estimated. It managed to gross a total of $23,213,577 which is a fair amount. Another film is The Last Exorcism which had a budget of $2,000,000 estimated and on opening weekend made over $20,366,813 but in total overall it grossed $40,990,055. This is more than triple the amount of the budget which just shows how a low budget film can do extremely well.

Our film will be low budget due to the camera equipment we will use and the type of actors/actresses we will use along with the locations. They don’t have their own TV channel but that’s not that much of a problem as they have their own DVD company which our audience can watch from their TVs at home. Although they distribute in the UK they’ll be able to distribute internationally under one of their four strands Optimum Releasing (theatrical new releases) as well as he other three strands. With the marketing process that would be cheap too as we could use social networking sites such as Twitter & Facebook which many young people are signed up to. This in return will be of much benefit to our film because our thriller is aimed at young teens and adults ages 15-24.

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• I think our thriller film ‘Live To Tell’ and optimum releasing films such as Orphan and The Last exorcism, all create suspense which is effective in a good thriller film. They all appeal to a young teen- adult audience and centre around that target audience. And last but not least they’re all thrillers which is also why I believe Optimum releasing will be the best choice for distributing our film.

• This is the trailer for orphan• And the trailer for The last exorcism