Friday, 6 May 2016



UK POSTER:                                                                                      US POSTER:

The Ex Machina posters are quite similar, except the shot distance and background colour.

The US poster exposes more of Ava's body, displaying clearly that she is not human, also there is a tag question on the poster which gives an inkling to the film whereas the UK poster doesn't.


The UK trailer uses music by DJ Shadow and doesn't expose too much of the story


The US trailer seems more intense and makes the film seem more action-like
Both trailers hint that Ava will overcome her creator, but the UK one leaves more question surrounding it.


1) Ava's Tinder and Instagram account
2) SXSW Exposure
3) DNA films, Film4 and Universal Pictures contributing to the films production and distribution
4) Ex Machina twitter page @ExMachinaMovie


UK POSTER:                                                                            US POSTER:

The UK poster gives more information about the production and distribution of the film as well as more actors being shown.
A closer image of the characters has been used for the US poster which would draw more attention to them. 
The UK poster has a lot more mise-en-scene in the background making the poster more exciting as more its going on.



The music is very different in both trailers. The Mad max trailer had much more aggressive music which builds up a lot more tension.
More of the plot is shown in the US trailer, allowing viewers to know what the film is about, also
there is a lot more narrative in the US trailer which would indicate what the characters are like.



UK POSTER:                                                           US POSTER:

The UK poster has more writing displayed
Despite that and the UK poster being portrait, there are no differences.



The US trailer has more dramatic music where as the UK trailer begins with silence and a 'humorous' moment. The UK trailer focuses more on the Star Wars soundtrack than other exciting music to build suspense.

There is more action involved in the US trailer which makes it more exciting and captivating (could create a bigger audience). The UK trailer makes the plot of the trailer more tame suggesting that the film needs to be watched to reveal the story line unlike US trailers.

The US trailer includes more narrative to reveal more about the characters and the plot unlike the UK trailer that tend to keep the narrative to a minimum only including what is necessary.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016


STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (the 7th instalment)


PRODUCER(s): ^^ Kathleen Kennedy, Bryan Burk

DISTRIBUTOR: Walt Disney Pictures

BUDGET: $306 mil (gross) $245 mil (net: when the taxes are taken off)


LOCATIONS: Pinewood Studios UK, Abu Dhabi as well as the UK, New Mexico USA, California and Iceland



Roger Guyett, a VFX supervisor said in the interview. "I work in this business and I'm shocked at how much we were able to just blur the line between the reality of shooting something and the stuff that we [added] later."

Kylo Ren exiting the ship with Stormtroopers

The ship and background were added digitally, but the sound stage featured both sound and exhaust from the ship

"We used a lot of different techniques to allow her to play her part on set and interact with all the actors," Guyett said.

Similar to Jakku, Ridley actually scaled a large-scale replica of part of the First Order base.

The hangar (belonging to the First Order) was a mix of green screen and physical elements, with the TIE fighters (spaceships) and view of space added digitally.

Luke has a green screen glove which can be replaced with a prosthetic arm

The film was shot on Kodak film and with IMAX cameras
Shown in 2D 3D and Blu Ray
The film was shot on film so that elements of authenticity and tangibility are shown. 
Movies that use it benefit from its boutique, nostalgic visual quality, thus gaining a subtle yet distinct look. Johnson’s desire to stick with film most likely stems from his negative attitude toward CGI-overkill and digitally-dependent movies.
Daisy Ridley
John Boega
Harrison Ford
Adam Driver
Oscar Isaac
Carrie Fisher
Mark Hamill
Domhnall Gleeson
Gwendoline Christie 

1) the issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice;
The Star Wars franchise was originally a part of Lucasfilms and then Lucasfilms sold the franchise to Disney so that more films could be guaranteed in the series as well as broadening the synergy of the film eg. merchandise. Star Wars have an array of video games for XBOX, PlayStation, Nintendo and PC; Angry Birds also released a Star Wars version of their game. 

2) the importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and marketing;
Star Wars: The Force Awakens was long awaited and with it being the 7th installment it was an exciting event for the fans. High street clothing stores sell merchandise such as tshirts, bags, socks etc as well as there being stalls at Comicon.

3) the technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, distribution, marketing and exchange;
The films are available on BluRay and DVD as well as being able to be streamed online. Soundtracks to the films are also available and you can download Darth Vader and Yoda voices for your SatNav.

4) the significance of proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences;
Star wars uses new technology for their VFX (eg. CGI) and the films are available in 3D and IMAX

5) the importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences;
Star Wars released multiple trailers online and many adverts were shown for it - especially on Disney Channel due to Disney's ownership over the franchise.

6) the issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically, British) by international or global institutions; 
Star Wars - The Clone Wars on cartoon network to target younger audiences. The film was translated into other languages and showed subtitles for non- English speaking audiences 

7) the ways in which the candidates’ own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour.
Star Wars dominated the Christmas period and saturated the screenings. Everyone was Star Wars mad. Also, people fell in love with BB8 and sales for BB8 toys went through the roof.


DIRECTOR: Alex Garland

PRODUCER: DNA Films and FilmFour

DISTRIBUTOR: Universal Pictures

BUDGET: $15 mil

LOCATIONS: Pinewood Studios for 4 weeks, 2 weeks in Norway

TECHNOLOGY: Rotoscoping for AVA (cheaper than CGI) Sony F65 camera



BOX OFFICE: $36.9 mil


CAST: Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander and Oscar Isaac

1)the issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice;
Challenged traditional ways of marketing (viral)

2)the importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and marketing;
two film companies coming together to create a bigger film

3)the technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, distribution, marketing and exchange;
Rotoscoping, Tinder, Instagram

4)the significance of proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences;
3D not as popular, not needed for this particular film

5)the importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences;
Piggybacked Avengers

6)the issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically, British) by international or global institutions;
Film buffs, SXSW - spread by word of mouth, doesn't fit the quadrant

7)the ways in which the candidates’ own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour.
Streaming, intimate films, home watching.


DIRECTOR: George Miller

PRODUCER: Doug Mitchell


BUDGET: $150mil

LOCATIONS: Namibia. 

TECHNOLOGY: iPhone 6 slow mo camera, edge arm, greenscreen, polecats, Arri Alexa camras and Canons for the crash scenes

SCREENS (OPENING WKND): 12,000 in 48 countries, 3,702 USA

SCREENS (PEAK): 16,900

BOX OFFICE: Weekend $109 mil, total $375.8 mil


CAST: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult

1)the issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice;
No script in prep for shooting, only storyboards. Miller had a 12 month delay so he could work on Happy Feet 2

2)the importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and marketing;
Video game of mad max, $7 mil on tv adverts. promoted at the NBA playoffs and on MTV/Comedy central 

3) the technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, distribution, marketing and exchange;
Edge arm was used to film the moving sequences, the slow mo camera for the guitar. Digital distribution 

4) the significance of the increasing amount in hardware and content for institutions and audiences;
Action films are the most successful (blockbusters). Films like that benefit from cinemas because of the sound systems and big screen

5) the importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences;
the 4th installment, Japanese trailer as well as English 

6) the issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically, British) by 
international or global institutions;
had a rep to live up to, no Mel Gibson

7) the ways in which the candidates’ own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour.
Mad Max: Fury Road was very popular and was shown on many screens. Not much merchandise.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Digital Distribution

Why does Steve McQueen think digital is replacing film?
They're making money out of it
Which studio was first to announce that it would no longer make films using 'film'?
Paramount Pictures
What was the last 'film' to be shipped on 'film'?
Anchorman 2
What proportion of US cinemas have made the switch from 35mm to digital?
9/10 US cinemas
What was the first 'major' film to be distributed in digital format only?
The Wolf of Wall Street
What is the average cost of a digital projector?
Between $60,000 and $150,000 each
Why has the switch to digital meant that small independent cinemas have struggled?
Because they cannot afford digital projectors
Which major Hollywood director has attempted to make a stand for digital film?
Quinten Tarantino
How much did the US box office make in 2014?
$11 bil
How much did the home entertainment market (DVD, BluRay, Download etc) in 2014?
$18 bil
What was the increase in home entertainment revenue due to?
Fast food and soft drink sales
What was the first film to be shot entirely on digital?
Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones
What would have been the cost of shooting that film on digital?
How much does it cost to produce and ship a film to a US cinema?
$1,500 to ship and print
What is the distribution benefit of digital?
It can be screened simultaneously across the planet due to its format
What happened to 'film' prints of Titanic?
They fell apart in the projectors
What has happened to the number of films made by Hollywood between 2006-2013?
The number of films made by Hollywood has fallen considerably – by 40 per cent between 2006 and 2013 because Independent film-makers still need rich patrons 
Why, according to Jan-Christoph Horak, is digital NOT immortal?
"There is no physical carrier on which you can put digital information that will last anywhere near as long as the analogue alternative.”
Why is advancing technology also a problem for digital storage?
The perishability of the physical equipment and that every 18 months or so, a new file format comes along to displace its predecessors and, as a result of this constant upgrade cycle, archivists face a kind of Sisyphean dilemma
How much,  according to Jan-Christoph Horak, could transferring one form of digital to another cost the film industry?
$10,000 and $20,000 per film
How much did the camera used on The Avengers cost?
Apart from cost, what other benefits does digital offer to film makers?
Digital cameras can breed indiscipline on a film set. A flurry of ten or 20 won’t cost much more
How much has technicolour invested in digital post production?
They have invested more than $200m in digital post-production and visual effects facilities, including nine digital scanners that cost more than $1m each and are part of Technicolor’s “digital intermediate” process.
What is a DCP?
Digital Cinema Package. It involves a hard drive, roughly the size of a paperback, which is couriered to the theatre, where it is unpacked from its protective foam-lined case and slotted into a server that feeds a digital projector
What is the Electric Dusk drive-in?
It shows films on DVD

1. Sumarise the answers above into a 50 word explanation of the positive impact of digital distribution.
Digital distribution has allowed films to be streamed all over the globe. This is not only efficient, but also cheaper and more likely for a film to be found due to prints not getting lost like some of the older films. 

2. Sumarise the answers above into a 50 word explanation of the negative impact of digital distribution
The technology is constantly changing which means that it can be difficult to keep up to date. Also, the products can be deleted with one press of a button because they aren't in a physical form.

Saturday, 26 December 2015


1. How much did Disney pay to acquire the rights to Star Wars from Lucas Film?
£2.5bn ($4.05bn)
2. Which other major studios/franchises did Disney acquire in 2006 and 2009 respectively?
Pixar (06) and Marvel (09)

3. Why did Josh Dickey believe Disney was a good fit for Star Wars?
Disney are good at branding brands, working with existing intellectual property and making it resonate with fans as well as marketing it well. They're not as good at creating original content.

4. When did the UK introduce generous tax relief for the film industry?
5. How much has Disney earned in tax rebates since 2007?
Since 2007, Disney has earned £170m in tax rebates
6. How many people were employed at Pinewood studios when working on Star Wars The Force Awakens?
Almost 130 staff at a cost of £6m
7. What is Matthew Vaughan's criticism of the UK's tax arrangement (include the full quotation)?
“I think it’s crazy that we subsidise British movies with tax breaks but we don’t get any of that money back. We’re subsidising Hollywood. We’re service providers. We’re not an industry.”

8. How much was Harrison Ford paid to reprise his role as Han Solo?
As high as $20m
9. How much money must the film make before its stars earn 'back end bonuses'? (A back end bonus is when an actor agrees to take a lower fee for staring in a film in return for a share of any profit a film makes over an agreed figure.) 
At least $1bn worldwide


10. How much did The Force Awakens take globally on its opening weekend?
11. Which 5 major companies have signed tie in deals with the film?
Pepsi, Burger King, M&MS/Mars, Hasbro and Kellogg’s
12. How was the White House linked with the film?
White House conferences have been attended by imperial Stormtroopers and the President himself got special screening of the film  
13. The article states "only finite resources for a movie like The Force Awakens are screens and seats: you cannot force four buttocks into one movie seat." What solution have cinemas dreamt up to cope with this problem? 
Cinemas have concluded that viewings should be worked with from a temporal aspect, with weird showings like at 3pm and 5pm in as many as 8 screens per multiplex- quite literally dominating cinemas. 

14. How many screens are being used for saturation play (placing a film on virtually every screen in a cinema)?
2500 screens in the UK and Ireland at around 670 cinemas
15. What is the % rise in box office takings thanks to Star Wars?
16. How is the box office split between 2D, 3D and IMAX?
Disney reports the format splits as 54% of box office in 2D, 36% in 3D and 10% in IMAX.

17. How many mentions has the film had on Weibo?
18. When does the film open in China?
9th January 2016
19. How was the film promoted to China in October 2015?
In October, the studio flew in an army of 500 stormtroopers to line up on the Great Wall of China as giant billboards flashed with the message “The Force Awakens” in Chinese and fans waved red and blue lightsabers.
20. What other marketing strategy has been used?
The studio hired pop star Lu Han to introduce trailers, with the singer’s band EXO contributing the single Lightsaber.

Friday, 11 December 2015


What part of the supply chain is distribution?
Distribution is the third part of the film supply chain.

What is distribution often referred to as?
Distribution is often referred to as 'the invisible art', a process known to those only in the industry.

What does 'vertical integration' mean when discussing distribution?
When discussing distribution, vertical integration means where the three stages (production, distribution and exhibition) are seen as one large process, under the control of the film company

Why isn't 'vertical integration' so common in the independent sector?
Vertical integration isn't so common in the independent sector because producers tend to not have long term economic links with distributers, who likewise have no formal connections with exhibiters. 

What three stages are involved in the independent sector?
The three stages involved in the independent sector are: licensing, marketing and logistics. 

What is licensing?
Licensing is the process by which a distributer requires the legal rights to exploit a film.

What are the two levels of licensing?
The two levels of licensing are international distribution and local distribution

What is the advantage of being a major US studio?
The advantages of being a major US studio are that they have their own distribution offices in all major territories. 

What three different types of rights can you acquire on a local level?
The three different types of rights that you can acquire at a local level are: Theatrical rights (showing the film in cinemas), Video rights (for video and dvd exploitation) and TV rights.

What are royalties?
Royalties are taken from the profit that the film makes. Usually a local distributer will conventionally share profits equally with the producer for the theatrical leg, pay back higher royalties for broadcast rights, and lower for video/DVD.

What is the most effective way to increase interest in a film?
The most effective way to increase interest in a film is to release a film in a theatrical way (in cinema) so that the film creates interest.

How long does it take for a film to reach 'free to air' TV?
It takes two years after the opening in cinemas to come out on 'free to air TV' 

What are the two key questions surrounding the marketing of a film?
The two key questions surrounding the marketing of a film are; when? and how?

What day are films typically released on?
Films are typically released on a Friday

What will a distributor look at before releasing a film on a Friday?
Before releasing a film on a Friday the distributer will look at a schedule of other film releases on that day.

What is a 'light' week in terms of distribution?
A 'light week' in terms of distribution means that there won't be a load of films on at the same time, ensuring screen space and adequate review column inches in the press allocated to any new release.  

What does it mean to 'position' a film distinctively?
To position a film distinctively means to avoid releasing the film around the same time when a film with similar traits is to be released.

Why has this become increasingly difficult in the UK?
This has become increasingly difficult in the UK due to the release schedule featuring over 10 new releases each week.

What are P&A?
P&A are Prints and Advertising.

How much can P&A cost?
P&A can range from £1,000 to over £1 million for a release of a film in the UK.

Typically how many prints will a 'specialised' film have?
A specialised film will typically have less then 10 prints.

How many will mainstream films have?

A mainstream film will have over 200 prints.

What is a key factor in developing the profile of a film?
A key factor for developing a profile for a film is press response.

How else can awareness of a film be raised?
Awareness of a film can also be raised by advertising in magazines/news papers and cinema posters.

Why is distribution in the UK seen as risky?
It is risky to release a film in the UK because the print cost is very high.

Why are companies looking towards viral marketing?

Companies are looking towards viral marketing because it is the easiest and cheapest way of marketing.

What are the benefits of a 'talent visit'?
The benefits of a talent visit is to get editorial coverage to support a release

In the pre digital film age what was a distributor responsible for?
In the pre digital film age a distributor responsible for is to arrange the transportation of the film to the cinema.

How much does a 35mm print typically cost?

The average cost of a 35mm print, including delivery to a cinema, is around £1,000.

How many reals is a typical feature print?

In a future print there are usually 5-6 reals

Why do 35mm prints get damaged?

35mm prints tend to get damaged because of the amount of times they are used in different projectors.

Where are prints stored?
Prints are usually stored  at the UK's central print warehouse in West London.

How long did a theatrical release used to last?
A theatrical release usually lasting up to 6 months.

When did digital distribution begin in the UK?
Digital distribution in the UK started towards the end of 2005.

Name two advantages of digital distribution

Digital distribution is more cost effective. It is also less stressful to send films as computer files to cinemas across the UK.

Which countries adopted digital distribution early and why?
China and Brazil were the first countries to adopt digital distribution

How many screens were digital in 2005 and how many are now (you'll need to google this)

2005 the UK Film Council Digital Screen Network launched in the UK by Arts Alliance Media creating a chain of 250 2K digital cinema systems

Why has digital distribution radically altered the operating model of distributors?
Digital distribution has radically altered the operating model of distributors because the comparatively low cost of film copies and additional logistical effectiveness of digital distribution provide the distributor with greater flexibility.

What has happened to the typical release period for a film?
Films are now available to pre order whie the film in still in cinemas

What is a loss leader (google it) and why are companies using the Cinema as a potential loss leader?
A loss leader is a strategy where a product is sold at a price below its market cost to simulate other sales of more profitable goods or services.