Thursday, 7 January 2016

Audience & Institution (Christmas 50)

Discuss the issues raised by media ownership in the production and exchange of media texts in your chosen media area?
One of the key factors of making a successful film is to use successful production companies. By doing this, more money can be spent on the film and bigger budgets are produced. Bigger budgets allow money for high quality special effects, cameras, crew, marketing etc. Films made with smaller production companies, however, may struggle with doing this as they don’t have the money or budgets to be making such big investments into projects. This means they have less chance of top quality cast members and the marketing may be bad for the film; which lowers the attention of the public eye.
The production companies involved with the making of Mad Max: Fury Road (Kennedy Miller Mitchell, RatPac-Dune Entertainment and Village Roadshow Pictures) had all produced the previous films in the Mad Max series; ultimately meaning they were able to spend the profits made from the other films and their other successful films to create this one. A lot of money was spent on this particular film. The budget was around $150 million and it actually cost around $153,600 to make. It made $374.4 million at the box office which meant it defiantly made tremendous profits. These companies could then spend that money on up and coming projects- and this process continues. These production companies aren’t majorly known and they aren’t as big as other companies such as Pinewood Studios, however they were able to spend the profits from their previous films to form a fantastically thrilling film. The distribution company used for this film was Warner Bros. Warner Bros is part of the Big 6. This means there is a lot of experience and successfulness to be added into the films marketing and distribution process. Seeing as Warner Bros is so big and successful, there was a lot of money spent on marketing and advertisements. Roughly $41.9 million was spent on advertising the film through methods such as posters, trailers and the use of social media like Twitter, Facebook and official websites. This meant that the film was advertised in a way in which the public were more inclined to notice and consider viewing. All the marketing paid off seeing as the film was a massive success. The film itself being associated with Warner Bros did it a favour as it is known globally that Warner Bros always distribute brilliant films, so audiences knew that it would be a fantastic film.
Ex_Machina was produced by three relatively known companies (DNA Films, Film4 and Scott Rudin Productions) who have been fairly successful on their previous films. Two out of three of these companies have worked together before which means they both work well together and come out with successful films. The budget for this film was $15 million which means it didn’t have as much money as films like Mad Max to be spending on effects, cast etc. However, Ex_Machina did have some relatively known stars such as Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac who added to the promotion of the film. Despite only being made on a budget of $15 million, Ex_Machina was extremely successful and made $37 million at the box office. The majority of the budget was spent on the use of special effects in the post-production process to help the sci-fi theme to become real. This was mainly focused around Ava’s robotic body to make her as human-like as possible with her stomach and head looking like a robot. The film was distributed by Universal Studios which, again, is known for being successful. This enabled lots of money to be spent on marketing by trailers, posters and social media sites like Tinder and Twitter; adding to the attraction of the film.
Kill List is a lot different to the two previously mentioned films. Its production companies (Rook Films, Warp X, Film4 Productions, Screen Yorkshire and UK Film Council) are all part of the British Film Industry. All of them except Film4 Productions are small companies which were still in the starting point of their company career. Film4 provided a low budget of $800,000 which, unfortunately, wasn’t gained back as it only made $462.206 at the box office. There was no profit made and the film was seen as a flop. The companies it was distributed by (Optimum Releasing and IFC Midnight) were fairly new which meant they didn’t have a lot of money to spend on marketing. The film was barely advertised as not many people knew about it, however there was a trailer and the odd poster. Kill List was rated an 18 which meant that there was a select audience to watch it. This pushed views down as not everyone could go watch it. One of the biggest problems with Kill List (and many films of its kind) is that because it uses such new companies, there isn’t enough recognition and reputation of the companies to make people think the film would be worth seeing. This means that when another film is released at the same or similar time by a bigger company like Warner Bros or Universal Studios, the public would automatically think theirs would be better; meaning they wouldn’t watch Kill List unless they had a genuine interest for the genre or storyline. This is a very common problem in the film industry which has to be careful thought about. This is why most companies use the film release schedule as a guidance to what is being released and when.
In conclusion, issues raised by media ownership in the production and exchange of films is done by the fault in that there are many things viewers want in a film; usually being an adrenaline-charged storyline and lots of effects. Expectations are made for big companies so they will release fantastic films which is where smaller companies go wrong as they don’t have the money or experience to do so; forming unsuccessful films.

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