Monday, 5 January 2015

Sightseerers Research Task:

Create a blog post dedicate to the film Sightseers which covers the following key areas.

The issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice

What was StudioCanal's original purpose?
The original function was to focus on French and European productions, but later made
strategic deals with American production companies

Which big 6 company has connections with StudioCanal?
Universal Studios

How large is StudioCanal's film library?
they own the third-largest film library in the world.

The importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production distribution and marketing

Big Talk Pictures
What has been the total gross of ALL Big Talk Films?
over $150 million

What type of film does Big Talk specialise in?
Dark comedy

Who founded Big Talk?
Nira Park

Film4 Productions
Who owns Film4 Productions?
Channel Four Television Corporation

When was it 're-established'?

Which TV chanel is it connected to?
Channel 4 films

Bfi Film Fund
What is the purpose of the Bfi Film Fund?
They make in the region of 25 major production awards each year and provide development support for approximately 100 feature projects.What is its budget pa?
£30 million

Rook Films
owned by Andy Starke and Ben Wheatly 


Optimum releasing

under $2Million

The issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically British) by international or global institutions

Where did the idea for the film come from?

The film was originally shorter because it was a teaser for a television series, but the comedy was too dark. Director Edgar Wright saw its potential as a film.

How does the film qualify as 'British'?
The film has a british director and crew, it also stars Steve Oram and Alice Lowe who are also british. The film was filmed in the UK.

Other films directed by Ben Wheatley

Ben Wheatley also directed Kill List, A field in England, Down Terrace and The ABC's of Death.

Distrubtion (how many screens in the UK and how long was it at cinemas for?)

The film showed on 92 screens in the UK for 122 days.

Films reception (how did critics recieve the film? What is a BIFA and how many nominations and awards did the film receive?)

It won a British Independent Film Award for best screenplay. It was nominated for 17 awards and won 11.

Box Office (opening weekend, domestic and world wide)

Opening weekend: $7,384
Domestic: $41,039
Worldwide: $2,735,440

The significance of proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences

Which formats is the film available on?
TV, VOD, Magazines, National and Specialist Press, Video and Social, High Impact Online Display.

How was it released in the US (formats and release pattern)
It was released in the US on the 10th of May 2013 after it was released in the UK, but it wasn't released in all cinemas. The film was made accessible on TV and computers by releasing it on Video on Demand on the 13th of May.

How was it marketed how did StudioCanal help?
A campaign was created online as a teaser, the campaign was then broadened to promote fins such as Kill List. The film had a special screening at Cannes Director's Fortnight the film then became to be one of the hottest UK exports in 2012.
Campaigns and regional events were supported by StudioCanal working with companies like Organic, Emfoundation, which brought excited about the film. the film was funded by the BFI so it could be released on 92 screens.

How was twitter and facebook used to market the film? 
Twitter tweeted news about it to encourage people to see it, it also retweeted people positive reviews about the film. Facebook did the same thing posting news about the film.

How was Stella Artois involved? What is a Stella Artois bursary?
Stella Atrois supported the UK premier, their bursaries are unique funds that directly support the film community. The premier gathered  lots of attention from the press which promoted its general release, this meant it engaged film audiences with Stella Artois.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

'Successful media products depend as much upon marketing and distribution to a specific audience as they do upon good production practices'

'Successful media products depend as much upon marketing and distribution to a specific audience as they do upon good production practices'.
To what extent would you agree with this statement, within the media area you have studied?

It is important that films have good marketing and distribution towards their target audiences to get a good response. However, a good review also helps the films success.

The Grand Budapest Hotel got  92% rating on 'Rotten tomatoes' so it has been largely approved by critics. Positive reviews help to encourage people into going to see the film so they don't miss out. Cinema costs have risen so people go to the cinema to see fewer films, if they want to go to the cinema then they will choose to see a film that is worth seeing. These factors effect the success of the film.

Production practices which allow texts to be distributed and marketed for specific audiences are more important then a good review. The Grand Budapest Hotel is accessible to buy in UltraViolet, which means if someone buys a DVD they will not have to buy the film online to download it do their devices such as computers or tablets. This works by receiving a redemption code with their DVD so they can download it on numerous devices. This targets a young audience as they use technology on a daily basis. Also UltraViolet is easier to access which helps it appeal to a younger audience. However, Apple does not support UltraViolet, because of this the young audience owning mainly apple products do not have access to the film this way.

The actors used in the film are another type of production practice to help the film get success because of them appealing to a certain audience. Bill Murray and Ralph Fiennes appeal to an older audience. Older audiences might have seen or know of the actor so they are interested in seeing another film they are in. Because of this the film has a bigger audience which means it has a higher gross. The use of well known actors helps Wes Anderson to attract a bigger audience, as most of his auteur films only appeal to aficionados. American block busters attract audiences and have a large success due to the use of an A-list cast. So like the Avengers with stars such as Robert Downey.Jr and
a budget of $220 million doesn't necessarily mean the film needs good reviews.

The bigger the Distribution company means the bigger success of the film. 20th Century Fox is the second largest film studio. It distributes a large success of films such as Avatar. The wealth and size of the distribution company means they can pay to distribute their films worldwide and it allows a large audience to see their films. They can also afford a large marketing campaign to interest people into seeing their films. These things help to result in a large gross. Also marketing a film through the use of social media helps to promote the film and draws people to see it. This includes YouTube adverts and pages on social network sites. YouTube was a effective use of social media because it showed tutorials on how to make Mendl's pastries from The Grand Budapest Hotel. This drew in a bigger audience as people become more aware of the film and become interested.

The distribution and marketing strategies  help how to audiences engage with the film. Statistics show that 15-24 year olds make up the largest percentage of cinema audiences. This proves that the use of marketing through social media is aimed at them and helps draw in a younger audience. The Avengers appealed to this age group resulting in why it had such a big success. This why The Grand Budapest Hotel used a large amount of marketing techniques, as it needed to appeal to a larger audience and this age group especially as Wes Anderson films don't usually appeal to a younger audience.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel Research:

Task 1 Research

What is Indian Paintbrush and who owns it?

Indian paintbrush is a production company owned by Steve M.Rales who is the co-founder of Danaher Corporation.
Which company is Fox Searchlight a subsidiary of?
Fox searchlight production company is subsidiary the Fox Entertainment Group.

Which type of films do Fox Searchlight distribute?  
Fox Searchlight distribute independent and British films. These films are dramatic with comedy or horror films.
Which two countries financed the film?
The two countries that financed the film were Britain and Germany.
What did Anderson use instead of CGI (computer generated imagery)?
He used painted backdrops instead of CGI which meant that every thing was filmed on set and no green screen was used. This made his budget lower spending $31 million.
Where did the inspiration for the Hotel come from?
He would tour round hotels getting inspiration for the look of the hotel. also the storyline was inspired by Stefan Zweig's collection of writing. Which film festival opened with The Grand Budapest Hotel?
The 64th berlin international film festival opened with the Grand Budapest Hotel.
Alexanre Desplat wrote the score, which major Hollywood films has he worked on?
Alexanre Desplat has worked on many other major holly wood films such as The Queen, The Golden Compass, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Harry Potter an the Deathly Hallows pat 1 and 2, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Kings Speech, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty and Godzilla.
How many awards has the film won?
The film has won 6 awards. It won the Berlin international film Festival in the Jury Grand Prix category, David De Donatello Awards for best foreign film, Golden Trailer Awards for Best Graphics in a TV Spot, Nastro D'argento for Best Costume Design, World Soundtrack Awards for Best Original Score of the Year and Gotham Awards for Best Feature.
how many cinemas did the film open on in the US?
 In North America, the film opened in four cinemas
How much did it average per cinema?
The film was released on Ultraviolet BluRay, what does this enable consumers to do?
This enables customers to stream and download to multiple devices, which means they can watch the film without having to pay for them again.Which companies do not support Ultraviolet?
Disney, Google, amazon and apple do not support ultraviolent.
What complaints did Ultraviolet encounter when it launched?  
The redemption sheets that come with the physical disks sometimes direct the buyer to sites that you need to register on and these often confuse the buyers. This was a big problem when ultraviolet first launched and caused a backlash among buyers. Redemption codes also have a expiree date.

Task 2 comprehension

Part 1 The Story
List the cast of the film as explained in the featurette:

Ralph Fiennes: M.Gustave
Edward Norton: Henckles
Owen Wilson: M.Chuck
Tony Revolori: Zero
Jeff Goldblum: Deputy Vilmos Kovacs
Tilda Swinton: Madame D
Adrien Brody: Dmitri Desgoffe
Saorise Ronan: Agatha
Jason Skwartzman: M.Jean
Willem Dafoe: Jopling
Harvey Keitle: Ludwig
Bill Murray: M.Ivan
Mathieu Amalric: Serge.X
F.Murray Abraham: Mr. Moustafa
Lea Seydoux: Clotilde
Tom Wilkinson: Author
Jude Law: Young Writer

Part 3 Building A Hotel

Where did scouting for a hotel take place?
Central Europe.
Which location did the production team eventually use?
A department store in Gorlitz Germany.
Did they film on location or on a sound stage?
On location.
Where were the production offices located?
On the top Floor.
How did they film the 60's and 30's hotel?
They wanted to shoot the 60's and the 30's hotel back to back, to do this they created a set within a set. They built the 30's set and then the 60's one over the top, they then shot it backwards and peeled away the 60's layer. This exposed the earlier period of the hotel.
Where did inspiration for the hotel's interior come from?
They gathered ideas of what could go in the hotel by travelling to different places in eastern Europe.
How many extras did it take to fill the loby?
It took 150 Extras to fill the loby.

Task 3 - Marketing

Read this Variety piece and summarise the 5 secrets to the film's success

 1. Anderson's World
The director’s eye for detail is a merchandiser’s dream. The films production designer Adam Stockhausen organised an art collection inspired by the film. There is a Budapest collection on eBay, a partnership initiated by actor and frequent Anderson collaborator Waris Ahluwalia. Items were auctioned ranging from wax mustaches to copies of 'The Society of the Crossed Keys' Anderson’s book of selections from the writings of Stefan Zweig, which inspired the film.

2. Unique promotions
Fox searchlight is touring a large model of the hotel to theaters in Hollywood and Berlin. Secret cinema. this is a secret club that holds monthly gathers with live performances and audience interaction.

3. Viral Chow
Fox searchlight created instructions on how to recreate the baked goods that are inspired by Mendl's pastries in the film. Fans sent back footage of their creations making it go viral, searchlight used these in cooking networks.

4. Young Moonrisers
The success of 2012’s 'Moonrise Kingdom' Gilula says that Anderson’s fans have gotten younger. 'He’s attracted a whole new generation, some of whom weren’t even born when ‘Royal Tenenbaums’ (2001) and ‘Bottle Rocket’ (1996) were released'.

5. Universal Access
The marketing would be pointless if the film was poorly received. 'Budapest' has generated a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, behind only Anderson’s 'Moonrise Kingdom' and 'Fantastic Mr. Fox.' Critics have called 'Budapest' his most accessible film. 'we don’t see the ceiling yet,' Gilula says.

How did Anderson use the QE2 to market the film?
Wes Anderson, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman and Roman Coppola promoted the film by, screening it numerous times and holding a Q&A session. David Dingle The Cunard CEO,said 'Mr. Anderson has many fans among Cunard passengers, and we know they will jump at this unique opportunity to enjoy his films and spend time with him and his wonderful collaborators'.

What connects Prada to the marketing of the film?
Prada worked with Anderson by helping to design the costumes and the props for the film. So those interested in fashion might have gone to see it because of this in the film. Prada had an indoor display and two windows in a shop in Berlin which were dedicated to the film, this would have brought interested viewers.

Task 4 - Opinion

Why would a big Six company be interested in supporting a smaller distribution company like Fox Searchlight?
So they do not make the typical blockbuster that people don't appreciate and they make something interesting and noticeable.
Which audience category best describes The Grand Budapest Hotel (Mainstream, Mainstream plus, officianados, )
Why might the use of Ultraviolet alienate the film's audience?
Many products don't support Ultraviolet so they wont be able to access the film using this method.
Why might the use of secret cinema work as viral marketing for the film?
The secret cinema helped market the film because it would have interested people in going to see the film for themselves. 

Friday, 14 November 2014

The Avengers:

The issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice; (how does who owns a media company influence the type of film made and its potential success? For example do BIG companies make BIG films and therefore make all the money? Is it possible for small companies to succeed?)

marvel owns marvel studios which means that they will make films based on comic books containing superhero's so they are always creating superhero films from the original comic books. Big film companies mostly create blockbusters that are produced to then make large amounts of money

The importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and marketing; (how do companies work together to produce, distribute and publicize a film? How can Disney use their size to promote and publicise a film? How can small companies work together to promote their business' when making and promoting a film?)

Convergence and synergy in production is very important in the Avengers film. This characters in the Avengers come from other films such as Captain America, The Hulk, Thor and many others are the reason for this. These characters all help to give Disney publicity as well as marketing in the media and links to YouTube showing trailers and web adverts on social media sites to get viewers interested.

The technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, distribution, marketing and exchange; (how has the introduction of digital film, 3D, DVD, Blue Ray, internet streaming, downloadable content, home cinema influenced the types of films made, the way we watch them and the way we 'buy' them?)

Since 3D films have been introduced it has made audiences more curious and they want to then go and experience a film in 3D. But recently 3D films are becoming less popular because of the extra cost to view them increasing, Because of this most people just watch the 2D version as it saves money. DVDs allow people to enjoy films in the comfort of their own homes and watch them as many times as they like without having to leave the house or pay. Blue ray also now allows people to watch HD films within their homes, this attracts people because it is the cinema experience however with less hassle. The internet allows people to stream and download content such as films,which then saves people money,
also they get all the home comforts once again saving money.These methods make it easier for people to watch films. However these factors then impact the box office, resulting in lower gross as people are finding easier and cheaper ways to watch films. At least these other methods still bring in gross resulting in a gross increase.

The significance of proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences; (how and why have film companies had to alter the way they work now everyone has web enabled phones, PC's, consoles etc? How have audiences changed their viewing habits now we no longer need to go to the cinema to watch a film)

Films are now available to watch on smart phones, computers and consoles, because of this people are most likely to stay at home and use new websites such as Netflix. so people aren't going to go out to cinema and pay money. These sites such as Netflix are easier to access and it costs less money.

The importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences; (can you think of examples of how different technologies have come together to help the film industry?)

YouTube, Facebook and twitter advertise these films, this makes audiences produce and get excited and want to watch the new films being produced.  Web adverts are released by Facebook and Twitter and YouTube showing trailers.

The issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically, British) by international or global institutions; (how do film companies try and attract their audience? Do they do different things in different countries?)

The ways in which the candidates’ own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour. (what is your opinion on the above? Do you see the developments as a good or bad thing?)

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Representation of Ethnicity:

Discuss the ways in which the extract constructs the representation of ethnicity using the following:
  • Camera shots, angles, movement and composition
  • Editing
  • Sound
  • Mise en scene
50 marks

EAA: Explanation, analysis, argument-20 marks
EG: Use of example-20 marks
T: Terminology-10 marks

Camera shots, angles, movement and composition:
For Camera shots Danny is lower and the terrorist is higher this represents that the terrorist has more power, this links to the stereotype that black people are the least important ethnicity. Also there are camera shots of Danny with the terrorist in the background this represents that he will not leave him alone and he cant get out of the situation also the terrorist is in control of Danny and the situation. Danny begins to get more camera shots of him as the clip goes on, this represents that Danny rises in power ad has the most dignity before his death however straight after it goes straight back to the stereotypical hierarchy. The white people are out of harms way sat in apartments or offices, this links to the stereotype that white people are law abiding. The characters that are seen to be heroic are in the scene with Danny.

There are Lots of cuts in the editing showing Danny this represents the fact that Danny is gaining more power and control because he is making the camera focus on him. The quick cuts back to Danny could also show that he his interrupting the terrorist, this could represent bravery. The shifting between cuts could also represent that the terrorist is untrustworthy, because it gives an uncomfortable feeling about the scene, and so we question the terrorist character. After Danny has been shot the camera shots of the white people are longer representing the fact that white people are more important. 

Within the sounds that are heard in the clip there are many to do with beliefs and cultures. Many of the sounds that are heard are emphasis on objects or obvious noises, however there is elements of music. The breathing heavy and crying is emphasize to represent how the characters are feeling, also it is only the woman crying which could link to the female stereotype that women are emotional. There is also emphasis on the gun shot and the clicking of the gun, this shows the viewers he is going to shoot although it leaves the viewers wondering who creating anticipation. The gun sounds also show the man has a gun and it creates the stereotypical image that the man is a terrorist.There is drumming which is leading up to an event creating tension. There is a mix of cultural music, for instance, a Spanish guitar and Muezzin style music. This represents the mixture of cultures within the scene and also highlights the fact that it could be cultural differences causing the conflict, and once again the 'law abiding' white people are out of the way and no cultural reference is made.

Mise en scene:
The main colours within the clip are dark when it is the violent scene with Danny.The dark colours represent a dark oppressive mood, also foreshadowing death.The dark colours could also represent the colour of characters skins, it just so happens that the characters with the darker skins are having the most impact within the clip. For costume Danny is wearing a smart casual outfit which could represent his personality as he is calm however he has dignity. Also Danny goes against the stereotype that men are aggressive, because even though he is going to die and the terrorist his getting his own way,he still refrains from physically hurting him. The people who are high up and powerful are represented by wearing smart formal clothing and suits.However there is a difference in power, the white 'people got their status from being law abiding and intelligent, where as the terrorist got his power from being violent and nasty. We see that the 'law abiding' white people are out of the way with ear pieces and technology this represents that they are intelligent linking to the stereotype that white people are clever. Also the shots with the white people contain brighter colours, this could represent a number of things such as; their lighter skin, happier life's and non violence.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Regional Identity:

A person’s identity rooted in setting, speech, costume and region in which they live

Areas to think about in relation to  regional identity:

  • Accents
  • Location/ setting
  • Slang
  • Clothes
  • Pastimes
  • Attitudes/Behavior
Create a research piece on the stereotypes and counter-types of the following regional identities:

  • Scottish
  • Liverpool
  • Newcastle
  • Yorkshire
  • Birmingham
  • Welsh
  • Irish
  • London
  • Essex
  • Cornwall/South West
Include examples from TV dramas and post to your blog.


strong Scottish accent
Location/ setting
Edinburgh is nice and clean with modern buildings, however other older parts of Scotland look more dirty and rough.

  • Wee = Little
  • Lass = Girl
  • Aye = Yes
  • Auld = Old
  • Bonnie = Beautiful
  • Ya Bas = You Bastard
  • Ye = You
  • Cannae = Can't
  • Bairn = Small Child
  • Deid = Dead
known for wearing kilts and hats with a pom pom on top made from tartan fabric. Also wear long nee high white socks.

A famous historical site is the stone circles. The Skara Brae are from the stone age and the best preserved village in Western Europe. Robert the Bruce won Scotland independence.Attitudes/ behavior
typically thought to go out drinking and play the bag pipes.


Still a fairly strong accent however it is not as strong as a Scottish one.
There are many old clean sites such as the Albert dock,Walker Art Gallery and The Metropolitan Cathedral. However it is also known for being dirty and busy.

  • Jarg/Blag/Plazzy = Fake
  • Lad/Fella = Man
  • Chocka = Busy
  • Bird = Woman
  • Mam = Mum
  • Swerve = Avoid
  • Ciggy/Bifter = Cigarette
  • Bevvie/Ale = Beer
  • Trabs = Shoes
  • Scran = Food 
  • Clobber = Clothes
  • Abar = About
the stereotypical image for scousers is tracksuits and gold chains. Others wear a jacket in the style of a tracksuit jacket but with other bottoms such as jeans. Also scousers are known for having big scouse brows.
Liverpool was a main city in the industrial revolution and with many large families living in dirty conditions diseases were common, so new houses and flats were built and indoor bathrooms were introduced.
The Irish are typically known for being rowdy football hooligans mad for their football club. Also they are thought to drink and look and act rough.


Strong welsh accent also speak in welsh language.
Many fields and farms set in the countryside. Other houses are in the style of farm houses singly or in clusters.
  • Wilber = Wheelbarrow
  • Tacsi = Taxi
  • Buttie = Male Friend
  • Scrut = Stupid Fool
  • Raz = Brilliant
  • Cakehole = mouth
  • Bog = Toilet
  • Munting = Ugly
  • Skavvy = Begger

Typically known for a stereotypical farmers look of wearing green, blue or cream quilted jackets and body warmers. Also wear jumpers, cream trousers that are tucked into wellingtons and flat caps. The historical look is red medieval dresses and hats in the style of top hats.
Wales is known for one of its historic tribes known as the Celts from the iron age. There are also many old stone castles and fortresses in the style of Mott and Bailey castles and concentric castles.
The welsh are known for loving rugby and drinking. Also they are stereo-typically called sheep shaggers because many of them are farmers.


A strong Irish accent.
Belfast is the capital of Ireland and like any other modern day city, it has modern buildings however it is dirty and busy.

  • Sham = Friend
  • Feek = Pretty Girl
  • Bure = Female
  • Feen = Male
  • Tool = Idiot
  • Banjaxed = Broken
  • Gammy = Useless
  • Wan = one
  • Plastered = Drunk
  • Grand = Good
  • gaff = House
  • Coddin = Joking
Stereotypically men are thought to wear green and cream farmers outfits or kilts with knee high socks. women are thought to wear medieval styled dresses. For Irish dancing the dresses are shorter with knee high socks. Like Scotland Ireland are famous for a tartan pattern however theirs is green. Or they all look like leprechauns, green suits, top hats and ginger beards.
A typical Irish trademark is the clover which is thought to be goodluck, this links to leprechauns. The Irish celebrate St. Patricks day and the RMS Titanic was built in Belfast.
The Irish are known for Irish dancing which is a particular style mainly using their feet and legs. They are also known for drinking.