This doc takes you through the outline of content covered in this question, and the assessment criteria. I also focussed on the issue of the Key Concepts in the revision slots, as cited here.
Some key points to work on for the exam:-
- look closely at the issue of distribution; the doc above gives a brief summary of this, with links for further reading; I'll add to this if I get time (distribution co's pay a flat fee and/or a % of potential profits for the rights to sell a production co's film to exhibitors - cinema, TV, DVD etc. Distributors pay for the marketing of a film, not the production co - tho' WT are unusual as they insist in being involved in the marketing campaign - use BJDiary as a case study, but also ref Love Actually)
- do focus your answer on the case study of WT, but put this into context with reference to Warp Film/X as a more typical Brit production co (working on much smaller budgets than even WT's 'Indie' arm, WT2; social realist films; genre films 'with a twist'; working with Optimum Releasing and Film4/C4 for distribution; tho WT was sim to Warp when it started out) AND some specific comparison too to a Hollywood producer (use Universal, obviously part of the NBC-Universal conglomerate)
- how do these sometimes giant corporations go about targeting an audience? Marketing is key to this (BJD cleverly taps into a wide aud thru its soundtrack etc), but so is the use of stars (Richard Dyer's star system), setting/accent (focus on white, S.Eng, m-class?), and the trend of hybrid genres (rom-COMs reach out to males thru comedy aspect; LActually makes this explicit with its 'ironic' sexist music vid with Bill Nighy, a parody of Robert Palmer's 1980s 'Addicted to Love' music video. For a company like Warp X, use of stars generally won't be an option; they focus on working within familiar genres - eg the slasher Donkey Punch taps into the wide fanbase of horror/slasher movies, featuring a 'final girl' - a tough, resourceful female character who overcomes the typically male killer - to reach out to a female audience for this primarily male genre
On this topic, but also for some light relief, have a look at the BBC3 satire 'Curtisland', which savagely critiques the WT/HGrant/RCurtis rom-coms narrow white (upper-)middle-class, S.Eng representation of Britain (NB: the humour is fairly adult): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKSGdByaUIA
For the TV Drama Q, though, nothing will help more than practicing note-taking and writing up your analysis - using the exam timings [30 mins for 4 viewings of 4-5min clip of recent British TV drama; 45 mins for writing essay on this]. Look at the listings for programme descriptions, and make an educated guess at which area of representation it might be useful to look at - a female lead for gender [eg Ashes to Ashes], a northern setting for region, etc - record, play, write...
If you want me to add docs from earlier in the year on semiotics and TV drama send me an email and I will: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lest you've lost your copy, the overview on film/WT from Jan is here