Friday, May 28, 2010


Rather handy this for applying concepts such as convergence and horizontal integration...[see below for defintions + a 2nd example, using Avatar, which i encourage you to use for the exam!]

Reading The Guardian the other day - which I encourage you all to do, especially the Media (Mondays, or any day on the web!) and Film (Fridays, or..) supplements - I came across the news that Working Title TV is now up and running!

The above is a preview of WT TV's first networked show, Love Bites (

You can find WT's press release on WT TV here; how The Guardian covered it; discuss WT films that would make interesting movies;'s report; IMDB entry; wiki on Love Bites; Poptower on it;'s take; and the entirely unrelated video for Sheffield rockers Def Leppard's classic ballad Love Bites just in case you need a wee break from all this!

Convergence: the idea that the barriers between the once distinct media are collapsing because of digitization, new media, web 2.0 (20 years ago a newspaper was simply a paper - today they're websites, and effectively radio + Tv through their podcasts and video content)
Horizontal integration: where conglomerates use their subsidiaries to cross-promote and make money from one part of the company. A good example is Murdoch's News Corporation: it owns Twentieth Century Fox which produced Avatar; Sky One got privileged access to stars and clips, as did The S*n, which enabled these two to promote the movie while also attracting an audience for themselves
(Vertical integration is where a film company is able to control all three elements of the film cycle: production, distribution, exhibition - so this also works for Murdoch's News Corp + Avatar)

This is how the always entertaining - but hugely informative - Media Monkey covered this story:
So how many times can the Sun find pretexts for mentioning James Cameron's movie Avatar in its news pages? Answer: quite a few. "Rugby in a 3D first ... 3D fever, begun by film Avatar", "3D set to go seedy ... adult film makers have jumped on the Avatar bandwagon", "District 9 review: James Cameron's £300m breathtaking Avatar is currently taking cinemas by storm ...", "Ava-Ta Very Much ... The huge success of 3D blockbuster Avatar is helping Cineworld to battle the recession" and so on. The Sun is owned by News International, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation which also owns Twentieth Century Fox, which made ... Avatar.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Young Brit dir Noel Clarke

I want to do more commercial things. I wantDistrict 9, I want… maybe not Independence Day, because we don't have the budget, but I want event movies. I can't always be making "British films". Why should we be making films about corsets and horses and girls learning to drive when Americans send over an event movie and make five or 10 million?
The above is an excerpt from an interview Noel Clarke did for the Film Guardian. You know Noel ... director of Kidulthood, Adulthood; Mickey in Dr Who...
Read the rest of the article below

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Warp's jihadi comedy a hit

Latest box office analysis from FilmGuardian leads on Warp's controversial comedy about Bradford suicide bombers; I've also re-posted an earlier post on this below with further reading resources:

Four Lions has roaring weekend at UK box office
Iron Man 2 may still be sitting pretty atop the chart, but the real winner is Chris Morris's jihadist comedy, which enjoyed the highest site average of all the new releases
Chris Morris's Four Lions
Crowing … Chris Morris's Four Lions
The winner
A comedy about British-born suicide bombers starring Riz Ahmed and Fonejacker prankster Kayvan Novak is by no means a sure thing at the UK box office. Hence, executives at Four Lions' backers Optimum posted messages of excitement and relief on Facebook over the weekend as the impressive numbers came rolling in: £609,000 from just 115 screens.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

A beginner's guide to blockbusters

Great article from Murdoch paper The Times taking a wry, but well-informed, look at the process of making a hit movie - lots here you can reference, especially within your coursework blogs and evaluations:

April 24, 2010

A beginner's guide to blockbusters

You need neither script nor star to have a box office success, it’s all just a matter of timing, chutzpah and explosives

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Audience watch the 3D film 'Avatar' through 3D glasses at a cinema
 on January 7, 2009 in Taiyuan, Shanxi province of China.

“The people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions and all else, now meddles no more and longs eagerly for just two things — Bread and Games!”
So wrote the poet Juvenal in AD104, but then he never lived to witness the blockbuster movie season in America: one long canyon run stretching between Memorial Day and Labour Day, in which the studios loose one $200-million behemoth after another in what amounts to what one observer has called a “multimillion-dollar demolition derby played with Porsches”. To make sense of all this, here is a ten-point guide to surviving the summer season.
1. Pick a date. Any date, as long as it lies between May and August. The summer used to be a wasteland, the place the studios dumped dreck like Electra Glide in Blue (“He’s a good cop. On a big bike. On a bad road”); blockbusters were things that happened once in a generation, like Gone with the Wind. But then along came Jaws and Star Wars, ripping up all known box-office records, and audiences hunkered down for repeats. Blockbusters became things that happened every year. Now, a new one is expected every week. This year Iron Man 2 on May 7 is followed a week later by Robin Hood, then Shrek Forever After, then Prince Caspian, all jostling for position.
“There are more teens living in America now than in the history of this country,” says Tom Sherak, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. “It’s all about when the schools are out. It’s driven by that, by how you get them into theatres