Friday, January 31, 2014

This is England posts, collected

I've blogged quite a few times on Meadows and TisEng, so here's a few of those links gathered together to facilitate closer study (in no particular order):
Film4 Reimaginings: TisEng wins - UGC eg; C4 comp based on creating new TisEng material
What are the main issues around 'British' Cinema? From Social Realism to Cultural Imperialism via reindeer jumpers... - an extensive overview of many British cinema issues and egs from WT, Warp and beyond
Shane Meadows – a very British auteur [DB notes] - My notes, including pointers on the note-taking/revision process, from the article reproduced in full in ...
Shane Meadows – a very British auteur 
The next 2 feature embedded Scribd docs which are currently returning error codes - I'll check at some stage:
This Is England (Shane Meadows, 2006): Case Study 

Something I'll look to update: TisEng sequel?!

Nice illustration of what the auteur concept can really mean, and how a filmmaker's passion for verisimilitude in his representations can have a positive cultural impact: Film student on impact of meeting Meadows

Without grasping this you arguably can't 'get' Meadows' work (or follow his preferred reading?): Social Realism.

Analysis of several movies: Signifiers of 'Britishness'.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Comparing WT's Wild Child with Warp's Submarine

There are links lists for both companies on this blog!!!
Some useful links for each film:

IMDB page (for rating, budget, some box office data, cast etc);
Wiki; (for reviews and ratings);
Trailer (look for it in this playlist);

IMDB page (for rating, budget, some box office data, cast etc);
Wiki; (for reviews and ratings);
Trailer (look for it in this playlist);

  1. NO film 'grossed' (took in from total cinema ticket sales) over £50m in 2013
  2. Only TWO of the top THIRTY UK cinema box office hits of 2013 were British, including Les Miserables which is only marginally 'British'
  3. The rest are American!
  4. The combined cinema takings (box office) of all films released in the UK in 2013 was £1.17bn - its a big business!
  5. Of the current top ten at the UK box office, only THREE have made over £10m since their release
  6. If a film is budgeted over £10m, it almost certainly needs to include factors which will help it appeal to audiences in the US and elsewhere outside of the UK
  7. The 'Gant rule' (which is generally fairly accurate!) states that a US box office hit will make around 10 times as much money as a UK box office hit
  8. You can generally multiply the number of screens by 10 too!
  9. As Disney's $250m mega-flop John Carter showed, there are NO guarantees in the film business, no matter how many stars or how much money you throw at a film - especially if the marketing is as messed up as it was for this film!
  10. However ... as 2008's £10m budget Slumdog Millionaire showed, you can sometimes make serious box office despite picking unpopular genres, unknown cast and unlikely settings!
Surprised to find this...


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Warp Films trailers and distributors

These are the trailers for each Warp Films/X/Australia movie; BBFC ratings are noted, so obviously use as appropriate. These are also accessible as a YT playlist.

Warp clearly has long-term relationships with a number of distributors, even if they continue to struggle to gain cinematic releases:

UK: Optimum Releasing (now renamed StudioCanal UK);
US (IFC Films, BUT did this temporarily end around 2010? Submarine was Weinstein Co, Four Lions Drafthouse Films, Tyranossaur Strand Releasing; 2011's Kill List and Snowtown and 2012's Berberian Sound Studio were IFC again);
BoxOfficeMojo listing for Tyrannosaur; just $22k in US, but approaching $0.5m worldwide

Belg, Neth (both Cinéart);
Fr (ARP Sélection);
M.East ‘all media’ deals (Front Row Filmed Entertainment)
Australia (Madman Entertainment)
Italy (P.F.A. Films).
Some of these are 'all media'.
There are additional UK relationships for DVD (Artificial Eye but also Optimum Home Entertainment) + TV (Film4).
I also spotted few specific Blu-Ray listings, eg for Kill List in Neth (Cinéart), and Tyrannosaur (UK, Optimum Home Entertainment). 
There are some VOD listings (in some cases, VOD only) for the US in particular - mainly IFC but also Sundance Selects (for A History of...).
IMDB distributors listing for Tyrannosaur, which managed a fairly wide release, tho' for limited runs

To learn more about film distribution, you could try this pithy guide, or the more detailed BFI guide, which tells us:
The key elements of Prints and Advertising (P&A) that a distributor must consider at this stage are:
The quantity and production of release prints and trailers:
Specialised films will often be released with fewer than 10 prints into key independent cinemas, with these prints subsequently 'toured' over a 6-month period to all parts of the UK. On the other hand, commercial mainstream films will often open on over 200 prints, simultaneously screening in all major UK towns and cities.
Each individual film print costs around £1000 (or $1500-2000), so any major release of, say, 500 prints is looking at a cost of £0.5m before advertising spend is also factored in (multiply by 10 for the tent-pole US releases). It should be clear why so few Warp movies manage a wide release, though some (notably Four Lions) bucked this trend, with additional prints being rushed out after initial demand proved much higher than expected! Digitisation will gradually remove this barrier, with the effective cost of hard-drives or streamed/downloaded films near-zero.

As you watch each of these trailers, try asking yourself some simple questions... 
  • Who do I think was the (core/primary and/or secondary) audience/s for this?
  • What are the selling factors? (awards? director? cast? genre? narrative? atypicality/difference from the norm?)
  • Is it a successful trailer? (can you sum up the film in a sentence? remember, John Carter showed how a trailer and marketing, if misdirected, can ruin a film's prospects) 
  • In what ways (if any) does this strike you as a British film? (you'll note that while there's hybridity, the aesthetic of social realism is often present)

2014: '71 (YANN DEMANGE)
(awaiting release)