When's the 201 AS (UK) exam? Exams start on the 16th - the G322 exam: Thursday 19th May, 9am. Yr12 Study Leave begins after ? May (Yr13 from the ?)

Saturday, August 26, 2017

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY 'only 7% of film directors are' ...

The figure is around 6-15% in the UK...
...the % of film directors who are female!

IN BRIEF...
This is 1 of 2 lengthy posts on the huge topic of the clearly differential treatment of women at all levels of the film industry - there are relatively few senior executives, producers, scriptwriters, directors, actors given lengthy dialogue, even women in crowd scenes are a minority ... This post (a short video and an overview of female directors, including the campaigning company Birds Eye Views) and its companion post - are a start ... look for much more using the female fimmakers tag.

Its a story that just won't go away, and the BFI are playing their part to publicise the issues.


I'll add the full article below (and see the longer post on fem dirs.), but first, an extract and then a video containing a rather useful but also intriguing bit of theory (v. useful for hoovering up a few marks...):
Birds Eye View started out as a positive response to the fact that women make up only 7% of film directors (a statistic that remains accurate for Hollywood, and that has fluctuated between 6-15% in the UK over the last few years), and around 10-18% of screenwriters (depending on which year, and which side of the Atlantic). That's 6-18% of the creative vision in the world's most powerful medium. We live in a visual culture, and what we see on screen profoundly affects the way we see ourselves and each other. Film offers us an incredible thing – an immersive trip into someone else's universe, someone else's vision of the world. But if that vision is dominated by men then we are missing out on so much complexity, richness, diversity and creativity.
Here's the theory, wrapped up in a short but entertaining vid for you...


A Woman's Place is in...the Director's Chair?

IN BRIEF: A collection of articles on the growing controversy over women's secondary role across every aspect of the film industry. Use the tags to see more on this

Useful article at http://www.netribution.co.uk/people/106/1402-warped-imaginations-darklights-female-horror-directors to look at. The case of Sharon Maguire (look at the long gaps in her IMDB entry) suggests the film industry is still rather sexist? What do you think?
You'll find this is a much-discussed topic, with many references in books written by film insiders (and of course in Film Guardian articles)
Have a look at http://www.birds-eye-view.co.uk/ too.

http://www.womenandhollywood.blogspot.com/  is rather useful too!

Some additional articles: 

Jane Campion: 'I make films so I can have fun with the characters'

Portrait of the artist: Mira Nair, film director - 'Why are there so few women directors? Oh my God, I want to shake everyone and ask them that question'

Jennifer's Body: a feminist slasher film? Really? - It's written and directed by women, and stars a man-eating schoolgirl – but is Jennifer's Body as feminist as it thinks it is?


It's a scream! - As Halloween draws near, Wendy Roby explores a new wave of films, websites and festivals feeding women's growing hunger for horror






An intriguing addition from Sigourney Weaver, famed for taking the final girl into space/establishing the possibility of making money with a female action hero with Alien and its sequels:
This article contains a caustic rebuttal, though many of the comments that follow the article are supportive of Weaver.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

VOD DISTRIBUTION Amazon attracts TIFF Indies with 200k offer and 30c per hour streamed

NoFilmSchool report.

Amazon
continues to expand its disruption of the traditional film market and industry practices, especially distribution (though it, like Netflix, is also expanding its production arm).

TIFF, an especially notable (Toronto International) film festival (very important for Warp over the years) has begun including TV, a strong sign of the convergence between the two industries (again, consider Warp Film's recent output - mostly TV!).
An event at TIFF sponsored by Amazon.

The 2017 TIFF has also seen Amazon build on its 2016 Sundance offer of $100k plus royalties for distribution rights, now a $200k package - a hugely tempting proposition for young or Indie filmmakers to instantly gain large scale international distribution.

Would you accept a $200,000 bonus to upload your official festival selection to Amazon Video Direct? That offer is now on the table for directors with films playing at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. 
In May 2016, Amazon launched the Film Festival Stars program, which aimed to lure festival fare to its streaming platform by offering $100,000 upfront and royalties to rights holders. At Sundance this year, we spoke with the head of Amazon Video Direct, Eric Orme, who told us that he hoped the program would help filmmakers capitalize on self-distribution. "We recognized that a lot of films at Sundance don't get full-service distribution deals," Orme said. "We want to provide a new distribution pathway for those films. Expanding distribution options means more great films have the opportunity to reach wider audiences."
Is this having any impact? Quite simply - yes:
The Film Festival Stars deal requires filmmakers to make Amazon Video Direct the exclusive SVOD home for this film, although directors can wait up to 18 months to upload their movies to the platform. In the interim, their films can play at other festivals and theaters. In addition to the initial bonus, filmmakers will receive a royalty rate of $0.30 per every hour their film is streamed on the platform—more than double the rate Amazon offers other Video Direct users.So far, the program has proven a hefty incentive. At SXSW 2017 alone, Film Festival Stars signed deals for 40 movies. 
See NoFilmSchool article.

Variety report.
Another report.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Popcorn is cinemas sweet spot not movies

This is a companion post to the analysis of the $10 MoviePass announcement, and what that (and other schemes I also discuss) means for the distribution and exhibition industries.

From a business point of view, cinemas are only partly about films. "When we bought [Odeon]," Guy Hands of private equity group Terra Firma famously said, "the management team really believed they were part of the film business. I had the difficult job of explaining to them that they were in the popcorn-selling business." (Oliver Thring, Guardian 2012)

With the emergence of NATIONAL movie passes, not just schemes within individual chains (Curzon and Kineopolis being being two examples), the revenue model of the film industry faces a huge shake-up with a disruption of the traditional models of renting 'prints' and passing some share of ticket revenues back to distributors (depending on the movie).

That hideous diabetes/clot-encouraging popcorn is set to become the main revenue stream for cinemas - movies could become a loss-leader, just as budget airlines seek to make money from flight 'extras' and in-flight sales more than the actual seat purchase - very bad news for distributors.

That process is arguably already here though...

The pic above is from a Guardian article on an American cinema-goer launching a doomed lawsuit against the US cinema chain for charging $8 for a coke. From the same article:

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Cinema $10 unlimited month pass brings Netflix style to theatres

NoFilmSchool brought my attention to a HUGE landmark moment in the US - a Netflix-style $10/month pass for 'unlimited' cinema screenings.
NoFilmSchool article.

The MoviePass homepage.

That brings the disruption of digitisation to the a new level, and undermines (though it may take time yet for its impact through user numbers to grow) the traditional cinema exhibition business model: movie 'prints' (just as likely to be streams, Blu-Rays or HDDs now) are rented by cinemas from distributors and a further share of ticket revenue passed back to distributors. There is variation in this basic model depending mostly on the power of the distributor and whether its a tentpole big six production they're touting, but thats a rough outline of how the production (sell all rights to or agree a revenue share with a distributor) to distribution to exhibition film cycle ends up (before further distribution and exhibition through TV, and distribution through physical media, downloads and streams - rental and purchase.

If the audience figures are no longer a simple guide to box office, that suggests a steep medium to long term decline in revenues. Unless its the cinema-avoiding public (non-noisy nuisances, ie kids/teens!) that mostly takes up these passes. The 15-24 age range is the key cinema market as you can see from this BFI chart (page 4):


You can find a great analysis of the older audience in 2017 here, by Stephen Follows. This US analysis by Nielsen also shows roughly 30% of the cinema audience as 12-24, or nearly 50% for 12-34.

There is dispute over how big a revenue driver concessions (popcorn etc) really are, but this certainly will (in the style of bucket airlines like easyJet) shift the profit-making onus onto food and drinks - which distributors are locked out of. See this post for details on how vital the huge mark-ups cinemas make on concessions (typically 85% profit on every dollar spent) are.

The unlimited is limited: one viewing a day, no IMAX or 3D (maybe a supplement charge for longer movies?), but that still means a possible 30c viewing!

This isn't actually completely new ... many moons ago I bought Virgin Cinema monthly passes - £15 if I remember right, back in 1999. That enabled me to be amongst the shellshocked hordes stumbling out of the Phantom Menace midnight premiere wondering what the hell we'd just seen, and what kind of evil madman could invent JarJar Binks - but get over it by going to see plenty more decent movies in the days and weeks that followed.

I figured Curzon, with its membership scheme, would likely do something similar, and sure enough they also offer an unlimited annual pass for its cinemas.

Here in Luxembourg

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

STREAMING Disney quit Netflix for own service. Fragmentation?

Disney now offering streaming TV.

Apple will have to join this suddenly crowded market, with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and more facing increasing competition.

If more of the big six follow suit, surely that will actually undermine the paid-for streaming industry and encourage a resurgence in piracy?
Not in Lux. yet, but a fullscale streaming option is being rolled out.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Joe Queenan movie biz based on recycling ideas

Joe Queenan is a highly entertaining writer on film, author of a number of books and many columns like this one where he overviews a large number of flicks in considering a theme, actor, genre or director.

In short, along with the likes of legendary producer Art Linson, his writing is a great tool for expanding your knowledge of film.

I've picked out a single quote from a lengthy feature reflecting on the career of 87 year-old Clint Eastwood, The Man With No Name apart from Dirty Harry and so forth. A 40 DVD Eastwood boxset has been released - I estimate I've seen about 30 of those flicks - and Queenan's take is fair on this huge collection and those that were excluded from the set (though Any Which But Loose is fun as well as dumb!).

In terms of learning cinematic technique, it's the excluded Spaghetti Western dollar trilogy I'd recommend - the boxset of those has great extras showing how director Sergio Leone worked - and he in turn borrowed liberally from the great Japanese auteur Akira Kurosawa, whose Yojimbo and Seven Samurai remain masterpieces more than a half century later.

Here he sums up the nature of the industry in one pithy statement:
Movie-making is not so much a process of making new films as of remaking old ones. 
He goes on to add:
Stories work today because they worked yesterday. People never get tired of seeing good triumph over evil, because the only place they ever get to see this happen is in the cinema.