G322 Past Questions

  1. Discuss the ways in which media products are produced and distributed to audiences, within a media area you have studied.

SKYFALL

Produced – EON Productions, Barbra Broccoli, big budget ($200mil)

Distributed – MGM, Columbia Pictures, 3000+ screens US, 12A

Audiences – Global, International, Mass, 12A

SHIFTY

Produced – Between the Eyes, Film London Microwave, 18 day shoot

Distributed – Metrodome, Film4, 51 cinemas, UK only, 15

Audiences – Primary, Secondary, Niche, 15, 15-25 yrs, men, locals because its topical & wouldn’t appeal to international audiences

2. How important is technological convergence for institutions and audiences, with in a media area you have studied?

Production, marketing, distribution, exhibition can be covered

SKYFALL

Institutions –

Audience –

SHIFTY

Institutions –

Audience –

Advertisements

Skyfall & Shifty

Cross Media Convergence:

Skyfall – Heinken beer, Tom Ford Suits, Sony Experia phone, London Olympics, Omega Seamaster watch, Coca cola, 007 Colone, Adele’s Single theme/ title song

Shifty – Music = downloads, videos, remixes

‘Out Of Home’ Advertising:

Skyfall – London Olymics, Coke Zero ADs, Posters, Magazines

Shifty – Illegally placed posters,

Uk Film Council:

  • Set up by Labour Gov – 2000 – as a non-departmental public body
  • Purpose = to develop & promote the film industry in UK. BBC & Film4 & Film Council = main call for film makers to get their feature films off the ground, especiall if those are outside the mainstream/ ‘specialised’
  • Council received around £15million funding per year
  • Funded by National Lottery – channeled around £160 million into more than 900 films over the last 10 years – e.g. ‘Bend it like Beckham’, ‘This is England’, ‘Streetdance 3D’
  • Closed April 2011 – BFI took over

BFI – British FIlm Institution:

  • core funding, distributionof lottery funding, production, supports distribution and exhibition through prints and Advertising Fund, certification (£200,000ish), Research and statistics; education; archive; National Screen Agencies; skills development with Skillset
  • Increased lottery funding by 20% from £15m to £18m in 2011/12

Screening:

  • Studios are selective e.g. bollywood film wouldn’d do as well in a 99% white area

Digitalisation:

Pros;

  • Less labour – simple, easy to use
  • More accessible – apps/ softwear to do home production
  • Better scope for advertising – youtube
  • Cheaper to produce, distribute, exhibit
  • Independant film makers can produce larger numbers of prints at a smaller cost – therefore wont lose much money if the film doesn’t attract large audiences in cinemas

Shifty = cinema exhibition was mainly an advertising method to get people to buy the DVD

Representaion of Social Class

Social Class: a group of people within a society that possess the same economic status, often determined by occupation, education, income, manners etc.

Status: the position of an individual in relation to another or others, especially in reguard to social or professional standing

Class: a social construct. A system of ordering society whereby people are divided into sets based on perceived social or economic status

New Classes:

Elite – the most privileged group in the UK, distinct through wealth, highest levels of all 3 capitals

Established Middle Class – 2nd wealthiest, largest and most gregarious, 2nd highest for cultural capital

Technical Middle Class – small, distinctive new class group, prosperous but scores low for social and cultural capital. Distinguished by social isolation and cultural apathy

New Affluent Workers – young, socially and culturally active, middiling levels of economic capital

Traditional Working Class – not completely deprived, reasonably high house values, oldest average age is 66

Emergent Service Workers – new, young, urban group, relatively poor but have high social and cultural capital

Precariat or precarious proletariat – poorest, most deprived, low social and cultural capital

Stereotypes of different classes:

Upper Classes – often rich, clever, snobby, very posh – e.g. ‘Made in Chelsea’

Middle Classes – often “normal”, good family values, well behaved – e.g. ‘My Family’

Working Classes – often poorer, less happy, less intelligent, strong community links – e.g. ‘Coronation Street’

Lower/ Under Classes – often criminals, no family values, no community links, bad parents etc. – e.g. ‘Shameless’

British Class System:

The Upper Class – often those with inherited wealth, some of the oldest families, many being titled aristocrats

The Middle Class – majority of Britain’s population, include industrialists, professionals, businessmen, shop owners

The Lower/ Working Class – those who work in agriculture, mining, farming (primary job)

Represented Through Editing: ‘Gossip Girl’ clip

Editing Techniques Used;

  • Fade in
  • Straight Cuts – 30 secs =  11cuts, 1 included the maid who represents working class
  • Fade out
  • Continuity editing
  • Cross Cutting –

Links to Superiority/ inferiority;

Does it subvert or conform to our expectations;

Task 1; Editing:

  • Juxtaposition – arranging 2 opposing ideas/ characters/ objects in similar narratives for the effect of comparison or contrast
  • Cross Cutting – aka split screen, used to establish action in 2 different locations occurring at the same time. Camera cuts away from one action to another suggesting it’s simultaneous
  • Graphic Match –
  • Match On Action

Exhibition

What am i supposed to know for Section B?

  • Production
  • Distribution
  • Marketing
  • Exhibition

SKYFALL (2012) mainstream vs SHIFTY (2007) british independant

Marketing Strategies in Skyfall:

  • Raises the bar for on screen product placement; – 007’s Tom Ford-tailored suits, – Q’s Sony Vaio hardware (laptops)
  • Offscreen alliances ranged from Coke Zero to perfume retailers
  • Heineken – Dutch beer company paid over £28m for an early scene of Bond sipping from their green bottle
  • The film’s estimated production budget of £93.7m ($150m) – almost a third of this was covered by Heineken
  • Daniel Craige explained the reliance on brand associations is “unfortunate,” before countering: “This movie costs a lot of money to make [and] nearly as much again to promote, so we go where we can.”
  • Sony Pictures International’s customary reluctance to divulge marketing budget
  • ‘Vistit Britain’ – bring in tourism for the country
  • Olympic Games London 2012 – “amiably goofy stinit with the Queen” in the opening ceromony
  • 1st Bond film to be screened in IMAX – but not filmed with IMAX cameras (highest quality shots) – took $3.5 million in 79 locations over 15 territories, around $45,000 per screen = best international opening in IMAX history (most successful to date)
  • Released conincided with the 50th anniversary of the James Bond franchise

Hollywood vs British Indie:

  • Hollywood = dominant industry (tech, money, synergy, publisity)
  • British Independant doesn’t have the budget to compete – special effects focus on emotions & real life
  • Digitalisation (improvement of tech) = British cinema can operate in a more cost effective way and target national audiences
  • Microwave Scheme allows micro-budget British films, telling British stories, to be made
  • Cinemas like Hollywood blockbusters because they bring in revenue. Cinemas only make money from consessions (e.g. popcorn, drinks etc.) so they want a garunteed audience

The Microwave scheme & Shifty:

What attracted Metrodome to Shifty?

 

Microwave scheme was instrumental in Shifty’s release?

Representation of Age

Stereotype of Teenage Men:

  • Lazy – N
  • Rebellious – N
  • Aggressive – N
  • Grumpy – N

Stereotype of Teenage Women:

  • Self-Centred – N
  • Moody – N
  • Dumb – N
  • Wears make-up – Problematic

Stereotype of the Elderly:

  • Lonley – N
  • Burden – Problematic
  • Dependant on others – Problematic
  • Wealthy (Silver Pound) – Problematic
  • Racist – N
  • Bingo – P
  • Slow (mentaly & physically) – Problematic
  • Cynical – N

Where do stereotypes of age come from?

  • Based on media influences (e.g. tv shows – soap operas, e.g. Gossip Girl, news)
  • Trends seen in personal experiences

Term ‘Teenages’ only around since 1950s (gang culture)

Stereotypes associated with different ages:

  • Children – young, innocent, naive, pure, sweet, helpless, powerless – e.g. South Park Elementary
  • Teenagers – aggressive, moody, lazy, criminals, hate school – e.g. Skins,
  • 20’s/30’s – ideal for love, parties, fun, money, glamourous, attractive, heroes – e.g. The Musketeers
  • Middle-aged – unattractive, unaware of pop culture, boring lives, grumpy, dominant, villaians – e.g. Breaking Bad
  • Elderly – unattractive, slow, weak, ill, confused, pathetic, powerless, unimportant, dependant on others – e.g. Eastenders (Dot)

Key Terms:

  • Reinforce – representations that’re the same as the stereotype
  • Challenge – representations that’re different from the dominant stereotype
  • Ideology – set of beliefs about different social groups/ individuals

Ideologies:

Teenagers –

  • Trouble – delinquent (dominant)
  • Fun        – respectable (alternate)
  • Teen subculture = opposition to the dominant culture of adults = ‘problematisation’

Audiences and Institutions

The Vue, Romford

  • Beauty and the Beast, Bossy Baby, Ghost in the Shell

The Connaught, Worthing

  • Smurfs: The Lost Village, Pepper Pig: My First Cinema Experience,  Going in Style

The Curzon, Soho

  • Get out, Free fire, Raw

The Odeon, Leicester

  • Beauty and the Beast, Boss Baby, Ghost in the Shell

Duke of York’s, Brighton

  • Get out, Free fire, I am not your Negro

Cineworld, Cardiff

  • Beauty and the Beast, Boss Baby, Ghost in the Shell

Cineworld, Yeovil

  • Beauty and the Beast, Boss Baby, Ghost in the Shell

Representation of Regional Identity

Regional Identity = refers to the part of the UK someone is from. Either general areas e.g. “north” or “south”, a country e.g. “English” or “Scottish”, or specific towns e.g. “London” or “Manchester”

Regional Identity on TV –

  • Scottish –
  • Welsh –
  • Irish –
  • English –
  • London –
  • Manchester/ Newcastle/ Liverpool –
  • Essex –
  • Yorkshire –
  • Cornwall/ Somerset –
  • South England –
  • North England –

Understanding Regional Identity –

Northerners;

  • Stereotype = loud, rude, drink a lot, of a lower status, “northern monkeys”
  • Costume = track suit/ cheap/ casual clothing
  • Dialogue/ Dialect = vowel sounds over-pronounced
  • Make up = over the top or minimal
  • Class/ Status = low

Southerners;

  • Stereotype = arrogant, posh, “poncy southerners”
  • Dialogue/ Dialect = well spoken
  • Costume = suit and tie, tailored clothing, dresses
  • Props = brief case
  • Make up = classy, to a minimum
  • Class/ Status = middle/ upper

Essex;

  • Stereotype = image conscious, unintelligent, love to shop & party, coined by TOWIE
  • Dialogue/ Dialect = common phrases, “oh my God”, “shut up”
  • Costume = girls – revealing, over the top. boys – fashionable
  • Location = clubs, boutiques
  • Props = money, expensive, flashy, tacky handbags, up to date mobile phone
  • Make up = fake tan, fake eyelashes, hair extensions
  • Class/ Status = lower/ middle

Scottish;

  • Stereotype = humourless, hate other nations, alcoholic, violent
  • Dialogue/ Dialect = strong accent, “och”, “wee”
  • Costume = kilt, tartan, Tam o’ Shanter
  • Location = highlands, cold and vast open spaces
  • Props = bagpipes, haggis, whisky
  • Make up = ginger hair, freckles
  • Class/ Status = lower class (e.g. farmers)

Welsh;

  • Stereotype = small, dark haired, play rugby, sing in choirs, herd sheep or mine coal
  • Dialogue/ Dialect = very ‘song-like’, melodic, slow, exaggerated pronounciation
  • Costume = rugby shirts
  • Location = rugby pitch, church, pub, fields with sheep
  • Props = sheep
  • Make up = minimal
  • Class/ Status = lower/ middle

Scousers;

  • Stereotype = dangerous – “why does the river Mersey run through Liverpool? If it walked it would get mugged”
  • Dialogue/ Dialect = difficult to understand, “like” with prominent k’s
  • Costume = tracksuits, very casual cheap looking clothing
  • Location = pub, home
  • Props = Cheap looking jewellery
  • Make up = minimal, over the top
  • Class/ Status = low

Yorkshire;

  • Dialogue/ Dialect = don’t pronounce t’s, “ey up”, “An’ Ah’ll tell thi tha’ fer nowt’
  • Costume = flat caps, tweed jackets
  • Location = open fields, country pubs, local shops
  • Props = whippets/ Yorkshire terrier, Yorkshire puddings
  • Make up = minimal/ pale
  • Class/ Status = Low (farmers)

Geordies;

  • Stereotype = loud, swear a lot, party animals, binge drinkers, coined by Geordie Shore
  • Dialogue/ Dialect = difficult to understand, “way eye man”
  • Costume = revealing, tight clothing
  • Location = busy town centres, clubs, urban areas
  • Make up = over the top, fake tan, dark hair
  • Class/ Status = lower middle/ middle

Mancs;

  • Stereotype = loud, rude, funny, fond of fighting, coined by Oasis
  • Dialogue/ Dialect = “oh, aye”, “nowt”
  • Costume = Manchester United shirt
  • Location = busy town centres
  • Class/ Status = low/ lower middle

Brummies;

  • Stereotype = unintelligent, unfriendly
  • Dialogue/ Dialect = heavy pronounciation of the “ow”, “you = yow”
  • Costume = casual/ cheap
  • Location = busy, industrialised centres
  • Make up = greasy hair
  • Class/ Status = low

Londoners (northern/ more posh boroughs);

  • Dialogue/ Dialect = well spoken, range of vocabulary
  • Costume = cashmere jumpers/ sweaters and suits
  • Location = skyscrapers, swanky bars, posh homes
  • Props = briefcase
  • Class/ Status = middle/ upper

Londoners (cockney/ south London);

  • Dialogue/ Dialect = “gorblimey”, rhyming slang, dropping t’s
  • Costume = flat caps
  • Location = busy streets, market stalls
  • Make up = minimal
  • Class/ Status = low

Stereotypes in TV –

EastEnders;

  • Satellite map = we know the programme to be set in an urban area.
  • River Thames reveals the specific location as London.

Emmerdale;

  • Pictures/ Views = regional identity with countryside set in the distance
  • Old Vehicle = only used in the countryside

Key Theorists: Higson and Anderson –

Andrew Higson (1998) – “Identity is generally understood to be the shared identity of naturalized inhabitants of a particular political-geographic space – this can be a particular nation or region.”

Benedict Anderson (1983) maintains that the media play a vital role in constructing a national/ regional identity as in reality the nation is too big for every one to know each other yet they often have shared values: “The unification of people in the modern world is achieved not by military but by a cultural means, in particular the media system enables people (of a nation or region) to feel part of a coherent, meaningful and homogenous community.”

Higson (1998) claims many TV dramas (e.g. EastEnders, Corrie etc.) demonstrate the importance of community and patriarchal values;

  • “Social and cultural differences seem less significant when shared. The common purpose pulls the individual characters of the drama together, forges them into an organic, self-functioning community and ensures that each person has a clear role in the community.
  • This small, self-contained functional community can then be read as standing for the nation, which is thereby imagined as a consensual gathering together of the diverse interests of individuals who make up that community.”
  • Summary = “Images of social and cultural disturbance and fragmentation are more prominent than images of consensual community” – painting a slightly negative image of multicultural Britain
  • Argues TV drama must find ways of representing hybrid identities in multicultural Britain: “As Britain becomes more visibly multicultural, so the makers of media texts have attempted to deal with plurality, to find space in representation for cultural minorities, ethnic or otherwise. in doing so, the cultural boundaries of the nation have been redefined, and a wider, more extended and hybrid national ‘community’ imagined.”
  • Also argues: “Representations of national/ regional identity are constructed as the narrative of the text unfolds, as characters are pitted against one another, so a sense of identity emerges… but at the same time producers often resort to stereotyping as a means of establishing character and identity.”
  • “Stereotyping is a form of shorthand, a way of establishing character by adopting recognisable & well established conventions of representation… reduces characters to the most basic form & attempts to naturalise them – the more widely recognisable = more readily accepted… & becomes comic.”
  • Always important to analyse: “Identities and alliances, in particular relating to class, ethnicity, religion and gender.” = how does a certain region view these things? what does it imply the producer wants you to think about the region & its views?

BBFC Talk

Heidi Renton –

Created 1912 – censorship, set up by film industry for convienience, consistancy

  • measured by time (cost of beign classified – cheaper for shorter films)
  • 1932 – ‘H’ = Horrific = first recognised & age barrier
  • 1951 – ‘X’ = first bar, over 16s
  • ‘Horror of Dracula’ – cut for ‘x’ 1951 – reclassificatration for DVR in 1997, industry had evolved, different levels of identification (stage acting = not relatable) = 15 on video 1997, 15 on DVD 2003, 12A released by BFI 2007

Legal;

  • 2 legislations – in status (laws)
  • must have certificate to be shown in cinema – local council can take it away (unless its a film festival) bound by licence & check ages.
  • video recording act (selling DVDs with no age ratings = jail/ fines)

Public

  • protect children – harmful content (physical & mental) – anxiety or copying acts
  • Help people & parents to decide on suitability
  • Empower & inform the public

 

Digital services

  • streamed/ downloaded/ VOD content; no legal obligation for classification – UK content law still applies
  • except UK music videos – promos for videos through companies
  • 2008 BBFC launched volentary watched & rate digital for licencing
  • over 30 VOD brands use BBFC info = more trustworthy & popluar
  • 85% parents agree importance of online + offline footage
  • safe from breaking the law

Consider;

Who’s likely to watch? public expectation (previous format?). appeal. context within plot/ genre. comparison. Tone.

Target audience? how shown (dvd, cinema)? natural audience

Eduacation merit? Artistic?

Story, style, treatment

Moral framework

Precedent

Cuts;

  • most = ‘category cuts’ made by film distributors wanting a lower category
  • ‘compulsory cuts’

Law;

  • licensing act – overturned by council, where they’re shown/ at what rating
  • video recording act –
  • Obscene Publications act –
  • Humans Rights act –
  • Cinematography (animals) Films act – no animal cruelty, must be fake/ cgi = assurance from set/ vets/ animal trainers
  • Race Relations act –
  • Child protection act –

Adult Certificate; acknowledge the viewers chioce to watch

  • some offence to people
  • credible harm risk or clear breach of law
  • high end material including real sex, drug taking, violence, death, killing
  • considered a mainstream category

Hollywood Blockbuster Research Summary

Blockbuster = a sell out (1st = Jaws = $100 million +)

ROI = Return of Investment

Production = (making the film)

Distribution = (middle man) studio buys the rights, makes the licensing agreement with distribution company, negociate deals to sell th elease to buyers

Exhibition = (the screen) how the film reaches the public; cinemas; DVDs; online; TV

Budgets –

Greatest = Avatar = $237million

Lowest = Deadpool = $56million

(1st to have a $200+ million budget = Titanic)

Highest Grossing Film (Domestic) –

Star Wars The Force Awakens =

Sequel, Prequel, Remake, or Franchise –

12/14 Biggest Films

BBFC Certificates –

U = 3

PG = 1

12/ 12A = 8

15 = 2

Lower age certificate = more people can go and see it = make the budget & a profit = ROI = Return of Investment

 

Representation of Ethnicity

Characters of Different Ethnicites;

  • Death in Paradise (Dwayne, Florence)
  • Skyfall (All villains)
  • Deadpool (AJax)
  • South Park (Token)
  • The Simpsons (Apu)
  • Modern Family (Lily)
  • Slumdog Millionaire (Cast)
  • Eastenders (Patrick)
  • Glee (Mike, Tina)
  • Misfits (Cast)

What’s the difference between ethnicity and race?

Ethnicity = Cultural Identity (where you come from) Shown by; language, religion, food etc.

Race = Descendence (common ancestors giving clear characteristics) Shown by; skin colour, facial features etc.

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS:

Portayal of other cultures in the British Media;

Non PC – Fawlty Towers

1970s – TV Shows (Love thy Neighbour & Til Death Us Do) dealt with the issue of increased immigration

In the media today, evidence suggests that despite some progress, ethnic minorities are generally under-represented or are represented in stereotyoed and negative ways across a range of media.

Stereotypical Portrayals of Black Culture;

  • Athletic (running) – Usain Bolt, Mo Farah
  • Comedic – Eddie Murphy, Kevin Heart
  • Violence – gun crimes/ drugs etc.

Alvarado’s Theory (1987) – identified the following stereotypes…

  • Exotic
  • Dangerous
  • Humorous
  • Pitied

Media portrays an ethnic stereotype

The audience encounter this ethnicity mainly through media

What will happen to the audience’s view of that ethnicity?

Could argue that misrepresentations of ethnicity are more harmful than, e.g. gender stereotypes. This is because some audiences may only encounter certain ones.

Stereotuypes represented in the media text -> Audience decode text -> Audience maintain narrow view