Friday, 22 November 2013

Essay Due Friday 29th November

Can you have a go at this essay for Friday's lesson please?

“Media production is dominated by global institutions, which sell their products and services to national audiences.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
Remember what we've been saying about providing a clear answer to the question - the wording of this question should make that easy for you, and the contrast between the two case studies should make it easy for you to argue for both sides. In your conclusion you should try to come to a final position in relation to the statement. Use as many specific examples and as much terminology as you can.

Please make a proper effort on this - it may be the last essay I mark for you before the mocks. It would be a good idea to attempt to write it in 45 minutes (perhaps with planning done beforehand, or planning included in the 45 minutes - I'll leave that up to you).

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Work for Period 4 and 5 on Friday 15th November

You should have completed the digital distribution task by now. Anyone who hasn't done so or has failed to submit - or made a poor effort on - the media ownership essay (Stephen, Roshni, Rhianna) can expect a Cause for Concern form, I'm afraid.

In Friday's double lesson, there are three things I'd like you to start working on (in whatever order you like) to be completed by next week:

1. The following essay:

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

This is probably the easiest essay title yet to appear on the exam, and you should be able to have a good stab at it. You can plan an answer together in the lesson and write it at home. You should use the two case studies - Skyfall and The King's Speech - and highlight the contrasts (and similarities?) in how a mainstream Hollywood and an independent film are produced and distributed. Remember to be as specific as you can in your examples; use as many of the terms you've learned as possible; and answer the question clearly and explicitly, shaping your case study knowledge directly to the question.

2. Find out as much as you can about one of the following independent exhibitors: Everyman, Curzon, or Picturehouse:

- what cinemas they own;
- the history and background of the chain;
- their ethos and what makes them unusual;
- their approach to programming (what sort of films they show and why);
- how they have had to adapt since the dawn of digital.

You can post your findings in whatever format you like.

3. It would be no harm to have a third, more up-to-date case study for the exam, to supplement Skyfall and The King's Speech. I suggest you use Gravity, and, in this lesson, find out everything you can about...

- who funded/produced the film;
- who distributed it;
- the director/writers and the cast;
- what's unusual about how it was made;
- how the film has been marketed and what was its target audience;
- what sort of release it has had across the world so far (and is there anything unusual about this);
- how successful it has been so far, critically and commercially.

Again, you can post your findings in whatever format you like.

All of this work should be completed fully by next Friday 22nd November. If the essay could be hand-written, I'd prefer that - it's easier to mark that way.
Again, any work not submitted on time will lead to a Cause for Concern. You all need to work harder.
Mrs O'Shea should be in to check on you.


Friday, 8 November 2013

How has digital technology changed film distribution?

Your task is to find out exactly how the advent of digital technology has changed film distribution.

What was the role of a film distributor before the birth of digital technology? 

How has film distribution changed since the birth of digital?

Present your findings in whatever format - film, Powerpoint, podcast, etc. - you like.

Post your work to your blog by Friday 15th November.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Media Ownership Issues - Skyfall Essay

I thought of some other ideas for the essay:

1. In a market crowded with other franchises and sequels, how did the distributors (Sony Pictures International in the UK and both MGM and Columbia Pictures in the US) attract audiences? Given the presence of so many other action films (in particular, the Bourne films) distinguishing Bond from the crowd must have been a challenge. The very fact that Bond is such an old franchise was a challenge in itself - the producers and the distributors would have had to deal with the challenge of making Bond relevant and appealing. You could mention the Olympics and the Coke Zero advert here.

2. Piracy. I'm not sure what the exact figures are for Skyfall - I'd imagine it was the most pirated film of 2012. Piracy is definitely a threat to the Big Six and can definitely be regarded as "an issue raised by media ownership". Some people might even blame the oligopoly for the existence of piracy (although that's not necessarily all that rational). You can discuss how advances in digital technology and the web have made it easier for piracy to thrive. Specific illegal download figures for Skyfall would be good.

3. You could see the Big Six and the concentration of media ownership as the enemy of art in cinema, and given its huge commercial success, Skyfall could be regarded as a prime example of how generic big budget franchise movies squeeze smaller, more interesting films out of the market. On the flipside of this argument, Skyfall was a critical success too, and both its cinematographer, Roger Deakins, and director, Sam Mendes, are highly regarded "artists".

4. The success of 3D and IMAX are arguably issues raised by the dominance of the Big Six as well as issues faced by the Big Six. The film companies have had to adapt their films to current fashion for 3D and IMAX - hence Skyfall being shown in IMAX. But the success of 3D, in particular, has led to a glut of 3D films, again squeezing out non-3D films, and small, independent companies are probably not able to afford to film in 3D.

5. You could also talk about the massive amounts of money involved in making films like Skyfall and the need for the Big Six to avoid flops. Columbia made After Earth and White House Down - two of the big flops of 2013 (although Disney's the Lone Ranger seems to be the flop of the year, and Disney apparently lost huge sums last year on the film John Carter too).

Anyway, I hope this is helpful - to a large extent, the exam essay is about taking the information you know and shaping it to the question, so see if you can shape these ideas above and all of your Skyfall info to this media ownership question.


Friday, 11 October 2013


Skyfall Essay

What factors contributed to the success of Skyfall?

Write about production, distribution, and exhibition.

Try to use some of the terminology we've been learning about, give specific examples and figures to support the points you're making, and ensure you link what you're saying clearly to the question in each paragraph.

Mr M.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Hello all. In case you've forgotten, I'm expecting to see two pieces of work on your blogs tomorrow (Friday 10th October): your Skyfall research and your film/podcast/something else on how the film industry has changed in the last 20 years.

We'll be in T11 for the first lesson (period 4).

Thank you.

Mr M.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Home-learning for Group 2 - Due Monday 22nd April 2013

-Email me with your questions for the One Mile Away cast/production team

-Complete your 45minute Section B exam question

-Continue with ongoing research into Skyfall and One Mile Away (put anything you find on the blog so others can see/share)

Please ensure that you see me if you have any issues with this as if  H/L is not completed you will be letting others in the class down in terms of preparing effectively for the exam.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Work for group 2 Monday 15th April 2013

Key questions for today

Have you ever been to an independent cinema? If yes - how was it different? If no - why not?
What is more appealing about viewing at the cinema than viewing on DVD/online/TV?
Why has there been a recent trend in Hollywood 're-making' a lot of films?
Can you see any patterns or trends in films of the last 5 years?

Find out the answers to these questions and post on your blog:

What were the top ten highest grossing films of 2012?
How many of these films were American/British?
How many films were sequels or remakes?
Who distributed the ten films?
What percentage of box office takings were from multiplex cinemas compared to independent cinemas?
What types of cinema are there in the UK?

Some links to get you started:

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Home learning for Group 2

Home-learning for Mr Walker/Ms O' Shea's group


1.  Please create a blog post on your 'Instituitions and Audiences' blog answering, in detail, the following questions about Skyfall:

How was it produced?
How was it marketed?
How were audiences targeted?
How was it distributed?
How accessible was it to audiences?
                                                                                   How did audiences interact with the film?

2.  Define the keywords 'convergence' and 'synergy' and identify ways that Skyfall exploited these ideas.

3. Use this link to help you