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.