Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Audience and Institutions

? = things I don't understand

  • the issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice; (how does who owns a media company influence the type of film made and its potential success? For example do BIG companies make BIG films and therefore make all the money? Is it possible for small companies to succeed?)
Marvel Entertainment own Marvel Studios, and Marvel is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. As Marvel Entertainment are also known for owning Marvel Comics, they are always likely to make films with superheroes in- as these are the characters in the comics. These comics are also popular worldwide, bringing in more audience for the films Marvel make. However, if superhero films go out of popularity in the future then Marvel will be in a difficult situation as they are all that it makes.

As the whole of Marvel is owned by The Walt Disney Company, a massive company, they are more likely to make big budget blockbusters. Blockbusters tend to bring in a lot more money, and are more successful, than films made by a small company, due to their spectacular visuals, A-list stars, newsworthy budgets and the fact that they're not a comedy. Small companies are less likely to succeed when they have to compete with companies as large as Marvel that can afford all these things to entice an audience in and to make their film an international success. Small companies can't afford to make high budget films, and therefore don't make any profit. The bigger the budget is, the bigger the profit the film makes.

As Disney owns Marvel they are also increasingly likely to make family films, or films with something in for everyone to enjoy. This resultantly appeals to a larger cinema audience, and subsequently the film grosses even more.

  • the importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and marketing; (how do companies work together to produce, distribute and publicize a film?? How can Disney use their size to promote and publicise a film? How can small companies work together to promote their business' when making and promoting a film??)
Disney is extremely popular and therefore any of their films are highly anticipated, and they can use this popularity to the film's advantage. Perhaps by using social media to advertise links to YouTube where spoiler adverts for the film can be released. This gets people excited about the film, and talking about it. They could also do a countdown to the film's release on websites such as Facebook and Twitter to get potential audience excited also. Furthermore, Disney's size means that they have a lot of money to use on marketing campaigns for their films- and therefore they can make them huge campaigns and, subsequently, draw in a lot of interest to their films through them.

Big companies that produce films can also work with big companies that distribute films and big companies that publicise films. This means that the size of the companies allows a lot of money to be put in to a project, resulting in it, most likely, being successful.

Small companies can now work together to promote their business' as they can use social media to advertise each other's companies to an audience that is interested in small films.

  • the technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, distribution, marketing and exchange; (how has the introduction of digital film, 3D, DVD, Blue Ray, internet streaming, downloadable content, home cinema influenced the types of films made?, the way we watch them and the way we 'buy' them?)
The introduction of 3D in recent years has added an exciting new feature to the cinema experience that even further immerses the audience into another world, giving them more reason to want to go and see a film- to have a great experience and get their money's worth. However, 3D has become slightly less popular more recently as it costs extra for 3D tickets at the cinema- and therefore puts people off seeing it in this form as they could just see the same film for less in 2D.

Blue Ray also allows the audience to have a completely immersive experience, but in the comfort of their own home. This appeals to people that may not have a local cinema, or can't afford the prices of the tickets. DVDs and digital film also appeal in the same way. Internet streaming, downloadable content and home cinema also appeal as you can view a film in the comfort of your own home, and save a lot of money on the price it would be for your whole family to go to the cinema- instead you just have to pay for one film (usually about £11/£12). This home cinema, internet streaming, and downloadable content side of things have made films a lot easier to access and to watch- especially for people that may not have been able to see it otherwise. This therefore makes the film gross less money at the box office, but more money in it's overall gross. So these technological advances have great advantages for film companies.

Therefore, these technological advantages mean that people can buy films online, on websites like ITunes, or order them online, from websites such as Amazon or HMV, and have them delivered to their house.
  • the significance of proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences; (how and why have film companies had to alter the way they work now everyone has web enabled phones, PC's, consoles etc? How have audiences changed their viewing habits now we no longer need to go to the cinema to watch a film)
Film companies have made their films accessible to watch on web enabled phones, consoles, PC's, and more as a lot of people own at least one of these devices nowadays and it would be a waste of something that can be accessed by a mass audience if film companies didn't make their films available to watch on them. Now that you can do so much on these devices some people are less willing to go out to the cinema as they can just watch things on Netflix instead, so film companies altering the way they work so that people can see their films through these devices is a great idea as it lets people who wouldn't see their film otherwise see it.

So, some people have changed their viewing habits to staying in at home watching films instead of going out to the cinema- as they can do it in the comfort of their own home and it costs less.
  • the importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences; (can you think of examples of how different technologies have come together to help the film industry?) 
New camera technology has allowed for a more immersive cinema experience for the audience and makes some people want to go and see a film even more- this makes a film a bigger box office success, and therefore helps the film industry.

YouTube allows film companies to publish their trailers on it for everyone with access to the website to see- trailers therefore reach a wider audience. If we didn't have YouTube a lot of people may never see these trailers, as the only way of watching them before was by seeing them advertised before a film at the cinema. YouTube means that people can see a trailer easily and decide whether they want to see a film or not, and this often leads to a bigger audience and a bigger box office success as the trailer reaches a large amount of people.
  • the issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically, British) by international or global institutions; (how do film companies try and attract their audience? Do they do different things in different countries?)
Sometimes films include scenes in a set in a different country, such as China, to appeal to a wider audience and a massive population of people. If they see their own country in the film then they are more likely to want to see it, as they feel that it might relate to them in some way.

Marvel attract their audience by attending events such as Comic Con in America to promote their films, as they know that the people that attend it are interested in superheroes (as they are interested in comics).
  • the ways in which the candidates’ own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour. (what is your opinion on the above? Do you see the developments as a good or bad thing?)
I see the developments as a good thing as they have allowed many people to have access to the wonderful world of film that may not have had this opportunity before. However, advances in technology that have allowed for things such as downloadable content are a shame in a way they are putting a good old trip to the cinema to rest in some people's lives, which for me is one of the key parts of the film industry and enjoying a film.

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