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Media Section B Case Study

YOU WILL need to find an example of a Contemporary Case Study that WILL give you an overview of the sort of detail you need to go into for any Section B question you receive in the exam – for example How Cross-Media Convergence has been employed to market and expose the film to a mass audience, as well as the money invested by the institution (studio) who produced the film in order to saturate the cinemas with a mass release.

Here are some other Key Terms YOU MUST learn for the exam:

<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”https://www.slideshare.net/tedlamb/glossary-of-terminology-for-as-media-studies-g322-audiences-and-institutions&#8221; title=”Glossary of Terminology for AS Media Studies G322 Audiences and Institutions” target=”_blank”>Glossary of Terminology for AS Media Studies G322 Audiences and Institutions</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/tedlamb&#8221; target=”_blank”>Mr Lamb</a></strong> </div>

YOU MUST be ready to address the following 7 areasin relation to your Case Study – YOU WILL get a question that revolves around 1 of these areas:

1) Issues raised in Media Ownership – for example the Co-production deal that has changed to a “first view” deal between Universal and Working Title.

  • Disney’s recent takeover of Lucas Film

  • Aardman’sco-production deal with Dreamworks (which expired in 2006 due to “creative indifferences”) – for example:


  • “Repetition” (Steve Neale) has been capitalised on in terms of marketing strategy to help promote the film to a global, mass market – e.g ‘Chicken Run’
  • “Setting Sail in 3D”connotes how the institution recognise the need to provide something new and different to meet the ever growing demands we have of the film experience. However, it comes at a price! £$ – Research: HOW much does a cinema ticket in 3D cost compared to a regular ticket?
  • They are now in a deal with Sony Entertainment (2007 – Present) – this means the films produced by Aardman can benefit from Sony’s dominance and power amongst the home entertainment market…or did it? – for example:

– Production Budget

The DVD sales in the US suggest that this is a film that was globally successful at the box-office, however failed to capture the audience expected in terms of DVD sales in the US.

As an answer to the question above: It could well be a NO

Key area: HOW has your example succeeded in targeting a massand/or niche audience – Good examples to look at:

Fox SearchLight
Big Talk Pictures

Key area to consider: Has there been a relaxation in ownership because of the rise in “PROSUMERS” (PROducers who are normally conSUMERS) because of the power of social media?

2) The importance of Cross-Media Convergence and Synergy – in particular with the Production, Distribution and Marketing of Film.

Synergy = Profits (Convenience) for the Instititons (Studios) – Institutions in a symbiotic relationship.

Convergence = Convenience for the Viewers (Film Exhibition) – Multi-platform Film Marketing and Exhibition.

Above is a good PowerPoint worth looking at!

– Research these terms and find out HOW the film endeavoured to recoup (successfully or unsuccessfully) it’s Production budget at the box-Office – What was it’s Production Budget? Did it have any Product placement or tie in withs Global brands such as Coca Cola

– Did any of the ‘star appeal’ (Richard Dyer)behind the Case Study tie in with this Synergy – for example Vin Diesel in ‘Fast & Furious’ (2009) using social media to keep his fan base up to date; Twitter’s “Tweet the scream” Inter-relationship with ‘Paranormal Activity’ (2007).

Key term: Globalisation and Global marketing

HOW have multi-media conglomerates such as Disney and other Hollywood majors captured the market across the globe – is it fair for the rest of the film industry?

80%of the Film Industry’s revenue stems from Hollywood and it’s down to oligopoly of a few major conglomerates and their ability to control the PDME of films

3) Introduction of Technologies that have impacted/changed Film PDME – For example 3D Cinema; Transition from Digital film and away from 35mm; DVD/Blu-Ray and other Home-Entertainment experiences; Film Downloading and streaming such as ‘Netflix’; The power of video sharing sites such as Youtube; Blogs and social media in the marketing of the film.

– Find something interesting, unique and challenging to apply.

For example:

‘Monsters’ (2010) Dir. Gareth Edwards


One verbal code stands out: “Shoestring films live or die by the strength of their ideas”

– Synonymous to capturing an audience and creating controversy?

Another good example of a film produced on a Shoestring budget and is an example of the opportunities now available to film audiences to go out and produce their own films (key term: Prosumer) is:

‘Night Fishing’ (2011) Dir. Park Chan Wook

The film was shot entirely using an iPhone 4, with the footage then being edited using personal editing software and distributed digitally.

YOU MUSTfind another example (or x2) of more recent case studies that use similar Prosumer technology in Producing the film.

– What does MPAA stand for?

 – ‘Monsters’ Box Office

Despite great critical praise and it’s cult like status as modern great in the Horror genre, it simply didn’t perform at the box-office – it’s status as a DVD success is also very unknown.

It’s performance globally was equally as modest, for example:

But during it’s opening weekend it also had another problem – Competition… from the same genre!

For example:

http://www.movieinsider.com/movies/october/2010/ –

EXCELLENT WEBSITE (See ‘Useful Links’ Page)

(See link above)

What chance did have against the successful franchise that was heavily marketed and distributed by Paramount (Paranormal Activity 2) for example???

Interestingly enough though, both films started off as “shoestring films” as well.

Research (!)– Find a more contemporary case study example of your own to take into the exam!

 – Case Study

YOU MUST read the article below from Variety magazine, whereby it outlines HOWIMAX earnings have soared off the back of recent success stories at the box-office, such as:

 – 2013 – Warner Bros

$100m alone at IMAX Screens

IMAX screens are now more common place in the UK since their synergy with Odeon, the UK’s biggest Cinema chain.

YOU SHOULD find out HOW manyIMAX screens there are in the UK.


Transition to Digital Film

‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ (2013) Dir. Martin Scorsese

http://www.empireonline.com/news/story.asp?NID=34396 – Excellent link and discussion with Scorsese’s long time editor Thelma Schonnmaker!

  • The introduction of Digital filming has meant the rapid decrease in films being shot in 35mm format is only going to continue, for example:


YOU SHOULD look at the ‘BFI Numbers’ Page for further contemporary statistics in relation to the impact this transition has had on the UK Film Industry in particular.

4) The Proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences

Copyright, Patents and Designs Act (1988)

  • A Government Law set up to effectively protect the Film and Entertainment industry from fraud and theft of creative copyright.
  • The Pirate DVD Industry is estimated to threaten 2 million people in the UK who work in the creative industry.
  • Most Pirate DVD’s are imported into the UK from countries such as China.


‘How Hollywood is encouraging Online Piracy” – August 2012

Above is a SUPERB article that focuses on “The Death of the DVD” from the perspective that VODand Online downloads are seen as a more viable economic option for studios, especially in the US where they dominate the Film distribution market.

For example:

  • Illegal downloads are expected to rise 23% annually until 2015.
  • Disney take the opinion that it is “not possible” to release all of their films on DVD – Why though??
  • The article also focuses the establishment and maintenance of the “windowing” system—a long-established obligation that makes each movie available, say, first to hotels, then to pay-per-view systems, then to HBO and, only after that, to you for online rental.

See link to SlideShare Presentation – Any key terms/theory you find MUST be referenced clearly in your Blog and in the exam – for example Web 2.0 (Darcy DiNucci – 1999) – Proliferation is basically how technology has grown and increased, bringing with it Opportunities and threats to a Multi-Billion $ industry.

For example:

  • The innovation of SMART TV and 3D Technology in the home is contributing to a more interactive and engaging entertainment experience for consumers – For example Samsung are in Synergy with VOD media products such as Love Film and Netflix, which means Distributors can increase their ability to not only market their films but provide anotehr outlet for exhibition.
  • The device also acts as a form of Marketing as consumer can access not just satellite television such as Sky and Virgin Media, but also the immensely popular video sharing media product Youtube.
  • What’s interesting though is that new technology like this does NOT seem to be putting off cinema goers as the UK raked in £1.1 Billionat the Box Office in 2012 (See http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2013/jan/23/uk-cinemas-defy-recession-and-olympics for further information) – a 4% increaseon 2011.

Other areas to RESEARCH and know:

– Was your film exhibited in 3D?

– How many copies of DVD/Blu-Ray did the film sell?

– How did your Distributor overcome the threat of Piracy? e.g 12-16 week release date after the film’s release at the cinema?

A good book for further reading on this is:

Roy Stafford (2007)


The information below comes from a 2012 article:

Interestingly, either through a superb act of irony or willful ignorance, the entertainment industry (and Congress) fails to note that the very technologies it lobbies (or votes) against are the ones that continue to make it so profitable over time.  Technological innovations such as the VCR, DVR, iTunes, NetFlix, and yet-to-be-discovered (or invented) services all contribute to the long-term success of the entertainment industry by allowing customers to enjoy entertainment products in a manner conducive to and consistent with the modern age and societal expectations.  For example, the launch of iTunes as the de facto Internet site to purchase music was a direct response to the rampant theft of music over the Internet in the late 1990s when Napster, GnuTella, Limewire, and other services met an emerging customer need (portabilityof a purchased music to multiple devices and over the Internet) that the recording industry chose to ignore. iTunes transformed that mostly criminal venture – obtaining and sharing music over the Internet – into the recording industry’s standard, if not preferred, method of distributing commercial music to customers.

5) The importance of technological convergence for Institutions and Audiences – Especially for Marketing and Film Consumption.

– Again, find examples of films that rely on E-Media (Internet) to help target their intended audience and, in some cases, exhibit their film(s).

Change in the cinema experience with regards to the film industry – For example we are now prosumers who are conscious of not just HOW to watch film, but also HOW to produce film as well. For example:

Park Chan-Wook (Acclaimed Director of Globally critical hits such as ‘Oldboy’) successfully produced a 30-minute length film using nothing more than his iPhone 4and some of the software available such as iMovie – Cost: $130k to produce and distribute!


See article above:

Chan-Wook points out HOW the film benefitted from the following, appealing factors:

  • “The new technology creates strange effects because it is new and because it is a medium the audience is used to”.
  • Park Chan-kyong (his younger brother)stated that; “There are some good points of making a movie with the iPhone as there are many people around the world who like to play and have fun with them,” Park Chan-wook said. Compared to other movie cameras, the iPhone was good “because it is light and small and because anyone can use it,” he said.

Points to consider:

1. How does this approach to film making entice Early Adoptersto consider a similar approach to film making?

2. Is this going to encourage fans of film to try producing their own films?

3. How does this case study example compare to something more recent in terms of film production methods?

Key Term:Miniturisation – Has technology been condensed to a level that means it becomes more accessible for consumers? Is our role in the film industry changing as a result.

Other technologies that conform to this trend in miniturisation:


See Link above – The ability to watch VOD is something that is taking the film industry to new levels in terms of on-the-go film experiences much like the above mentioned iPhone. However, the benefits are simple: A bigger screen!

Synergy with other institutions that are beginning to dominate to film consumption industry such as Netflix are also making Apple a serious contender in the film industry.

For you to consider:

  • What other Home Entertainment experiences are there besides DVD/Blu-Ray?
  • What statistics/facts can you find to express this example’s ability to to determine the nature of the film industry in terms of PDME?
  • How popular is this product?
  • Who uses it in terms of age (Early Adopters)?

Marketing – Case Study

Cinime Application – http://cini.me/


Joe Evea, the commercial director of DCM, said: “Cinemagoers are a highly valuable, mobile-literate audience with common passions – film and the unique cinema experience.

“Our aim is to make cinema as essential for brands as it is for filmmakers, and we believe the Cinime app will forge greater opportunities for brands to entertain and engage cinemagoers through the big screen and beyond.”

  • The purpose of the app is to enable other institutions advertising at the cinema to interact with their target audience through entertaining ways such as competitions/offers.
  • Institutions will target primarily Early Adopters and smart phone literate consumers.
  • The app is in partnership with Hollywood majors such as 20th Century Fox and as such allows the studios to target their audiences through digital methods.

VOD – Case Study


See Link for this emerging competition in the VOD Market:


Key Points to consider:

  • Netflix currently (October 2013) has 40 million subscribers.
  • Sky Now is yet another service provided by the multi-media conglomerate

Такова «Цифровая крепость». - Конечно. Алгоритм, не подающийся «грубой силе», никогда не устареет, какими бы мощными ни стали компьютеры, взламывающие шифры.

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