Institutions Created by Adam Tyrrell

There are four parts to developing and releasing a film - production, distribution, exhibition and regulation and a media institution is an organisation involved in one or more of these four steps of a film. There are multiple mainstream and independent institutions and as a part of producing our media text we have chosen specific institutions to help produce and distribute our film. We have also decided what exhibition methods we are going to use and researched what regulation we would give to our media text, 'The Book' depending on our target audience.

Production Companies

Production Companies

Production Companies - DreamWorks and Warner Bros are examples of a production company. This institution complete the initial phase of producing a film. Production is the actual making of the film and a production company have the role of developing the script, choosing a director, selecting cast and crew, setting a budget, and completing the filming and editing of the whole film. They are the centre of producing a film and the most important institution as they are the ones who actually construct and piece together the film so that the distribution company can exhibit the film.

Which production company and why?

For our production, 'The Book' we made our own production company called RED BALLOON FILMS (see indent below). We chose this name as it linked in with the conventions of our production's sub genre - physiological horror. From research into this genre we discovered that the conventions of this genre include children and the uncanny so we thought that Red Balloon Films had a correlation to what creepy children are associated with in the horror genre. We got most of our inspiration from Doctor Who, Series 3, Episode 9 (Daughter of Mine) where one of the antagonists was a little girl holding a red balloon (as seen in the picture below). This provided confidence that our production company would relate to our production, 'The Book'.

Doctor Who - Series 3, Episode 9 (Daughter of Mine)

Red Balloon Productions - Company Indent

At the time of coming up with the name of our production company we did not know the importance of the institution and what their role was. After learning more about institutions, we decided to research more into production companies to identify one that best matched our own production company and would be suited to produce our film in terms of a smaller budget, cast, genre and complex narrative. After multiple hours of research we found a production company that specialised in producing small low budget horror films - Blumhouse Productions

Blumhouse Productions

Blumhouse Productions have an outstanding track record with producing films such as Paranormal Activity, Insidious and the Purge. As our production, The Book, is already based around some of the conventions of Insidious and is in the same genre (physiological horror) we believe that they would be the best company for us as they already have the knowledge on how to produce a good physiological horror film and the conventions we would like to introduce into our piece. Additionally they do not spend more than $5 million on a film which would suit our production as it is a low budget film and this size of our budget would be more than enough to cover our start up costs. We also felt it would be more appropriate to chose a smaller independent production company rather than a major company such as Warner Bros. as they are mostly know for producing low budget horror movies and would have the experience and expertise in dealing with a tighter budget, less time and less experienced crew such as ourselves.

Distribution Companies

Distribution Companies

Distribution refers to the marketing and circulation of productions in theatres and television.

Distribution Companies - these are known as the middle men who finance the whole film and provide the funding to the production company to construct the film. They are responsible for marketing the production and they decide how many copies of the film will be made, they negotiate deals to the buyers such as the cinemas and retailers and they also identify and deliver the largest possible audience for a film. These are the people who find their target audience and get the film out to the public and make it as popular as possible.

There are different types of distribution companies designed for different types of film. There are the major distributors such as Columbia Pictures Industries who are located near Hollywood and release their films to reach a large global audience. There are also smaller independent distributors, such as Studio Canal who support smaller low budget feature films and beginner producers giving reason for why these distributors may be better suited to distribute our production, The Book. Television companies such as BBC films and Film 4 are also distribution companies which support smaller low budget films.

Which distribution company and why?

After hours of research we found an independent distribution company that specialised in distributing small low budget films - Entertainment One.

Entertainment One

Entertainment One is the largest independent, multi-national, multi-territory distribution company. They have had great success exhibiting small, independent films into multiple distribution channels such as theatre, DVD, TV and online streaming. We chose Entertainment one for mainly this reason as we wanted our film to be distributed in multiple exhibition methods. Additionally as they are the largest independent company and a conglomerate to other media institutions from around the world - they have a global network and connections - meaning we can have synergy with other popular media companies so we can cross promote our product amongst their different audience bases providing them with behind the scenes and exclusive interviews to gain larger and wider audiences. Entertainment One also have the knowledge on how to promote and distribute horror films as they have worked in the horror genre before distributing The Walking Dead. We had to choose an independent distribution company due to our film not having the low risk features that provide the confidence that the film will make a profit which larger major distribution companies such as Paramount Pictures are looking for in a film. Whereas independent companies tend to distribute movies with high risk features that may not guarantee the film making a profit.

The high risk features which our film have are:

  1. Low production value
  2. Character driven narrative
  3. Niche audience appeal
  4. A complex sense of good and evil
  5. A standalone film
  6. Limited special effects with no CGI or main action sequences
  7. No sub-plot
  8. Hard to understand plot and detailed narrative

One final reason of why we chose Entertainment One is that they have had success in exhibiting their films through globally known film festivals such as the London Film Festival. Many smaller low budget films are exhibited through this way as it is a very cost effective way to gain popularity for the film as our niche target audience who watch the film will then promote it through word of mouth.

Exhibition

Exhibition is the retail part of the film industry. We have chosen to exhibit our film in form of a DVD and online streaming with NETFLIX and Amazon Prime Video as a theatrical release would not overcome our budget. But over long term a DVD release and online streaming would give us more profit in the long term. Additionally more and more films are being streamed and purchased online and it is becoming the more preferred way to watch a movie, especially for our target audience which is mainly compromised of teenagers. NETFLIX has already had success with exhibiting a movie without a theatrical release with the film, The Do-Over (2016) directed by Steven Brill starring Adam Sandler.

We were originally going to additionally exhibit our film on YouTube Red which is similar to NETFLIX as it is a paid subscription service where people can watch ad-free exclusive content such as low budget films. However it has not had great reviews and it is not available in the UK which was the reasoning for us not using it as an exhibition method. We also thought about using the YouTube platform on its own where people can watch the movie for free and we would gain profit from Adsense revenue, the revenue gained from advertisements before and during the film (please click the link for more information https://www.google.co.uk/adsense/start/how-it-works/). However we worked out, the revenue from google Adsense would not be enough to cover our budget and any profits we would make would be slow, too small and would not satisfy the distributor.

Regulation

Regulation

BBFC

We have regulated our film as we want to protect our audience and make sure they know exactly what to expect from the film. Having ratings can also help persuade people to watch our film, for example some audiences are persuaded to watch the movie if it has a higher rating and for some audiences they are persuaded to watch the film if it has a lower rating.

Whist in the planning stages of our production, 'The Book' we decided that we would have a niche target audience of people between the ages of 15-25 with no specific gender due to our film having a very complex genre and storyline (please see my blog post for more information about our target audience). From looking at the BBFC's guidelines we have decided that our film will be rated 12 as it states in their guidelines that 'There may be moderate physical and psychological threat and horror sequences.' We have not rated it as a 15 as we don't have 'strong violence'. Additionally a lack of violence also means we can reach a larger audience providing higher revenue for the film.

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