Institutions Production, Distribution, Exhibition and Regulation

Production Company

For our Zombie Horror piece, we created the hypothetical production company known as ‘Deimos Productions’. ‘Deimos Productions’ was intended to be an independent production company which ultimately would produce lower budget films, such as ‘Unconscious’. The company would likely produce films that take niche genres, such as zombie films, but apply a controversial plot in order to challenge the narrative conventions of that genre. The genre in question is intended to be horror. This is shown through the Company name which is taken from the Ancient Greek god of fear (See above for the first interpretation of the logo and below for the featured, albeit different design, from the final piece).

Zombie films would have a very niche demographic and would therefore not necessarily gain financial backing from any major Production Companies, such as Time Warner (Warner Bros.). This is because zombie based narratives generally feature graphic content that may not be palatable to the mainstream audience, but rather a smaller audience with a specified interest. Although relatively successful zombie films have been released to a mainstream audience, these have had commercial appeal through star power and source material. An example would be 'World War Z' (d. Marc Foster, 2013). This is based on a previously successful novel and as a result gained attention from major/minor production companies and the rights to which was fought over by Appian Way (Owned by Leonardo DiCaprio) and Plan B Entertainment (Owned by Brad Pitt). The film ultimately got the backing from the latter and featured Brad Pitt as the lead character, thus given the film commercial appeal through Pitt's stardom and general appeal in the eye of the public.

As an independent film with a niche target audience, production for 'Unconscious' would likely be shared over a number of production companies in order to gain a significant budget. As a British film, 'Unconscious' would be eligible to gain the backing from BFI funding ( It passes most areas of the cultural test). Other production companies would likely been consulted however. After some research our group came across the production/distribution company, Boll World Sales. A German company, Boll World Sales has been responsible for many low budget, low production value feature films that generally tend toward the horror genre, even producing zombie films such as 'Apocalypse Z' (d. Boni/Ristori, 2013). As a low end of the market production company, it is likely that Boll World Sales would accept to fund 'Unconscious' - however, improvements to the narrative may be necessary as the opening sequence is lighter on action than Boll World Sales tends to cater for.

Distribution Company and Exhibition

For our Zombie film, 'Unconscious', we considered the distribution company of Boll World Sales. The German company generally invests in lower budget productions as there is little funding for such niche film making. The company has already been known to distribute (as well as produce), horror/gore films, including zombie films such as 'Apocalypse Z' (d. Boni/Ristori, 2013), so 'Unconscious' can definately be considered within their range.

Promotional material from 'Apocalypse Z' (d. Boni/Ristori, 2013), originally titled 'Zombie Massacre'.

Other companies that can be considered for distribution include Lionsgate; however they may be hesitant as to accept considering the lack of star support and low production value; as well as smaller names like Brain Damage Films and Rogue. These last two distribute mostly straight to DVD productions.

'Unconscious' lacks high production value and any star support - it catering to a niche genre also limits options for funding as well as distribution. Because of this, the film would unlikely have a theatrical release and be more successful being released straight to DVD (Hence Brain Damage Films as a viable example). In addition, an even better form of distribution would be via popular online film streaming services. Although Amazon Prime generally only hosts their own productions, Netflix may be suitable as an online exhibitor for 'Unconscious' as it will be available for casual audiences as well as targeting the niche demographic. The low production value and lack of star backing, although a negative factor, would likely not cause any issues with exhibition as Netflix's vast database contains a plethora of similarly produced films.

The two online film streaming giants.

Further distribution (and exhibition) may be viable on certain television channels, such as the Horror Channel and Syfy Channel. Often, these channels will purchase the rights to lower budget films as means of filming up air time when their viewership is minimal. Although this does set a low bar for 'Unconscious', it will likely reach the intended niche demographic via the television channels, which in themselves attract an intended, relatively small audience.

Regulation

'Unconscious' features mild gore and a relatively simplistic plot. It is for these reasons, the intended BBFC certificate would likely be 12. The narrative and content may lack a sense of maturity that larger productions (Such as World War Z) may possess, meaning the film would be easy to follow and begin to be more accessible to a younger audience, allowing for growth in age. The lower age rating may also improve sales as a hole as such a production may allow the genre to be accessible to a younger audience who may see interest in the lower production value.

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