Friday, 29 April 2016

Ex Machina notes

Ex Machina was produced by both Andrew MacDonald and Allon Reich and was directed by Alex Garland. It was distributed by Universal studios on 21 January 2015. The cast included  Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Oscar Isaac and Sonoya Mizuno. Ex Machina qualifies as a British film as all the cast are British and both producers and director is British, as well as others. The film had a budget of $15 million and making $36.9 million at the box office which is really good for a British film. A film being British can have a negative impact of the audience of the film. This is due to a few reasons; one, being that it will appeal greatly to British citizens because they are interested on seeing how they are betrayed on screen and two, the film may not make enough money to get out to a wider audience.  

The film was shot in 2 different countries and bout 6 locations with in these countries. The first part of the film took place in London,UK and the rest was shot in Norway.  Ex Machina was shot on a Sony f65 with a achromatic lenses. They used roto-scoping to insert and remove Ava's body from the image to create the illusion of a robotic body.  The film started off on 4 screens and grew greatly to 2000 screens over the course of 2 months because of how well the film was doing.

This film worked in synergy with other bigger companies such as Film 4 and DNA films which works in favour with British films. This is because British films do not have enough money to promote and distribute the film themselves and rely greatly on other big companies. During the marketing side of Ex Machina, the company worked in convergence to use forms of media such as twitter, facebook and tinder to promote the film saving them money.

Ex Machina is a film that relies greatly on the new developments of technology. For example, they way of removing Ava's real body and adding robotic parts  could not have been achieved a short time ago. This is called roto-scoping. Roto-scoping is where they film the scene with the actor and then again with out. after they do this they overlap the clips and remove and pencil in certain areas. Also having social media such as Youtube is also great for marketing a film and getting it to a wide audience.

Friday, 22 April 2016

To what extent does digital distribution affect the marketing and consumption of media products in the area of media you have studied?

To what extent does digital distribution affect the marketing and consumption of media products in the area of media you have studied? 

Digital media first started to come about in mid 2010. People are making films digital because it can make them a lot of money in the long run. Digital media includes websites such as Youtube and Netflix which means that films can be widely released-increasing sales and can be used for home entertainment revenue. Even though this increase can be due to fast-food and soft-drink sales.This has a negative impact on the companies who make the films because people can use piracy to watch them which stops profit going to the film company and losing them a lot of money. Using digital media is very expensive which is why small cinemas can not afford to show any digital films. The price just to transfer the form of digital between companies is $10,000 and $20,000 per film and to buy the equipment to show the film (digital projector) is between $60,000 and $150,000 each. Which is way to expensive for indie cinemas. Between 2006 and 2013, the number of Hollywood films has fallen considerable by 40 percent due to independent film makers needed rich patrons. Although this cost is a negative on a lot of cinemas, it is very useful for a lot of places to use digital films. For example, during a screening of 'the titanic' , the film being used fell apart in the machine, which would not happen to a new digital screening. 

There was a large gap between the first digital film and last film shot on a film camera where there was a mixture of both and before the last movie to be shot entirely on film was released. The fist film to be shot entirely on digital was 'star wars: Episode II -Attack of the clones' (2002) and the last film to be shot entirely on film was anchorman 2: The legend continues. (2013).

Digital media has also been used for marketing films such as Ex Machina. This is a small independent film who's success relied greatly on digital marking. The marketing type used for this film was 'viral marketing'. This is a way of using social media sites to promote something in order to save money on other kinds of marketing such as adverts and posters. For example, The people in charge of marketing Ex Machina made a fake tinder account to talk to people online (which cost them no money at all). When it was found out the account was fake and it was this company, it caused a huge uproar across many social media accounts which made the word bout the film carry across many countries and be known to people all over the world. This wouldn't have been able to do without digital media. Another film that used digital media is 'Mad Max: Fury road'. This film worked in cross media to produce a video game about the film before it was released in cinemas. This lets people know what to expect in the film and attracted the correct target audience.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

What significance does the continuing development of digital media technology have for media institutions and audiences?

The continuing development of digital media technology has had a large significance on media audiences and institutions. over many years there have been many developments of distributing films; cinemas to DVD to now being able to use cross-media to watch film online using VOD such as Netflix.
In production, digital media has come along way, for example in mad max: Fury road- directed by George miller, they used a phantom camera. A camera that can shoot 300 frames per second, increasing greatly in quality. Another camera they used was a flash camera, allowing them to film it in 2D and 3D at the same time. They also used an edge arm to film scenes on moving vehicles. For example, in the scenes where Nux hangs off of the truck, we see very close detail and it allows the audience to follow him as he moves around. This is a large improvement, saving them time and money. This film also consists of CGI to add detail to the background and make it more dramatic. Another film that used CGI is ex machina- directed by Alex Garland. In this film they use rota-scoping to pencil in the body of the AI after shooting the scene twice, once with the actress and once without.

The marketing process of films has had significant development, which is important to get the film out to audiences. Ex machina was marketed using viral marketing. They did this by creating a fake tinder account in Texas under the name of Ava, who is not a real person and got people to talk to 'her'. When it came out that it wasn't a real person, it caused a lot of an up roar on social media pages such as twitter and Facebook, creating free advertising for the film. Having the access to viral marketing is really good for low budget British films such as Ex machina. Mad max had more traditional marketing such as posters and adverts, which would have costed a lot of money. However, This film worked in cross-media with a gaming company to create a game that was released before the film came out. This style of marketing was not available when the first of the mad max series came out, showing a significant development in the marketing processes.

When films where first about they could only be seen in the cinema, this was later developed to now being able to purchase DVDs and later on, blurays. There where many cases of films being illegally downloaded online, so blurays introduced a way of over coming this by giving a free download of the film they purchased. In very recent developments, we now have VOD (video on demand) this is a legal way of watching films online or at home. This has become very popular because it saves the user a lot of money because instead of spending £10 on a cinema ticket, they can pay £10 monthly instead to get a wide range of over 1000 films to watch at home. The biggest VOD site is Netflix, this site contains both old and new releases of films for the user to enjoy.

In conclusion the significance of the continuing development of digital media technology has meant that both institutions and audiences have benefited from a great film experience. Media institutions have made hit films such as Mad Max and Ex Machina generating a huge profit and media audiences have had the opportunity to watch the new films for their enjoyment.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Who licensed Ex Machina in the UK and how much did it cost? Universal studios- $15million

Who licensed Ex Machina in the US and how much did it cost? A24
Was Ex Machina an example of vertical or horizontal integration? vertical integration
Who licensed Mad Max Fury Road in the UK and how much did it cost? Warner bros- $150 million
Who licensed Mad Max Fury Road in the US and how much did it cost? warner bros
Was Mad Max Fury Road an example of vertical or horizontal integration?
Who licensed Me And Earl And The Dying Girl in the UK and how much did it cost? FOX
Who licensed Me And Earl And The Dying Girl in the US and how much did it cost?
Was Me And Earl And The Dying Girl an example of vertical or horizontal integration?


What was the release date for Ex Machina in the UK? January 21st 2015

What was the release date for Ex Machina in the US? April 24th 2015
Which major films appear in its US release window? Avengers
What was the release date for Me And Earl And The Dying Girl in the UK? September 4th 2015
Which major films appear in its UK release window? Maze runner
What was the release date for Me And Earl And The Dying Girl in the US? June 12th 2015
Which major films appear in its US release window? 
What was the release date for Mad Max Fury Road in the UK? May 14th 2015
Which major films appear in its UK release window? 
What was the release date for Mad Max Fury Road in the US? May 15th 2015
Which major films appear in its US release window? 


How many screens was Ex Machina released on in the UK? 
How many screens was Ex Machina released on in the US? it started at 4 then increased to 2000
When did Ex Machina screen at the Phoenix Leicester?   
How long was its theatrical run in the UK?
How many screens was Me And Earl And The Dying Girl released on in the UK? 
How many screens was Me And Earl And The Dying Girl released on in the US? 
When did Me And Earl And The Dying Girl screen at the Phoenix Leicester? 
How long was its theatrical run in the UK?
 How many screens was Mad Max Fury Road released on in the UK?  546
How many screens was Mad Max Fury Road released on in the US? 50
When did Mad Max Fury Road screen at the Phoenix Leicester?  
How long was its theatrical run in the UK? 

Friday, 11 December 2015


  • A specialised film will typically have less then 10 prints.
  • Distribution is the third part of the film supply chain.
  • Distribution is often referred to as 'the invisible art', a process known to those only in the industry.
  • When discussing distribution, vertical integration means where the three stages (production, distribution and exhibition) are seen as one large process, under the control of the film company
  • Vertical integration isn't so common in the independent sector because producers tend to not have long term economic links with distributers, who likewise have no formal connections with exhibiters. 
  • The three stages involved in the independent sector are: licensing, marketing and logistics. 
  • Licensing is the process by which a distributer requires the legal rights to exploit a film.
  • The two levels of licensing are international distribution and local distribution
  • The advantages of being a major US studio are that they have their own distribution offices in all major territories. 
  • The three different types of rights that you can acquire at a local level are: Theatrical rights (showing the film in cinemas), Video rights (for video and dvd exploitation) and TV rights.
  • Royalties are taken from the profit that the film makes. Usually a local distributer will conventionally share profits equally with the producer for the theatrical leg, pay back higher royalties for broadcast rights, and lower for video/DVD.
  • The most effective way to increase interest in a film is to release a film in a theatrical way (in cinema) so that the film creates interest.
  • It takes two years after the opening in cinemas to come out on 'free to air TV' 
  • The two key questions surrounding the marketing of a film are; when? and how?
  • Films are typically released on a Friday
  • Before releasing a film on a Friday the distributer will look at a schedule of other film releases on that day.
  • A 'light week' in terms of distribution means that there won't be a load of films on at the same time, ensuring screen space and adequate review column inches in the press allocated to any new release.  
  • To position a film distinctively means to avoid releasing the film around the same time when a film with similar traits is to be released.
  • This has become increasingly difficult in the UK due to the release schedule featuring over 10 new releases each week.
  • P&A are Prints and Advertising.
  • P&A can range from £1,000 to over £1 million for a release of a film in the UK.
  • A mainstream film will have over 200 prints.
  • A key factor for developing a profile for a film is press response.
  • Awareness of a film can also be raised by advertising in magazines/news papers and cinema posters. 
  • It is risky to release a film in the UK because the print cost is very high.
  • Companies are looking towards viral marketing because it is the easiest and cheapest way of marketing.
  • The benefits of a talent visit is to get editorial coverage to support a release

In the pre digital film age what was a distributor responsible for?

  • The average cost of a 35mm print, including delivery to a cinema, is around £1,000. 
  • In a future print there are usually 5-6 reals
  • 35mm prints tend to get damaged because of the amount of times they are used in different projectors.
  • Prints are usually stored  at the UK's central print warehouse in West London. 
  • A theatrical release usually lasting up to 6 months. 
  • Digital distribution in the UK started towards the end of 2005.
  • Digital distribution is more cost effective. It is also less stressful to send films as computer files to cinemas across the UK.
  • China and Brazil where the first countries to adopt digital distribution.
  • 2005 the UK Film Council Digital Screen Network launched in the UK by Arts Alliance Media creating a chain of 250 2K digital cinema systems
Why has digital distribution radically altered the operating model of distributors?
  • Films are now available to pre order as the film is still in the cinemas.
  • A loss leader is a strategy where a product is sold at a price below its market cost to stimulate other sales of more profitable goods or services.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

what significance does the continuing development of digital media technology have for media institution and audiences?

what significance does the continuing development of digital media technology have for media institution and audiences?

computer- CGI, editing, distribution and marketing.


  • DVD- Bluray- free download
  • Netflix- stops illegal downloads
  • Mad max- improvement throughout the films
  • Ex machina- CGI/rotoscoping
  • youtube
  • socialmedia
  • viral marketing ^
View point- The continuing development. such as Imax, CGI, 2D and 3D.

instruction- what significance?

  • 2D and 3D, IMAX, flash, edge arm
  • how its filmed -proccess
  • marketing
  • distribution
  • editing- Ava body
  • crossmedia
  • synergy
  • screens
  • conversion- watching from phones, yt and social media.

The continuing development of digital camera media has had a great significance for media institution and audiences. It has made a huge change in marketing, distribution and the filming process.

Films such as mad max have come so far in terms of action and the graphics. The lastest mad max film -'fury road' was shot mainly using a flash camera. A flash camera can shoot the film and then to be turned into 2D, 3D and IMAX. This has resulted in wider audiences and will attract people who want the film in great quality, in 3D for extra effect or just 2D for those who just want to see the film, and all these can be shown in the same cinema at the same time. During this film they also used an edge arm- a camera attached to the side of a moving vehicle. This is a good development because we can now easily shoot moving vehicles. At the end of the film they shot it using a slow motion camera instead of doing it in the editing process. In the editing process of mad max they used CGI in some of the parts to make the background bigger and added in little details to the costume of the characters. In Alex Garland's Ex machina, rotoscoping was used to pencil in Avas body to make it robotic and see through, we would not have been able to do it for similar previous films such as 'AI' and '2001'.

Digital media has also impacted how we distribute films. We can now watch films on line legally through websites such as 'Netfilx'. Netfilx came about so people could watch the film with out going to the cinema and not downloading it illegally. It appeals to audiences because we can watch hundreds of films without having to pay and so to the cinema. We do have to pay to use these websites so it is still beneficial for the production companies but for us it is a lot cheaper and we get more from our money. We can as well put the films onto discs to sell in shops. The development of this went from video tapes to DVDs then finally to Blu ray. A blu ray is very similar to a DVD but it comes with extras such as downloading the film to your computer for free which is why more and more people are starting to but them. Another improvement we have on film is that through each generation of film the quality increases.

The biggest significance that digital media development has had is how we market films.  Because of conversion that we now have, such as social media and youtube, we can now uses a marketing process called viral marketing. This is when the film gets spoke about on the media pages and youtube adverts where everyone can see it. This costs the companies very little money and is the fastest and wider spread way of getting everyone talking about a film. Conversion also lets audiences watch films from our phones and computers getting even more views. However, mad max didn't rely on viral marketing, and more on other methods such as posters and adverts. Another marketing example is cross-media that is used to market Mad max. The company worked with a gaming company to produce a gamed about the film that was released just before the film.
In conclusion, the development of digital media has impacted greatly on the marketing, distribution and production process of the film. It has now got a faster way of marketing which saves them a lot of money- viral marketing and can work in cross-media to produce other popular products such as video games to attract people who they think will have an interest in the film. It has also made a great change to how we view films. Being able to watch films online attracts so many more audiences because it's cheaper and we can do it from home.
It has also made the filming processes a lot easier and quicker to do while the quality is really high.