Thursday, 31 October 2013



Friday, 7 December 2012

Marketing Facts; Harry Potter.

1. A Good Product
Clever marketing and savvy business practices can only sell a bad product to a limited extent. If consumers' expectations aren't met, repeat purchases dwindle and word-of-mouth marketing comes to a screeching halt. At its core, the Harry Potter books were good and consistently met consumers' expectations. Your product has to do the same thing or it will fail.
2. Emotional Involvement
A product, business or brand cannot become a phenomenon like Harry Potter without the emotional involvement of consumers driving it to that status.
To achieve consumer emotional involvement in your own product, business or brand, you need to have a good product that meets their needs consistently, and that product needs to deliver what I call the "3 Ss" of customer loyalty. That is, creating feelings of stability, sustainability, and security. Without that kind of emotional involvement, your success will peak long before the phenomenon status comes into view.
3. Word-of-Mouth Marketing and an Online Buzz
Ask 100 people how they first heard about Harry Potter and the vast majority of them (if not all of them) will tell you they heard about Harry Potter from another person, such as a family member, friend or colleague.
Leveraging the power of the Internet as a catalyst to build word-of-mouth marketing is critical if you want to achieve similar success. Fans always wanted more of the Harry Potter brand, and the Internet became a place where the Harry Potter community could socialize, network and experience the brand in their own ways. While J.K. Rowling and her U.S. publisher first sent cease and desist letters to owners of fan sites and blogs, writers of fan fiction and creators of fan art, they quickly realized that allowing consumers to take control of the conversation on the social Web and make the brand their own was far more powerful than trying to stop it.
You need to give up control and let the conversation flow, too.
4. Tease and Perpetual Marketing
By leaving consumers wanting more, each marketing tactic implemented to promote that brand (directly or indirectly) can build upon the one before it until the anticipation and buzz reaches a fever pitch.
Leaking bits and pieces of information, holding promotional events and contests and creating a veil of secrecy around the next product to launch related to a brand can drive the word-of-mouth marketing necessary to boost sales to the highest level possible.
The team behind the marketing of Harry Potter got better and better at tease and perpetual marketing over the lifecycle of the brand. Apple is another great example of a company that leverages tease and perpetual marketing quite well in order to boost sales. You can also integrate a tease and perpetual marketing strategy into your own marketing plan to build excitement around your business.
5. Brand Consistency and Restraint
Once customers become loyal to a brand and develop an emotional connection to it, it's critical that nothing is done to damage the brand or betray consumers' loyalties to it. In other words, you must meet consumer expectations in every branded interaction or they'll be confused and turn away from your brand in search of one that does consistently meet their expectations. When faced with opportunities to extend the Harry Potter brand, J.K. Rowling exercised restraint in an effort to protect the brand she loved. She said no to merchandise pitches and refused to allow Harry Potter to appear on a McDonald's Happy Meal. The Harry Potter brand continued to deliver on its brand promise and brand loyalty and brand advocacy continued to grow. You need to use the same consistency and restraint in your own marketing initiatives to ensure your brand promise doesn't waver in consumers' minds.
Harry Potter is the perfect example of a fundamental branding truth: consumers build brands, not companies. Marketers might nudge consumers in a desired direction, but at the end of the day, it's the consumers who experience a brand, make it their own, develop emotional involvement with it, become loyal to it, and advocate it who are actually responsible for the success or failure of a brand. Let them experience your brand, and you'll open the doors to the potential success known to leading brands like Harry Potter.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Film Four Questions

1. What is Film4's remit (its reason and purpose for being)?
Film 4 is a production house and a channel that produces and broadcasts alternative films. They offer a distinctive range of mainstream and independent films; 'Alternative, and challenging films.' Their aim is to be 'committed to enhancing the British film making industry by nurturing and funding new talent.'

2. What types of films are green-lighted by Film4? Give examples of films and genres.

Film 4's biggest films to date are; 'Slumdog Millionaire' a British drama about a young Indian man from he slums of Mumbai who appears on the Indian version of 'Who wants to be a millionaire?' the movie combines elements of crime and adventure, it is an alternative film. Also '127 Hours' which is a biographical survival drama film about a canyoneer that becomes trapped by a boulder in an isolated slot canyon, and was eventually forced to amputate his own arm in order to set people free, this would also be classed as an alternative story. And also 'The Inbetweeners movie' which is a British comedy film based on the E4 series. The film is about four teenage lads going on a lads holiday to Crete after their final year at school together.

3. Why is Tessa Ross regarded as "the mother of British film-making" and therefore instrumental for Film4's success?
Tessa Ross is a 47 year old woman who is the controller of Film Four. She has become like a mother figure to Britain's film industry, nurturing new talent and nursing more established directors who might be feeling unloved. She is not uncomfortable with being seen in a maternal role. "I'd like that, I think that's the right way, isn't it?" she says. "It's all about nurturing. This should be a very cosy place, it should be the safe place. If you can't make mistakes here at home, where can you?" Her hard work and pioneering achievements were recognized when Slumdog Millionaire won all of it's awards.  Tessa Ross, more than anyone else, was responsible for making this remarkable film project happen. It was Ross who brought all the ingredients together and had the vision to imagine what might result: the originality of Vikas Swarup's novel Q&A.

4. How much is Film4's yearly budget and how much of it did "Slumdog Millionaire take up? ( Be careful with this one as co-productions, UK Lottery money and deals with Pathe, etc. helps make Film4's budget stretch further!)
Film Fours annual budget is £15m, Slumdog millionaire cost them???

5. Why does Film4 form partnerships with other companies/individuals?
Film Four forms parternerships with other companies/individuals in order to gain funding through synergy, spreading the cost of making a film as they have a very low budget. A perfect example of this was when Film Four made 'Slumdog Millionaire' where Film 4 worked along side with Celador Films (an independent production company) and Warner Bros in order to make the film.

6. What is the future for Film4 - budget and film-wise?
If this question would've been asked 5 years ago, then I would've said bleak. However due to the recent success of films such as The Inbetweeners, Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours, Film Four have received a slight financial boost, and they have proven to the film industry that they can make multi-national successful films. All that needs to happen now, is for one very wealthy British entrepreneur to take a risk and invest in the British film industry to really get the ball rolling. Richard Branson would be the perfect man to do so.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Mr smith film 4 notes

Film 4
  • The controller of film 4 is a women called Tessa Ross.
  • Film 4 is a production house and a channel that produces and broadcasts alternative films.
  • By 2006 Film four was struggling. Its business model of pay TV on a subscription basis wasn't working. Therefore in the same year, Film Four moved from being a pay T.V channel to being free-to-air, allowing more free access to home-grown and blockbuster films.
  • Film Four's business objective is to be 'committed to enhancing the British film making industry by nurturing and funding new talent.'
  • They offer a distinctive range of mainstream and independent films; 'Alternative, and challenging films.' 
  • Channel 4 own film 4, and channel 4 had a budget rise of 50% in 2011 to £15m per year, guaranteed for the next five years. This increased budget will provide the British film industry with a financial boost, in accordance to the government's decision to close the UK film council.
  • Makes round 6 films a year.
  • Set up a low-budget studio with the film council and distributors optimum: wrap X (digital production house).
  • Slumdog  millionaire was the most successful film four film; it cost £15m to make and achieved a market revenue of £243m. One unique aspect of the film during it's filming stage was that they used the S1-2k camera, which is a handheld digital camera, they used this camera to keep the filming costs relatively low.
  • Another film that film four have made is '127 hours' this film was cheap to make and also used the S1-2k camera. 4 companies came together and used synergy in order to make the film.
  • Also Film four made The Inbetweeners movie, this is the most successful british comedy film of all time, and sold a triumphant 1 million DVD's in the first 5 days of it's release.
  • In 2001 the company was doing very poorly.
  • In 2006 the channel moved from pay T.V to free.
  • Film 4 is owned by channel 4.
  • Inbetweeners is the most successful british comedy film of all time, - largest growth profit.
  • Film Four is owned by Tessa Ross
  • 2001
  • 2006
  • 4
  • Inbetweeners
  • Tyrannosaurus rex
1 Word
  • Alternative

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Media convergence and synergy

How is Media Convergence important for audiences and Institutions?

In today’s film industry the importance of media convergence is huge. The film industry relies on media convergence when marketing, distributing and exhibiting a film, and especially more recently, making an audience aware of what is happening at the production stage of filming. During this essay I will be relating the importance of media convergence for audiences and institutions to the films ‘Kick Ass’ and ‘The king’s speech.'

During the production stage of the film ‘Kick Ass’ media convergence was used very effectively. For example a series of posters presenting the individual characters were released to gain the audiences interest, on these posters were URL addresses which sent you to the official kick ass website, where there was further posters, games and information about the film, this gave the audience a feeling that they had gained a secret insight in to the film and what it was going to be about. This brought the audiences attention to the website where the makers of kick ass proceeded to upload pre-release trailers, behind the scene videos, short clips of the film and games to bring in a high amount of publicity from the audiences. Media convergence was important for 'Kick Ass' as it was made by British producers and some scenes were filmed in the UK, for example: the opening scene with Nicholas Cage in was filmed in a sewage plant in East London, but the films main audience would be America. In order to achieve a film that appealed mainly to Americans, the British producers had to add an aspect of American heritage to the film, they did this by; hiring well known American actors such as Nicholas Cage, also they used Elstree studios in Heartfordshire in the UK, but used huge screens that allowed them to manipulate the background in order to make it look like the film was being filmed in America. This worked successfully and Kick ass did well not only in the US but worldwide, achieving a worldwide box office revenue of over $96,000,000.
Media convergence Is vital for small film production companies, as it allows them to team up with other stakeholders and companies in order to make a film which would otherwise be out of their budget. A prime example of this is during the production of 'The kings speech' where the Weinstein Company gained one million pounds funding from the UK film council, this extended the films budget and provided them with the finance to create a better film, the UK film council deserve a lot of credit for the success of 'The Kings Speech.'
The Weinstein company being an American organisation was very helpful when producing the film using media convergence. The company were aware of how fixated Americans are on the culture of British heritage and the capitalised on this, making a film that combined authenticity and regal opulence with the scruffy depression era of London. The film portrayed an idealistic view of the British royalty's way of life.
This became a major selling point to the Americans. The makers created a website that informed the audience about the progress of the film during the production stage. Also there were a number of posters released of the main characters in the film, the King (Colin Firth) and 'Lionel' (Geoffrey Rush). The posters were designed in the style of the 'Keep calm and carry on' world war two posters, they pictured the King and Lionel dressed in royal clothing and surrounded by regal fonts. This was a clever design as it further endorsed the traditional English heritage of the film and appealed to the American and worldwide audiences. This media convergence was vital in the advertising of the film in order for it to appeal to the worldwide audience and 'The Kings Speech' did this very successfully, from a budget of just eight million pounds the film generated a phenomenal box office revenue of over two hundred and sixty million pounds.
Media convergence is vital during all stages of film production, marketing and editing. Media convergence can be hugely beneficial for Institutions, as it allows them to team up with other stakeholders and companies in order to make a film which would otherwise be out of their budget. Also media convergence can be massively beneficial for the Audiences, as it allows them to gain an insight to the film during it's production  and marketing stages, creating an interest in the film for the audience. Without the use of this it would be very difficult to make a successful film.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

American Beauty character analysis


Angela is a teenage girl, that attends college in america. She is asthetically beautiful and thinks very highly of herself. Her best friend and seemingly only friend is Jane. Angela is Lester's midlife crisis crush and she plays a pivitol role in the story.

At the start of the film She seems to some up a stereotypical 'plastic blonde' american girl. she is portrayed as this young, confident and attractive character. She regularly brags about her 'amazing' sex life and is very big headed and full of herself, she also seems very bitchy, and treats Jane like she is a piece of carpet.

However by the end of the film she has been 'found out' and although she seemed so perfect at the start, she is anything but that at the end. She falls out with Jane, as Jane realises how much of an ugly person she really is. She realises that looking past all of the makeup and bleech blonde hair, Angela is nothing but a pathetic little school girl. Ricky has a massive part to play in the down fall of angela, the first time Ricky met Amanda he didnt even look at her, it was as if he looked straight through her, he was fully focused on Jane, and he saw past Angela's fake personna and straight in to the inner beauty of Jane. As Ricky and Jane's relationship progressed Angela was rapidly losing control over Jane, and it was as if Ricky had pulled the cotton wool from over her eyes and made her see Angela for what she really is, weak and ugly. This is Ironic as the title of the film is 'American Beauty' and Amanda, the so called beautiful girl, was found out to be actually not very beautiful at all. The ironic relationship of the title and the ongoings in the film start to make the audience wonder wether this 'American Beauty' and the american dream of having a big house, a well paid job and a happy& secure family is really all that it is cracked up to be.

Scene analysis (2nd from Last scene, Angela and Lester 'sex scene')

    There is diegetic music playing in the music player in the living room (Niel Young - Don't let it bring you down.') The music is very romantic and works parallel with the scene. Also
    the rain is belting down on to the windows and is creating an intimate atmosphere.
    The camera slowly zooms in to a close up shot, when the scene is at it's most intimate point, when Lester says 'So... are you gonna tell me, what do you want?' During this close up the camera uses the cuttaway technique and keeps cutting the angle of which you view the intimacy from (behind Lester, then behind Angela.