Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Media Ownership Essay

British film industry has a more difficulty in funding; this is due to the small audience they get after producing a film. They find this difficult as they must look for a distributor and promoter so that they get some audience. This must be at a price that is small as the film funding is limited. On average, British films are only 100,000+ in which is a relatively small budget compared to big blockbuster movie such as the ones in Hollywood which consists of an average of  $100,000,000 for their budget, this means that American films are more richer and better than British films as they have a larger budget to use in which they could spend on better actors, facilities and equipment.
Slumdog Millionaire is probably the best British made that have ever been created as it gained the most money and awards any British film has ever gained. The story of the film appealed to the audience all over the world which lead to the success of the film. The plot of a slum dog child growing up in the slums who have experienced a lot in his life in which most of the questions asked in ‘Who wants to be a millionaire?’ were related to. This story appealed as it was a sign of hope, redemption and survival which appealed to a wide audience. Comparing its naturally small budget of $15,000,000 in which is still small comparing to Hollywood films. They were funded by Film4 which gave them a funding of £10,000,000. They also took the film to Celador Films who gave them £8,000,000 for the production of the film. Celador Films were the producers of films such as Eden Lake (2008), Dirty Pretty Things (2002) and The Descent (2005). But importantly had many rights to the famous TV Programme ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’. This was essential as ‘Who wants to be a millionaire?’ was a key component in making the film. As it was an Indian/British film, the Indian Edition of the TV Programme would appeal to the audience in Indian which was probably their primary audience. This allowed them to gain and audience from India and from the audience who watches ‘Who wants to be a millionaire?’ Six months later, both companies, Celador and Film 4 offered the film to Danny Boyle, a famous director who had experience in the Indian Country and also read the script and accepted to produce the film.
Coulson, owner of Celador, then sold the film negative pickup rights to two distributors. This was Warner International ( company of Warner Brother’s international distributor) this allowed the distribution of the film to American countries/state in which would gain them a large American audience, and Pathè ( to allow film distribution to the European and other countries so that they could get an audience from all over the world. However, Warner allowed Coulson and Tessa Ross to show the film to Fox SearchLight, which lead to Warners being in a stake but allowed Fox Searchlight distribution rights for the North American Countries. These agreements and funding of the film allowed the production of the film to be created and distributed to countries all over the world. Which lead to the film’s success.
Due to the Fox deal, it was just in the right time before the Toronto Film Festival which is a major international film festival which is the first step of a non-Hollywood studio film to be successful in Northern America. Slumdog was shown in the festival and won an audience award which gave a sign of how popular it would become. As Toronto Film Festival has a large Asian audience, this showed another sign that the film would be popular in the Asian countries.
There was a platform release in the USA and Canada in which it only started with 10 screens on Nov 16, by Christmas week a large increase of 589 screens and 2900 screens in March after the Oscar success. Whereas in the UK, 324 screens shown the film on Jan 9, which was building a success in US and Canada. It was released in India on Jan 23rd along with Hindi-dubbed and English language prints. The English language was considerably better as the Hindi-dubbed was listed as ‘average’.
This print screen is an image of a feature of the Slumdog Millionaire website. Firstly the URL link, slumdogmillionairemovie.co.uk,  was related to the film in which people can easily identify what film they are going on about and also the image shows links on to the film such as the ’who wants to be a millionaire?’ People can interact with it which gave the sign of ownership of the film as they can also download files such as wallpapers, trailers etc in which they can show their friends or tell their friends causing an increase in audience size.

In Conclusion, the use of digital technology was widely used in the distribution of the film and many companies was paid and given some funding for the production of the film. The use of viral marketing to distribute and promote the film was also a method in which boosted up their success in the film. In fact, almost every film produced now uses viral marketing to help promote their film, this is the use of social networking sites to ‘spread the word’ about the film, e.g. someone could post something such as “... was a great film” this would then make their friends to want to watch the film and also an increase in the numbers of audience that the film would get. Overall, Slumdog Millionaire was a huge successful British film which used up its budget wisely in which help gained the audience that it had.

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