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New case study exemplars are further down

There are numerous releases of films in the UK each year - if you are choosing to respond to one of the film responses in your Summer exam, then you need to make sure that your work is contemporary.   As the pace at which the media changes is so fast, contemporary should now really be within the last year - this avoids the temptation to copy past papers that your teacher may show you in preparation for this years exam.  The examiner will not want a barrage of sameness as, a) the question will want you to focus on a different part of the institutional process, and b) a true media student will be actively engaged in viewing films and going in to the exam with original and fresh ideas which will stand out above the other papers. 

taken from directorsnotes.com

Why not start by looking at all of the organisations involved in the film industry.  One of the many links from this website is the Film Distributors Associations, website Funding Films, which has a detailed guide to how the distribution process works.  The file can be downloaded here.

Below is a case study of The Inbetweeners Movie and Disney's John Carter (of Mars, incase you're confused) which students have been using in preparation for OCRs May 2012 G322 exam.  But it's good to have a range of examples for this exam incase the focus is on one, not all, areas of film industry.  For example, production and technological convergence, distribution, marketing and exchange.  Whichever exam board you work from, both of these films are rich media texts to talk about.  Whilst the Inbetweeners slideshow is quite hyperlink rich, I have included some extracts of John Carter videos below.  It's a great case study because Disney got it so wrong, hoping to recreate the magic of Pirates of the Caribbean and a lucrative spin off franchise.  Watch the 10 minute clip released prior to the film and see if you can identify the genre.

Personally, I think this is one of the most expensive and ineffective marketing campaigns ever done.  There's lots of comparison and it would be worth looking at Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides to see the blueprints for conglomerate success.  If you want to develop a film case study, then use the Iron Man 2 template and develop into a detailed resource (gives you some of the areas you should be examining and cover) - although you'd be better off examing subsequent Marvel Films (now owned by Disney) and box office winner Avengers Assemble.  Remember that it the exam it's about compare and contrast, use lots of suitable examples and be sure to consider the audience and institution relationship through viewing platforms, web 2.0 and technological convergence.   Consider the might of the big man and his vertically controlled allies versus David and his inventive use of social networking.  The review below shows problems facing many large studios, but compare this against IGNs review of the film.  Always look to argue the point and refer back to the question. 


If you're going into an exam wanting to talk about contemporary issues in British film, why not talk about the UK film council and it's ominous future ahead of cuts - now managed by the British Film Institute.  Also, why not look at the emerging success of British actors and directors - especially at 2011 oscars (France's year in 2012).

If you take the OCR specification, you can look at James Baker's Prezi about the film industry where he examines the institutional processes behind the Dark Knight and This is England which came out in 2008.  Look at the wealth of information and resources that he uses and model this as a guide to research two films, one big American box office smash  and the other a British or independent film that has screened to UK audiences.

If you've studied a film company and the film that was distributed and exhibited in the UK, then make sure you have a back up case study to support or oppose any arguments you may make in your essay (see examples above). 

Without text the presentation below may not make 100% sense but it highlights the obvious difference of two films released in the UK within a 3 month window (to be replaced shortly).

For a more nostalgic look at British cinema and its history, click here.





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