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Media essayy readable

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Media essayy readable

  1. 1. “Media production is dominated by global institutions, which sell their products and services to national audiences”. To what extent do you agree with this statement? The British film industry is dominated by Hollywood Studios which are subsidiaries of global conglomerates. I will be looking at this statement regarding the American film industry compared to the British film industry, focusing on my case study of Walt Disney Studios. The British film market is highly dominated by Hollywood films and the “Big Six.” For example only 36% of the UK box office goes to British films or co-productions. This shows that only a low proportion of films viewed in the UK cinema's are made by British film producers and only a few of which have made a mass income. The top six film distributors in the UK are Warner Bros., Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Walt Disney and Sony. All of which are subsidiaries of the big six and gain 74.6% of the market share in the UK. Currently British films only account for 6% of the total films. This therefore supports my argument of the British film industry being run by Hollywood studios. There are many reasons why the Hollywood Studios are so dominant in the British film industry. One of these reasons is because of the “Big six” as mentioned previously. The six conglomerates that own these previously mentioned subsidiaries are Time Warner, News Corporation, Viacom, Sony, Disney and Vivendi/Comcast. The reason that the film industry is dominated by these six subsidiaries is because of budgets, technology, marketing and synergy. For example one of Disney's more successful films produced was “Tron.” Tron had a budget of $17 million and was produced by Walt Disney Studios. This film was very successful and earned $74 million in box office revenue. However, British films such as “Submarine” which was produced by Film4 and distributed by the UK film council and Weinstein company, only had a budget of £1.2 million, due to the fact that British films have to be funded by the BFI which is a lottery funded company, or co produced with a member of the Big Six to create there budgets. Due to this lower budgeting Submarine only managed to earn £2.03 million in revenue. This shows that that due to relying on the lottery funding, lower budgets are making it harder for British film companies to produce successful films. Due to these lower budgets, companies such as film4 can't make as successful films as they don't have enough money to afford technology such as CGI and 3D films that Disney regularly use like again, in Tron. Audiences then would rather see more advanced technological films than the usual, boring films they've seen many times before. Therefore Disney and other major subsidiaries earn much more in box office and ancillary revenue than British companies so therefore have more money for more technologies and budgets. Finally these budgets affect the British companies as they then have less money for marketing. Disney on one hand are able to promote their films through adverts in previous films, posters, magazines, online advertisements and more, whereas the British film industry do not have this kind of money so promote their films via TV stations such as Film4, BBC and E4 along with billboards and trailers. Disney use this to their advantage by using synergy to market and advertise their films. An example of this is with Toy Story 3, Disney produced a sneak peak trailer which was incorporated in Toy Story 2's adverts which then focus' on the main audience to make sure they are aware and get them hyped and ready for the next film which then brings in more money for Disney. They also use synergy by selling computer games before the film release to get audiences aware of the story lines and new characters that will be seen, and then sell these characters via costumes and children’s toys increasing profits before the film is even released. Toy Story 3 also worked well with synergy as due to the large gap between films they managed to market the film at older audiences as well as younger audiences as toy story fans would of now grown up and would want to go back to re visit old memories and familiar characters. Cliff hanger screenings were also used in colleges to appeal to young children and teenagers and also a sign up page on facebook which is an example of viral marketing. However the British industry do not have the money or donations to create this much of a hype through synergy so marketed with different strategies. For example “The
  2. 2. disappearance of Alice Creed” was marketed by a competition online in which viewers could decide where the premier would be held which interested a large proportion of viewers. However to keep costs minimal the premier was held as a smaller event in a local school. This generated hype as this kind of competition had never been done before. However this did not create as much revenue as toy story 3 which earned $1,063,171,911 box office revenue, compared to Alice Creed which earned $811,930 in box office. Due to these differences in costs and budgeting, a concentration of media has occurred as the film industry is dominated by the Big Six which has caused a large proportion of films to be made and sold by them, making it harder and harder for independent companies to be successful as they are not getting the opportunities to earn the money to afford CGI and other expensive technologies in order to sell their films. Another difference between the British industry and the American film industry is the types of films aimed at different audiences. The British industry tend to produce films that are culturally specific and aimed at niche audiences. For example “This is England” was produced by Film4 in 2006 and only earned £5,058,600 as it only appealed to a niche audience due to the topic of the film being hard, tough England in which foreign viewers would be less interested in. However “The Kings Speech” was an exception to this as it did phenomenally well for a British film as it was focused around British history and royalty which is more interesting for over sea viewers who want to learn about our countries history. However Disney are more focused on a mass global market. An example of this is “Up.” Up differs from British films as instead of being culturally specific, the storyline is based around a made up world in which any one in the world can relate to. Up also provides a wide range of character from old men to little boys to talking dogs, this then widens the target range for this film as more and more people can relate to it. In this essay I have demonstrated how the American film industry dominate the British film industry through the “Big six”, budgeting, marketing, technologies and target audiences. In my own experience I usually consume films that are produced by the Big six especially Disney films as they are easy to access as they are more widely advertised. But they also use more advanced effects which draws me more towards them as it makes the film seem more realistic and as a viewer I like to become lost in films, in which I can do with Disney films as like I have said previously, they aren't set in specific countries or places, so I can relate to any of the film settings. I have however purchased British films before such as the Kings speech, but I did so on the basis of wanting to learn more about British history and due to the fact there were very well known actors and actresses involved. Overall as a consumer I would say that I think that it is good that the industry is run by six subsidiaries, however I now realise how hard it is for British companies and agree with the original statement.

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