Published on March 11, 2014
Development Pre-production Production Post-production Distribution
Finding Finance Script development Stars Director Other Key Crew
SECURING FINANCE -Can be complex and very lengthy -Must attract potential investors -Generate confidence in film’s ability to create revenue -Returns can be enormous -But very risky -The higher the film’s profile, the more likely to attract investors -Blockbusters attract more than low budget -Only one in ten films make significant financial return
A script treatment - ten or more pages concerning storylines, characters and locations. Generic profile of film - help investors to “place” film in marketplace (potential audience) Proposed budget - rough guide to price
Visual representation of key narrative moments Key personnel - stars, director, DOP, etc Potential spin-offs, merchandising and tie-ins - all its money making potential.
100% financing - a studio or other backer gives 100% of the film’s budget in return for full ownership of the film. Multi-party financing - the independent producer typically raises finance from a host of sources.
Titanic $200,000,000 Spiderman 2 $200,000,000 Waterworld $175,000,000 The,Wild,Wild West $175,000,000 Van Helsing $170,000,000 Terminator 3 $170,000,000 Troy $150,000,000 With a partner, look at the list of the biggest film budgets and discuss what factors do you think helped secure such huge amounts of investment in these films?
Finalising Script Scheduling Budgeting Casting Crew contracts Storyboarding Location Equipment hire
Cinematography – DOP and the camera crew Production Design – Art direction and dressers Actors – Method and typical day Sound – Booms, fishpoles and DATs
Costumes, Make-up and hair Special FX – green screens, etc Editing ProductionTeam
Editing Re-shoots Sound mixing ADR Foley Music Laboratories
Launching a film in the marketplace Distributor acquires rights to film Could invest in film at beginning Buy rights after film made Part of larger company and automatically distribute film $60 billion global film entertainment business
How and when to release a film - a crucial decision. Want to avoid slow times or event films. Cinema release date important for DVD release. Target right audience - test screenings, p&a campaign.
How many copies of film to circulate? Saturation 700-1000 prints Arthouse 20 prints Timing - school holidays for blockbusters, Jan-March for potential award winners Competition - too many blockbusters, too crowded
Can cost as much as the film Must create the “must see” factor - word of mouth Marketing mix - posters, trailers, media ads, internet, promotions, merchandising, premieres, press junkets, previews and festivals
Hollywood makes approximately 120 films a year High Production Values high budget affords: Special effects Actors Great script Exotic locations New technology – camera work
A high-budget production Aimed at mass markets Relies on vital merchandising “the modern-day blockbuster has become far more than just a movie. However strong the characters and storyline, none of the new breed of blockbusters gets the go-ahead unless it can justify itself in terms of its TV spin-offs, sequels, merchandising opportunities and DVD tie-in. It is no longer enough to get pre-programmed audiences crammed into the multiplex when they could be buying the toy, drinking the drink and wearing the T- shirt too.”
Before: the deals ($30M) Script & development: $10m The script budget on a film is typically 5% of the total budget. Writer David Koepp netted an eight-figure payday. Plus:, a batch of four fresh writers, including Pulitzer prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon . In addition, it is likely uncredited but well-paid script doctors were drafted in to rewrite certain scenes. Licensing: $20m Marvel owns the Spider-Man character. Since Sony bought the movie rights in 1999, there has been ongoing bickering and litigation between Marvel and Sony, pushing the licensing price up further. Stan Lee, the co-creator of the Spider-Man comic character, acts as executive producer on Spider-Man 2. Marvel pay Lee an annual salary of $1m [£540,000], but Lee has threatened to sue for a share of profits from licensing.
During: the shoot ($100M) The big money is doled out to the stars, the director and the producers are still paid a traditional weekly wage for the length of the shoot. They are what's called "above-the-line" costs that the studios are committed to paying before the cameras even start to roll. Producers: $15m Blockbusters spawn numerous producers : Spider-Man 2 has two producers, one co- producer and three executive producers. Director: $10m In the age of studio-led blockbuster movies, the director has less and less autonomy, and is often brought on board after the studio has already completed casting. If test audiences dislike a scene, the director is obliged to cut or reshoot. For their pains, directors can still command a hefty fee. For the first Spider-Man movie, then Columbia Pictures chairwoman Amy Pascal surprised the community by hiring Evil Dead director Sam Raimi, who was not that well known to keep the costs down.
Cast: $30m Tobey Maguire landed the title role after first-choice Heath Ledger passed. His pay for Spider-Man, $4m [£2m] leapt to an upfront $17m [£9m] for the sequel, Industry insiders estimate Kirstin Dunst was paid $5-$6m for Spider-Man 2. New baddie Alfred Molina would be paid in the region of $1m [$540,000]. The rest of the cast will have picked up $3m [£1.6m]. Actors, agents and managers go home happy with a tasty 10-15% of their clients' payday. Below the line: $45m "Below-the-line" costs are the physical production expenses of the shoot, including crew fees. The costs of hiring and operating state-of-the-art equipment, corralling and feeding armies of extras, occupying and vacating locations, and, above all, employing thousands of high-salaried crew members are enormous. Principal photography on Spider-Man 2 began on April 12, 2003 in New York, where the production spent three weeks shooting at various locations.
After: the edit ($70M) Special effects: $65m The lion's share of the post-production budget is now spent on special effects. Editing remains a sizeable chunk but, along with above-the-line costs, the effects budget on blockbusters is one of the big spends, and is growing fast. Music: $5m No more than 2% of the budget. Three-time Oscar-nominated Danny Elfman composed the music for Spider-Man 2 for a fee nearing £2m. Sony Music Soundtrax will put out the official soundtrack which includes tracks by Jet and Train. The first Spider-Man album debuted at no 4 on the US albums chart, and sold more than 2m copies worldwide.
The sell ($75M) Prints & advertising: $75m The print and advertising costs are not actually included in the production budget. Having already spent $200m on making the film, the studios will spend even more money on marketing it!
Final Box Office figures: $821m [£446m] worldwide!
High production values Blockbuster Above the line costs Below the line costs Media conglomerate Subsidiary
20th Century Fox Warner Bros Universal Studios Walt Disney DreamWorks
20th Century Fox is a film corporation which is one of the 6 major American film studios. The organisation was founded in 1935 and has become of the most recognised film studios in the world the. Examples of their work include: • Avatar • Star wars • Ice Age the Meltdown
Warner Bros is also one of the main film studios that is based in California and in New York City The type of organisation that it is, is a subsidiary The organisation was founded in 1918 in Hollywood California Some of their work includes: •The Dark Knight •Harry Potter •The Matrix
Universal studios is 1 of the 6 major American film studios. The organization was founded in 1912 by a man called Carl Laemmle. The organization is owned 80% by an American company called General Electric and the other 20% is owned by a French company called Vivendi Some examples of their work include: •ET •Mamma Mia •Jurassic Park
Some examples of their work include: •Shrek •Madagascar •Over The hedge DreamWorks is an studio which produces animated film which are computer animated. The organisation was founded in 1994. The studio is based in California, America. The organisation produced animations is only through Paramount Pictures.
Some examples of their work include: •Pirates of the Caribbean •The chronicles of Narnia Walt Disney is a film studio that creates films that appeal to wider audiences. The organization was founded in 1983, and is currently based in California. The industry in which the organisation operates is within Motion Pictures
The origins and development of the American film industry are the period from 1895 to 1930. During this time the emerging industry developed into an important popular medium, organised into clearly defined exhibition, production, and distribution elements.
The period from 1930 to 1949 in American film is known as the Studio Era. By 1930 the American film industry was dominated by five companies known as the ‘Majors’ or the ‘Big Five.
All of the Big Five studios were vertically integrated. Vertical integration – where a company is organised so that it oversees a product from the planning/development stage, through production, to marketing, and distribution, through to the consumer.
During the studio era the Big Five owned the production studios, the distribution companies, and most of the cinemas in the US. Production Studio Distribution Cinemas
In 1949 the major studios were forced to sell off the cinema chains that they owned by the US government, after a court ruling that their practices were monopolistic. The American film industry declined further in the 1950s due to the rise of television. It wasn’t until the late 1980s that Hollywood studios fully recovered.
The American film industry is now dominated by six major film companies. The contemporary Big Six account for nearly 90% of the North American film market. All of these companies are subsidiaries of major media conglomerates.
Who do you think are the Big Six film studios in the contemporary American film industry? Major Studio Subsidiaries Warner Bros Pictures 20th Century Fox Paramount Pictures Columbia Pictures Walt Disney/Touchstone Pictures Universal Studios
Do you know which conglomerate owns which film studio?
Conglomerate Parent Division Major Studio Subsidiary Time Warner Warner Bros. Entertainment Warner Bros. Pictures News Corporation Fox Filmed Entertainment 20th Century Fox Viacom Paramount Motion Pictures Group Paramount Picture Sony Corporation of America Sony Pictures Entertainment Columbia Pictures The Walt Disney Company Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group Walt Disney Pictures/Touchstone Pictures General Electric/ Vivendi NBC Universal Universal Studios
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