Monday, 21 March 2011

Warp Films

Warp Films did not start out as a production company. The Warp industry was first founded in 1989 by Steve Beckett, Rob Mitchell and Robert Gordon in Sheffield. It was first known as Warp Records specialising in electronic music.

The next step was to produce music videos which they did. After getting recognised in the industry of media and producing music videos for many artists they created Warp Music Videos & Commercials.

It was in 2001 where they launched Warp Films producing British films. The company has been behind an array of critically acclaimed and award winning films, including several BAFTAs. It has produced films such as Dead Man's Shoes, Rubber Johnny, This Is England (2006) and Four Lions.

Media Convergence

Media convergence has been happeneing for a number of years - in the media industry, convergence means that the various types of media are coming together. This is due to the progress of technology over the past years. eg. computers can show much of what televisions can show due to the internet.
Many different media industries are trying to take advantage of this fact and produce and distribute their products over different media paths.
An example of this are newspapers. Newspapers have been a dying media format due to technology, and so try and use the internet to publish internet articles to keep up with other media industries, and as technology progresses they also offer video services and audio podcasts.

This 'old media' had a force seperating the media industries and the audience as the audience did not understand how to interact with the media except by receiving it. Although the 'new media' allows the audience to do more than just interact with the media, it allows them to be part of it. The audience can provide their own media in one way or another be it a video podcast or an animation made by them.

Independent films like 'Monsters' and 'Paranormal Activity' are usually filmed with low budgets where everything of the film (written, directed edited etc) are done bya small group of people. 'Monsters' was directed, edited and written by the same person (Gareth Edwards) where he edited the film on his home computer in his house. This shows the power and progress of technology.

Many other movies are distributed in ways that they use the web 2.0 to advertise. Websites such as Youtube and Facebook are good examples as they are widely popular. Distributing companies put trailers and other forms of advertisment on these websites to promote their film.
Although Youtube and Web 2.0 also allows the usual audience to create their own material and show it to the world - In todays world the possibilites of what you can do with the media are endless.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Unknown 2011

Released on February 18th 2011, Drive Angry is an thriller film starring Liam Neeson and Diane Kruger and directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (House of Wax, Orphan).
The film is based on a 2003 french novel by Didier Van Cauwelaert. In english the book is translated into 'Out Of My Head.'

"A man awakens from a coma, only to discover that someone has taken on his identity and that no one, not even his wife, believes him. With the help of a young woman, he sets out to prove who he is."

Most of the film is produced/filmed in Berlin, Germany thanks to the Studio Babelsberg film studio located in Germany. The movie had around a $40 million budget which $30 million came from the Babelsberg studio, the other $10 million came from Dark Castle Entertainment (DCE). DCE is a production house affiliated with Warner Bros. Pictures and usually focuses on producing horror films although it has been seen to produce films from other genres, for example Unknown.
Warner Bros. Pictures is the main distributor for this film (and might be why Dark Castle Entertainment also got involved).

Having a budget of around $40 million the film raked in around $61 million of revenue which means that the film was not a total failure but also not a great success.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Understanding Film Making

The Idea
Making a film includes getting an idea for that movie. Inspiration is key in getting 'that idea' in which real life events, books or just your own new ideas can have a part in. Originality is an important part in this business and even if your getting your idea from somewhere else you still have to add some flair to it to make it into a movie and call it yours to some length.
After an idea, the producer comes next. The producer has looked at many movies and knows when they see a good idea in which they will think will attract audiences and sell. They decide whether your idea will be made in a movie.
A director is involved in the creative development of a film and will work with the producer to make the idea into something that can be filmed. Getting a well known director would make it easier to get a good writer for the film to make it easier to make the idea into something that can be shown on the big screen.
The writer then writes a one page description of the movie, including the main plot and descriptions of the characters, tis is called the treatment. A pitch is also included which has more in-depth information on the film . It includes a one line description of the film, the genre of the film, the market/target audience, the people included in the project, the rough budget needed for the movie and a brief synopsis of the movie. This is used to give the producer an idea for how to sell the movie.

Development Finance
This process is trying to get the rough idea into a final script for the movie. For this the producer uses the treatment and the pitch to get funds to get the script written and the movie made. They do this by going to production companies and try to persuade them to give them the funds needed.
A distributing and broadcasting company is needed for the movie to be distributed across cinemas as well as the broadcasters getting the right to the movie so they can broadcast the movie on their channel (ITV, BBC etc).
The producer can also go to a private investor hoping they will support the project.

Script Development
The writer writes a synopsis for the film and works with the producer to get an idea on which scenes would appear in the movie and which of those scenes would be the main ones (which would be focused on more).
The step outline includes short written descriptions of all the scenes outlining the action is detail and when they will all occur. The first draft will then be written which has all the actions and scenes of the movie, when they will occur in the movie and all the dialogue of the characters.
After the writer and producer are happy with the first draft, it is sent to all the investors of the movie which then give their own ideas to the script.
After gathering all the ideas of all the investors and the producer, the final draft is made. When everyone is happy with it is locked off as the final script and the writer is the paid.

Packaging is a selling tool to raise money for the production. Firstly the producer uses the initial rough budget and the sales treatment to make another (but more accurate) rough budget to make the script work. It is decided here how the director and producer want to film the movie and who they want to hire to help them.
A cast is necessary. After the completion of the script getting a well known cast is commercial for the film. Heads of the department are also needed to make the movie look amazing. An editor is needed to meld the scenes that will be shot, a director of photography gives the movie and shoots a distinctive look and the production designer is vital as he takes care of the visuals of the movie.
A production schedule is made to see how the production is going to take place and where. It is then a more detailed budget sheet is made showing a more detailed spreadsheet of how much money is needed to make the movie. A line producer helps the producer figure out how much time the movie will take to be made.
A finance plan is made to plan how the film will raise it's funds  (production companies, organizations etc) and a recoupment plan to see how it will make money and pay back it's investors (DVD sales, merchandise, cinema etc).

Film making requires money to do and it is the job of the producer to acquire as much funding as possible so the film can be made to the  highest standard possible.