Discuss the issues raised by Media Ownership in the production and exchange of media texts in your chosen media area.

/ Monday, 9 January 2012 /
In the film industry it is difficult to make progress and create films that get attention and in turn put into cinemas unless you are already a large company. Smaller companies and the majority of British Film is given a back seat because of the vast amount of American Blockbusters.
Slumdog Millionaire is an example of a film that pushed the boundaries though.

Viral Marketing and Convergence helped this film get where it is now, overcoming the mass American film industry; for example their website uses Flash Technology to run a series of awards and reviews as an introduction to the website, giving the audience easy access to information about the film but it also has an option to skip it so this stops the audience becoming bored and switching off the website.
As well as this the website is also packed with Video clips, trailers, pictures and downloads to make the audience feel more involved in the film. Also the downloads are a way of free advertising, for example if someone has the background on their phone or a ringtone friends might ask where it was from and it would help spread information about the film through word of mouth.
The links on the website are in the Who wants to be a Millionaire question box, a recognisable symbol of the TV programme, so the website and the film help promote the TV show too.

Viral Marketing is a new and successful way of promoting films. The film Monsters (2010) used the social networking site Foursquare to set up Infected Zones this allowed people to check into places and get exclusive access and an entry into a prize draw, this encouraged people to look for these zones but also introduced the film to people who knew nothing about it.
Slumdog Millionaire released a Viral Trailer before the film release in the UK allowing people to put it onto blogs and other social networking websites and spread the word of the film.
Although Social networking sites can be used as an advantage of easy advertising they can also have a negative impact. For example if people post bad reviews of a film onto blogs, Facebook, twitter or even YouTube in a video format, this would spread negative views on the film and discourage people to pay to see this film in the cinema. Word of mouth is one of the strongest forms of marketing and if people spread bad reviews this could cause a serious decline in profits, an recent example of this is The Rum Diary (2011) online reviews and newspapers were terrible and so after the first lot of people went to see this film it slowly declined in audience numbers.
To counteract the negative reviews films companies use viral marketing to fight back. Odeon Cinemas gave an extra 50 points to Odeon Premiere Club members if they bought tickets to see The Rum Diary as a way to encourage people to go and see a film that had bad reviews.
Slum Dog Millionaire was predicted to do badly but the actor Danny Boyle and Indie Film enthusiast helped to counteract this. Pay per click adverts were set up and targeted to people who had previously looked in search engines for Path
é, Bollywood, Danny Boyle, Slumdog, Indie Movies etc.This added more than 75,000 new visitors to slumdogmillionairemovie.co.uk
As soon as a film is released into cinemas downloads of the film can be pirated or watched online. Websites like Pirate Bay and 1channel make this easy to get a hold of the downloads or online versions. To stop this happening, much to the dismay of cinemas, films are being released onto DVD and Blu-Ray much faster than usual. This means people can watch the film once they’ve been to the cinema and don’t feel as much need to download them. An example of this is Alice in Wonderland (2010) which caused uproar with cinemas because Disney released the DVD only three months after it was released rather than the usual four.

In conclusion there are many issues with smaller or British film companies trying to get their films into cinemas. Film Companies are vitally important in the production of films across the world as they are vertically integrated is maximises profits for that particular company. This means they films they produce can have a larger budget, and will be bigger and more dramatic.
As the importance is so large on companies such as Sony, this has a large effect on companies such as Amber Films who cannot afford the major funding, and the profits they make from the films will not be half as much as the likes of Sony and Warner Bros.

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