This link will take you to my Production Essay 🙂
Here it is! my film theory tutorial!
(I realised after editing that I talk about Iron Man A LOT…I’m sorry!)
Active spectatorship – Actively interested in the film/genre. Cosplay fanfic etc.
Are the audience of the genre ‘active’ or ‘passive’ with your genre? Examples?
Audiences are quite passive with action films, obviously they wouldn’t want to go out and start to blow things up because it looked cool in The Expendables. Although audiences may dress up as their favorite action characters. For example – This woman is dressed as the protagonist in the Kill Bill series of films. http://obsoletegamer.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Kill-Bill-Cosplay-Beatrix-Kiddo-Cosplay-3.jpg
Pleasure – How does the audience gain pleasure? Seeing characters coming to life.
Audiences get a sense of escapism with the action genre and being pulled into another world where anything could happen, where the surreal action is possible and is happening in front of their eyes. It’s also a bit of excitement which they may not get in everyday life, the relief of the explosions and death of bad characters, may give the audience a sense of joy and fulfillment.
Frameworks of Interpretation – how is your genre interpreted?
Action is often taken as just nonsensical explosions and guns. No reason for it at all, just for a bit of fun and excitement. It can also be seen as a way of getting rid of aggression, watching characters blow up buildings and killing other people may release some stress in the audiences life.
Media Literacy – Level of ability to recognise, create messages in a variety of media forms (The more you know about media)
For an Action genre, you don’t need to be media literate. In a way actions are just explosions, but it depends on the individual scripts, if the script has many references to media you’ll understand more of the film. Although there are many references in The Expendables, which some people may not understand where others do.
Intertextuality – Tending to borrow/ reference from other texts? if yes, why?
Most action films rely on intertextuality to write most of their scripts. Common problems with recent action films are that you have to be media literate
Preferred readings – What is the preferred reading of the genre? Reception theory – Agreeing with the ideology.
Usually, the preferred reading is that they like the explosions and fight scenes of this genre. Mostly the visuals are all that matter, narratives are quite conventional although some pull them off well.
Effects – Does the genre used visual effects? has it changed throughout the years?
In this genre, a lot. Explosions, gun flashes, lens flares etc. As time has developed, visual effects have been used more and more. It used to be choreographed fights and small flashes for guns but now its all used in after effects, like aliens flying through New York in Avengers Assemble.
Fandom – Does your genre have any fandoms?
There are quite a lot of fandoms in the action genre. Avengers fandom (sub fandoms), fast and furious fandom, there could even be a fandom for Die Hard films. These fandoms are usually popular on sites like Tumblr and Twitter.
Interactivity – How does the audience interact with the genre?
Action films are far less interactive than other genres (sci-fi/ fantasy) but it is up to an individual how the audience interprets the film.
Social Networking – Does the genre use social media to connect with fans?
Action genre don’t tend to use social media to interact with fans, more to publish their film and information about the film. Once the film has passed, action social media’s are usually just for updates and reminders about parts of a movie. In a way it does use social media to connect with fans to see what they’re most excited to see in the film, whether it be an actor or just the film in general.
Pre- and post-viewing experiences – do fans engage with a film of the genre before they are released?
Most of the time action films are engaged through hashtags on twitter as a means of conversation and interaction with other fans/ audiences of the same film.
Does the genre inspire devotion in fans?
Most of the time action films could be a one off film and does not inspire much devotion, but action films like fast and furious has to have devoted fans so they will keep going back and seeing the now 6 different movies.
After they see it? how do they experience the film afterwards? POsting online, merch, fandom, chatting online etc.
Afterwards, action genres are sometimes discussed online and posted about on site like Twitter and Facebook with short reviews on the film and possible recommendations.
Does where the audience watch the film change the experience for the viewer?
- Cinema – For action films you are more immersed into the film, the action sounds like they are happening around you and you cant keep your eye off of the screen.
- Dvd – Quality is slightly lower to blu-rays but you still experience the film all the same. You will not be as immersed as you would in the cinema but all depends on the screen size too, you can be easily distracted with quieter sound and darker picture
- Blu-ray – Blu-rays are much higher quality than dvd’s, you will be slightly more immersed as you may see things more crisper than you would if you were watching a dvd release. Sound quality is slightly better too so immersion could be greater.
- Online access – Depending on what sites you use, the sound quality and picture may not be as good as those listed above, and with actions the audio may just sound like messed up noise and the picture could be too dark and terrible. The enjoyment from this would be much less than blue rays and cinemas.
Producers are now using a range of advertising techniques to create a film that will appeal to their audiences. Below is a list of techniques producers use to appeal their film to their audience.
The film I will be looking into for this is Monsters University.
Monsters University – http://monstersuniversity.com/edu/ (Mock campus website)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1453405/?ref_=sr_1 (Imdb page for Monsters U)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZpUISEk5JM (Campus trailer for Monsters U)
The publicity and marketing strategy for the film
How do the producers use the following to appeal to audiences?
Advertising – How is the film advertised?
Pixar have a very diverse and synergised way of advertising their movie. They have created a Monsters University website which works perfectly, It is used as a real but surreal University site. As well as their website, they have a variety of posters, interviews, behind the scenes and even includes some verisimilitude creating trailers that are like stereotypical American university advertisements.
Below are examples of how the film is advertised –
- Website ( http://monstersuniversity.com/edu/ )
- Mock university trailer ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZpUISEk5JM )
- All posters ( http://www.movieposterdb.com/movie/1453405/Monsters-University.html )
- Rotten Tomatoes ( http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/monsters_university/ )
- Behind the scenes ( http://www.movieweb.com/movie/monsters-university/videos/behind-the-scenes )
- Interviews ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgtVM7uD-Ws )
- Another Trailer ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBzPioph8CI )
- Tumblr Posts ( http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/monsters%20university )
Reviewing – Does it aim for the critics to love it?
Before being released, RottenTomatoes has already given it a review of 81%, which is very good considering it has only 16 reviews.
- Rotten tomatoes http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/monsters_university/
- Producers are not specifically aiming to the critics. Pixar are trying to create a feel of nostalgia with returning old characters from many teenagers childhood and making them more relateable. Many of the children that saw the first film in 2001 are now young adults moving onto college/ university, just like the characters in Monsters U.
Chat Shows – Do the stars of the show go on chat shows to promote it?
So far, no stars or producers have been on chat shows. Although there have been a few press conferences and web interviews featuring the voice actors of Sully (John Goodman) and Mike (Billy Crystal). These are so that they can promote the movie and tell the world how good Monsters U is.
Below are just a few examples of the press conferences and web interviews that have been held featuring the voice actors. Producers may also have interviews to tell interviewers the meaning of creating the film and why they did it.
- Press conferences ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdYvqJVijjs )
- Web interviews ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj1MoN-FEEc )
- Press conference – John Goodman ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpXid_IBEWU )
Product tie-ins – Synergy. What other media does the film use? Merchandise?
Many movies have synergy, which they will take the brand of the movie and stretch it to other forms of media. Monsters U have done this by creating many different platforms to sell their film. They have created a site that mimics a university website, many social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and also a store in which they sell M U merchandise; shirts, mugs, hoodies and even passports.
- Education style website
- Social networking sites
- Prequel to an already existing popular film (Monsters Inc.)
- Online store with branding MU logo ( http://monstersuniversity.com/edu/store.html )
Premiers – Where will the world premier be? What is the media coverage?
- Media coverage will be quite large, It’s a major Pixar film so it’s bound to have large coverage.
- The word premier location is currently unknown.
Awards – is it aiming for awards? if so what ones? why does it appeal to the audience?
- It appeals to the audience as its following the audience of the original film. Since the original release, the main target audience from monsters inc have grown up and are now moving onto university – hence why producers are deciding to release this film now. To be more relatable to their audience.
- I would say it’s aiming for awards, they’re taking a risk, creating a prequel to an already popular film that was released in 2001.
On-line presence – What is the online presence? How are the producers appealing to the audience?
The online presence for Monsters U is quite large, with many social networking sites, a lot of trailers and video’s on YouTube. Producers are using these sites as their audience (teenagers – young adults) use these sites most of the time. Most teenagers are now spending their time on Tumblr, YouTube, Facebook etc. and with the advertisements being all over these, they are bound to see a trailer or poster.
- Their own mock University website.
- Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/PixarMonstersUniversity
- Twitter – https://twitter.com/MonstersU
- Video’s posted on Disney’s YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/WaltDisneyStudiosUK)
How has the producer made the film suit the target audience?
Audience Research – (u30/lo1) – surveys, test screenings etc
When creating a film everyone needs to do some market research. Pixar have done this by hosting a test screening and looking into the psychographics and geodemographics of their audience.
- Test screenings were held at CinemaCon with good reviews.
- Psychographics could have also been used researching their target audience and seeing what is happening in their lives at the moment ( in this case, moving onto university ).
- University is a universal subject, so everybody everywhere knows what it is (geodemographics), older and younger generations can relate to the film.
Producer response to research – Look into the films production – how did the producers use their research to appeal to audience? Social media feedback?
- They knew their audience is now thinking about or have gone onto university/ college. They are utilizing this research and making it into a movie and developing Mike and Sully as characters.
- They also used the feedback of people on social media to aim to their target more – Most people on social media are young teenagers in college moving onto university and are able to see this by their Facebook page and who ‘likes’ it.
Audience targeting – Where did the producers target their audience?
Pixar and Disney are such big companies, they can pretty much advertise anywhere they like. Most commonly for them to advertise are in cinema’s themselves. Having 3D stands and posters in and around the cinema advertises to people who walk in whether to see another film or not. Below are other ways that Monsters U have advertised themselves
- Cinema – Posters and stands
- Food products
Distribution – Where is it being distributed?
Because Monsters U is such a major movie, Pixar and Disney are going for a major worldwide cinematic release to maximise their audience and income.
The advertising campaign for Monsters University is quite unique in its fashion, selling the film as if it were a real university. Selling merch with the university’s logo and promoting the ‘university’ through adverts. I think all of this was aimed towards teenagers to young adults, going back and aiming at the original audience for Monsters Inc in 2001.