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Lecture 2: Film Production, Distribution and Exhibition Professor Michael Green.

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1 Lecture 2: Film Production, Distribution and Exhibition Professor Michael Green

2 2 Previous Lesson How to succeed in an online course. How this course is organized. What we study in an introductory film course –Form –Content.

3 3 This Lecture This Lecture The Technology of Moving Images Film Production Film Distribution and Exhibition Case Study: Jaws (1975)

4 4 The Technology of Moving Images Lesson 2: Part I

5 Movies, Technology and Business As your authors, Bordwell and Thompson, state, film requires a lot of technology: cameras, lights, sound equipment, and computers to edit and create digital images and sound. Film also requires companies, to make the technology, to invest money, and to distribute and exhibit movies once made. 5

6 A Film Camera Runs undeveloped film through at 24 fps (frames per second). The shutter opens and a lens focuses light, bounced off what the camera will record in front of it, onto the film, creating the photographic image. 6

7 Still Pictures Move As we watch a film, we are looking at a series of still pictures. Movies, however, trick the human eye into seeing movement. 7

8 Apparent Motion Film is projected at 24 fps (frames or still photos per second). Each of those 24 frames is shown twice, creating 48 still photos projected per second. Showing still images that fast makes them seem to move. An effect called Apparent motion. 8

9 Celluloid Film became possible with development of celluloid, a flexible material that could run through a camera and projector fast enough to create apparent motion. 9

10 Projector Projector Works the opposite of a camera, sending light out through the film to put an image onto a screen. Film runs through projector at 24 fps, and each frame is shown twice to create apparent motion. 10

11 11 The Negative Is made when film is shot by the movie camera. Filmic images are recorded on chemical emulsion on the film’s surface. A copy of the negative made in a printer is called a print. Digital video records photographic Images in binary codes, not in chemical emulsion with light.

12 Sprockets Film is moved quickly through the camera, printer, or projector by small teeth, sprockets, that grab it by the holes on its edge and move it ahead. The sound track is also on the edge of the film, in this image on the right side. 12

13 Film Gauge Refers to the width of film. Films shown commercially are usually 35 mm. The bigger the gauge, the better the image quality. Some epics such as Lawrence of Arabia were shot in 70mm. 13

14 Example of 70mm Film 14 Lawrence of Arabia (1962) Directed by David Lean

15 15 Digital Cinematography Digital cinematography doesn’t employ film stock. The image is captured on an electronically charged sensor and recorded to tape or a hard drive. Still filmmakers must make choices about color, exposure and tonal contrast that are comparable to those offered in film.

16 Part II: Film Production Lesson 2: Part II

17 17 Four Phases of Production Scriptwriting and funding Preparation for filming Shooting Assembly

18 18 Scriptwriting and Funding Two roles are central in this phase: Screenwriter and producer Tasks of the producer are financial and organizational The chief task of the screenwriter is to prepare the screenplay or script.

19 The Tasks of the Producer – Nurses the project through the scriptwriting process – Obtains financial support – Arranges to hire the personnel who will work on the film – During shooting, he or she acts as the liaison between the writer or director and the company that is financing the film – Arranges distribution, promotion and marketing – Monitors the payback of money invested in the production

20 20 Modes of Production Large Scale Production –Studio Filmmaking Warner Brothers, Paramount, Disney Exploitation and Independent Production –Small Companies Miramax, Focus Films Small Scale Production –Personal Filmmaking

21 Independent vs. Studio An independent producer unearths film projects and tries to convince production companies or distributors to finance the film. A producer may work for a distribution company and generate ideas for films. A studio may hire a producer to put together a particular package. Recent independent films include Winter’s Bone, Get Low, The Kids are Alright and Precious.

22 Kinds of Producers Executive Producer – Arranges financing/obtains literary property Line Producer – Oversees day to day filmmaking Associate Producer – Acts as a liaison with labs and technical personnel

23 The Screenwriter Writes the script, which goes through several stages: The Treatment –A synopsis of the work Drafts of the script –Revisions The Shooting Script –The Final Version

24 Preparation for Filming Director Christopher Nolan rehearsing Memento (2000) with Guy Pierce Memento

25 Preproduction Producer and director set up a production office, hire a crew and cast the roles. They prepare a daily schedule based on continuity, which is the most convenient order of production. – Writers make screenplay revisions. – Art department draws Storyboards – Production designer creates the film’s settings. Set decorator/set dresser Costume designer Previsualization with computer graphics

26 Storyboards Storyboards for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

27 Shooting the Film Clint Eastwood directing Blood Work (2002)

28 Shooting

29 29 Director’s Crew Script Supervisor Continuity First Assistant Director Plans shooting schedule, sets up shots Second Assistant Director Liaison among the first AD, the camera crew and the electrician’s crew Third Assistant Director Messenger for director and staff Dialogue Coach Feeds performers their lines Second Unit Director Films stunts, location footage, action scenes

30 30 Other aspects of shooting Cast/Actors –Director shapes performances Visual Effects Unit Stunts Animal Wranglers Camera Operator Key Grip –Supervises grips who carry and arrange equipment and props Gaffer –Head Electrician Boom Operator –Microphones

31 31 Assembling the Film Thelma Schoonmaker, who has edited many of Martin Scorsese’s movies

32 32 Postproduction Editor –Works with the director to make creative decisions about how the film footage can best be cut together to tell a story. –The editor’s job can be a huge one.

33 33 Post Production terms Rough Cut –The shots loosely strung in sequence, without sounds effects or music. Final Cut –The finished film, still without sound Outtakes –Unused shots

34 34 Sound The sound designer builds the soundtrack, which is made up of –Dialogue –Sound effects –Music

35 35 Distribution and Exhibition Lesson 2: Part III

36 Risk and Reward Companies that distribute films form the core of economic power in the movie industry. They can afford the large economic risk of funding, marketing and distributing movies to viewers around the world. Studios rely on tent pole pictures which “support” the smaller movies that don’t succeed throughout the year. When successful, the profits are enormous. 36

37 Hollywood Studios Six companies are the world’s largest distributors: Warner Brothers Paramount Walt Disney Sony/Columbia Twentieth Century Fox Universal 37

38 Ancillary Markets DVDs Cable, Broadcast Television Movies to Airlines and Hotels Online/Video on Demand Clothes Toys 38

39 39 Profits Ancillary markets are where films make most of their money, sometimes recouping the losses from a film that did poorly in theatrical release. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) did moderate box office in the theater, but really found its audience on video, paving the way for theatrical sequels, which now had a built-in audience.

40 40 Exhibition

41 41 Kinds of Exhibition Theatrical –Commercial movie houses –City art centers –Museums –Film Festivals Non-theatrical –Home video –Cable –Online –Media devices

42 42 Television Television keeps the theatrical market going In 2004 distributors earned about ten billion dollars worldwide from theatrical distribution and about 23 billion from home video.

43 43 Production of Jaws Lesson 2: Part IV

44 44 A Watershed Moment Jaws was a watershed moment in the history of film. Along with Star Wars, it is credited with ushering in the era of the blockbuster (which we are still in). It changed the way that films are distributed and exhibited.

45 45 The Production of Jaws Based on a bestseller by Peter Benchley Rights acquired by producers Richard Zanuck and David Brown Spielberg tapped as director –His second feature film after The Sugarland Express and the TV film Duel

46 46 Why Jaws? Jaws is a famous production that highlights both the problems that arise during the creative process of filmmaking as well as the innovation necessary to overcome those problems. Watch the first clip from The Making of Jaws documentary.

47 47 Problems The film was pushed into production early It was a technical nightmare –The shark almost never worked Slow production with a lot of pressure from the studios Watch the clip

48 48 Solutions Although a great deal of planning goes into movie production, much of it is also improvised on the set because it is impossible to completely plan for unforseen issues such as weather, technological failures, etc. Often, filmmakers figure out things as they go along. Watch the two clips.

49 49 The Outcome Jaws became the highest grossing film ever at that time. Proved the success of “repeater” business. One of the first films to open “wide” on many screens at once as opposed to being slowly “rolled out.” Watch the clip.

50 End of Lecture 2 End of Lecture 2 Next Lecture: Narrative and Rashômon


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