Monday, 14 November 2016

Star wars essay

“Successful media products depend as much upon marketing and distribution to a specific audience as they do upon good production practices”. To what extent would you agree with this statement, within the media area you have studied?

I strongly agree with the statement. This is because, despite the quality of a film and its reception from critics, a film can be successful if it is well marketed and hype is built up in the general public. An example of this would be the first Transformers film which critics disliked but through extensive hype and marketing they were able to make $709.7 million from a $150 million budget.

The whole marketing process is used to create hype and build up an awareness of the film. Through this they can help increase the size of the audience seeing the film, maybe even causing people would might not have an interest in the film to go out and see it and thus generate larger profit to be made off the film. This means that the distribution and Marketing of a film are major factors the films overall success. The way you market the film helps to direct the film towards an audience you feel would enjoy it the most as well as determine what your audience thinks the film will be like. The mis-marketing of films can often lead to their failure upon release of the film.

This is why it is extremely important to market the film towards not only the right target audience but also to make sure any marketing you do such as posters or trailers actually represent the finished film. An example of a mis-marketed film would be Jarhead, a film made in 2005 about the experience of a man named Anthony Swofford during his service in the United States Marine Corps. Despite the film being a biographical war drama, it was marketed as an action film and this lead to audiences believing it to be the next black hawk down. This lead to massive disappointment in audiences despite being well received by critics and the film made way below the profits it was expected to. This shows that films that are well produced won’t always be successful and that accurate and large marketing are just as important.

 Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star wars: the force awakens was produced by Bad robot productions and Lucasfilm Ltd.  Films these production companies produce will generate hype and media coverage on websites such as YouTube on their own once the public learns a new movie is in production. The Film franchises owned by Disney and this also means the film will have a platform which will allow them to create a massive marketing campaign. The film was also released on Blu-ray as well as streaming sites such as iTunes and amazon prime with a proportion of the money made by these sites sent to Bad Robot and Lucasfilm. The film was shown in more than 5000 screens globally while in North America it was shown in 4,134 theatres. This shows massive coverage of countries and a massive distribution campaign. This helped greatly in its success, insuring audiences across the world would be able to watch the film somehow. The film was filmed on 70mm Imax film to give it an authentic and nostalgic feel as the original films were shot on 70mm film.  However this was converted to digital when the film was released, which enabled the film to be distributed on a larger scale and with greater ease.  The film was also heavily marketed in counties that hadn't previously show an interest in Star wars such as China and Russia. These countries, china especially, received a focus by the marketing team as the audiences there could provide a huge boost to the films profits. The Chinese market could also provide a new Audience which could become more profitable than the American audience.

Disney, being a massive and extremely well know company globally, lended greatly to the films marketing by helping to fascinate deals and distribute the film globally. This meant the films audience grew and as the audience and potential audience grew, so too did the success and profit of the film. The use of digital distribution allowed the film to be viewed by even more people. This is because people that might not be able to see the film at the cinema because of issues getting tickets or issues with the price of those tickets would be able to download it for a cheaper cost. The film was given a 12a rating which allowed young audiences to view it, which meant not only a larger audience but also lead to an increase in profits from merchandise which was heavily promoted alongside the film. Disney is a highly regarded company and because of this great trust was placed in them. This led to fans fearing what Disney would do to Star wars and if the global film giant would change Star wars and 'destroy' it.

The already established fan base from the previous films in the Star wars franchise already give the film a secure audience. This is because it doesn't matter how large the marketing campaign is because the fans will still go out and see the film. The marketing campaign will draw the interest of people who wouldn't necessarily be interest  

A mixture of above the line and bellow the line marketing contributed to the film’s success, with theatrical posters displaced in public while a large social media presence allowed pictures of the set to be posted, creating even more hype and anticipation. The first trailer for the film was released 28th November 2014.The release of trailers on websites such as YouTube built up more anticipation for the film while slowly uploading more trailers built the public’s interest and intrigue. Trailers were shared across social media and excitement and anticipation for the film built up, with fan theory’s appearing across social media, the public’s interest and intrigue grew.  

However it is worth mentioning the film itself was produced to a very high standard. $306 million budget and backing from Disney gave the film prestige, while Director J.J Abrams and writers Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt gave the film itself high quality directing and story. The use of impressive CGI as well as practical effects helped immerse the audience in the film as well as improve the overall quality of the film, and this would help the film win over critics.  A mix of both returning A list stars from the original Start wars films such as Harrison Ford and Marc Hamill and newer, lesser known actors such as John Boyega and Daisy Ridley gave the film a nostalgic feel without it feeling stale and making sure the film felt like a continuation and not a reboot. The film would already have a large audience, as fans of the franchise would be keen to see the next iteration of the star wars story despite the poor prequel films. This already established fan base would benefit the film greatly as they already have a secure audience that will defiantly go out and see the film regardless of the marketing they do. Interviews with cast members on chat shows and other TV shows helped to promote the film and build even more anticipation around the film’s release.

In conclusion I believe that Successful media products do depend as much upon marketing and distribution to a specific audience as they do upon good production practices. This is because a strong marketing campaign aimed at the right demographic with an accurate representation of the film can make or break a films success. The larger the campaign, the larger the audience as long as the campaign is targeting the films target audience. In terms of Star Wars: the force awakens, the film’s target demographic is anyone that enjoys Science fiction action/drama films and includes both light hearted and darker elements, allowing it to be enjoyed by both a younger audience and an older one. The film also has plenty of references and nods to the original films longtime fans of the franchise will appreciate and this means the overall audience of the film would be massive. Distribution of the film was done of a very large scale and across the globe because of backing and help from Disney, who are determined to make their new Star Wars films successful in order to make a return on their purchase and investment. This means that they will be able to maximize profit from the film while also making sure other countries don’t miss out on the film. Their carefully executed and well-crafted marketing campaign made sure everyone was talking about the film, even if they weren’t fans or had even seen any of the previous Star wars films and this helped massively, and contributed greatly to the films success. 


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