In this essay I will be discussing the ways in which films are produced and distributed in the film industry I will be supporting my points with my two case studies Skyfall and The Kings Speech. The Kings Speech was an independent film , who relied on the Weinstein Company for the funding. Skyfall is the polar opposite as it was a major big budget film produced and distributed by two producers from the "Big six", hence why it had more money in order to produce and distribute this film.
MGM & Columbia Pictures ( who are both earned by Sony, one of the "Big Six") produced and distributed Skyfall (directed by Sam Mendes 2012) Skyfall was positively received by critics and at the box office, grossing over $951 million worldwide, and is thus far the 18th highest grossing film of all time, and became the highest-grossing film of all-time in the UK, the highest-grossing film in the James Bond series, and the highest-grossing film worldwide for Sony Pictures.
The advances and rise of digital technology have massively impacted the ways in which media products are produced and distributed to audiences. New technology has allowed new marketing strategies across different media platforms through the convergence of technologies, hence the term cross media convergence. Skyfall used this convergence in the means of Facebook and Twitter links on their won website as well as an iPad application. Skyfall has relied a lot on marketing and advertising and endorsements to get their film publicity, $28m of their budget came from their Heineken endorsement alone.
In contrary, The Kings Speech didn't rely on big endorsement deals or cross media convergence since their target demographic wouldn't be using those different media platforms, so it would have been wasted. Furthermore, due to it being an independent film there budget wasn't as big at £8m so they mainly relied on word of mouth reviews rather than blanket marketing as it wasn't seen a necessary. However, advertising was still necessary in order to get their audience in the cinemas, this was done through posters with iconography. The distributors cleverly played on the idea of royal iconography- to target the patriotic Brits and the Royal obsessed Americans. The trailors for this film play heavily on historical aspects and icons of Britishness which appealed to the American market as it made more money there then it did in the uk, $138 m in the US, $74M in the UK and $201M in the rest of the world
Skyfall was the first James Bond film to be screened digitally in IMAX venues, regardless to the fact that it was not filmed with IMAX cameras. The films release coincided with the 50th anniversary of the James Bond series, which began with Dr. No in 1962. Skyfall was positively received by critics and at the box office, grossing over $951 million worldwide, and is thus far the 18th highest grossing film of all time, and became the highest-grossing film of all-time in the UK, the highest-grossing film in the James Bond series, and the highest-grossing film worldwide for Sony Pictures.
So in conclusion, media products are produced through blanket distribution through multiple platforms, whilst independent cinema releases are usually more confined to film festivals or events, but can become bigger with better funding or if there is a bigger response - such as ‘The King’s Speech’, which was bought by the Weinstein brothers. However, in this type of distribution areas that in which the film would be recognised as unappealing are excluded from the release’s distribution. Digital technology may also play a part in new methods of distribution, in the updating of cinemas with 3D and IMAX screens. There has also been an impact in the way that independent films can now be shown on demand through the internet on sites such as Curzon. Suggesting that this might be the start of a new future for independent film distribution.