Saturday, March 31, 2012
With this becomes the important part of the consumer. With an industry that offers heterogeneous products for the same price, that also have different sunk costs, it will be driven by the consumer. There is no other market, other than in the media, that sets up their pricing model this way. This leads to a lot of risk where a few films can essentially have an oligopoly over the entire market. Investopedia.com describes an oligopoly as two or more "firms" controlling the market. In this case the firms are films but I truly believe that is what we are seeing in today's movie market. Go here to see what the box office numbers are for the past weekend along with their total gross revenue on the right side. As you look at the numbers you can see that, as movies are not allowed to price discriminate based on their demand it creates an equal opportunity for consumers to choose which film they want to see.
Although there is this peculiarity in the film industry, marketing can play a very large role in reducing this risk of a film "flopping" in an oligopolistic market. One example that I can think of comes from a few years ago when Will Ferrell made a string of movies that were questionable to say the least. When he made the films Land of the Lost and Super Pro there were a lot of skeptics that said these films would not do well. Just by putting Will Ferrell in these films and marketing them for countless times on TV and in the media they were able to have successful box office revenue. A more recent movie that I can think of tailored more towards the younger college aged generation that did this was well was Project X. They created a movie with a small budget, and marketed it to our demographic to the extreme. With this model they were able to see quite a lot of success as well in the box office. So, although the economics of the box office film industry are upside down to an extent, it allows it to be a true market run by the largest movie critic that is the consumer.
Friday, March 30, 2012
The solution is pretty ingenious, actually. The publicity department decided to treat Kermit and the gang as real life Hollywood stars. And, thankfully, interviewers and the public go along with the gag. In the interview Ellen did with Kermit before the release, she comments, "This is the first time I've ever had a frog on the show!" No kidding.
These appearances are obviously unique, and, therefore, stick to the audiences mind. For a publicity team, that is all you can ask for. "The Muppets" was a smash hit. By its third week in theaters, these puppets had made over $67 million, surpassing all other previous Muppet movies. This seems to be a pretty big feat to me, considering how long it had been since our furry friends had made a film. It appears that the "standard rich and famous" contract for Kermit the Frog and Co. won't be expiring any time soon.
1. Did you always know you wanted to work for Disney? What drew you to the company, and, specifically, to the Studios portion?
2. How did you first get involved with the company?
3. I really enjoyed "The Muppets." Can you describe how doing publicity for a film like that was different than ones without puppets? Were there challenges that normally don't occur with your other films?
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Monday, March 19, 2012
-Is the main goal in creating a show always to create the most dramatic story or is there a benefit to creating a simpler and more realistic plot line?
-How much do contestants personalities versus talent influence their ability to join or remain on a reality-competition show?
An example of this constant need for 'drama' to be at the center of reality television is the emphasis of women as the main characters of reality television series. From the show Sorority Life to the Real Housewives series, it is evident that producers are constantly creating and glorifying conflict television and producers guarantee this quality reality television by strategically picking the people involved and fostering situations. Through the use of 'emotion work' producers are able to influence ordinary people, usually women, to perform their lives in front of the cameras. It is the conflict that reality stars experience that draw us in to reality television shows and it is this real yet entertaining experience that producers use to draw viewers in.
Overall, producers try actively to create situations in which these ordinary people who we see as reality television stars can perform. Despite being ordinary people, as seen with the young women of Sorority Life, once you are placed before the cameras with the influence of producers it is difficult to not 'perform', in reality I doubt any ordinary person's life would be worthy of television without a little drama.
What is the most significant difference between producing 'reality' television and scripted series?
Can a producer do both or is it easiest to pick a type?
Do all reality shows include/ need the same type of influence and guidance from producers?
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Grindstaff hits the nail on the head; reality TV revolves around conflict and the story lines that evolve from that conflict. The conflict of reality TV creates strong dramatic television because of its apparent authenticity; the authenticity of a reality television show stems from the use of "ordinary people." As Grindstaff points out, these people are not ordinary people selected at random; they are chosen because they have a conflict or issue. This conflict gives rise to good "authentic" dramatic TV.
The world of reality TV and its presentation of normal is problematic because of its dramatization of life. These shows say they portray reality when in fact they create an abnormal scenario through emotion management and situational conflict. they use elements of surprise and confrontation to ensure these conflicts arise and come to fruition. I believe the use of conflict and emotion management while it creates dramatic TV skews reality even more than some fictional shows and characters.
1. What qualities do you search for when producing or reviewing a reality TV Show?
2. What is the most difficult thing about working in reality TV?
3. Grindstaff talks about the strategies of making "good reality TV" does Magical Elves have a certain strategy when they attempt to produce "good TV?"
What are your interactions with cast members as a producer?
Do you manipulate actors at all during their on screen performance?
What are your responsibilities on the editing side as a producer?
Friday, March 9, 2012
My take on this is that is incredibly manipulative. This causes individuals who don’t have experience with the television industry on air, with millions of people watching, to act in ways that they never would if the producer, or an expert at emotional labor, wasn’t manipulating and amplifying their emotions. However, due to the cheap production, great success of emotional labor, and the incredibly popularity of reality television it will remain a very popular form of television for years to come.
1) Does being the producer for "reality" shows require lots of the same skills as producing television for "scripted" shows (such as emotional labor)?
2) Have participants on reality shows ever complained to you or someone for your company about how they felt misrepresented by the final product, with the editing and presentation of the final show?
3) Reality television seems to spread across a ton of topics and genres, from love shows, to game shows, to extreme stuff. What do you suspect the future of reality television to look like and why?
Monday, March 5, 2012
In a blog written by Amanda Lucci, New York Mag Picks New Revenue Stream, she explains that magazine companies like the New York Magazine have decided to move the classified sections from the back of the magazine to the front, therefore people will be able to see opportunities they could participate in as soon as they open a magazine. This idea was incorporated by placing dating websites in the front of the magazine, which promoted a growth in the dating website being advertised. Another idea that has been added to pick up revenue stream for print magazine is creating DVD's with archives of magazines from years ago. The article, Repurposing Magazines A New Revenue Stream, explains two magazines that are in the process of being transformed, which include Playboy and Rolling Stone. These two ideas for creating more revenue in the magazine industry are not the only ideas but have caused great shifts in the content of what magazines produce. Magazine companies are now requiring to hire a web designer and a good publisher to work together to create both print and digital apps, according to an article published in Forbes.
The future of magazines looks a bit grim but to increase the revenue stream, I believe magazines should package their products differently. In other words, I think a way to boost revenue is to put a code on the back of every magazine to type into your electronics where you then can download a free copy of that issue you just bought, therefore you have a digital copy and a hard copy. What happens if someone decides to buy a digital copy instead? Well, the same option is presented to the consumer you will pay the same price you would at the store and the magazine will be sent to you in the mail. This could be one way magazines could increase their stream of revenue.
Broadcast television relies primarily on advertising for its revenue stream. However, with technological advances in the television industry, this revenue channel is being threatened as more and more people are beginning to adopt alternative means of consuming TV. However, broadcast television has seen ad revenues decline at an increasing rate. Primary threat to ad revenue comes from various media options available to the consumers. Online TV is becoming increasingly popular, as TV audience no longer has to follow the broadcast TV schedule, and watch the TV content on their portable device. Moreover, to add to that, digitalization of the industry has not only made piracy easy, but pirated contents are also fairly easy to find today. Shifting to this form of TV has allowed consumers to enjoy television content without any advertisement disruptions. In addition, things like Google TV that provides free access to content only intensifies the challenges for broadcast television. DVRs are another means through which broadcast television ads are being threatened while giving more power to the consumers. More ad-free media technology such as Netflix and iTunes are also hampering the broadcast television business.
Due to various factors, broadcasters have had to adopt alternative means to continue a profitable business. Retransmission fees is one such way that they have tried to do this so that broadcast television can take advantage of the cable operators and try to gain back some of the loss in ad revenues. Moreover, with the technological advances, interactive tv has also become increasingly popular. Through this, broadcast television can try to get some of the advertisement revenues on this “second screen” that consumers are increasing along with their traditional television. Another way they can adopt to the change in this industry is by integrating advertisements within the show that won’t disrupt the viewers. They will also need to look for additional platforms to provide reruns of their show so that they can make up some of the loss in revenue. Time warner has embraced this idea of “TV everywhere to adapt to the economic threats provided by the loss in ad revenues.
These economic shifts have also impacted the content in this industry. Because content producers now have to compete with the free content available online, their incentive for creative content has been decreasing. Because, their profit is being challenged, they have to avoid taking excessive risks, thereby playing safe, often compromising creativity. In addition, this has also led to an even more “consumerism” within television. Farrell illustrates how branded entertainment and branded content are being integrated in the television industry these days.
Due to these various factors, the TV industry will have to change their model to adapt to the economic and technological shifts. One such way that they can do this is to add a "merchandising" aspect to this model, where they could sell small artifacts such as coffee mugs or t-shirts that feature the TV shows. They could also have "live shows" that audience can buy tickets for. For example, if there is a show like Glee or American Idol, they could have live concerts featured by the artists in the respective shows. They could also have ticket shows for talk shows or other reality shows for which the audience would pay the extra $ to see the artists outside of their TV screens. Therefore, as illustrated in the diagram below, the TV industry will have to move beyond the 3-party model to accommodate to the changes in the industry.
However, the traditional business model of high cost barriers of entry for creation and distribution associated with the industry is reworking itself in order to adapt to such changes. First, video creators are looking to merge pre-existing media forms with their technology in order to garner a competitive advantage. This is demonstrated by Mötley Crüe who released their new single in 2008 on iTunes and the "Rock Band" platform; sales on "Rock Band" outweighed iTunes 5:1 according to Billboard. Moreover, the mergers of not only content but businesses has allowed many new technologies to emerge and become vertically integrated within the industry (Example: Activision & Vivendi). What is also interesting is the shift to a non-cyclical business model for many companies as the virtual reality created by video games becomes more and more life-like that the habitual attitude and competitive nature of playing requires daily use.
As I see the industry, the commodification of the experience will most likely make a greater shift where activities performed in these virtual worlds will produce rewards in the physical world. I would suggest that brands and consumer products utilize the mobile geo-location capabilities and the fanatic fandom of video game platforms to reward customer loyalty by awarding gifts or coupons within the virtual space that can be redeemed in real-life. This has been done for many of the female video games and big brands such as Procter and Gamble available for fashion and cultural purposes but I foresee an even greater profit margin to be made when brands can find greater synergy between the virtual and real worlds by using virtual distribution in order to lower costs in the front end.
Where we used to go to the movies and sit in the theater, we now have a new and different way to experience a movie. This is what we call Digital Distribution. Digital distribution has been difficult for filmmakers because they now must deal with the "free versus pay" issue, which often is more complicated by online piracy. There are some digital distributors out there who believe that economics of the film industry has been completely threatened, and may never come back from it. Netflix, for example, has recently said that they are going to be focusing more on having a vast amount of TV shows. They believe that the real money lies in the television shows because it enables audiences to watch one show after another. Through subscriptions and things like Netflix, the movie industry may be on a slow decline.
However, sometimes the new way of distribution has helped certain people within the Film Industry. For example, Passion Films was shocked when they saw how many times their movie "Inside Iraq: Untold Stories" had been illegally uploaded. However, they gained a very high audience through digital media as well. By being free online, the buzz around the film increased its DVD revenues when people could no longer see it online.
Because of the rise in digital technology, most movie studios are moving to replace film and move toward smaller projects. This would mean lower costs, and the change in content would be seen in the rise of more sequels and franchises. Most film industries are changing into companies that try to reach its audiences in different ways in order to drive revenue, and the content change is their way to do that.
If I were an executive in the Film Industry, it would definitely be extremely difficult to adapt to the new economic shifts within the industry. While online piracy is a shame, it is impossible to avoid. With the increasing advancements in technology, the way we watch movies is going to continue to change. The fact of the matter is people don't want to go to the movies as much as they used to, and instead they would rather be in the comfort of their homes than paying $10 to see a movie they are unsure of. I would suggest doing MORE online subscriptions, and creating a Netflix-type place for each studio. If Universal had an online subscription, once the movie is released, people would be able to pay a certain amount to be able to see that movie for free. It is hard to say if this would work, but I think that the studios could make money off of advertising in this way, while proving lower costs for the movie theaters.
The Future of the Film Industry
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It is no secret that the music industry is struggling as of late. With the advent of the digital technology age its entire business model is under serious revision so that the industry can maintain its revenue stream. The revenue that the music labels rely on comes mainly from the copyright contracts that they maintain with artists signed to them. Originally, this also included record sales which started off as 8-Tracks, Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, and Videos. However, now with digital music as accessible as it, there is much less profit to be made because people have stopped buying CDs, and instead either buy songs separately or download them illegally.