MDSC 309: Media Industries and Alternatives
May 11, 2013
In taking MDSC 309: Media Industries and Alternatives, I gained a vast amount of knowledge on numerous topics, ranging from film distribution practices to defining what “Independent” cinema means. Of these many different subjects that were covered, I was able to hone in on specific facets of new and old media industries that grabbed my attention. One topic that sparked a lot of excitement in me was brought up on the first day of class. We simply watched an entire credit sequence through, pretty boring, yet at the same time intriguing. Like most other filmgoer’s I usually don’t watch the credits and leave the theater or my couch when the narrative ends. Yet, in watching the credits it was amusing to find out just how many people go into making a motion picture, or television show. I got further evidence of this when our class was assigned our midterm project, in which we would go into the behind the scene process of making a film, without actually filming anything. With each person being assigned to a group that represented the different jobs (distribution, production, marketing…) for the film, I was able to learn about some of these people who don’t get as much credit, but play a detrimental part in the creation and distribution.
Of the many others lessons from this class I think that the discussion on digital activism was a fascinating aspect of new media. We discussed how people are using social medias like Twitter and Facebook to organize and “participate” in movements. The questions that have arisen from this, look to see if this is actually making any change or are people just taking the easy way out by simply clicking a button on Facebook? Although these questions are still unanswered, our class discussion really let everyone share their opinion on the subject. While there are many other readings and lectures that I liked, the one topic that we covered that enjoyed the most was film marketing.
Going into the class, I had a previous experience in marketing. Last summer I had an internship at an advertisement agency, where I learned the different jobs that went into say a billboard ad that one sees on the highway, or a pamphlet that one reads at the doctors office. While the advertisement agency’s cliental were mainly hospitals and banks, I really liked the creative process and principles that went along with the job. I liked the fact that what one is making and presenting can be seen by anyone and can sway their opinions/senses, urging them to want to buy a product or participate in a movement.
In registering for MDSC 309, I had a broad interested in the subject as a whole, but had no idea I was going to find something that I thought I might want to pursue after graduation. When we were introduced to the midterm project, and I saw the different facets of the film industry that we were going to be assigned too, I was eager to be a part of the marketing team. Although I was eventually put into the distribution team, we got to collaborate with the marketing team, and see the final product that they would present. I knew this career path was something that I could definitely buy in to. In one of our class books titled, Understanding Media Industries, the authors make a statement that directly relates to motif to be involved in film marketing. “If a media company pours millions of dollars into a project, and no one see’s/hears/reads it, does it matter that it was made.(Havens Lotz 171)” Without the marketing aspect that goes into making a film, no one would ever hear or know about it.
“Marketing…typically involves much more direct promotion of particular films, television shows, albums, and other texts produced by media industries.(Havens Lotz 171) The jobs of marketing a film vary. Marketing teams can be in-charge of creating products that relate to the film, promoting the film through star appearances, creating the films poster, and giving away prescreening tickets via a radio shows to create buzz about the film. With this being said, due to the rise of social medias such as Facebook and Twitter, film marketing is being brought to the digital surface.
I have decided that because of my potential career interest in film marketing, I am going to begin campaign for a movie that has plans to come out in 2014. In 2010, Laura Hillenbrand, writer of Seabiscuit, came out with her second book titled, Unbroken. Unbroken is a true story that follows the life of Louis Zamperini’s triumphs and dark times. Louis was born in Torrence, California in the 1920’s where he would go onto become a track star, eventually making it to the 1936 Olympic Games. With World War II right around the corner Louis was enlisted into the US Army Air Force in 1941, where he was bombardier on a B-24 Liberator bomber that saw action in the Pacific theater. While looking for a fellow lost plane, mechanical difficulties brought Zamperini’s plane, “The Green Hornet,” down into the vast pacific ocean, killing eight, while sparing three. Stuck with two other soldiers in a small life raft, with blood thirsty sharks enclosing and no food, this is truly an adventure story that is hard to forget.
In recent news, Angelina Jolie was chosen to direct the film. She would not be my first choice just because this is such an epic tail and to me she lacks the experience as a director. The film was picked up by Universal Studios in 2011. It was originally drafted by William Nicholson and Richard LaGravenese (whom co-wrote Gladiator and Les Miserales). Jolie apparently was not content with the script, so she picked up the Coen Brother to rewrite it. Joel and Ethan Coen, have two Oscar screenwriting wins with No Country For Old Men, and Fargo. (Fleming Jr. Deadline)
In beginning my marketing campaign I will be creating a film poster. I want this poster to be somewhat of mystery that leaves people curious and hungry for more information. This poster will be something similar to the “The Dark Knight Rises” poster that has Batman’s mask broken in front of a dark background with villain “Bane” walking away. This poster will include the date of the films release (05/01/1214). I want to give it a simple feel, and create a sense of wonder when people read it. In trying to accomplish this, I will incorporate a quote from the book that has deep meaning to the protagonist and his situation. The quote reads, “A lifetime of glory is worth a moment of pain.” This quote represents the theme of the book yet still leaves people wondering. I will also incorporate the iconic image from the cover of the book. This image shows a B-24 Bomber, flying during a beautiful sunset. This will help keep the poster simple while giving readers of the book a sense of familiarity.
To create my poster, I decided to use a program known as Adobe Photoshop. Since I have never used the program, is saw it fit to inquire so help from a master, Stephen Gemmiti. Steve was helpful in helping me create some of the details of the poster, such as the rustic WW2 feeling that image implores. He was also helpful in showing me different fonts, and introduced me to Gump Scribble, a font that I used to show the inspiration quote, and the films release date. This handwriting was detrimental in giving the stranded and wartime letter feel.
Although the poster looks simple, it was actually a hard process for me. Due to the fact that I have never used Adobe Photoshop, it took several hours to figure out the program. I think the skills gained from hours of work on Adobe Photoshop will help in preparing me for a potential future in the creative side that comes with marketing. This process was very cool for me and I think that it will pay off in the future.