PR, Films and Fantasies

Posts Tagged ‘audiences

I have been struggling to finish this post for 2 weeks now and I had a billion things to cover in it, but WordPress suddenly decided I forgot about it and it magically vanished from my saved posts. As I can’t possibly rewrite everything, I’ll just go to the point:

A few weeks ago I went to see the famous Phantom of the Opera. I chose it because it’s everybody’s “must-see” musical in London and people come from all over the world for it. It was a nice experience though flashy, shiny, sparkling in your face type of message with a stunning setting which constantly transformed the stage. I hated the number of toursits (more than 90%) who had packed noodles during the interval, the ladies who sang all the songs with the performers and ruined it for me, the very expensive ticket and the simplicity of the plot. So, keeping in mind the “institution” (the musical has been playing in the same theatre for 25years, everyday and it is known as Andrew Lloyd Weber’s masterpiece), to audience (noisy, curious and annoying bunch of people) to the show itself, here are some of the questions I was trying to answer in the long post:

1. How do musicals end up representing a city? What makes them landmarks of London? 

2. Are musicals really good examples of pop culture?

3. Is it the music factor (quite pop songs) that makes them more accesible? (compared to theatre and opera)

I’m not going to try to answer all of these again but as a Creative Industries student, I thought they would be a good start for some debates…

Any comments would be really appreciated!

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For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been working on my dissertation for a few months now (going slowly but surely). Overall, it covers film promotion within today’s promotional culture when we get stuck in a vortex of publicity and at a point, loose track of what is marketing pushed material and true media content.

My case study will be Sex and the City 2 and no, I did not chose it because I’m a fan of the franchise (although I don’t hate it with a passion either) but because despite the fact that the film was a review disaster, it did make the over 100mil BO and billions still went to watch it. I am really curios how bad press mingled with articles on the S&C lifestyle and the “Carrie On” pages as on the one hand the media destroyed it, but on the other it promoted every single usp the marketeers emphasised.

Anyway, for now, I just wanted to present a few really good books on Film Marketing and Promotion that I found in my research. I think they are quite helpful for anyone in the industry or aspiring to be part of it. Let’s start with the classics:

Justin Wyatt – High Concept: Movies and Marketing in Hollywood – 1994 It covers promotional techniques for movies in the “high concept” category which are the crowd pleasers. They go beyond blockbusters in following rules of BO and Wyatt covers many case studies of such productions where marketing starts from the first page of the script (Top Gun, Baby Boom, Basic Instinct and so on…)

Tiiu Lukk – Movie Marketing: Opening the Picture and Giving it Wings – 1997 – One of my favorites as it really helped me in my own research. It follows the promotional campaigns of different genres and styles from the romantic comedies (4 weddings and a funeral) to the independent films (Pulp Fiction), action, documentaries and so on. I really wish I could find something similar from our decade. (this website tries to present case studies, but it doesn’t analyse them so in depth: http://www.moviemarketingmadness.com/blog/ check it out!)

Thomas Austin – Hollywood, hype and audiences: Selling and watching popular film in the 1990s – 2002 – again this is key for my own research as it combines the sold image of the films (which appeared in the media reviews and through advertising) with the audience response and reactions. Basically it analyses how the promotion influences the viewer’s expectations and to what extent this changes the messages he/she receives from the production. Again Basic Instinct is among the case studies, as well as Dracula and Natural Born Killers.

Janet Wasko – Hollywood in the Information Age – 1994 – even if this doesn’t cover film marketing to the point, it helps the reader understand the background of the big studios and how the function in order to relate that to the way the movie are being produced and sold. This goes hand in hand with:

Janet Wasko – How Hollywood Works – 2003

And now, for the pure film marketing ones:

Robert Marich – Markting to moviegoers: A handbook of strategies and tactics – 2009 – up to date marketing toolkit for the film industry.

Finola Kerrigan – Film Marketing – 2010 – great read which combines the business approach with the cultural theory. I think it’s quite a bible for the field

Angus Finney – The International Film Business: A Market Guide Beyond Hollywood – 2010 – Goes away from Hollywood recipes and looks at how the industry works in other countries and within the independent sector.

Hope this list will help others so please feel free to ask me any questions about the titles or maybe others. Also, I would be really grateful if  you could suggest more that I could use in my research and add to this list!

Film marketers and scholars out there, I salute you!


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