Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Will cinema always survive technological change, or is the latest technology a bigger threat because it is at the exhibiton end of the chain?

Piracy is the biggest threat to the film industry, with a 10 per cent increase each year in revenue lost to illegal downloading. With teenagers as young as 12 becoming more and more familiar with websites where streaming and downloading movies for free and easy, people are less likely to go to the cinema or buy a DVD. The rise in the popularity of watching films illegally can be attributed to a number of things; people becoming more and more knowledgable about eh technology, people's impatience to see a particular film or frustration if their local cinema is not showing it and I have observed that a recnet rise in cinema prices has done little to encourage people to go to the cinema to watch films. The warnings that companies issue about piracy and how it is a crime are in my experience very ineffective. Most people believe that the adverts don;t apply to them as they are not the one's filming or distributing the illegal copies,. they are just watching them. Despite the fact that they are still contributing to the loss in profit for the major film companies, the fact that illegally downloading is so common has made people think it's 'less' of a crime. Cinemas are recognising that these warnings are not really enough, therefore they are panning to use the new technology that threatens to ruin them to their advantage. By suing the Internet to distribute films with their consent, film companies plan to eliminate the need for piracy all together. Blanket distribution to all countries at the same time will stop people illegally downloading films because they are not on in their country or even their local cinema. It will also save a lot of money.

I think that the plan for films to become more digitalised and use the Internet to stream films legally will stop piracy to a certain extent. It will eliminate some of the problems that cause popel to watch or download illegal copies in the first place (not showing in their local cinema etc.) I find that this is a problem I come across a lot, that films I want to see are not showing anywhere local and it really frustrates me, so I think that it is a really positive outcome that digitalising films will make distribution easier. Also, as these films will be of higher quality than any pirate copy people are more likely to watch them. I think it may take a while for the idea to really take off however, as it is quite a radical change in the way we watch films. But then again most people are used to watch films illegally on their computer so why not legally? The next generation may well find it as normal as we find watch films illegally online. The only issue I can still see being a problem is cost. If prices to watch these films continues to be as high as it is now, some people will still prefer to watch illegal copies for free.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Sherlock Holmes- The Game

1. Why do you think this style of game play has been chosen for this film? How does this tie in with the other messages in the trailer and the poster?

The game is a murder mystery which also requires you to use team work, by playing with one of your facebook friends. The atmosphere of the game is very similar to that of the trailer and uses some of the same features to create a realistic verisimilitude. For example, all the actors are wearing Victorian clothes, the contestants must answer telegrams (as that was the main form of communication t the time) and it is set in London, complete with swirling fog. It also promotes the team work used by Watson and Holmes, by encouraging you to play the game with a Friend.

2. The game operates via the social networking site Facebook. Why do you think this particular site was chosen to host the game?

I think Facebook was chosen to host the the game as it means that the players can play against their friends without being in the same room as them, keeping up with trends such as Xbox Live. I think Facebook was chosen as it is the most popular social networking site (amongst my peers) and also the one most suited for the games interactive element (i.e. using your status updates to ask for evidence/clues etc.)

Explain how the graphics, the gameplay and the overall design fit in to the overall marketing campaign for the film.

The game uses a mixture of animated graphics and real actors. The animation isn't as futuristic looking as some games, as it is still trying to keep in with the Victorian feel of the film. The use of real actors gives the player a glimpse into what the film will be like. However, the graphics are impressive enough to keep people's interest. The style of the game fits in well with the film, it requires the players to think carefully and use their instincts to solve the mystery, unlike your average action game. It promotes the intellectual side of Sherlock Holmes. The game also promotes the teamwork used by Watson & Holmes by encouraging the players to chose a friend to work with. The aim of the game is to solve a mystery, much like the main plot line of the film. By bring out a game which fans can play, it increases interest fro the film. The game will intrigue the players and encourage them to go and watch the film. It all adds to the sense of mystery surrounding the film; what will the updated version of Holmes be like? what mystery will he have to solve? etc.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Sherlock Holmes Questions

1. Consider carefully the repetition of the words ‘legendary’ (used twice) and ‘new’ (used three times) in the synopsis. What do you think might be the filmmakers’ intention in putting together these two seemingly opposing ideas?

By juxtaposing the two terms 'new' and 'legendary' i the synopsis, the filmmakers get the message across that they know what an iconic character Sherlock Holmes is, however in this production they have represented him in a fresh, updated way, so that the character can appeal to a whole new audience. By using the word legendary to balance out the new, it shows that the character won't be so different that he'll be unrecognisable, but fresh and exiting enough to attract new viewers.

2. Can you think of any new film portrayals of legendary figures?

Modern day superhero films for example; Spiderman, Superman, Batman

Robin Hood, new Alice in Wonderland, Tim Burton's version of Charlie & the chocolate factory

3. Look back at your ideas on genre from your work on the trailer. Does the synopsis confirm some of your ideas about the genre of the film? How?

The film is represented in it;s advertising to be an action film and the synopsis confirms this. The use of the phrase 'revealing fighting skills as lethal as his legendary intellect' shows that the film contains more adventure and fighting than some of the more traditional representation of Holmes, where he was more inclined to use his intellect to solve a mystery. The synopsis says that Holmes will face 'a deadly plot' which suggests that he will be a in great danger and possibly have to fight his way out of some life threatening situations, elements that are often present in action films. The synopsis also spells it out quite plainly that this film is an 'action- adventure mystery.'

4. Notice the order in which the actors are listed in the synopsis. How do you think this order is decided upon?

The cast in the synopsis are listed as follows; Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong and Kelly Reilly. I think that Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law would have also been listed first, even if they were not massive stars as they are paying the two main characters. They also happen to be the most famous people starring in the film. The rest of the cast I think are ordered in terms of how famous or renown they are.

5.Who do you think might usually read a film synopsis? Where else in the media could you find a synopsis of a film? Have you ever read this section of a film website before? Would you use a synopsis like this to decide whether or not to see a film? Explain your reasons

People who are deciding whether or not to go and see film may read the synopsis, as they sometimes give the reader a clearer view of what the film is about as some trailers are quite ambiguous. Synopsis of films are more commonly found on the back of DVDs, to let buyers know what the film is about. They may also be seen in magazine promotional features about the film. I have never read a film synopsis on a website before, however I think they are a useful tool to decide whether you would go and see a film or not. But, like a lot of trailers, they often make the film look (or in this case sound) better than it is, by picking out the 'best bits.' Having said that. you are less likely to get this in a synopsis, as it is harder to do so. But obviously, as this synopsis is on the film's official, they would be biased to a certain extent. I would probably look at reviews of the film as well, before I chose to see it.

Film poster- my example annotated

Film poster- my example