Friday, 11 December 2015

Distribution - What Is It?

What part of the supply chain is distribution?
Third part of the film process
What is distribution often referred to as?
Invisible Art
What does 'vertical integration' mean when discussing distribution?
Where the three stages are seen as part of the same larger process, under the control of one company.
Why isn't 'vertical integration' so common in the independent sector?
Producers tend not to have long-term economic links with distributors, who likewise have no formal connections with exhibitors. Here, as the pig-in-the-middle, distribution is necessarily a collaborative process, requiring the materials and rights of the producer and the cooperation of the exhibitor to promote and show the film in the best way possible.
What three stages are involved in the independent sector?

Licensing, marketing and logistics

What is licencing?
The process by which a distributor acquires the legal right to exploit a film.
What are the two levels of licencing?
1. International distribution ensures that films find their way to the 90+ market 'territories' around the world.
2. By contrast, independent producers have to sell their films to different distributors in each territory.
What is the advantage of being a major US studio?
The major US studios generally have their own distribution offices in all the major territories.
What three different types of rights can you acquire on a local level? 

1.  Acquiring the licence to release and exploit the film in a particular country.
2. A distributor will usually be offered theatrical rights, for showing the film in cinemas
3. video rights, for video and DVD exploitation; and TV rights, if the distributor is able to sell the film to a broadcaster.
What are royalties?
A fee to secure the film, the licence will stipulate that the distributor will also pay royalties to the producer, taken from the profits that the film generates.
What is the most effective way to increase interest in a film?
A theatrical opening
How long does it take for a film to reach 'free to air' TV?
Two years after opening in cinemas

What are the two key questions surrounding the marketing of a film?
'When?' and 'How?'
What day are films typically released on?
New films are released theatrically on FridaysWhat will a distributor look at before releasing a film on a Friday?
The schedule for forthcoming releases is coordinated and published by the Film Distributors Association. A distributor will assess this schedule to identify a Friday release date where there are only a few films scheduled for release.
What is a 'light' week in terms of distribution?
Screen space and adequate review column inches in the press allocated to any potential release.
What does it mean to 'position' a film distinctively?
Avoid a release date occupied by other films with similar traits (story, subject, country of origin).
Why has this become increasingly difficult in the UK?
The release schedule has regularly featured over 10 new releases in a week.
What are P&A?
The costs of theatrical distribution, met by local distributors, or Prints and Advertising.How much can P&A cost?
Can range from less than £1,000 to over £1 million for the release of a film in the UK.

Typically how many prints will a 'specialised' film have?
Fewer than 10 prints into key independent cinemas
How many will mainstream films have?
Often open on over 200 prints
What is a key factor in developing the profile of a film?
Favourable press response 
How else can awareness of a film be raised?
A press campaign
Why is distribution in the UK seen as risky?
The cost of print advertising in the UK is comparatively high
Why are companies looking towards viral marketing?
Because it has a low cost and is effective
What are the benefits of a 'talent visit'?
Supports the film - usually the director and/or lead actors wins significant editorial coverage to support a release. The volume of coverage can far outweigh the cost of talent visits.

In the pre digital film age what was a distributor responsible for?
It is the responsibility of the distributor to arrange the transportation of the film to the cinema, as part of its wider coordination of print use across the UK.
How much does a 35mm print typically cost?
Each print can cost around £1,000
How many reals is a typical feature print?
Around 18-20 mins when run through a projector at 24 frames per second.
Why do 35mm prints get damaged?
They pass through different projectors, and the hands of various projectionists.
Where are prints stored?
The UK's central print warehouse in West London
How long did a theatrical release used to last?
each theatrical print has a finite lifespan

When did digital distribution begin in the UK?
Towards the end of 2005
Name two advantages of digital distribution
1. Digital technology is seen to offer a more cost effective and logistics-light alternative.
2. Eventually, be cheaper and much less stressful to send films as computer files to cinemas across the UK.
Which countries adopted digital distribution early and why?
China and Brazil, where conventional logistics cannot, for one reason or another, efficiently bring together supply and demand
How many screens were digital in 2005 and how many are now (you'll need to Google this)
In 2005 211 screens were digital, now over 90% of screens are digital.
Why has digital distribution radically altered the operating model of distributors?
 The comparatively low cost of film copies and additional logistical effectiveness of digital distribution provide the distributor with greater flexibility.
What has happened to the typical release period for a film?
It will dramatically reduce
What is a loss leader (google it) and why are companies using the Cinema as a potential loss leader?
A product sold at a loss to attract customers. Companies are using this to attract companies and in the long run turn over more sales maximising profit.

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