Tuesday 21 December 2010

WEB207 - Topic 1.2 - Film

1. Here are some key quotes and my ideas from the reading:
  • "Unlimited selection has led to a complicated scenario in which unlimited choice runs up against an incredibly crowded marketplace".

  • "there is certainly the risk that what Wajcman refers to as "virtual communities of choice" will only serve to reinforce cultural homogeneity and exclusivity because participants may seek out only those opinions that reinforce their own perspectives on the world".

  • Movie piracy - "As digital distribution was increasingly becoming a possiblity, debates frequently focused on internet piracy".

  • "the convenience of watching movies at home takes movie watching from something associated with effort to something associated with domestic space" - friendships with other customers and store clerks, the "tactile quality of picking up videotapes and DVDs for examination" is lost.

  • "Netflix has over 100,000 titles in its catalogue, it currently has the rights to stream only about 10,000 titles via it's Watch Now player and set-top box" - and isn't legally available in Australia.

  • "the paradox of choice" - the frustration that many consumers face in response to having too many choices.

  • "audience enthusiasm has not necessarily translated into financial stability".
2. Yes, anybody could make a film, just as anybody could write a book or paint art or create a sculpture - but the media they're creating has to be both compelling enough material, and told skillfully enough, to capture an audience's attention.  The fact that it's easier now to produce new media is counteracted by the other fact that there's now so much more competition.  I still think that, like good blogs and good books, the cream rises to the top.  Internet sites like YouTube can assist that process.

The other point to make is, that not every filmmaker wants "Hollywood success", as Tryon describes when discussing the Mumblecore filmmakers, who have distanced themselves from the Sundance Film Festival "which they define as too commercial and too unforgiving for the truly independent filmmaker".  So the Internet has also given these filmmakers the opportunity to gather a niche audience away from Hollywood that they otherwise may not have been able to gain, while also providing those audiences with a wider variety of choice than they previously had.

3. Here are some key quotes and my ideas from the article that I feel help to answer to this question:
  • "ultimately, the unofficial Internet campaign for Rings taught Hollywood much about how fans could promote a blockbuster."

  • "Although some of these sites were doing things of which New Line disapproved, all of them were publicizing Rings."

  • "Like the film itself, the Internet campaign had to both appeal to the built-in fan base and create a new, larger audience."

  • "The website was covered widely in print, broadcast, and online media, generating additional free publicity."

  • Ian McKellen at McKellen.com - "his diary created an unintended rivalry with Forde's "Force of Hobbit," which contractually had exclusive rights to on-set coverage."

  • "New Line learned from experience and changed its strategy."

  • "In the wake of Rings, a slow shift in the attitude of Hollywood companies has become apparent as they realize the enormous value of the free publicity offered by responsible fan sites."

  • "Some fans seemed already to feel themselves as allied with the director against the Hollywood system."

  • "Knowles and some other webmasters invented the category of professional fan."

  • Fan sites like AICN & TORN initially lost money but now making money via advertising revenue, affiliate links, merchandising, voluntary subscriptions.

  • viral marketing - "New Line discovered the virtues of cooperating and negotiating with fans"

  • the point is not to convince fans to go to the movie, but to convince them to communicate their enthusiasm to others.


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