1.1 Film Distribution is the process of making a film more available for viewing by an audience. This is
normally the job of a film distributor; the person who would finalise the marketing strategy for the
film and the types of media in which a film is to be exhibited.
1.1.1 A film may be shown in other forms of exhibition, apart from being viewed in the cinema. Ways in
which a film can be viewed nowadays is directly to the public either through: - Cinema - Sky Plus -
TV - YouTube - LoveFilms - Game Consoles - DVD - Netflix - Illegal Download/Streaming - Mobile
Phones (iTunes), otherwise known as technological convergence - CPV For commercial projects,
film distribution is usually accompanied by film promotion, such as synergy. (A good example of
this is the synergy used with Skyfall, 2012, and Adele's song 'Skyfall')
2 Distributors' role
2.1 However, distribution involves everything that happens between production and exhibition. It
involves all of the deals done to get films showed and promoted. The distribution company is in
charge of getting the film out to the intended audiences. This involves organising for the film to
receive an age certificate by regulation bodies, such as BBFC and MPAA, arranging exhibition outlets
globally and DVD/TV rights; arrange prints of the film, and publicly marketing for promotion. There
are 5 main distributors: - United International Pictures - Warner Brothers - Buena Vista - 20th Century
Fox - Sony In fact, 9 out of 10 UK films are from these distributors, and in most cases, distributors are
linked to the Hollywood production companies who make the films!
3 Defining Vertical and Horizontal Integration
3.1 Vertical Integration: The combination in one firm of two or more stages of production normally
operated by separate firms.
3.2 Horizontal Integration: A strategy where a company creates production units for outputs which
are alike - either complementary or competitive. One example would be when a company
acquires competitors in the same industry doing the same stage of production for the creation
of a monopoly (the exclusive possession or control of the supply of or trade in a service).
4 Film distribution is not a helpful stage in the life of a film whereby distributors treat all films
equally and ensure fair play in getting films to the public's attention. The key players, the big
companies who control much of the industry, control not only the distribution of their own
products, but others too.
5 Effectively, films are loaned out to cinemas for a limited time period and released deals are done
to secure access to a certain number of screenings. In the UK film market, an increase in the
quantity of screens showing films has not led to an increase in the number of films shown.