Film in Britain and America

Note by , created over 6 years ago

GCSE Film Studies Note on Film in Britain and America, created by g.e.brockwell on 05/14/2013.

Created by g.e.brockwell over 6 years ago
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Page 1

We have established that in Hollywood the Film Industry is structured in a Conglomerate system, with 6 major and 3 mini-major companies. The strengths of this system are the avenues for Synergy and the Vertical and Horizontal integration available. This allows the studios to have a guarantee of distribution and exhibition before putting money into production, but also allows for tie-ins and easy access to merchandise/ publicity through the other companies.

In Britain, most of the films tend to be seen as “independent”, this is an ambiguous term in the U.K as only a small minority of films are attached to a major studio. There are two ways in which one can consider the term “independent”- films which are produced through no affiliation with the Major and Mini-major studios, or films which are produced with transgressive (or non-mainstream) ideologies, themes and values.

In America, some independents include: Fast Food Nation (Linklater) – documentary investigation into the corruption of Fast Food companies, Little Miss Sunshine – a black comedy about a dysfunctional family, Milk (Van Sant) – a drama about a gay rights activist, Do the Right Thing (Lee) – a realist exploration into race issues in the Bronx. These films were made outside of the Hollywood industry and are transgressive of the dominant ideology.

We do not have a “film industry” in the same way that Hollywood is structured. Working Title is the only “mainstream”, large production company, they are attached to Universal and thus have guaranteed distribution/ exhibition and the other benefits of the Conglomerate system. Films include United 93, Notting Hill, 4 Weddings and a Funeral, Billy Elliot. They make 3 types of films: Major projects, mid-projects, risks. They tend to produce films for commercial reasons and have a relationship with the Coen Brothers, producing most of their contemporary films.

In Britain there is a great correlation between the Film and TV industries: BBC Films and Four Films regularly produced films in the UK, though Four Films often finds itself falling in and out of bankruptcy. Both, often focus on independent films (in terms of ideological messages) –particularly Film Four.

Demands on British films often means they do not get marketed as successful and distributed as widely, often popular in Europe- Ken Loach is a particularly favour amongst French cinephiles, co-productions with US/ Europe and romanticised British films are more likely to sell abroad.

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