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CMNS 230 Film

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  1. CMNS 230Film Lecture Nov. 20 2006, David Newman

  2. In the beginning… • First Lumiere Brothers film screening in Paris, December 1895 • However, there were screenings prior to this • Demonstrated very rapid diffusion of new technology

  3. Diffusion of motion pictures • Dec. 1895

  4. Diffusion of motion pictures • • • • Dec. 1895 May 1895

  5. Diffusion of motion pictures • May 1896 • • June 1896 • • • August 1896 • Dec. 1895 • • May 1895 • Feb. 1897 Jan. 1896 Oct. 1896 • • • August 1896 Sept. 1896

  6. Today’s lecture • First half - historical overview • Hollywood and non-Hollywood movies • Canada, with New Zealand as a comparison • Institutional structure and policy environment for the film industry • Discussion of Assignment 3

  7. Origins of Hollywood • Film industry in the USA began in New Jersey and around New York • Motion Picture Patents Trust - 1908 • Edison • Biograph • Vitagraph

  8. Origins of Hollywood • Problems for companies outside the Trust - harassment, legal threats • Needed an alternative environment • California came into the picture • The first “runaway” productions and establishment of Hollywood as a production venue

  9. Origins of Hollywood • Why California and Hollywood? • Various theories • Escape Motion Picture Patents Company • Proximity to the Mexican border • Physical environment / climate • Later - distance from head office and the financiers

  10. Origins of Hollywood • Development of 3 main sectors • Production - manufacturing • Distribution - wholesaling • Exhibition - retailing • Industrial terminology used initially along with attempts to make the process and studios as similar as possible to manufacturing in a factory

  11. Early Hollywood • Post WWI • The war had created a vacuum in European production • Dominance of Hollywood globally • Aided by US government • “Trade follows film” • Star system in place to provide branding

  12. Early Hollywood • Scandals in early Hollywood • Fear of government regulation at both Federal and State levels • Politically, industry self-regulation preferred approach • Will Hays and MPPDA (Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association)

  13. Hollywood studio era • Fordist approach to production • Introduction of sound • Decrease in importance of international markets

  14. Hollywood studio era • The majors1926 • Paramount • Warner Bros • Fox • Loew’s/MGM • RKO • Universal • Columbia • United Artists

  15. Hollywood studio era • The majors1926 2006 • Paramount • Warner Bros • Fox • Loew’s/MGM • RKO • Universal • Columbia • United Artists • Paramount • Warner Bros • 20th Century Fox • Universal • Disney • Columbia/Sony Pictures • MGM/United Artists

  16. Hollywood studio era • Source of Hollywood’s strength? • Finance capital v. industrial capital • New York-based bankers

  17. Hollywood studio era • 1948 Paramount case • Television

  18. Rise of the independents • Change in production style • Move to post-Fordist approach • Studios adapted - focused on distribution • Runaway productions in Europe

  19. Rise of the blockbuster • Jaws 1975 Steven Spielberg • Star Wars 1977 George Lucas

  20. Blockbuster revenues • Theatrical releases • DVD / video releases • Cable and broadcast TV rights • Product placements • Ancillary merchandise • Musicals / theme park rides

  21. Directors of top-10 grossing filmsWorldwide • James Cameron Canada • Peter Jackson (2) New Zealand • Gore Verbinski USA • Chris Columbus (2) USA • George Lucas USA • Steven Spielberg USA • Mike Newell England • Andrew Adamson New Zealand Source: www.imdb.com

  22. Situation today • Hollywood movies - continuing to dominate • Independents and films from other countries obtaining about 10-15% of the North American box office

  23. Centre-Periphery model for Hollywood / non-Hollywood industries

  24. Peter Jackson

  25. Canada & New Zealand • Both former British Dominions • Both dominated by Hollywood productions • Both with relatively small populations making it difficult for a domestic production industry to be commercially viable • Population • Canada 32 million • New Zealand 4.1 million (excluding sheep)

  26. Canada • Essentially two cinemas • Quebec & non-Quebec, or • English-language & French • Quebec interesting exception • An example of a regional, ethnic or sub-national cinema • Success in recent years very different

  27. Canada institutions • TeleFilm Canada • National Film Board • Provincial level agencies

  28. Telefilm mandate “… cultural investor… supporting Canada’s audiovisual industry to create cultural works that reflect and celebrate the diversity of Canada and are widely appreciated in Canada and abroad.”

  29. Canada - policy tools • Policy institutions • Direct investment (Telefilm, NFB) • Tax credits • Co-production treaties • Location support (at local/provincial level)

  30. New Zealand institutions • New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) • Feature Film Fund • New Zealand Screen Council • New Zealand On Air • Film New Zealand

  31. NZFC mandate “To contribute to New Zealand’s cultural capital through the development, production, financing and marketing of audience-focused feature films; and to grow the film sector within the larger screen production industry.” Source: NZFC Fact Sheet 2005

  32. New Zealand - policy tools • Policy institutions • Investment (NZFC, FFF) • State sales agency (NZFC) • Co-productions • Accelerated tax write-offs • Large Budget Screen Production Grant • Location support

  33. Culture v. economic • Different policy goals • Culture - national or ethnic identity • Economic - economic activity and jobs

  34. Results

  35. New Zealand feature production Excluding Peter Jackson productions $4.5m Average budget excluding Peter Jackson $2.1m $1.5m $1.1m $1.3m $2.1m

  36. Canada feature production

  37. Feature production by million population

  38. Feature production expenditure per capita

  39. % of local box office 7.9% 2006 projection 4.8%

  40. Telefilm budget for feature production by language

  41. Development expenditure per capita (US$)

  42. Number of projects receiving development (per capita)

  43. Avg. US$ development per project

  44. Box office for select top local films since 1999 (US$) New Zealand • World’s Fastest Indian * $4.74m • Whale Rider * $4.61m • Sione’s Wedding $2.73m • What Becomes of the Broken Hearted $2.14m • In My Father’s Den * $1.20m • Scarfies $840,000 • River Queen * $670,000 Canada - English • Bon Cop/Bad Cop 1 $10.4m • Resident Evil: Apocalypse * $3.75m • Mambo Italiano $3.69m • Trailer Park Boys 1 $3.2m • White Noise * $2.8m • Men with Brooms $2.44m • Bollywood/Hollywood $950,000 * co-production 1 as of November 2, 2006

  45. New Telefilm policy -2007/08 • Asymmetrical model • Instead of 5% overall target • 2% for English language • 20% for Quebec (significant that they are using the term Quebec rather than French-language • Different policies for funding with lower box office targets for English-language films • Still reviewing French-language funding problems as they have insufficient resources for the demand

  46. Service productions • Also known as “runaway productions • Productions filmed in a different geographic location from the control and funding • Worth C$821m to British Columbia last year (feature films only)