Case Study: Background: Headstrong TV is a fictional British TV production company, with ten years experience and a track record which is dominated by factual documentary and entertainment programming, but includes a very small number of TV drama commissions in single dramas (three 90 minute commissions in the last five years). It already has two part-time drama producers, and has good relationships with a number of TV drama directors. However it has not raised independent multi-source film finance before, because all of its TV drama commissions have had their production costs fully-funded by the broadcaster. After the critical success of a recent one-off late night television drama, the Managing Director has declared that he would like to follow this success up by also moving into developing and producing feature film projects. They currently do not have any film projects in development, so he is proposing that in the next six months he will set up a separate standalone film development department The Managing Director has written a business plan, which outlines the new strategy. He is borrowing £100,000 to cover two years of activity. This sum is only to cover salaries of staff; and the cost of acquisition of options of novels or screenplays. Development funding for writers to write screenplay drafts will have to be raised from development funding third parties, such as BBC films, Film4, the BFI, or other production companies with development funding deals. It is proposed that when completed the films would be in the production budget of £3-4 million, and aimed at the UK independent financing marketplace, rather than the US studio financing system. There may be some international sales to key European territories, but the American market is not expected to be a large area for exploitation. None of the production costs will be paid for by Headstrong, but will be raised by the producer from third party sources (such as a mixture of a broadcaster, the British Film Institute Lottery Fund, private investment from wealthy individuals, and pre-sales to distributors in international territories). As is usual in independent production companies, the director, crew and actors are not permanent staff but are hired for the production period, and paid for out of the production budget. PLAN A FILM PROJECT Imagine that you are developing a feature film project as part of the slate for Headstrong, aimed at the independent UK marketplace (as stated above). You must choose not an original story, but an adaptation of a novel or play (affordable to buy or out of copyright), or a remake of a TV programme or series or a minor film that this company might be able to get the rights to (not a studio blockbuster, but an old film or a film from another language). This should not be a project that has already been remade by another company, or is in the advance stages of being made “ so that you can find information about it online. It should fulfil the needs and targets of the business plan above (for example: targeted primarily at the UK audience, not Hollywood studios, with some international sales to key European territories). Note that the aim of this question is to demonstrate your understanding of the industry, not to demonstrate your ability as a screenwriter adapting an idea. You must answer all the following four questions, with equal weighting: Question and Requirement¼š 1. The pitch: (include the following headings): (circa 750 words, of which only 300 words should describe the story) a) Title: (this does not have to match the source material title if you do not want to) b) Tagline or strapline: (a pitchy single sentence advertising the feel, mood, or premise of the film, such as you might see on a film poster or on a DVD cover. Such as the tagline for the film Alien: In space no-one can hear you scream.) c) Simple pitch: (a succinct two sentence summary of the film’s idea, as it might be described in a listings magazine or on a site like Amazon. Also known as the logline.) d) Source material: (novel, play, remake of TV or film) e) Genre (for example: thriller, comedy, romantic comedy, drama, teen, musical, period drama, coming-of-age, horror, sci-fi, etc.) f) Locations: (list major external and internal locations, and percentage in studio) g) Period: (modern? 19th century? Stone age?) h) Production budget (not marketing budget) in pounds sterling: (very approx.) i) Detailed pitch and rationale: use two paragraphs to pitch the storyline in more detail, in a way that explains the story and its arc, and could encourage third party investors to agree to invest in developing it. Why should it be made now, for today’s audience? How does your proposed adaptation differ positively from the original? Why is it suitable for Headstrong’s business plan? This section i should be only two paragraphs and no more than one side of A4 paper. 2. Development and production funding sources: What genre of film is it and what type of film (specialist / arthouse, conceptual, or Anglo-Hollywood)? As a result of this positioning explain what are the potential funding sources for development and production? Also which are the development and production funding sources you would probably not approach and why? Use the set texts and independent research to evidence your decisions. You do not need to provide a detailed budget or breakdown of how much different financiers may provide, just give an indication and justification of possible sources (circa 750 words). 3. Produce a distribution plan describing which UK distributors you would approach to buy the completed film, or invest at production stage. What are comparable films? Which territories abroad (if any) would be key territories for the film, and why? Are there any key distributors in those territories who you would approach? (circa 750 words); 4. Produce a marketing plan. What is the precise target audience demographic? From the point of view of the distributor, use the set texts on marketing to help produce a marketing plan explaining how the audience will be targeted and grown during the release of the film, across all windows in the next two years; including theatrical cinema, video-on-demand, download, DVD, and television (and specify which of these are likely to be the biggest sources of income for this project). Which methods of advertising and marketing will be used and why? How many cinema screens and in which areas? Use case studies to describe comparable films and their campaigns. How will your film be similar and how will it differ?? Note: For information on comparable films and their campaigns see IMDB and Cite comparable examples from these sources “ films which are similar to yours or have a similar target audience (circa 750 words) Total word count limit: 2600 words Note: Industry understanding: The aim of this question is to demonstrate your understanding of the industry, not to demonstrate your ability as a screenwriter adapting an idea. Many of the marks are awarded for your industry awareness and your use of key texts. Do not leave the distribution plan and marketing plan until last and hurry them (as a few past students have done). These last two questions carry as many marks as the first two questions, and should be thought of as integral. Note: this is not Hollywood: Please note that the film case study above refers to a British company, and so the Hollywood context is less relevant than the UK and European context. American studios are not in direct competition with this fictional company (only in that their distribution companies control a large market share of the mainstream audience). Academic referencing: Regardless of the assignment choice, recommended texts and reading around the subject should be undertaken, cited in-text and evidenced in a bibliography. Some of the sources are likely to be online, or in trade journals (especially Screen International); but these still need to be critiqued and accurately academically referenced. Academic referencing must be consistently followed. The Formative Assessment Submission: (see course outline for submission dates) Depending on choice of film assignment: EITHER: ¢ Film Strategy: Provide a bullet point list of the risks and problems with investing in film production and development OR: ¢ Submit a draft of Plan a film project Question 1, sub-questions a to i. For a custom paper on the above topic, place your order now! 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