Friday, 11 December 2015


  • A specialised film will typically have less then 10 prints.
  • Distribution is the third part of the film supply chain.
  • Distribution is often referred to as 'the invisible art', a process known to those only in the industry.
  • When discussing distribution, vertical integration means where the three stages (production, distribution and exhibition) are seen as one large process, under the control of the film company
  • Vertical integration isn't so common in the independent sector because producers tend to not have long term economic links with distributers, who likewise have no formal connections with exhibiters. 
  • The three stages involved in the independent sector are: licensing, marketing and logistics. 
  • Licensing is the process by which a distributer requires the legal rights to exploit a film.
  • The two levels of licensing are international distribution and local distribution
  • The advantages of being a major US studio are that they have their own distribution offices in all major territories. 
  • The three different types of rights that you can acquire at a local level are: Theatrical rights (showing the film in cinemas), Video rights (for video and dvd exploitation) and TV rights.
  • Royalties are taken from the profit that the film makes. Usually a local distributer will conventionally share profits equally with the producer for the theatrical leg, pay back higher royalties for broadcast rights, and lower for video/DVD.
  • The most effective way to increase interest in a film is to release a film in a theatrical way (in cinema) so that the film creates interest.
  • It takes two years after the opening in cinemas to come out on 'free to air TV' 
  • The two key questions surrounding the marketing of a film are; when? and how?
  • Films are typically released on a Friday
  • Before releasing a film on a Friday the distributer will look at a schedule of other film releases on that day.
  • A 'light week' in terms of distribution means that there won't be a load of films on at the same time, ensuring screen space and adequate review column inches in the press allocated to any new release.  
  • To position a film distinctively means to avoid releasing the film around the same time when a film with similar traits is to be released.
  • This has become increasingly difficult in the UK due to the release schedule featuring over 10 new releases each week.
  • P&A are Prints and Advertising.
  • P&A can range from £1,000 to over £1 million for a release of a film in the UK.
  • A mainstream film will have over 200 prints.
  • A key factor for developing a profile for a film is press response.
  • Awareness of a film can also be raised by advertising in magazines/news papers and cinema posters. 
  • It is risky to release a film in the UK because the print cost is very high.
  • Companies are looking towards viral marketing because it is the easiest and cheapest way of marketing.
  • The benefits of a talent visit is to get editorial coverage to support a release

In the pre digital film age what was a distributor responsible for?

  • The average cost of a 35mm print, including delivery to a cinema, is around £1,000. 
  • In a future print there are usually 5-6 reals
  • 35mm prints tend to get damaged because of the amount of times they are used in different projectors.
  • Prints are usually stored  at the UK's central print warehouse in West London. 
  • A theatrical release usually lasting up to 6 months. 
  • Digital distribution in the UK started towards the end of 2005.
  • Digital distribution is more cost effective. It is also less stressful to send films as computer files to cinemas across the UK.
  • China and Brazil where the first countries to adopt digital distribution.
  • 2005 the UK Film Council Digital Screen Network launched in the UK by Arts Alliance Media creating a chain of 250 2K digital cinema systems
Why has digital distribution radically altered the operating model of distributors?
  • Films are now available to pre order as the film is still in the cinemas.
  • A loss leader is a strategy where a product is sold at a price below its market cost to stimulate other sales of more profitable goods or services.

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