Saturday, 5 November 2016

Ex_Machina research

Ex_Machina research

Andrew Macdonald
Allon Reich
Alex Garland

Alex Garland

Universal Pictures

Alicia Vikander as Ava
Domhnall Gleeson as Caleb Smith
Oscar Isaac as Nathan Bateman
Sonoya Mizuno as Kyoko
Symara A. Templeman as Jasmine
Elina Alminas as Amber
Gana Bayarsaikhan as Jade
Tiffany Pisani as Katya
Claire Selby as Lily
Corey Johnson as Jay the helicopter pilot.

$15 million

Pinewood Studios in the UK
Juvet Landscape Hotel in Valldalen, Norway.

The film was shot as ordinary live action, using no special effects, green screens or tracking markers. The filmed Ava’s films scenes twice, with her and without her to capture the background for editing. All editing effects were created in post-production. Her face and hands were rotoscoped and the rest of her body was digitally painted out and the background restored. Camera and body tracking systems transferred Vikander’s performance to CGI. There was around 800 visual effect shots, 350 of these were robot shots.

Number of screens- opening weekend:
12th April 2015 shown on 4 screens- $250,000

Number of screens- peak number:
24th April 2015 shown on 1255 screens- $5,349,500

Box office figures:
$36.9 million

Seven Key Areas

1.     The issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice:
The companies which own Ex_Machina Film4 and DNA Films, and it is distributed by Universal Pictures. Film4 is a production company from the UK and is owned by Channel Four Television Corporation. This is the company which is responsible for a huge number of films made in the UK, the first production Film4 made was Walter and was released in 1982. Some of the films it has produced include; 12 Years A Slave and The Iron Lady. DNA is also a British film company which is located in London. Some of the films DNA produce include; Love Actually, Never Let Me Go and The History Boys. These are both small companies, so will be experienced with working on films with smaller budgets, but big ideas. Film4 and DNA are based in the UK, and successful here, but not worldwide.

2.     The importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and marketing:
This film was distributed by Universal Pictures, which is a massive film company in California, United States of America. They distribute and film in the studios. Some of the companies highest-grossing films are as follows: Jurassic World, Furious 7, E.T the Extra-Terrestrial and Minions. These are the highest-grossing films in North America and Worldwide. Cross media convergence means using a larger or more well-known distributer to make the film more well-known and reach a larger audience. This benefitted Ex_Machina to reach a larger audience in the UK and USA by being careful which cinemas screens the film was shown on, this was to keep the film companies losing money, and instead allowed them to show the films on more popular screens and increase profit. By Universal Pictures distributing the film it helped massively by providing over 100 years of experience, and expertise of film knowledge and dos and don’ts of the film industry. An American film distribution and film production company which also worked on Ex_Machina and took the film to the American box office, after Universal refused to release the film in the US. A24 helped by releasing the film in the US and the film was first shown on 14th March 2015 at the South by Southwest festival, and later released in cinemas on the 10th April the same year.

3.     The technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, distribution, marketing and exchange:
The technologies used in the film when producing Ex_Machina didn’t include any special effects, green screens or tracking markers used when filming, it was filmed as a live action film. All the effects where added after production, this included Ava’s robot-like features, each scene with Ava in was filmed twice, once with her and without her. This was done to ‘capture’ the background behind her for editing. When edited her hands and face were rotoscoped and the rest of her body was digitally ‘painted out’ so the background could be seen again. Tracking systems used for the cameras and her body made it possible to create Ava’s movements into CGI movements. The film was filmed entirely on digital film which is cheaper for the distribution companies as most cinemas cater for digital films and most film companies use digital film.

4.     The significance of proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences:
Audiences have changed the way they view films as many people now prefer to stay at home to watch a film, instead of going to the cinema. One reason for this may be that the price of cinema tickets has increased and many people would rather stay at home to watch films. Now films are available online by illegally downloading or streaming or paying for a service such as Netflix or Now TV, films are also available straight from your TV too by using Sky Store or a cinema channel. These services benefit the film’s companies as they are making money from the way which is most suitable for the audience. However, when people illegally download films, the companies involved lose money as the sites are illegally showing the film. Ex_Machina is available on DVD, Blu- Ray, ITunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play and YouTube. These services allow the film to be seen by millions of people in many different ways, including being shown at cinemas.

5.     The importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences:
Ex_Machina was marketed by creating an online dating profile on an app, Tinder. The profile was for Ava and when she matched with someone she asked them some questions and the lead them to her Instagram page which had small clips of the film, critic reviews and pictures of characters. This was a way to interact with a modern audience by the film festival, South by Southwest (SXSW), who launched the profile to match with people in the area of the festival. This was so when someone matched with her and then went to her Instagram profile, which was actually for the film, they would see it was being featured at the festival. This automatically targeted the audience at a younger audience who are more interested in technology and who use it most. The film was also marketed by posters and adverts.

6. The issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically, British) by international or global institutions:
The film companies of Ex_Machina had varied responses to the Tinder profile as some people thought it was a great, modern way of reaching the audience at a more personal level. However, some people thought it wasn’t clear, invading their privacy and it wouldn’t reach a large scale audience. This is true as the Tinder profile only reached a small audience which could get to the festival, not on a national or global scale which would reach a large audience of all ages.

7.     The ways in which the candidates’ own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour:

I think more and more people are downloading or streaming films online illegally and legally, which means less people are going to the cinema to watch films. This can mean lots of people don’t want to go to the cinema as its expensive, far away or people can’t be bothered. So many people wait for the film to be released on TV, DVD or online. The online and at home audience is growing as our generation gets older going to the cinema may become less popular, however, I think people will always want to go to the cinema, although it may not be often. Some people will only go to the cinema if it’s the opening night of a big blockbuster or a long-awaited film.

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