Term Paper: Movie Production

Pages: 4 (1195 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Film  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] The authors cite several examples of independent and low-budget films such as The Blair Witch Project that have pleased critics, moviegoers, and reaped box office profits.

The chapter offers a thorough yet brief explanation of the film industry and its influence on modern society. Indeed, movies do help shape cultural values, as the authors suggest (p. 124). The power of film is in the media itself: in the intense visual and auditory experience of being in a dark room for several hours. The authors also examine the issues of censorship in the film industry, showing how even in its infancy the film industry was criticized for contributing to moral degeneracy. The so-called Legion of Decency tried to squelch filmmakers and stop them from producing films with sexuality or violence. Although the Legion of Decency is no longer operating, similar organizations of concerned citizens try to stop the production of films that are deemed morally offensive.

However, film would not be such a meaningful media if it did not take on sensitive issues. I believe that it is the responsibility of filmmakers to explore sensitive issues, if not in the interest of stimulating thought and public debate then only for creative liberty. While there should be some limits on sex and violence in films shown in public movie houses, it is up to the filmmaker to produce that which pleases their taste and that of their audience.

The authors also take care to explicate the financial side of the film industry, by exploring issues like exhibition costs, distribution costs, and auxiliary costs. Product placement and merchandising has become a major money-maker in Hollywood. Films frequently sell off the names and images of characters; clips from their movies; and their soundtracks in order to boost profits. One of the results is the proliferation of toys and other merchandise. In most cases, the merchandise is marketed to young kids, such as through fast-food restaurant toy giveaways. However, sometimes the merchandise is marketed to an adolescent or even adult audience. One merchandising issue that the authors do not describe is video games and the fact that films spawn video games. The reverse is also true: video games have given birth to films such as Tomb Raider, and more recently, Doom. The Lord of the Rings trilogy gave rise to the marketing of specialized swords and other fantasy emblems that adults are attracted to as much as young people.

Product placement is also a major issue in filmmaking. One of the most recent examples of Product placement was through the James Bond movies that helped BMW exhibit their high-end automobiles. As the authors note, product placement is not necessarily all negative, for a generic can of "beer" seems unrealistic on the big screen. On the other hand, product placement can be annoying and can sully an otherwise purely creative project with overt consumerism.

Because of the advent of home theater systems and illegal file sharing, the film industry faces even more challenges in the future. The DVD has enabled production houses and filmmakers to insert material that had to be cut from big-screen showings. IN this sense the DVD is clearly on the side of creativity. The director or writer can show audiences their mis-en-scene developments, their original plans for the film, and other elements of production that the viewer would not otherwise be privy to. The DVD version also allows for interviews and other documentary material that movie buffs may find interesting. This chapter stimulates the reader's interest in all aspects of the film industry: economic, social, political,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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