How is Media Convergence important for audiences and Institutions?
In today’s film industry the importance of media convergence is huge. The film industry relies on media convergence when marketing, distributing and exhibiting a film, and especially more recently, making an audience aware of what is happening at the production stage of filming. During this essay I will be relating the importance of media convergence for audiences and institutions to the films ‘Kick Ass’ and ‘The king’s speech.'
During the production stage of the film ‘Kick Ass’ media convergence was used very effectively. For example a series of posters presenting the individual characters were released to gain the audiences interest, on these posters were URL addresses which sent you to the official kick ass website, where there was further posters, games and information about the film, this gave the audience a feeling that they had gained a secret insight in to the film and what it was going to be about. This brought the audiences attention to the website where the makers of kick ass proceeded to upload pre-release trailers, behind the scene videos, short clips of the film and games to bring in a high amount of publicity from the audiences. Media convergence was important for 'Kick Ass' as it was made by British producers and some scenes were filmed in the UK, for example: the opening scene with Nicholas Cage in was filmed in a sewage plant in East London, but the films main audience would be America. In order to achieve a film that appealed mainly to Americans, the British producers had to add an aspect of American heritage to the film, they did this by; hiring well known American actors such as Nicholas Cage, also they used Elstree studios in Heartfordshire in the UK, but used huge screens that allowed them to manipulate the background in order to make it look like the film was being filmed in America. This worked successfully and Kick ass did well not only in the US but worldwide, achieving a worldwide box office revenue of over $96,000,000.
Media convergence Is vital for small film production companies, as it allows them to team up with other stakeholders and companies in order to make a film which would otherwise be out of their budget. A prime example of this is during the production of 'The kings speech' where the Weinstein Company gained one million pounds funding from the UK film council, this extended the films budget and provided them with the finance to create a better film, the UK film council deserve a lot of credit for the success of 'The Kings Speech.'
The Weinstein company being an American organisation was very helpful when producing the film using media convergence. The company were aware of how fixated Americans are on the culture of British heritage and the capitalised on this, making a film that combined authenticity and regal opulence with the scruffy depression era of London. The film portrayed an idealistic view of the British royalty's way of life.
This became a major selling point to the Americans. The makers created a website that informed the audience about the progress of the film during the production stage. Also there were a number of posters released of the main characters in the film, the King (Colin Firth) and 'Lionel' (Geoffrey Rush). The posters were designed in the style of the 'Keep calm and carry on' world war two posters, they pictured the King and Lionel dressed in royal clothing and surrounded by regal fonts. This was a clever design as it further endorsed the traditional English heritage of the film and appealed to the American and worldwide audiences. This media convergence was vital in the advertising of the film in order for it to appeal to the worldwide audience and 'The Kings Speech' did this very successfully, from a budget of just eight million pounds the film generated a phenomenal box office revenue of over two hundred and sixty million pounds.
Media convergence is vital during all stages of film production, marketing and editing. Media convergence can be hugely beneficial for Institutions, as it allows them to team up with other stakeholders and companies in order to make a film which would otherwise be out of their budget. Also media convergence can be massively beneficial for the Audiences, as it allows them to gain an insight to the film during it's production and marketing stages, creating an interest in the film for the audience. Without the use of this it would be very difficult to make a successful film.