Many different methods are used to produce and distribute films. I am going to explore Working Title Films who are becoming increasingly popular due to funding from the multi conglomerate, Universal studios. I will use them as an example of how films are produced and distributed in the film industry.
Working title films began as a small company with little money. Created in 1983 by Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner they released ‘my beautiful launderette’. Their first film which they were helped to produce by another company, firstly as a TV movie and then it was decided to have a theatrical release. The film conveyed the cultural divide in the settlement of London, it depicted common issues such as homosexuality and racism. They pitched the idea to channel four and obtained a 500,000 budget.
Working Title films are famous for their use of production as they commonly spend a lot less money than other production companies such as ‘Universal’ and ‘Disney’. Working Title recently remade ‘Les Miserables’, as this was already a famous theatre production it had a readymade audience which helped to make the film a huge success. Working Title often use the same actors such as ‘Hugh Grant’, this gains a constant fan base to secure more of an audience.Small distribution networks often link themselves to large distribution companies to gain monetary success, ‘Working Titles Films’ partnered themselves with ‘Universal’ in the early parts of its creation.
This is a way of getting attention from many viewers who were already fans of ‘Universal’ without spending and possibly risking a lot of money when starting off. Films such as ‘Notting Hill’ are much more popular than older films like ‘My beautiful launderette’, this is due to the distribution and marketing of a film and shows how vital it is. ‘Polygram’ were the reason behind ‘Working Title Films’ most popular film ‘Four weddings and a funeral’ which grossed $52,700,832, this is due to Polygram advertising through cinema, DVD and VHS.Companies have had to adapt to what audiences want and expect.
Working Title Films have been accused of ‘Americanising’ their films, which they refuse. ‘State of play’ started off as a British TV series but has been transported to Washington DC and has replaced British actor John Simm with major Hollywood star Russell Crowe. This shows how Working Title have picked up on how American styles films sell and at the same time are trying to keep a sense of being British with stars such as Helen Mirren. The vertical integration between ‘Universal’ and ‘Polygram’ resulted in ‘Working Title’ releasing another romantic comedy in ‘Bridget Jones’ diary’. This vertical integration means working title do not have to produce huge action blockbusters such as ‘Hot Fuzz’ or ‘Johnny English’.In conclusion, despite the need for a good cast and director the success of a film hugely stands on how widely it has been distributed.
‘Working Title Films’ although a British company work hard for their films to reach numerous other countries.