Franchise Films to Watch out For This Summer

As the semester rolls to an end I want to take a look at franchise films that you can expect to see this summer. A franchise film is a collection of media for which components exist in multiple forms, such as films, literature, television, or video games. These films often have several installments and have been around for a very long time. In short, successful films that a make a lot of money are turned into multiple other films often based off the original.

This is a trend that we see in the film industry and this summer you can expect to see a few franchise films being released. Why are franchise films so appealing to film makers and studios? It’s possible with social media and the way technology has changed it is easier to keep a film in the consumers mind longer – why not try to capitalize off that? In previous blog posts I have discussed the affect social media has had on films and it’s ability to connect the film with its viewer even a year after it is released. This is priceless. When films have a big social media following it becomes easier to promote your new installment of the original film.

Some critics have pointed out how a few of these films should be put to rest. Eventually it becomes too much and the “feeling” behind the film is lost. Is this true of James Bond? The newest Bond Film released last year was good but does it ever become too much? I know that I have lost interests in films like this because there are just too many. James Bond has had a 50 year franchised run.

Films to Watch Out for Summer 2015 According to CBS News:

1. Pitch Perfect 2

2. Terminator

3. Mission Impossible

4. Avengers: Age of Ultron

And something to look forward to after Summer ends…

Starwars: The Force Awakens

The Final Hunger Games

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How Social Media is Being Used in the Film Industry

Today, social media is a major consideration for film promotion, no matter what the size or budget is. In fact, social media is being used, some believe, to save the film industry. Some believe that the film industry is dying and going into bankruptcy. It seems that this is a transition period so the studios are trying to figure out how to handle this transition.

Even some kids films, like Despicable Me 2, are using social media interactive campaign which tapped into mobile devices of their fans. This basically means that studios such as Universal are using their fans to create their marketing for them…

It’s also important for big Hollywood blockbusters to use social media even after the film has been released to keep the conversation going. On sagas like Twilight or Harry Potter it adds to the films longevity. In fact, Twilight was the first film to reach 1 million followers on Twitter. They now have 1.43 million followers.

In the age of the Internet their has been a significant decrease in the amount of people going to the movies. Although people are watching at home the studios and films in general do not make as much money compared to when they are released in theaters.

So how does the film industry make any money?

According to Mashable, viral marketing and social media are helping save the failing industry. Online piracy has also been on the rise which has been affecting the over all profitability of films.

An infographic by law firm Allmand Law reveals how Hollywood is using social media and viral marketing to compensate for declining ticket sales. For example, cloud computing — when combined with digital films — saves the industry money on shipping costs by eliminating the need to transport physical copies of films between studios, theaters, distributors or advertisers.

What also makes a difference is the fact that the studios are no longer just in the film business. There are often tie-in products such as video games and toys that will help generate profits for the studios. These profits help make up for losses seen in other parts of the film.

Here is an interesting photograph that analyzes how the film industry is staying a float…

How-Is-the-Film-Industry-Avoiding-Bankruptcy-12_18_12

Do you think that these tactics are helping the film industry as a whole?

Star Wars Fans Rejoice on Twitter

Star Wars fans are rejoicing as they receive pieces of new information that have confirmed a continuation of stand alone films based on the original Star Wars Saga. The new stand alone film will be known as ‘Star Wars: Rogue One’ an Anthology.

It’s hard to believe the first Star Wars film was released on May 25, 1977, 38 years ago, and was followed by several other sequels that were very popular. A total of 6 episodes, the most recent in 2005, will be back releasing another film based off the saga.

The film will take place

“between the third and the fourth movies in the “Star Wars” saga, the film will follow a band of resistance fighters who unite to steal the Death Star plans and “bring a new hope,” referring to the subtitle of the original “Star Wars.” The first anthology will not focus on the jedi but there are plans to bring them into the plot line in future films,” according to Daily News.

Today, the film will be promoted very differently then it was back in 1977, in fact, fans first heard about this new anthology at a Star Wars celebration last week where they released a short teaser clip, and then it was leaked.

Click here to watch 

The film is set to release December 2016 and will be about how the rebellion stole the plans for the Death Star that was used to destroy it in the film New Hope. This is exciting because Star Wars has developed many fans since it was originally released in 1977, and has also had a spinoff that was meant for children. Unlike in 1977, people are able to use social media to talk about the excitement or even disappointment that surrounds the film.

Since the news has broken people have become very active on Twitter discussing their opinion on the release of Rogue One. To search tweets I used the hashtag #RogueOne and #StarWars. Over all the reactions were really positive. People were excited to see what they would do with the films, and many were getting over the initial shock.

Marketing of ‘Furious 7’ Remains Respectful After Death of Paul Walker

Paul Walker, one of the stars of the many Fast and Furious films, is honored after tragically dying in November of 2013. Universal Picture’s has had to “remain restrained but effective” on the marketing of the film that was released in April 2015, pushed back from original release date August 2014. It is never easy for films and studios when one of the stars of the film is tragically killed. Unfortunately, there are many things that must be considered before the release of the film – and sometimes it can even lead to the cancelation of the film.

Before ‘The Last Ride Furious 7’ was released in the beginning of the month I saw many commercials on television for coming attractions. The studio made the decision not to leave Walker out of the coming attraction commercials on television, which was a good decision. He is still being honored by many of the cast members, like Vin Diesel, as well as the production team. However, only about half of Walker’s scenes were filmed as of his death in November 2013. So of course, they had to make a decision on how to finish the rest of his scenes.

Universal Picture’s decided to use “his brothers Caleb and Cody stood in for him in some, and others were reconstructed using computer-generated images,” according to Hollywood Reporter. Knowing this if I see the film I will be on the look out if I can tell the difference between his brothers and the scenes originally shot by Paul.

Rentrak senior analyst Paul Dergarabedian commented:

It takes a tremendous amount of sensitivity and diplomacy to walk the perfect public relations tightrope whenever something unexpectedly tragic like this happens. There was clearly a lot of thought that went into the handling of this and how Walker is portrayed not only in the the trailers and imagery for the film, but also how he is represented in a very poignant and respectful way within the film itself.

I think it is never an easy task to handle a situation like this, and often social media plays a large role. Many saw the Furious fans as a family because of the many films over the past 10 years, so of course people will take to social media to comment on Walker’s death as well as the future of the film.

‘The Last Ride Furious 7’ has been blowing out the box offices with $143 million domestically and $240 overseas for the action sequel in the past 2 weeks alone.

Here are some reactions on Twitter:

This film raises the question on how studios should proceed after the death of a star with a film coming out… Universal Picture’s job well done.

Social Media Film Being Used For Pet Adoption Advocacy

It should not come as a surprise that brands are turning to social media to get their point of view out into the universe. Social media is a powerful force and the pet food brand Nature’s Variety is creating a social media pet adoption film using crowdsourcing.

In our Digital Newsroom class we spoke of crowdsourcing and the benefit that it brings to the conversation. Crowdsourcing is using the crowd or masses to get information or in this case pictures of pets to bring awareness and encourage people to adopt pets, volunteer or donate.

Nature’s Variety is using this film as a campaign called #LongLivePets to help better the lives of rescue pets. The short personal film does have some criteria which needs to be followed in order to complete the process. The film consists of ten scenes that people are asked to complete with their pets.

Screenshot from LongLivePets Nature's Valley

Screenshot from LongLivePets Nature’s Valley

Each scene comes with a list of instructions as to what’s required. According to Marketing Land, an example of this is a scene called Car Ride which “asks people to take a picture of their rescue pet with their head out the window of the car catching some air.” Photographs can be uploaded directly from Facebook or Instagram. Once the pet and owner complete the ten scenes they will receive an email of their completed film to share on other social media sites.

Vine Stars Create Full Length Feature Films

Vine comedy stars are making a full length feature film called FML : A Social Media Adventure. Is this the beginning of social media taking over some of the film industry? Maybe. Maybe not. But the film industry is taking notice of the fairly new social networking site, called Vine.

What is Vine?

If you are like my parents then you probably have no idea what a Vine is. Vine is essentially a video-sharring app. It’s designed for anyone or the user to create their own content in a short film that is only 6 seconds long. The video can also use separate instances which are put together to create the 6 seconds, which will play on a loop.

Vines are often shot on iPhones or Smartphones not on professional camera or digital cameras. So this is important for new film makers who are trying to get their voice out there. Vine might be a good option for someone who wants to build a community and post interesting Vine’s that feel like short films.

The Full Feature Length Vine

There are several Vine ‘stars’ who have done a great job at building an audience and a following so these stars were able to make creating Vine’s their full time job. According to Mashable Indie comedy stars Jason Nash and Brandon Calvillo are doing just this:

“The film centers around two men who travel across the country making short videos on a Vine-like app called Reload, trying to boost their social media following. Along with achieving viral fame, FML is also about the strong friendship between Nash and Calvillo’s characters, as well as the real-life one that inspired it.”

The film is like a “cross country road trip” and more importantly it might show how their is a disconnect between social media and real life. Nash and Calvillo want to show how things are not always as they seem on social media, and sometimes it will change people’s lives but not for the better. This could be a major mile-stone for the film industry.

More people are able to create films, it is much easier as you don’t need expensive equipment, and you don’t need to have financial backing from a studio. The Vine film is also recruiting other comedic vine stars who can be in the full feature-length films. The question is whether or not they will have an audience for this film. If they can successfully get their Vine followers to watch and share this film then they might have a chance.

Horror Fanatics Tweens Excited in Films Use of Social Media

It seems that movies are picking up on social media and I predict we will see even more of it in the future. Social media is a good way for movie producers and marketers to reach the teen age group who have a large presence on social media. Not only is social media used to market movies but we are also seeing them as the main plot in films…as I discussed with the tween targeted “Duff.” A new horror film that is coming out soon is using social media to attract tweens…

The movie “Unfriended” revolves around social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Skype. Platforms that the tween age group is constantly using.

The plot of the movie reminds me of another film that came out a few years ago ‘The Ring’ but without the aspect of social media. I remember seeing this when I was in high school and nearly crying at the fact that I felt I could never look at the TV again. It takes a VCR film and puts a scary girl on it and the screen, she orders you to share the film with at least one other person or she will kill you. “Sharing” the film seems like an aspect of the movie that was ahead of its time. Who know almost 10 years later sharing would be taken to a whole other level.

“Unfriended” revolves around a teenage girl who was bullied on social media and after a video of her self leaked on YouTube she killed herself in public. After a year an anonymous person logs on to Skype and begins chatting with Laura’s friends tormenting them to discover who posted the video to YouTube. Why do I have a feeling this is going to bring a lot of other films like this to the movie theaters?

I think I will pass seeing this but I feel that teenagers will who are horror fanatics will want to see this as it involves two things that some are passionate about. But as a whole this film represents a trend that we are seeing in the films marketed toward teens. Horror and social media.