Institutions and Audiences Definitions.



A Field in England Research.

A Field in England is a 2013 British historical psychological drama film directed by Ben Wheatley. The film, shot in black-and-white, is set during the mid-17th century English civil war. The film was released on 5 July 2013 on multiple platforms simultaneously, including cinemas, home media and video on demand. It was also broadcast on Film4 on the day of its release.


Red State Research

Red State is a 2011 American independent horror action film, written and directed by Kevin Smith, starring John Goodman, Melissa Leo and Michael Parks.

Kevin Smith originally announced the concept for what would become Red State at the 2006 wizard world con in Chicago, stating that it would be a straight horror film, differing from the comedy films he was known for. In April 2007, Smith revealed the title of the movie to be Red State and said that it was inspired by infamous pastor Fred Phelps, or as Smith claimed, “very much about that subject matter, that point of view and that position taken to the absolute extreme. It is certainly not Phelps himself but it’s very much inspired by a Phelps (like) figure.”The first draft was finished in August 2007.


On October 13, 2009, Smith stated that funding had been secured for Red State but that he wanted to proceed with Hit Somebody and delay filming Red State for a year.

The film was originally set to be funded by listeners of Kevin Smith’s Smodcast podcast but the idea was later dropped. Film producers Bob and Harvey Weinstein also passed on funding the film and it was eventually funded by two private investors.

The film’s production ran over twenty five days with the crew apparently being so passionate about the project that many of them were underpaid or got no pay at all, with Smith hoping that the film would make enough money that everyone would eventually be paid.

Throughout the months of November and December, teaser posters were released featuring characters from the movie in auctions via his Twitter account with the winning bidder hosting the poster exclusively on their website, while the money raised by the auction went to charity. Smith released a teaser trailer for the film on December 23, 2010.

Although Smith had announced plans to auction off the rights to Red State to distributors attending his Sundance screening of the film, he revealed that was merely a ploy and Smith planned to self-distribute as a traveling roadshow.

Controversy soon erupted after Smith’s speech at the film’s debut screening at Sundance. Although Smith had decided to self-distribute the film, after a twenty minute long rant where he displayed his displeasure with the budget for how modern films are marketed in comparison to the budget for their production.

Smith chose to distribute the film as a travelling roadshow, travelling form theatre to theatre across the USA and airing it to people there and offering a Q and A afterwards. He assumed that the people who would come and watch the film were his fans and therefore hoped they would pay more to watch it stating that he may charge up to ten times as much money as a regular theatre viewing. After making $1,104,682 in the United States, Red State was released internationally and earned another $769,778 internationally for a total worldwide gross of $1,874,460.


Key Terminology

The following is the key terminology that we need to know for section B of the AS media studies course.


Horizontal/ vertical integration: How big companies control their own processes. Horizontal: Horizontal integration is the process of a company increasing production of goods or services at the same part of the supply chain.                                                                       Vertical: Vertical integration is an arrangement in which the supply chain of a company is owned by that company.

Theatrical/ Non-Theatrical exhibition: This is how a film is viewed, theatrical exhibition is the cinema and non theatrical is essentially anywhere but the cinema.

Guerilla film Making: independent film making.

Technological convergence: Where two devices converge onto one device for example an Iphone is both a computer and a phone.


Simbiosis: two (or more) companies working together for mutual benefit.

Technological disruption: When one device replaces another and disrupts the market for example when the Iphone replaced Blackberry phones.

Media ownership: Who owns what.

Media Conglomerates: Parent companies that own a group of smaller companies.

Concentration of ownership: companies owning another company.

Targeted/ untargeted advertising: Targeted advertising would be to a specific audience and untargeted does not appeal to one specific audience.

Gross media ownership: Big companies owning lots of media.

The Big 6: The 6 main film production companies- these are Warner Bros, Universal, Walt Disney, Sony, Paramount and 20th Century fox

Distribution: act of getting film to an audience.

Exhibition: Watching the film.

Lionsgate 20: Lionsgate uses $20 million to advertise their films.

Exam: Institutions and Audiences

The B section of the AS exam is titles Institutions and Audiences. This section focuses on film as a topic. The exam consists of one required question, where you make reference to examples from case study material to support your answer.

Here are the questions from recent examinations:

June, 2016:

To what extent has the internet played a significant role in the marketing and exchange of media products in the area you have studied?

June, 2015:

To what extent does media ownership have an impact on the successful distribution of media products in the media area that you have studied?

June, 2014:

The increase in hardware and content in media industries has been significant in recent years. Discuss the effect this has had on institutions and audiences in the media area you have studied.

June, 2013:

Evaluate the role of digital technologies in the marketing and consumption of products in the media area you have studied.

January, 2013:

What impact does media ownership have upon the range of products available to audiences in the media area you have studied?

June, 2012:

“Cross-media convergence and synergy are vital processes in the successful marketing of media products to audiences.”

To what extent do you agree with this statement in relation to your chosen media area?

January, 2012:

To what extent does digital distribution affect the marketing and consumption of media products in the media area you have studied?

June, 2011:

“Successful media products depend as much upon marketing and distribution to a specific audience as they do upon good production practices.”

To what extent would you agree with this statement, within the media area you have studied?

January, 2011:

Discuss the issues raised by media ownership in the production and exchange of media texts in your chosen media area.

June, 2010:

What significance does the continuing development of digital media technology have for media institutions and audiences?

January, 2010:

“Media production is dominated by global institutions, which sell their products and services to national audiences.”

To what extent do you agree with this statement?

June, 2009:

How important is technological convergence for institutions and audiences within a media area which you have studied?

January, 2009:

Discuss the ways in which media products are produced and distributed to audiences, within a media area, which you have studied.

Although the questions are phrased differently every year, they will always relate to a study of a specific studio or production company within a contemporary film industry that targets a British audience (e.g. Hollywood, Bollywood, UK film) including its patterns of production, distribution, exhibition and consumption by audiences. This should be accompanied by study of contemporary film distribution practices (digital cinemas, DVD, HD-DVD, downloads, etc) and their impact on production, marketing and consumption.

You should be prepared to understand and discuss the processes of production, distribution, marketing and exchange as they relate to contemporary media institutions, as well as, the nature of audience consumption and the relationship between audiences and institutions.

In addition you should be familiar with:

  • The issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice.
  • The importance of cross media convergence and synergy, in production, distribution and marketing.
  • The technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, marketing and exchange.
  • The significance of proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences.
  • The importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences.
  • The issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically, British) by international and global institutions.
  • The ways in which the candidates’ own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour.

Here are some of the examiner’s comments following last summer’s exams:

  • Media examples and case-studies should be mainly from the five years preceding the examination.
  • The most able candidates were well prepared, which enabled them to compare and contrast a range of examples through the case studies set. These focused on a studio, often Hollywood practise and UK film making.
  • There were good comments about the use of social media and mobile technology to market films and candidates were able to support their comments with examples.

There are 50 marks available for this question. The same mark scheme is used every year. Here is the description of a Level 4 answer:

  • Explanation/analysis/argument (16–20 marks)
    • Shows excellent understanding of the task.
    • Excellent knowledge and understanding of institutional/audience practices – factual knowledge is relevant and accurate.
    • A clear and developed argument, substantiated by detailed reference to case study material.
    • Clearly relevant to set question.
  • Use of examples (16–20 marks)
    • Offers frequent evidence from case study material – marks awarded to reflect the range and appropriateness of examples.
    • Offers a full range of detailed examples from case study and own experience.
    • Offers examples which are clearly relevant to the set question.
  • Use of terminology (8–10 marks)
    • Use of terminology is relevant and accurate.
    • Complex issues have been expressed clearly and fluently. Sentences and paragraphs, consistently relevant, have been well structured, using appropriate technical terminology. There may be few, if any, errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar.

The examiner also offers the following note:

Candidates should be given credit for their knowledge and understanding, illustrated through case study material, in any of these areas; there is no requirement that they should all be covered equally. Examiners should also be prepared to allow points, examples and arguments that have not been considered if they are relevant and justified.