AS Essay

We will discuss this question in class and you will tackle the question in a week’s time for homework.

“Media production is dominated by global companies” What are the implications of this statement for the film industry?

(Aim for 750 words – in the exam you will have 45 minutes)



Discuss the background of the world film industry. Which place is the most powerful film industry in the world? How many institutions dominate the industry? Describe some of these companies – what types of company are they? Give a little bit of background about The Walt Disney Company and identify that you will be primarily focusing on this institution. Now return to the question, what is this essay going to explore: Are American conglomerates damaging for the film industry? What are the consequences of their ability to saturate the advertising, dominate multiplexes etc? Can independent film survive?

Disney domination

  1. Vertical and horizontal integration – explain what these are and give examples of why this gives Disney such an advantage. For example, why is owning ABC of benefit for Disney when they are marketing a film? Or what are the consequences of Disney buying successful film institutions such as Marvel and Pixar? Why is so useful for Disney to be able to control all aspects of film production, marketing and distribution?
  2. Globalisation – describe what globalisation is and consider how the USA has been able to exert cultural imperialism over the rest of the world through Hollywood. In particular, you should consider the idea of Disneyfication – why is Disney’s dominance damaging for other cultures but also children in general?
  3. Decline in diversity – what genres of film are conglomerates such as Disney creating? Can they be considered varied? Are a variety of audiences gratified by these films? Are films by Disney are the films made by other conglomerate companies creative? Can commercial film really be considered an art form?
  4. Dumbing down – do Disney make films that are challenging for audiences or do the films largely stick to tried and tested money making formulas? Remember to consider the quote by the Disney CEO Michael Eisner – We have no obligation to make history. We have no obligation to make art. We have no obligation to make a statement. To make money is our only objective. - Michael EisnerIs this true today? Are Disney films all about making money?

The consequences for independent film

  1. Are there any examples of successful independent film institutions?
  2. What are the challenges facing indie film?
  3. What is the situation with the British film industry? Consider the example of Aardman Animation, a British success story. Who distributes their films – why can’t they do it?
  4. Why are so many other indie film makers struggling?
  5. Why has the internet helped the indie film industry?


How do you envisage the future of film? Will conglomerates continue to dominate or might there be a renaissance of indie film? Are companies such as the Walt Disney Company crushing creativity and diversity or is it possible for companies such as Disney, 20th Century Fox and Universal Studios to create challenging film in addition to more commercial film? How do you personally consume film – do you watch indie film on Vimeo for example? Or perhaps stream films on Netflix? Do you attend art house or multiplex cinemas?

Further reading:







AS TV drama essay #1 – gender

The format of the paper is always the same (see below), the only difference is that the representational group and TV drama will change. It is usually expected that you will spend 30 minutes watching and making notes and then 30-45 minutes writing your answer which leaves 45-60 minutes for the audience and institutions question. Personally, I would aim for 40 minutes writing the representation answer which leaves you 50 minutes for the audiences and institutions question.

Section A: Textual Analysis and Representation (Unseen moving image extract)

You will be allowed two minutes to read the question for Section A before the extract is screened.

• The extract will be screened four times.

• First screening: watch the extract; no notes are to be made this time.

• Second screening: watch the extract and make notes. • There will be a brief break for note-making.

• Third and fourth screening: watch the extract and make notes.

• Your notes for Section A are to be written in the answer booklet provided and must be handed in at the end of the examination. Rule a diagonal line through your notes afterwards. Extract: The Killing Episode 1, Series 1  Extract length: 5 minutes max.

Timing of extract: First 5 minutes of Episode 1. Answer the question below, with detailed reference to specific examples from the extract only.

1 Discuss the ways in which the extract constructs representations of gender using the following: • Camera shots, angles, movement and composition • Editing • Sound • Mise-en-scene [50]

AS: Pixar resources

In today’s lesson we will be exploring Pixar’s relationship with Disney. Here are some of the resources that I will be using in the upcoming lessons:



Disney-Pixar relationship dynamics

Distribution- Disney Pixar Merchandise


PIXAR pixar_timeline synergy and convergence

Technology 1

Don’t forget that your essay is due on Wednesday. Try not to spend more than one hour on this because in the exam you will only have 45 minutes.

AS Audiences and Institutions H/W

In class we have begun to explore some of the issues concerning Disney and its status as a conglomerate. A conglomerate can be defined as:

A large corporation formed by the merging of separate and diverse institutions.

For your case study, explore the institutions involved with the production, distribution and marketing of the film.

For example, Aladdin (1992) was produced by Walt Disney Pictures and distributed by Buena Vista and Walt Disney Home Pictures. Thus, almost the entire film was delivered in house thanks to vertical integration. Therefore, for this research I would find out how Buena Vista and Walt Disney started and why. What do the institutions deal with? How have they developed through the years. Who are their competitors?

AS coursework class: homework

You have two more lessons to complete the shooting and editing of your practice shots. Once edited, we will watch the shots in class and analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the shots and editing.

For homework, I would like you to write a formal evaluation of your work covering the following things:

  1. Describe any shots which you are particularly pleased with. Why do these shots work well? Consider the construction of the mise en scene – shot type, framing, camera movement, lighting and setting
  2. Describe any shots which you are particularly unhappy with. Why do these shots not work well? Consider the construction of the mise en scene – shot type, framing, camera movement, lighting and setting

Here is an example:

Perhaps the most successful shot of the practice task is the establishing shot of the hall. Whilst the setting was not perfect because the lighting in the hall was dim and there was a lack of natural light from the windows, we overcame this by increasing the exposure on the Canon 60. We increased the aperture to f/2.8 and also increased the ISO from 200 to 600; it was important to try and keep the ISO to a relatively low number in order to stop the image becoming grainy. After the adjustments to the settings, it was clear that the shot was correctly exposed. Also, the focus on the subject is tack sharp; by using the zoom function we made sure that the focus was absolutely perfect. Lastly, the pan is smooth which helps create a fluid, relaxed and professional feel.