Propaganda for Patriotism
Documentary is a unique form of expression, one that aims towards a group of people, appeals to an even more specific subgroup of that people, meanwhile captures the attention of mass audiences despite the filmmakers concern of their viewing. A propaganda documentary influences viewers in a precise way that convinces them to react based on subjective content. Michael Moore’s film, Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) takes on the roots and effects of the Bush administration, the Iraq War, and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks from a liberal perspective.
Moore’s film was distributed internationally, made for the American people, but supports the left-view American view. Leni Riefenstahl’s motion picture Triumph of the Will (1935) was exposed to Nazi Germany, appealed to join young well-able men to join the Nazi army, and ultimately fed the idolization of Adolf Hitler. Moore and Riefenstahl have incredibly divergent party allegiances, these documentary filmmakers use opposing cinematic strategies to appeal to the individual citizen’s best interests, but ultimately ignite a sense of patriotism in their citizens.
Commonly characterized as the sophisticated and intellectual film genre, the informative undertone of documentary filmmaking–no matter how artistically decorated–should raise suspicions as to why this specific documentary has been made. Leni Riefenstahl was commissioned by the Nazi Germany government to create Triumph of the Will during a time where Nazi leaders were concerned for the public image of Nazism and Adolf Hitler. The film was intended to show Adolf Hitler as a heroic figure and savior to Germany during this time period. Triumph of the Will was deemed a commercial production to distance the Nazi party’s involvement in the project, the Nuremberg rally was used to project an invincible Nazi government and military to deject their enemies and ignite supporters of Nazism.
Riefenstahl refrained from common documentary contrasting to explicitly show more and more shots of the flourishing Nazi Germany, in particular during the annual Nuremberg rally in 1934, instead she built powerful image upon powerful image. This film, being a government sponsored film in support of the present regime, did not seek to provoke empathy as do some documentaries, Hitler and the Nazi soldiers were portrayed to be flawless characters. Everything about this films production and execution centers around power and wealth. The streams of crowds, affluent city, Christian church, multiple cameras in rally, etc. This film had a singular message, which was for everyone to know the wealth, power, and success of Nazi Germany, it was a vision of what every German citizen should make of the Nazi regime.
The film techniques such as tracking shots, low angle shots, and aerial shots used were not unique to cinema at the time but the film’s complex production and use of scope uniquely reflected the unyielding superiority of Nazi’s agenda for power and wealth. The Nuremberg Rally was filmed with numerous cameras planted throughout the parade, emphasizing the scope of massively well-organized crowds of either soldiers or supporters. This film is indulgent in order and mass, and its excessive budget was a reflection of Nazi Germany’s flourishing economy.
In film critic and theoretician Bill Nichols’ classic text, “Introduction to Documentary” (2001), Nichols would categorize Triumph of the Will documentary mode to be observational within his establishment of six different types of documentary modes. Observational documentary is aimed towards depicting reality as it is, or what the filmmaker wants to portray as everyday life reality. The mode revolves around the fact that the filmmaker is not intrusive on the subjects, however Riefenstahl presents this documentary as an observational documentary, but in reality much of the film was curated. The lack of narration supported the Nazi party’s goal to distance their direct touch on the filmmaking process in order for it to appear to be a more legitimate representation of them. This detachment of filmmaker and film allowed the viewers to feel less instructed, but more able to develop their own conclusions on the Nazi regime based on what they saw. As mentioned prior, Nazis were not in the best place during the time this film was made, a handful of their leaders were assassinated and the concentration camps were just being developed. The lack of expository elements allowed the Nazi’s to represent themselves in a better light without context as to what is actually going on within the party.
This serves as true in the sense that Riefenstahl did obtain her footage in the direct cinema style of filmmaking, despite claiming the film was cinema verite. She didn’t incorporate narration of the images she was recording, the distinction between diegetic and nondiegetic parade music is foggy. The shots of Hitler’s arrival to Nuremberg, the city’s famous annual rally, and the prospering infrastructure of Nazi Germany seem to be conveniently acquired with a simple camera present. In reality, these scenes were embellished as much as Riefenstahl could manage, for example the seemingly invigorating moment Hitler arrived off the plane was actually a moment curated for the film. In Triumph of the Will, patriotism and nationalism was developed in its viewers through an observational lense that anonymously presented the magnitude of control the Nazi regime had, making any of the wavering or untrustworthy German army members feel threatened by the numbers and fierce leadership. The lack of self reflexivity of the filmmaker, legitimizes the visuals of Nazi Germany and the power and order they seemed to have possessed amongst their people. The indirect address of Riefenstahl’s subjects and prolonged takes lead the audience to join her as the “fly on the wall.”
Another political propaganda film not directly hailed for its advanced cinematic elements but the complexity in which cinema was used to document is Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11. The film is the highest grossing documentary of all time, Moore delves into the early years of the Bush Administration and the US government’s suspicious behaviors within the War on Terror and rationalizations of the Iraq War. Triumph of the Will was a film generated in the midst of hope that the Nazi regime would continue to flourish into the future and it was commissioned by the government in support of the regime. In contrast to Fahrenheit 9/11, where Moore is speaking against his government and wants the audience to reflect on past events in question to how power and wealth was being played out. However, Moore is still engaging in film propaganda and the criticism lies in the favor of the left-view politics and parties, but isn’t explicitly trying to empower us but rather inform us.
It is important to refer to Bill Nichol’s establishment of documentary modes to understand how these films differ in execution and impact. Michael Moore engages in a performative mode in his film, which combines numerous different filmmaking styles and modes to best nourish the subject matter and provoke a conclusive and relatively emotional reaction to what the viewer is seeing. Fahrenheit 9/11 contains first-hand accounts of politicians, citizens, victims, and Moore himself in relation to the political and historical problems of the US government. The emphasis on personal experience is pivotal to a performative documentary, in comparison to Triumph of the Will, where citizen individuality was not celebrated yet still attracted patriotism and nationalism. While this documentary is performative, it includes reflexivity and expository choices. Moore’s subjective, personal understandings of what is happening in the grand scale of American politics is a powerful tool for viewers to engage in postmodernism rhetoric on what is really happening in America, without the in depth logistical context.
The use of compilation is rampant in this Fahrenheit 9/11, Moore has derived archived footage of key moments in US government decision making and utilized it for evidence and ironic punch lines. As in expository documentary, Moore enlists himself as the film’s “Voice of God,” being the authority narrator, navigating the audience members throughout the film, another element in which the viewer hands their trust to him, Moore’s famous approach to simplifying his rhetoric is with humor and sarcasm, most often towards the country’s elites, but nonetheless is it taken as a trustworthy voice to left-wing supporters. The editing revolves around the verbal continuity of Moore’s “storytelling” and builds the viewer’s investment in a resolution to the recent corruption in the presidential administration.
Reflexivity is also a present mode in the film, Moore is frequently in front of the camera demonstrating his own investigative nature in find the missing parts of his knowledge and conclusion to the film’s subjects, meanwhile taking us on a journey that will ultimately end the film. The film is not reflexive in the sense that Moore demonstrates the organization of the production, but we follow him as he creates the film’s footage.
In conclusion, both films are propaganda films, but they are using the opposite cinematic techniques to invoke an ultimate sentiment of invigorated patriotism towards the filmmaker’s favored political party leaving the individual (in the party’s favor) a more fierce and polarized citizen. One film is looking to expand the government’s longevity, and reflect this in the film’s complex production, hoping solidify the party’s advancement. The other film criticizes a government administration’s actions, weakening their front, analyzing the past.
Gender Roles Resistance and Response in Thelma Louise
Ridley Scott’s progressive 1991 road movie, Thelma & Louise, shines an accusatory spotlight on female oppression. Regrettably not left behind in the ’90s along with frosted blue eyeshadow, this maltreatment is unfortunately still very much present in today’s society. By highlighting repressive gender roles and the lead characters’ ultimately futile efforts to resist them, the revolutionary film launched a nationwide conversation, and spurred a cult following of women feeling seen for the first time in their lives.
The film opens with a subtle, but very symbolic shot. Set to haunting rock music, a black and white view of a valley pans to a dirt road leading directly to a majestic mountain on the horizon with wide-open skies. As the camera cranes up, the image transitions to full, vivid color. The shot freezes and then darkens over into black. This simple opening foreshadows everything that is to come: a bleak outset, a journey toward freedom, and the short-lived actualization of that wondrous freedom before it all comes crashing down to a devastating end. Without necessarily realizing it, the viewer already knows all they’ll need to – an attempt to break free will inevitably end in disaster.
The audience is then introduced to Louise (Susan Sarandon) and Thelma (Geena Davis), and their respective lives of routine and domesticity. Louise works in a diner, subservient to an endless influx of customers. Thelma, who Louise teasingly refers to as “”little housewife””, is stuck in a submissive role under a controlling husband. The spaces they inhabit are very telling. Louise wears a uniform and operates in a cramped, loud environment. All day long she offers choices to everyone else, while she herself has no choice in anything. Her surroundings reflect how she feels stifled by society, holding no control over her own life. Thelma is a mess living in mess. Her apartment is small, dark, and chaotic. Her hair isn’t done, she isn’t dressed, and there’s a feeling of entrapment due to the cacophony of noise resulting from the TV playing, the phone ringing, and her yelling to get the attention of husband Darryl (Christopher McDonald). The clippings of dream kitchens she has hung on the wall show her yearning for a different life, a better life. Louise’s kitchen, on the other hand, is shown to be the total opposite of Thelma’s with the sink housing only one dirty cup to be washed. The simple, spotless space feels cold with no sign of life or living.
The women start out occupying pretty traditional gender roles for the movie’s early 1990s setting. The ’80s had seen a real rise in acceptance toward women in the workplace – the percentage of working women had reached 71% by 1985 (Guilder) – but it hadn’t yet become fully commonplace in the minds of all Americans. Chauvinistic Darryl stands as the perfect example of the resistance to the women’s liberation movement. He cruelly belittles his wife by waving his title of regional manager over her, in a sense asserting she has no power (over him, or otherwise) because she doesn’t hold a “”respect-worthy”” position in society. When Thelma hesitates to ask Darryl for permission to go on a girl’s trip, Louise sums up the troubling dynamic perfectly when she accusatorially asks Thelma if he is her husband or father. Darryl sees his wife as inferior rather than as an equal partner, and by so strongly enforcing his views, he keeps her from reaching to achieve her full potential.
Less overt is Louise’s imprisonment in the gender framework, but it’s just as present. She goes through life with a hard outer shell, which we learn later on is a protective mechanism adopted in response to a traumatic experience from her past. She keeps walls up because every time she lets them down a little, she (or someone close to her) gets burned. On the phone with physically and emotionally absent boyfriend Jimmy (Michael Madsen), she asks if he loves her, and, sensing hesitation on the other end, immediately regrets opening herself up. It’s better to be closed off and alone, than exposed and hurt. She chastises and blames herself for letting her guard down and having a little fun at the country bar instead of vigilantly protecting her vulnerable friend. The internalized guilt over Thelma’s almost attack drives her actions for the remainder of the movie. Louise takes this burden of self-repression on herself because she feels that’s the only way to survive in a world set up the way it is. No one messes with a strong-willed woman, so she stuffs her desires and emotions down to continue to portray and inhabit this cold exterior.
The women decide to head out on the open road for a short retreat from their stifling realities, but it ends up leading them somewhere they could never have imagined. The road movie is a central American narrative structure revolving around freedom in which the characters’ physical journey is paralleled by a spiritual journey. As utilized in other iconic cult films such as Two-Lane Blacktop and Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, the format can easily lend itself to a critique of American society. The open road is a space representative of unlimited potential, the exact opposite of the spaces Thelma and Louise occupied at home. As the women take to the road to physically run from their past lives, destructive significant others, and the law hot on their trail, they establish a metaphysical destination of freedom, and decide to follow the path wherever it may take them.
In their in-depth book, Cult Cinema: An Introduction, Ernest Mathijs and Jamie Sexton dive into the theme of violence in cult films. They start generally by explaining that many cult films use instances of violence to oppose mainstream modes of representation. Diving deeper, they discuss how in classical Hollywood cult films, it’s typical to have violence associated with “”frontier liminality””, or the character’s inability to cross the frontier marking the edge of civilization. Unable to function in civilization or in wilderness, the “”frontier hero”” finds himself stuck in limbo. This conflict sets the stage for violence. Mathijs and Sexton go on to specify that adventures and westerns are the genres that most often lend themselves to this type of story, as their entire narratives exist in this “”frontier zone, where violence becomes a mode of existence rather than a functional tool”” (Violence).
Thelma & Louise fits perfectly into this explanation of violence in cult films, but the film goes one step further by adding gender into the mix. Our leading ladies made the choice to leave their lives of domesticity behind them, but find themselves stuck in limbo when they come face to face with the edge of civilization. In defending Thelma against Harlan’s rape attempt, Louise commits an irrevocable act, and the women are flung into a situation where they’re forced to come to their own defense against an unrelenting legal system. Even with a sympathetic detective leading the search for them, there’s no lawful option they can take that won’t strip them of their freedoms. They’re victims of a world that holds women down, and, by choosing not to give in, are fighting back against the oppressive patriarchy.
There’s no scene that better depicts frontier liminality than the iconic closer of Thelma & Louise. The women’s joint decision to commit suicide is in direct response to the limited set of choices they were faced with. Trapped and cornered, they pick the only path that would keep them in control of their own destiny. Since leaving their homes in Arkansas, they had experienced their first taste of freedom, and they weren’t going to give that up by surrendering to the system of oppression that had restrained them for so long.
Driving off the cliff was the ultimate rejection of male domination, but it’s important to see the decision in context as but the conclusion in a series of acts of resistance. Throughout their journey, Thelma and Louise gradually shed their feminine image in a subversion of restrictive gender norms. Gone are the flowy, printed outfits and piles of accessories, as distressed tank tops and denim jeans become the new uniform for these accidental fugitives. Literally tossing the lipstick out of the car, the women trade makeup and curled hair for dirty faces and messy buns. They’re no longer living their lives for anyone but themselves, and their outward metamorphosis is reflective of this shift.
In a cool reversal, Thelma, once a prisoner in her home, becomes the cause for Darryl’s turn at feeling powerless in his own space. The FBI moves in and converts his house into the base of operations in the search for his wanted wife, and he finally feels what it’s like to have no control. His football game is out-voted and all he can do is sulk in the corner. On the phone, Thelma calls him out and puts him in his place as her husband, not father. He’s caught off guard when he realizes he’s lost his hold over her now that she has asserted herself, and he reverts to blaming Louise for empowering (and therefore perverting) his once-subservient wife. On the contrary, Louise led the way for Thelma to take the reins back in her life, and this takedown of Darryl is just one more way in which they set themselves free of their past and took another step forward toward independence.
In a strong push back against male oppression, the women take down two men who attempted to forcefully assert their dominance. Multiple times on the trip, they encounter a certain truck driver who doubles as the human embodiment of toxic masculinity. After ignoring him didn’t work, they muster up their newfound boldness and confront him. They quickly and masterfully turn the dynamic around, transferring the feelings of vulnerability and helplessness onto him, before wrapping up the interaction by blowing up his oil tanker. When the friends get pulled over for speeding, instead of giving in to the lawman, they kick into survival mode and overpower him. The state trooper had started out stern and tough, but is reduced to a crying, shaking mess the moment Thelma pulls a gun on him. The women take his gun, ammo, and sunglasses as they lead him into his own trunk with words of advice to be sweet to his wife so she doesn’t turn out like they did. By stripping a truck driver of his truck and a state trooper of his gun, they emasculated two men who never expected to have their dominance checked. It’s a powerful thing for the female audience to see women pushing back against the men who once stood over them, in effect flipping the script and using these men to get to a place where they are no longer dependent on men.
In a 2016 reunion interview in celebration of the film’s 25th anniversary, lead actresses Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis discussed the reaction at the time of the movie’s release. Neither of them had expected any sort of big return, so when the film was met with such an immediate and massive response, they were shocked. Davis incredulously exclaimed, “”We were on the cover of Time Magazine in, like, 5 seconds!”” (Davis). Pieces like the one in Time tried to dissect why the movie was making such a splash, but the answer was deceptively simple: the audience found the characters relatable. Thelma and Louise were two ordinary women dealing with the same problems all women go through, so it was exhilarating watching them respond in ways one could never get away with in real life. The movie is so much more than a female take on a buddy film; it’s a story of female empowerment operating on the “”rules of male-escapist fantasy”” (Cult Now). Thelma and Louise were the strong, liberated role models audiences had long been waiting for.
With such an encouraging reception, it seemed in all likelihood a shift toward gender equality in the entertainment industry would naturally follow. It’s clear from recent headlines, however, that that never occurred. The film was able to start the conversation, but that wasn’t enough to effect any real change in the straight, white, boys’ club of Hollywood. The women behind Thelma & Louise took it upon themselves to step up and continue the work their movie began.
Davis in particular was enlightened and inspired by the “”eye-opening”” reactions (Davis), and followed through by starting the “”Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media””, which researches the gender depiction disparity present in media. With shocking statistics such as the ratio of male to female characters not changing at all since 1946 (Davis), she’s putting up a challenge to those who feel the problem is solved and behind us. To continue pushing things in the right direction, she launched her own film festival that shines a spotlight on works from women and diverse creators.
Sarandon came at the issue from a different angle when she stepped up as a leader in the recent Times Up movement, “”an initiative launched by hundreds of Hollywood women to advocate better workplace conditions and the end of sexual harassment”” (Nyren). She attended the 2018 Golden Globes with a Times Up activist to raise awareness for the cause, and, fittingly, that same night saw a Thelma & Louise reunion as the two leads co-presented an award. Their appearance was met with roaring applause from the crowd, to which Davis sarcastically quipped, “”Susan, they love that we fixed everything!”” Sarandon responded, “”Um, yeah, I don’t think we fixed quite everything actually…”” before lauding the women of Hollywood for doing their part in the fight to stand up for women everywhere (76th Golden Globe Awards).
Rounding out the trio of women at the center of Thelma & Louise, Oscar Award-winning screenwriter of the film, Callie Khouri, has also expressed her disappointment with the current state of affairs for women in film. With studios systematically rejecting female-centric projects, Khouri made the transition over to TV, which she feels is “”a world in which you have a lot more freedom in terms of telling stories with women at the center”” (Tartaglione). The first television show she created was the highly successful musical drama series, Nashville, which just so happens to center around two strong female characters.
Although it didn’t necessarily shake up the industry in the way many had hoped it would, Thelma & Louise has continued to remain relevant to today’s culture in part due to its passionate fans. This continued excitement is a hallmark of cult blockbusters, as “”excessive investment [is] disproportionate to…films’ status as throwaway products of popular culture”” (Cult Now). A “”kind of epochal film”” (Mainstream Cult Fans?), Thelma & Louise is significant in that it provided an example that inspired so many women to see themselves as worthy of standing up for at a time when that wasn’t the norm. The fact that it continues to provide this empowerment for women of the following generations now streaming the movie for the first time shows the mark of a powerful, timeless film.
Thelma & Louise is a movie that still feels fresh today, but in this case that’s not such a good thing. It’s disheartening that a depiction of women being forced into a life on the run as the only way they could experience some freedom isn’t too far from realistic. The liberal film started the long overdue conversation on gender in equality, but it’s now on us to pick up the ball and run with it. Until the day women can freely experience full autonomy without major drawbacks, the movie remains a goal; as Louise so eloquently put it, “”we don’t live in that kind of world”” (Khouri).
Cult Now. Cult Film as a Guide to Life: Fandom, Adaptation, and Identity, by I. Q. Hunter, Bloomsbury Academic, 2016.
Davis, Geena and Susan Sarandon. “”Thelma & Louise Reunion: Susan Sarandon & Geena Davis On The Film’s Legacy””. Entertainment Weekly. Entertainment Weekly. 1 May 2016. Digital.
Guilder, George. Women in the Work Force. The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 1 Sept. 1986, www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1986/09/women-in-the-work-force/304924/.
Khouri, Callie. Thelma & Louise. MGM, 1991.
Mainstream Cult Fans? Cult Cinema, by Ernest Mathijs and Jamie Sexton, Wiley, 2012, pp. 63“65.
Nyren, Erin. Emma Stone, Meryl Streep, Laura Dern to Be Accompanied by Activists at Golden Globes. Variety, Variety, 8 Jan. 2018, variety.com/2018/biz/news/celebrities-bring-activists-golden-globes-emma-watson-meryl-streep-laura-dern-1202655789/.
Tartaglione, Nancy. Callie Khouri Talks Women In TV Vs Film, ‘Nashville’ & ‘Deep City’ Project “ NATPE. Deadline, Deadline, 18 Jan. 2017, deadline.com/2017/01/callie-khouri-deep-city-women-television-nashville-natpe-1201889225/.
Violence. Cult Cinema, by Ernest Mathijs and Jamie Sexton, Wiley, 2012, pp. 189“191.
76th Golden Globe Awards. The Hollywood Reporter, 2018, www.hollywoodreporter.com/video/geena-davis-susan-sarandon-talk-gender- disparity-25-years-golden-globes-2018-1072764.
Freedom Of Speech In Film Industry
Laws concerning to limit the audio-media programming is completely impractical. Even though it will help the nations to protect its culture and to oppose the outside filmmakers and their organizations to influence the nations cultures. High output movie industries are like invasive species that will affect local industries, but it is highly impossible that it will not have any effect on the set of rules and regulations in the present period of trendsetting inventions with the ongoing modernizations in the technology.
China has a law in place that says that foreign films need to feature China and Chinese artists to be released in China which is a huge market. It seems practical why nations have put restrictions on the number of movies and motion pictures being distributed.
By doing is it will assist local film producers to gain market for their films and will give market to the nations Celebs. Additionally, it will help protect the original culture of the country and will narrow the impact of outside movies. In Cuba, there is a complete shutdown of outside media, but people have found a way to smuggle in hard drives into the country with the latest movies and TV shows. Some radio or televisions broadcastings can be taken into consideration like the content which they are displaying will be proper for that particular nation but for others that might be inconsiderate as everyone from that nation will be hearing or watching that content which considers teenagers and adults and while growing up they may make wrong choices by what the watch on the televisions or heard from the radio. The expansion of online media, in my opinion, will not affect local creators as it involves jumping through more hoops to get to the content. The law to limit the audio-visual programming as of now is critical.
As in the present time of technology and invention it is difficult to put in the efforts to control people from the country from using internet to watch the videos or shows which are being restricted, internet is of great use to the individuals to break these laws. Different kinds of softwares are being used to play around with the VPNs or Proxy Servers which gives choices to the citizens to remove the obstructions of what they can or cannot watch. Examples of VPNs being used is that a lot of time there is an illegal download of movies, songs or any type of digital media and that will make it exponentially harder to follow and track. Because of this the movies which are on restrictions or are banned by the government are also being viewed. Companies also have a list of boycotted IP addresses to which they have restricted their employees to go or search for. But due the emerging technology they can also be easily avoided with the use of VPNs, as it will cover the real IP with a virtual IP that is being used in the other part of the world. One Example of it is that you can mask your IP address to hide your location history when you are using social media applications where they track your accurate locations, by doing so the IP address will not show the current location but ii will allow to use a location where you are not present. The use of proxy servers is so widespread that there is no stopping for them, they are hard to trace and extremely hard to block.
However, a free exchange of ideas is important since competition brings about improvement. Laws and restrictions being applied will not intimidate people in todays upcoming tech savvy world to stop the use of the modern technology. As it is completely out of control to stop an individual from watching or hearing to the broadcasting being made it will be great if they are being taught of what is good and bad for playing a short video before movies to let them know what content is going to be displayed on the screen. An example how the movies have the ratings of PG-13 or R where you can distinguish of whether it is a family movie or an adult movie. Doing this will help the government to let their citizens distinguish between which content is appropriate for them and which is not.
Censorship Laws and Cultural Norms
The 1960r’s film, Psycho challenged censorship laws and cultural norms at the time of its release. Movies and film influence the perceptions and ideas of the mass culture, especially in America by portraying underlying attitudes and beliefs that the culture holds. Because of this, film has made itself an integral component of the culture by influencing it with the underlying themes which are already present but are often unspoken.
While censorship was stricter in the past, the idea of censoring ideas and thoughts has and always will affect the society in which it takes place. While film has always held an important part in American culture, current trends in censorship have greatly changed the way in which films are produced and what their content really is.
Pushing Censorship to Tell a Story
Alfred Hitchcock was a respected director from the 1920r’s into the late 50r’s with many intricate films with large budgets such as Notorious in 1946 and Vertigo in 1958. His films were known for their stunning visuals and ingenious psychological plots. Therefore, Psycho came as such a shock in 1960 (Absolute Crime).
In Hitchcockr’s film, Psycho, there was a blatant push against censorship which was more of a statement to what censorship was becoming more than it was about having such content in his film. Hitchcock wanted to push limits and continue to pave the way for freedom of expression in film which was pointedly stifled at the time. We often see this when it comes to any expression which goes against the views of the general public or even more, the views of the government. Psycho was daring for its day, almost a joke from Hitchcock as he did everything which wasnt allowed or would be seen as obscene (Greenbaum).
This sentiment from Hitchcock can be seen again in an interview he gave BBC Show Monitor in July 1964 where he talks about the film being taken too seriously and, in his eyes, it was rather amusing. The film was meant to be crazy and absurd, shocking but to the point of amusement for the audience (Brooks).
Hitchcock was able to push aside all these restrictions with his masterpiece of misdirection, horror and ironic humor.
This film provided many risque ideas as well as imagery which would have been very shocking for the time in which it was produced. The lead actress, Marion, is seen in lingerie as well as having a naked body double for her shower scene, although it is blurry, so no real nudity is seen. There is also blood on Marion as well as in the shower, but since the film is in black and white, it is not particularly gruesome (Psycho, Hitchcock).
Transvestitism is also something which this film appeared to show through the antagonist, Norman, dressing up as his mother to kill his victims. While his dressing as his mother appears to me more of an illusion towards his dissociative identity disorder rather than transvestitism or being transgender, this is another key aspect of the film which was toeing the line in film production for its time as this was still seen as ?unacceptable in society.
Psycho was instrumental in pushing boundaries in film simply by being able to get past the censors for its time while still being full of provocative and risque content. The opening scene in which you see a shirtless man and lingerie clad woman in a bed was a definite test of the censorship regulations at the time. It took what had previously been only suggestive sexual undercurrents and made them absolutely upfront within seconds of the film beginning. This pushed the narrative on sexuality in films to come (Robb). Overall, Psycho was able to capture almost all the integral aspects of slasher films into one and push them without getting the film banned entirely.
The claim of Psychor’s ability to capture the integral aspects of a slasher film is based somewhat on the fact that Psycho holds the title as the probable first slasher film to be produced, giving it the automatic advantage of setting the stage for what is known today at the hallmarks of a good slasher film. In other words, Psycho would have to capture the important aspects of a slasher film as it was creating the genre by its existence.
Some of the hallmarks or traits of a slasher film are the type of killer as well as the violence. The killer is usually a man whose identity is concealed by a mask or costume which prevents the audience from seeing who he is until the culmination of the film. This is seen in Psycho through the hiding of Norman as the killer until the final scene. The violence is usually bloody it excess, often the killer hunts down and kills his victims with a knife or other sharp tool. Again, Psycho contained this trait almost exactly. Norman kills his victim with a knife, although there is no chase scene (Harris).
Another integral aspect of most slasher films is the strong, leading heroine. Although slashers are often criticized for being misogynistic, they’re one of the few film genres that primarily feature strong, independent female leads. Psycho captured this through having Marion Crane as a strong lead character. The biggest way in which slasher films have changed this aspect has been by keeping the heroine or the “final girl” until the end of the film so that she can confront the killer (Harris).
When Psycho was in the works, Alfred Hitchcock sent the script for Psycho to the MPAA but was required to remove profanity as well as tone back the implied incestuous relationship between the characters of Norman and his mother. Twenty or even ten years earlier, there is no way the MPAA would have allowed Hitchcock to commence production, but it was now the 1960s and the mindset of Production Code officials had shifted along with the cultural changes happening around them (Howell.) This shows the advancement and change in the film industry based off time alone, which changes peopler’s views as to what is deemed acceptable.
The change in societal ideals can be seen in Psychor’s rating. When the film was first released, it would have received a rating of R in accordance to MPAA guidelines. Today, the film hardly holds more than a PG rating as there a far more violent and grotesque films which are produced (Deseret News).
In 1968, the Motion Picture Association of America set guidelines and rules for rating films. While these were not enforced by law, most public theaters would not show films without a rating. Ratings for films are almost an alternative for censorship in modern films because if something is to violent or explicit in a film, it will simply receive a higher rating before being shown in the theaters rather than being banned all together. These ratings provide a way for children and those who do not want to be exposed to certain content, to avoid said content and rather choose something which has been rated a ?safe or ?appropriate. Both of the changes within the MPAA influenced the remake of Psycho almost forty years later.
Pushing Censorship to Get more Viewers
In 1998, Psycho was remade by Gus Van Sant. This remake follows the original film quite closely when it comes to identical scenes and dialogue. While this 1998 remake follows the original in many aspects, the change in culture and censorship in the thirty-eight-year difference is visible. One of the biggest differences is in the way in which the famous shower scene is done. The original film does not show nudity outside of the form of a naked person through the steam, but the remake shows nudity. This shows the progressive changes which the film industry had undergone through the year. This is also characterized by the use of color during the shower scene which makes it more graphic and the blood more realistic (Psycho, Van Sant).
The 1998 remake of the film stayed close to the storyline of the original while still pushing the censorship limits for its time by making scenes racier as well as more graphic. The 1960r’s Psycho, while it did show a woman in lingerie, did not show excessive nudity or violence because this was not characteristic of the time.
What has been the focus of censorship through the years has changed dramatically in many ways, especially in the United States. When film was first becoming a thing, the emphasis seemed to be primarily on censoring anything which was visually explicit, be it violence or sexual. There has been a cultural shift towards acceptance of the human body and sexuality on-screen which is in stark contrast to the years past in which it would have been obscene to even have a somewhat unclad person in a film. While the total prohibition and censorship of the human body is extreme, current films often exploit their ability to have these things on-screen and as a result, it almost comes off as degrading and offensive most often to women as they are so sexualized in film. Also, in the early day of film there were strict regulation on the voicing of opinions or making of jokes about figures in power, usually political figures or the church.
This is the idea that censorship, which puts restrictions on what can said, written, or put into film, puts a damper on peopler’s ability to express their thoughts and ideas and therefore, restricts their freedom of speech and expression. In Hitchcockr’s film, Psycho, there was a blatant push against censorship which was more of a statement to what censorship was becoming more than it was about having such content in his film. Hitchcock wanted to push limits and continue to pave the way for freedom of expression in film which was pointedly stifled at the time. We often see this when it comes to any expression which goes against the views of the general public or even more, the views of the government.
Things which are not politically correct or go against societal norms are often discouraged. This is seen through the production of movies which are obscene or violent which are allowed or even encouraged to be shown in theaters while movies which hold political, moral, or religious ideas in the forefront are often passed over. This shift in censorship trends shows how far society has come since the days in which Psycho hit the screens. While it may seem very tame in todayr’s ideals of what is extreme or risque in film, Psycho really created a sensation and stir which would be almost impossible to replicate in American society today because of the change in societal and moral ideals. Psychor’s pushing of boundaries and rules simultaneously pushed the next generation and the generation after to continue changing the narrative around film as an expression of ideas and art and changed American film forever.
Film and Communism
The Cold War, a period mostly remembered for the constant threat of an arms race, nuclear inhalation, hysteria, quasi-wars, diplomatic stalemates, and the seemingly never ending fear of communism. Spanning nearly half of the twentieth century, 1946 to 1991, the Cold War has changed the way of life for everyone. Starting from the rise of the Bolsheviks and the USSR’s hold of Eastern Europe, the Cold War had impacted American life to a great extent.
Though mentions of diplomatic policies’ influence on the perception and beliefs of American life have been widely written and talked about, no such conversation exists for domestic media’s influence. One forum of media that had taken America by storm in the early twentieth century was film. Though rarely talked about, film had an influence on peoples’ thoughts during the cold war and also can be seen as a reflection on public opinion during the time. However, to what extent the films of the 1950’s and early 1960’s reflected and influenced the opinions of the American public is a question rarely asked and or answered; and in this paper this is the question that is to be explored.
One of the most remembered and recounted events of the Cold War, from the American view, is the Communist hysteria that swept the nation. When one thinks of the Cold War, the infamous communist hysteria and McCarthy trials are soon to follow. Since the Bolsheviks took control of Russia and formed the USSR, communist fear was on the rise in the US. The First Red Scare immediately followed the fall of Czar Russian era and the end of the First World War. The scare consisted mostly of anti-immigration sentimentals towards Southern and Eastern European immigrants. The fear of communism eventually led to the passage of the Johnson-Reed Act of 1924, which lowered the influx of immigrants. By the end of the Second World War, this fear intensified. The idea of communists among regular citizens started to go widely out of control and this growing fear was further intensified by senator Joseph McCarthy.
Though the film and entertainment industry was targeted by McCarthy, they themselves wanted to distance themselves from communism. Film was a new form of popular entertainment and art in the early twentieth century. Due to this there was a huge demand for films and movies from the public. The demand created large amounts of revenue and created very strong capitalist industry in its purest sense. The film producers and companies had total control of what they made and whatever they made, made money. Naturally, film producers and executives were opposed to communist philosophy. Eight major studios controlled over 90 percent of the films made and distributed in the United States. The executiveswere hostile to communism, owing to political conviction and economic self-interest, not because they felt beholden to officialdom. Men like Louis B. Mayer at MGM and Joseph Schenck at Twentieth Century-Fox instinctively equated patriotism with capitalism (Shaw & Youngblood., Cinematic Cold War : The American and Soviet Struggle for Hearts and Minds , 2010) This act of a pro American view in films was further enhanced by the increasing government surveillance of the film industry, due to the fact the film was seen as a possible propaganda tool for communists. Then FBI Director, Hoover, testified in front of the HUAC in reference to the film industry, the entire industry faces serious embarrassment because it could become a springboard for communist activities. Communist activities in Hollywood is effective and is furthered by communists and sympathizers using the prestige of prominent persons to serve, often unwittingly, the communists cause. The party is content and highly pleased if it is possible to have inserted in a picture a line, a scene, a sequence, conveying the communist lesson, and more particularly, if they can keep out anti-communist lessons (Hoover, 1947). Thus complied with self-interest, preservation, and fear more pro-American and anticommunist features were created in an attempt to sway the American people.
Following the end of World War II, a new ideological dichotomy engulfed the entire world. The emergence of the Cold War could be seen at every corner of the globe, and also every facet of American life. Anti-communism became a national ideology, and for many, an obsession. In the early years of the Cold War paranoia reigned supreme. Men like Joseph McCarthy initiated witch hunts in order to root out the communist threat that had supposedly embedded themselves in American society. Any semblance of a connection to communism, no matter the circumstances, essentially doomed you in front of the eyes of the House Un-American Activities Committee. The greatest fear was that communists infiltrated American institutions. One institution that drew much attention, especially in the late 1940s and early 1950s, was Hollywood. J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI at the time, testified in front of the HUAC in regards to Hollywood’s communist problem. The Communists have developed one of the greatest propaganda machines the world has ever known. They have been able to penetrate and infiltrate many respectable and reputable public opinion mediums Communist activity in Hollywood is effective and is furthered by Communists and sympathizers using the prestige of prominent persons to serve, often unwittingly, the Communist cause. Oddly, this growing concern came after the most successful year Hollywood had to date. Hollywood and its influence grew, yet so did its worries. The HUAC formed the Blacklist that sought to purge the industry of communists and their sympathizers. Hollywood’s adoption of the anti-communist rhetoric was not wholly due to pressure from Washington.
Many of the decision makers in the industry saw the adoption as a necessity in order for Hollywood to survive. (A means of survival for the industry?). Following the Blacklist, anti-communist themes began to appear in films across a multitude of genres. The films varied in the prevalence of their anti-communist rhetoric. Some films were blatant propaganda films. Works like Walk East on Beacon! (1952), which J. Edgar Hoover was given a writing credit for, and Big Jim McClain (1952) blared their anti-communist sentiments. Other filmmakers, like Cecil B. Demille, sought to present their ideology in a more subtle fashion. Many different genres incorporated anti-communism into their films. The growing genre of science fiction made the public leery of science experiments. Westerns warn viewers of an encroaching threat that must be stopped. The enormous religious epics, from men like Demille, tapped into the religious aspect of the ideological difference between America and the U.S.S.R. The theme of anti-communism was apparent throughout hundreds of films following the HUAC hearings regarding communism in Hollywood, and was primarily brought about by Hollywood itself. Leading up to 1947, the HUAC was becoming increasingly concerned with the growing influence of Hollywood and cinema. Films like Mission to Moscow (1943) and Song of Russia (1944) concerned the HUAC.
The two big studios, MGM and Warner, appeared to produce pro-communist propaganda. In 1946 Hollywood saw their highest revenue yet, making around $1.7 billion with over 4 billion admissions. Seeing the steady increase in revenue, the HUAC knew that such an influential institution was a prime target for communist infiltration. This culminated in a nineday hearing to assess the communist threat in Hollywood. The Blacklist was created, and the Waldorf Statement was issued by Hollywood declaring that executives would comply with the blacklist. By 1960, the Blacklist contained over two thousand names, and ruined a multitude of careers.The film industry has tried to avoid external censorship. In 1934 The House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce looked establishing a federal censorship board. Hollywood instituted The Motion Picture Code in the 1930s as an internal form of self-censorship to appease the government and avoid external regulation. Many of the rules denounce showing evil in a positive light. I. No picture should lower the moral standards of those who see it. This is done: when evil is made to appear attractive, and good is made to appear unattractive. In accordance with the general principles laid down. No plot or theme should definitely side with evil and against good. The HUAC would bring many of these rules up years later during their inquiry into Hollywood.
The film industry had other reasons to insert anticommunist themes in their works besides government pressure. Even though 1946 was a record year for Hollywood, they still worried about their future profits. United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. ended the ownership of theaters and exclusive holding rights by the movie studios. This made studios fearful of drastic cuts in their profits. Other factors made the studios fear for their profits. Television became a mainstay with full-scale commercial broadcasting beginning in 1947, and by 1955 half of all households owned one. Television was also affected by McCarthy’s witch hunts, however. Another issue was that many European countries in 1947 began raising taxes on foreign films. England imposed a 75% customs duty on all incoming films, which lost the studios millions. With the pressures from T.V., along with increasing cost of production, increase of foreign taxes, and labor issues, Hollywood feared collapse or significant harm to their industry. In order to attract more viewers, Hollywood sought to embrace the public’s fear of the communist threat. They knew that addressing the Cold War, whether directly or in more subtle fashions, would put more people in the seats.
Exposing the public to this sort of confirmation bias would not only increase revenue, but also appease Washington at the same time. Darryl Zanuck, head of production at Twentieth CenturyFox, said If you have something worthwhile to say, dress it in glittering robes of entertainment and you will find a ready market without entertainment no propaganda film is worth a dime. Zanuck knew that the public wanted to be entertained; that is why that is why Hollywood had over four billion admittees three years later. Zanuck knew that these propaganda films would be nowhere near as effective without Hollywood’s touch. The direct propaganda films were the simplest and most blatant forms of anticommunism in the industry. Walk East on Beacon, directed by Louis de Rochemont and adapted from a Reader’s Digest article written by J. Edgar Hoover himself, was a detective film that sought to directly address Soviet subversion. It tells the story of a federal agent tracking down leaked atomic secrets and bringing light to the communist subversion. Of course this film has a very positive view of the FBI, and is trying to convey to the audience that they should trust the FBI to keep them safe from the communist subversion.
This movie is about as good as one would assume a movie in which J. Edgar Hoover has a writing credit would be. Only receiving a 33% on Rotten Tomatoes, the film is not great, but it is very apparent in its goal. Westerns became a great voice for Hollywood’s anticommunist sentiments directed at the public. John Ford was one of the most highly regarded western film directors who included his anti-communist views in his work. Ford was a very accomplished director winning seven out of twelve Academy Awards. His name was often associated with the greatest movie cowboy of all time: John Wayne. Wayne, who was brought in by the HUAC during their investigation of Hollywood and was the co-founder of the Anti-Communist Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, was a cold warrior who did his part by starring in these westerns pregnant with anti-communism. the growing defeatist attitude in the Cold War imposed on us by the Soviet [Union]’, and consequently needed to appreciate the struggle our ancestors made for the precious freedom we enjoy. Wayne starred in Big Jim McClain; Big Jim McClain, a simple film that does not try to hide its anti-communist sentiments. In the film, Wayne plays HUAC investigator who saves Hawaii from communist subversion. He worked with John Ford on eighteen films. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), being one of the Wayne and Ford collaborations, exudes the ardent anti-communist sentiments in a more nonchalant manner. In the opening scene a group of Indians are shown riding while narration plays over it.
The narrator speaks of the threat the unification of red people everywhere poses to America, and how if they are not stopped soon, they will take centuries to defeat. Anti-communism undertones were very apparent in the narration of the opening scene, but it was not wholly spelled out, leaving some connections for the audience to make. More anti-communist westerns would arise in the late 1950s and early 1960s including The Magnificent Seven (1960) and John Wayne’s directing debut, The Alamo (1960). Science Fiction was a growing genre in the 1950s and was wholly affected by anti-communism. The sci-fi movies being produced in the late 1940s and 1950s were generally B grade films that could be churned out because of low budget costs. Due to the sheer number of sci-fi movies being produced they were the perfect vessel for anti-communism, but in more subtle ways than films like Walk East on Beacon or Big Jim McClain. Films like Them! (1954) taught the public to be weary of atomic power. Them! is about ants that became mutated by atomic tests in New Mexico. This radiation exposure makes the ants giant, and they begin to wreak havoc on society; they are eventually stopped by the brave military men. The American public already feared the power of the atomic age, and this only reinforced their fear. Kids hiding under their desks during fallout drills began to fear the threat of giant mutated creatures coming for them more than they feared the actual bomb. Them! also shows the public that their military is there to protect them from this new atomic threat. Films like Them! successfully play off the fears of the unknown nature of the atomic era.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) is a prime example of science fiction making commentary on ideology. It tells the story of a small town doctor who begins to see paranoia running high in his town due to the people of the town being replaced by imposters. Just in the opening scenes one can easily see the similarities to the Red Scare, with paranoia running high and people concerned that their family or friends are communists. The main character, Dr. Miles Bennell, discovers the people of his town are being replaced by imposters that are coming from the pods found all over town. Invasion of the Body Snatchers exudes familiar characteristics that are common during the Red Scare of the 1950s, conformity, paranoia, and alienation. Conformity, as shown in the movie as accepting the pod people, was an important ideal during this time. The U.S. spoke of conformity against communism, urging citizens to report anything suspicious and to display Americanism and capitalism. Excessive conformity, as in the 1950s, was a salve to smooth over obvious conflict and turmoil Bennell’s paranoia while telling his story to others captivates the paranoia that drove the McCarthy witch-hunts and is what the government used to keep their citizens ever vigilant against communism. In the closing scene of the film Bennell’s psychiatrist, who put his story off as the ramblings of a crazy man, sees one of the aforementioned pods and calls the FBI. Like in Walk East on Beacon or Them! this affirms the public’s dependence on institutions such as the FBI and the military, and the message of if you see something call it in. Just looking at the movie poster for the movie indicates an undertone of communism.
The background is washed with red and yellow with a hand coming out as if to snatch Bennell from the foreground of the poster. Something like this is subtle, but still conveys the message. One of the most ardent anti-communists in Hollywood was Cecil B Demille. He created biblical epics such as Ben Hurr (1959) and The Ten Commandments (1956). Demille, like many directors such as John Ford, mobilized the past for political use in the present. Biblical tales were often used in not only Demille’s films but also in films like Samson and Deliliah (1949) and The Prodigal (1955) to make political statements. Many saw the Cold War as more than merely a political disagreement; they saw it in terms of religious context also. This can hardly be a coincidence. Many people, including some in Hollywood, believe that the Cold War is fundamentally a conflict between Christianity and atheism and that religion is therefore a strong weapon against Communism. Whether the pictures dealing with these three subjects are deliberate propaganda, or not, they belong to the same, easily recognizable, pattern of ideas The best propaganda, of course, is indirect, hardly noticeable. How many of us, I wonder, have not been taken in by any of it.17 Demille, being the son of a Protestant minister, he saw the importance of religion in the battle against communism. His greatest contribution to this was The Ten Commandments, the historical’ account of Moses’ exodus from Egypt. The theme of the film being whether men are to be ruled by God’s law, or whether they are to be ruled by the whims of a dictator like Ramses.
One could replace Ramses’ name with Stalin in that statement and tell someone that this was a quote from Joseph McCarthy, and they would most likely be none the wiser. Demille clearly meant for Charlton Heston’s Moses to be an allegory for America leading the rest of the world to freedom from the tyranny of the allegorical Egypt. Demille opens the film by walking on screen and asking, are men property of the state? Or are they free souls under God? This same battle continues throughout the world today. Demille’s biblical epic won six out of the seven Academy Awards it was nominated for and is now seen as a classic. Most versions shown today have edited out Demille’s questioning prelude to the film. Over time, as the Cold War cooled down, films became less subtle about their anti-communist sentiments, especially with the rise of action movies in the 1970s and 1980s. Movies like Rocky IV and Red Dawn pit America directly against the Soviets in more non-traditional settings unlike the direct propaganda movies of the 1940s and 1950s. This history of anti-communism could possibly be blamed for all of the Russian villains in modern cinema. The popularity of film only continued to rise, and with it came a rise in public influence. Whether it was direct propaganda in frankly poor movies, like in Walk East on Beacon, or more subtle themes of the times in highly revered classics, like The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, anti-communism was very apparent throughout American film and was consumed by millions of viewers.
Financing Is The Key Component
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Conclusion
Financing is the key component that determines the level on which the film is produced, because the budget determines the level on which it is shot. It is the main feature that makes the art film that targets the niche market different from the Hollywood blockbuster that aims at reaching the wide audience. Financing is critical not only for production of the movie which refers to the actual making of the media product.
It is also critical for marketing, which is the key component in distribution of the media product. It influences the actual reception of the movie, real popularity among the audience, and potential reactions of the audience and the critiques. So, financing is a complicated task that is the responsibility of executive producers. When the script for the movie is chosen, producers make everything possible to make it fit the budget, which is sometimes difficult to achieve. Because of the nobody knows, producers would have no ideas about whether the film will be successful after it released, which means that the main issue in marketing and choosing the right strategy is the thing that determines the future success or failure of the movie.
These two categories have nothing to do with the artistic value of the particular work. It is more about the box office and the revenue that investors actually receive. Thus, it is possible to state that issues connected with financing do not only influence its quality, but also allow to evaluate the commercial success of the movie. It allows to call financing and marketing the basic components that are important toward the films. Financing There are hundreds of movies that are based on the love story at late 20th centuries, Titanic, directed by James Cameron, can be called one of the most well-known romantic movies that were produced at that time and it was the film about one of the most dramatic catastrophes of the 20th century.
So, it allows to assume that there are other reasons that made Titanic popular except its narration of love story that makes the audience cry and feel compassion to the protagonists. First of all, it is crucial to understand that cinematography aims at impressing people. The effect includes audience’s visual, emotional and hearing senses. As the result, it has become the evident blockbuster because of the romantic script, well- performed actors and iconic theme music. In fact, all these components require money, which means that it is the budget that has made the movie to the high professional quality.
Furthermore, failure chance of the film would be high, since all innovations and production that made Titanic popular were expensive and everything was made without being sure that these expenses would be paid off. Thus, the main thing that was evident about financing of Titanic was that the production of the movie would be expensive. Because, Titanic is a huge ocean ship that was the technical revolution of that time and it was necessary to show the grandiosity of the construction in order to show the dramatic event. One of the objective difficulties during the production of the movie was building the ship and showing the ship wreck. Special effects that were used for this movie could be called innovative for the end of 1990s when digital graphics were not that developed as it is now. For example, the full-scale model of Titanic was constructed in the studio.
All these things required money to build and to support, which was the serious challenge for the movie’s budget. In addition, the script was also adapted to the conditions in which the movie was actually shot. It shows that it was a challenging process that required much time, attention, and professionalism from the cast. All these components of the working process required financing from the movie’s budget and it was the duty of the executive producer at that time. In order to advertising the film, participation of stars includes Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie is necessary but costly.
Horner wrote the soundtrack for Titanic that has become extremely popular and Celine Dion recorded the composition Heart Will Go On and it also became the important factor that contributed to the overall popularity of the movie (Allen, 2014). It is evident that all these people who worked for the film had to receive money for their services, even though there is no precise information about it in the public access. Investment Finding money for the production of Titanic was a challenging task for producers. 20th Century Fox studio asked for the loan that constituted almost 65 million dollars from Paramount Pictures that wanted to have the part of movie rights and to share the profit. It was the example of the co-financing deal that is rather popular in the production of movies in Hollywood (Allen, 2014).
However, Titanic had an exceptionally big box-office after it was finally released, which proved its popularity. The movie made 2 billion dollars in the end and people who were working on the production of the film could not even believe in it. In fact, it was the financial success with the production budget that was 200 million dollars (Allen, 2014). This type of investments allows to decrease potential risks if the box office of the movie would not be sufficient for covering all expenses, which means that minimizing the risk of financial failure and finding the balance between making a good movie and saving money is important to investment of one film.
Marketing Marketing is important in distribution of the movie. One of the evident examples that support this claim is the choice of the time when the movie will be shown in the cinemas. As a result, summers and Christmas holidays are considered to be the periods when people watch movies more and thus the chances for making the film popularity increases significantly (Allen, 2014). The analytics write that actions movies that have a big budget and thus have many special effects tend to become more popular during summer, since people had more free time and they were on holidays.
This principle was also applied to the post-production of Titanic (Allen, 2014). It is possible to apply the same principles to starting of DVD selling campaigns and starting the broadcast on television. It is crucial to find the time when people are not busy at work and they have the required mood to watch the movie like Titanic. For example, it is the movie for adults, which means that it is better to show it on the satellite channel or on the TV channel in the late evening. Titanic was released according to the rather traditional scheme. The official date on which people could see the movie in the cinema was after the series of preview screenings that happened before the premiere. It allowed the film producers to see the reaction of the audience on Titanic and to make the prognosis concerning the potential success of this movie and its box office. Actually, the reaction of the audience showed that the movie would be paid off almost at once. In 12 days after the release in July, the profit was more than 100 million dollars.
The expenses were paid off in one month and the film grossed over 250 million dollars (Allen, 2014). Moreover, the international marketing is also important in making the production profitable. Titanic was released in other counties and in some of them the movie has become the real blockbuster. China was among such countries, and in the end of February 1998 the box office of the film was more than 1 billion dollars (Allen, 2014). Thus, the success of the movie depends greatly on international marketing and it is crucial to target not only domestic audience, but to reach people worldwide (Allen, 2014). Almost one year after the official release in the cinemas the company decided that they would start selling video versions of Titanic.
The estimated profit from it was approximately 800 million dollars (Allen, 2014). The time was also chosen wisely, and the maximum of sales were on Christmas holidays, when people wanted to spend time at home, watching a good movie (Allen, 2014). the cable service of Titanic was two years after the cinema released and one year after the beginning of video sales. It was the optimal choice of the period during which the maximum of tapes would be sold. The rights for showing the movie were sold to Sky Box Office channel and to HBO America, which was also the part of financial pay off (Allen, 2014). Also, people had to pay for every time they watch the movie on Sky Box Office channel in April 1999. Only half a year later, in October, it became available on Sky Movies, it was the channel where people had the opportunity to watch Titanic by the subscription instead paying every time they want to watch it (Allen, 2014).
After the first wave of popularity disappeared, the company started to release DVDs with director’s cut editions and other special editions. This new perspective on the old popular movie has become the means that allowed the producers to increase the profits from video sales almost twice (Allen, 2014). Furthermore, the terrestrial premiere of Titanic in the United States was in 2000, because NBC bought the rights for showing the movie and the TV premiere was during the weekend on Thanksgiving (Allen, 2014), which leads to Titanic became popular again. All these examples show that the choice of releasing date and time is important in making the movie become successful. For instance, holidays and weekends were perfect time to watch the movie with family and friends.
As the result, the producers of the film had a good revenue from selling licenses for broadcasting Titanic and for selling DVDs with the film. Advertising and Promotion The marketing of Titanic can be called the example of marketing in the post-production and thus it is possible to apply it to more modern movies. The producers of Titanic also used advertising techniques that are often applied nowadays. Among the widest spread and popular means of promoting the movie were TV advertising, trailers, posters with the faces of the main actors and the huge ocean ship in the background (Ulin, 2013), because all these things supported the public interest of people in this film. Another important way to promote the movie and to support the public interest in it was the public interview. The leading actors Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio became extremely popular at that time, and they were the guests in different TV shows and radio programs, their interviews were printed in the magazines (Ulin, 2013), so the rising popularity of leading actors would help the film be successful. As it was already mentioned, the soundtrack of the movie has become iconic.
The composition My Heart Will Go On has become popular as the separate song. It was not always associated with the movie, but its popularity and first places in the musical charts added publicity to Titanic (Ulin, 2013). Evaluation of The Movie’s Success It is possible to state that Titanic was obviously one of the most successful movies in the history of Hollywood. It was truly popular in the end of 1990s and there was the real rush about this film. The leading actors have become the stars, teenage girls wore t-shirts with printed posters of the movie, and it was possible to hear the main soundtrack of the film on every corner. Thus, it was not strange that the overall reaction of the public media was positive. It showed the attitude of the majority of people to this movie.
Those people who did not like dramatic love stories simply did not watch it, while the others could not avoid mentioning the high professional level of the production.
On the stage of post-production, Titanic was considered by the investors to be extremely long and expensive. In fact, it is the normal part of the post-production period, when it is still impossible to understand whether the movie will become popular or not (Allen, 2014). There are no people who can predict that the movie will be certainly popular, because the film industry is full of unexpected circumstances because of nobody knows. However, movie production was on the highest professional level. Titanic has obviously become a very popular movie and it is possible to state that the finances that were used to produce this film were the key issue in making it the professional high-quality media content.
As the result, its box office was many times bigger than the initial budget and more than James Cameron’s expectation about $400 million in box office receipts worldwide (Allen, 2014). Coordination of financing, production, and marketing has become the important component of the success of Titanic. All details like the time of release, advertising and promotion, and choice of stuff have come the part of this success.
Economic impact of the new 3D technology on the worldwide movie industry
- 1 Foreword
- 2 Executive Summary
- 3 1. Introduction
- 4 2. Literature Review
- 5 2.1 Comebacks of the Studios in Past Recessions
- 6 2.2 Technological influence on Business in the past
- 7 2.3. Current issues in the industry
- 8 2.3.1 Videogames as substitution goods
- 9 2.3.2 Piracy
- 10 3. Research Methodology
- 11 3.1 Introduction
- 12 3.2 Justification of Research Perspective
- 13 3.3 Primary Data Collection
- 14 3.4 Secondary Data Collection
- 15 3.5 Conclusion of Methodology
- 16 4.1. How does 3D technology exactly work?
- 17 4.2 History of 3D Movies
- 18 4.3 SWOT Analysis
- 19 4.4 Avatar as an Example
- 20 4.5 Importance of 3d movies
- 21 4.6 The role of the IMAX group
- 22 4.7 3D technology in home cinemas
- 23 4.8 Comparison of Surveys from 2005 and 2010
- 24 4.8.2 Survey Comparison
- 25 4.9 Forecast
- 26 5. Conclusion
- 27 6. Recommendations
- 28 7. Bibliography
Writing this dissertation was a long and exhausting process which included many setbacks and failures. Nevertheless it also was fulfilling and exciting as I was driven by my passion and interest in movies and cinemas in general. I always intended to work for the movie industry one day and hold well- grounded hopes of achieving this goal in the near future. Maybe this dissertation will help to convince the studios of my passion and capabilities.
My thanks go to Mr Nick Bowen, who was an outstanding tutor and helped me through rough and inconvenient times with his competence and great sense of humour.
I also would like to thank me interviewees Mr Arwed Fischer and Mr Jan Fantl, who provided me with many important information and an inside into the industry. Without them, a big part of the report would not have reached the standard it has now.
Finally, I am very grateful for the help of my parents who made it possible for me to go to London and provided me with everything I needed in order to be successful and happy in the future. I do not want to forget to thank everybody else who supported me during this tough time and cheered me up after one of the occasional setbacks.
Recently the film studios are experiencing a boost of attendances and ticket sales despite the financial crisis. This already happened in past recessions and therefore will be analysed in this report. One reason for that economical immunity seems to be the technological development such as sound and colour in the past or 3D cinema nowadays.
Nevertheless there are some issues the industry has to deal with at the moment, e.g. piracy or substitution goods like videogames. Although 3D movies did fail continuously in the past in terms of economical success, the studios tried it again with an advanced technology and exceeded all expectations when Avatar was released. In this context factors such as rising ticket prices or the limited number of 3D capable cinemas play a big role as well in order to determine the future potential the 3D technology. A few companies already started to produce and sell 3D capable TVs which are supposed to the next economical success the movie landscape. IMAX cinemas suffered a long period of very low attendances and decreasing ticket sales until advanced 3D technology has been used to produce movies. Since then the IMAX group notes record breaking attendances and boosting profits. Two surveys have been analyzed and compared to each other. One, published in 2005 by Opinion Dynamics Corporation already showed some curious facts on 3D cinema and its likely success in the future. The second one has been generated online by the author of this report in 2010 amongst a group of people from 10 countries.
In terms of forecasting a success of 3D movies it is very hard for the studios to forecast the success of a single movie or even a whole new technology. They mostly try to find what is most appealing to the audience (unlike independent productions) and therefore have their analysts forecasting risks and returns. Nevertheless DisplaySearch 3D Display Technology conducted a forecast which is quite optimistic and expects increases in every sector of the movie industry (cinemas, home cinemas etc). The recommendations include the author’s personal opinion of how the 3D technology will influence the cinema landscape and the options studios have to market it properly. By interviewing people from the movie industry the author gathered some inside knowledge which he tried to apply to his recommendations. Therefore it is expected that the boom of 3D movies will slow down slightly but continue to strengthen again. In the long term it is expected that the new technology will have a positive impact on the movie industry.
According to Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, the upcoming 3D movie technology is "the greatest innovation to occur in the movie business in 70 years." (CNN Online, 2008) This statement shows the hope of the whole industry for more attendances and a revolution in the movie market. An increasing amount of movie studios shift their productions towards the new technology. As a result this is discussed in a rising number of TV-shows, magazines and newspapers. Despite the fact that videogames are becoming more popular and the financial credit crisis has reduced average income, going to the movies still seems to be a big part of daily life all over the world. This happens even though the whole film industry seems to be in a crisis, as will be explained below.
Initially 3D movies were produced using 2 separate projectors to produce one double image and running two separate rolls of film. Nowadays the technology is far more advanced which means that digital projectors are installed in cinemas producing sharper and steadier images. There also is a difference in production between ‘real’ movies and animated ones. Animated movies are not produced with real cameras but use computers to create and render every single shot from two angles. Live action movies on the other hand are filmed by new dual lens digital cameras that are able to capture two points of view. (BBC news, 2009)
Movie attendances in the United States decreased by 2, 6 %, falling to its lowest level since 1997, whereas revenues fell from $1,484 billion in 2004 to $1,364 billion in 2008. In the same period the amount of screens jumped from 35,993 to 39,476. To be able to show 3D movies, it is necessary to upgrade to digital screens; here the number increased from only 138 in 2004 to 4,576 in 2008, a rising trend. (Marche du film, 2009)
Linking these data leads to the conclusion that the movie industry is keen to establish and invest in a new technology in order to make going to the cinema more attractive to its customers and increase attendances in the short and long-term.
The following report analyses the current status of the movie industry and shows the likely economic impact in times of recession on the worldwide market. The industries’ main current issues and a forecast based on trends and profound market research are also examined.
2. Literature Review
This chapter summarises and evaluates the related research of what has been written about the research topic. Opinions and data from many different people, working for the movie industry or being close enough to venture a forecast, have been taken into account and evaluated objectively. The chapter also defines and explains the new 3D movie technology, its history and its characteristics from different perspectives. Furthermore it covers several models and theories and talks about reports and how to estimate their importance. This is followed by an evaluation to point out weaknesses or gaps in the literature. The final part will consist of a link to the initial research question and what the plan for proceeding is. Overall, there are 3 main questions to be covered in this chapter:
1. How did big studios fight back in past recessions?
2. How have technical developments influenced business in the past in different markets?
3. What are current issues in the industry?
It also is evident that due to the newness of the topic chosen, there are certain constraints in terms of what kind of literature is currently available. Therefore the main sources cited are websites as well as primary research.
2.1 Comebacks of the Studios in Past Recessions
After the first big Wall Street Crash in 1929, admissions rose by 58% compared to the previous year. (Entertainment times online, 2008) According to John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theatre Owners in America, this means that “In the past four decades there have been seven recession years in this country, and the box office has climbed strongly in five of those years,” (Entertainment times online, 2008) According to the Academy of Management Journal (1996), between 1936 -1950 property based resources such as long-term contracts with stars and theatres helped financial performance to stabilize. Contrary to the period of 1951-65, when knowledge- based resources such as coordination and production talent and budgets increased financial performance. (Academy of Management Journal, 1996, pp. 519-543)
Asking some of the most important and powerful people in the U.S. and UK movie industry shows that the majority believes that the current recession either is an opportunity or even a reason for rising sales. But what is the reason for that surprising success in economic downturns?
Besides new technologies, which unfortunately are not always released at the right time, the studios decide to publish more comedies and action movies, to help the audience to escape from their monetary problems. In the USA, three of the top-five movies in terms of gross profit of 2009 are comedies: "Mall Cop," "He’s Just Not That into You" and "Bride Wars". (CNN movies, 2009)
This permits us to draw the conclusion that a recession does not necessarily lead to a break-down of sales in the movie industry. But did past recessions really have no impact or even a positive impact on the movie industry?
Not everyone agrees with the theory of increasing sales in recessions though. Gerald Peary, a documentary filmmaker and critic in Boston, Massachusetts, believes that the market will be flooded with intellectually less challenging movies since they are the ones that are more likely to succeed on the audience with smaller budget. In his opinion "The dumber the movie is, sometimes, the more money it makes," which states that "Those movies are somehow both critic proof and depression proof." (CNN movies, 2009)
Another point of view is represented by Basinger, the film historian who assumes that it is still too soon to predict any trends concerning the recession and movies. She points out that recessions leads to faster changes in the movie scene. Also for her, going to the movies is not highly affected by the crisis, as it still is "[…] the cheapest and fullest way to abandon your troubles and lose yourself in a story." (CNN movies, 2009)
Even in some of the worst recessions, economy ever has experienced, the movie industry mostly has been of the few sectors that was able to maintain its position in the market or even increase admissions. This is due to peoples’ not changing consumer behaviour. Even though they got affected by economic downturns, most of them still wanted to escape from their misery for a few hours. It also is an opportunity for independent film makers to realize low-budget productions, as movie studios get more cost- conscious when their stocks fall during a crisis. Henceforth studios prefer to invest little money in innovative productions and directors hoping for a reasonable return of investment.
2.2 Technological influence on Business in the past
Around 120 years ago, films were little more than drawings that seemed to come alive with motion. Then, in 1877 Emile Reynaud had patented a machine, the ‘Praxinoscope’, which projected seemingly moving paintings onto a screen. An upgrade of his invention, the ‘Projection Praxinoscope’, which was a large-scale Praxinoscope, got patented in 1888 and was used for public projection. Reynaud started to screen his films, accompanied by music on a regular base. Yet that early atmosphere and technology were very similar to today screenings. (Kinogeschichte, 2009) Using spools to feed and take-up the extended picture band, sequences were no longer limited to short cyclic movements. This was the first and important step for commercial use which has been so essential for successful cinematography. (Exeter, 2000)
Nevertheless, there were still many issues concerning films, amongst other things the length of them or the lack of sound. To compensate this problem, it was tried to create a more realistic, narrative and psychological atmosphere using on-screen text and a pianist accompanying the film. Back in 1927, after the introduction of movies with full sound, cinema attendances jumped up from 57 million to 90 million in 1930 (Shmoop statistics, 2009) and made them even more popular. This demonstrates that introducing a revolutionary technology can lead to soaring attendances and higher box office sales for the studios. Also the lack of colour on screen was tried to be compensated to improve the movie experience. One of the first ideas was to tint the film reels but later prising companies such as ‘Technicolor’ and ‘Eastmancolor’, made it possible to use new ways of colouring and achieved the objective of a deeper and more intense atmosphere. (Inventors library)
Nowadays black/white movies disappeared almost completely from the world of movies. Although, the success of films like ‘Schindler’s List’ (Steven Spielberg, 1993) and ‘Clerks’ (Kevin Smith, 1994) shows that it is still possible to achieve commercial and critical success with monochrome. (David Parkinson 1995, pg 112)
After releasing the first full-colour, La Cucaracha (1934), coloured movies became more and more popular. In the late 1930s, the films,Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ (1937, Disney), were a huge success. Last one still is considered a milestone as it was thefirstfeature-length animated film. (Filmsite, 2007) Introducing new, revolutionary technologies and giving them the chance to go to maturity stage of the product lifecycle always has been very profitable for movie studios. Be it the implementation of sound or the introduction of colour, people loved to spend their money on being amused in cinemas.
2.3. Current issues in the industry
There are more problems and issues the movie industry has to deal with besides the current substantial crisis and recessions. These will be examined in the following sections.
2.3.1 Videogames as substitution goods
Amongst many threats for the movie industry such as the highly developed internet, DVDs and an increasing amount of home activities, one of the main problems for the movie theatres and studios is the rising and durable success of videogames.
First released in the 1980s, videogames have been designed for a significantly smaller target audience. This was attributed to the fact computers were still in the early stage of their product life cycle and thus the presence of computers in the average household was a much less common occurrence. The commercial use of computers was much more prominent during this period, than their household residential usage. Even with the introduction of platforms such as the SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) in the 1990’s, the Videogame industry was still viewed as a niche market. It was never anticipated to develop into a competitor of the movie industry as it is nowadays. Currently, the profit generated from videogames equates to that of their movie counterparts. Current trends indicate that consumers have a tendency to spend more on buying videogames as opposed to going to the movies which has been identified as a huge threat for the studios.
Just recently, in the beginning of November 2009, Activision Blizzard Inc’s released "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" and anticipated more than $660 million in sales from 11-13 million sold units by the end of 2009.
Also previous games were big hits in terms of sales as the table below shows.
Top video games sales on their first day
Grand Theft Auto IV
( Reuters, 2009) Figure 1
These data can be compared to Top Hollywood worldwide opening weekends:
Harry Potter and the
Warner Bros 2009
Pirates of the Caribbean:
At World’s End
( Reuters, 2009) Figure 2
As aforementioned and illustrated by the tables (Figure 1 & Figure 2) above, it is evident that data solidifies the trend that an increasing number of consumers are changing their consumer behaviour and purchasing videogames which they may enjoy at home. Another possibility for the rising success of videogames could be the fact of potential consumers rather staying home than spending money on transport for getting there and quite expensive snacks and drinks in the cinema.
This data backs up the trend that more and more consumers tend to shift from going to the movies to buying videogames which they can enjoy at home. Even if they are more expensive (around $50/ unit depending on the platform) the duration of playing them is far higher than only two hours. This makes them a substitution good with which the studios have to deal with now and most likely even more in the future. On the other hand this also creates new opportunities for the movie and the game industry to work together and create profits by co-operating. This is already working in terms of converting movies to videogames but also the other way around.
Another very recent issue and problem for the movie industry is the rapid spread of illegal movie copies, also known as pirate copy. In 2007, downloads of movies rose by 50 % in Germany, mostly saved as digital copies. ( Welt online, 2009) According to The Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI), the cost of motion picture piracy is significant high and an essential threat to the studios and the whole industry. The loss for the movie industry was $6, 1 billion in 2006. Taking all industries into account that are related to the movies that number would add up to $20.5 billion annually. This means that not only the studios and related companies lose money. It also means that people are losing jobs. Piracy being absent, 141,030 new jobs would have been added to the U.S. economy in 2006 (IPI, 2006) Henceforth the studios are in an on-going war with the movie pirates trying to reduce losses. The enormous impact on U.S. and worldwide economy forced the industry to consider distinct strategies to decrease or even stop piracy. Besides Ads, showing movie pirates chased by police and going to prison as for every other federal crime, the industry also adopted a hard line by suing them for compensation. This found its peak in sending four men to prison for one year and ordering them to pay $3.6 million of compensation to major film companies such as Warner Brothers, Columbia, Twentieth Century Fox, Sony BMG and EMI. (CNN Piracy, 2009) They operated a Swedish movie pirate website which has been judged of being illegal.
In total, piracy and the recession have reduced DVD sales in the UK by around 10 % and in the US by even 13 %. The problem for the studios is that DVD sales are responsible for half a title’s long-term profits and more than double the revenue than from tickets sold. (Independent Online 3D Revolution, 2010) Hence Hollywood always tries to find new ways of protecting their movies and anticipate copyright theft.
Consequently they always need new technologies which cannot be hacked but according to Arwed Fischer (Fischer, 2010), it is almost impossible to find the perfect safety. Hackers are able to break any copy protection within days or hours. In fact, this made him quit the job as resources seem to be wasted on nothing. Critics on the other hand state that the way of how to calculate losses for the movie industry is neither transparent nor comprehensible. The studios claim that each single pirate copy is the same as one loss of attendance. This is one of the reasons why mentioned losses are extraordinary high. People that just downloaded the movie and never considered going to the cinema or buying it on DVD are not included in these statistics which makes them quite subjective. On the other hand, the new 3D technology makes studios feel quite safe at the moment as it yet is impossible to pirate 3D featured movies. Hence people who want to experience this new way of cinema must go to the movies and pay for their tickets.
James Cameron also is aware of this unique selling point when he says: "You can pirate a 3D movie but you can’t pirate it in 3D, so you can’t bottle that 3D experience." (New Yorker Online, 2009) Although this is a justifiable and legitimate objection, piracy remains one of the industries’ biggest problems. Even if not each ‘pirate’ can be considered a loss of attendance and ticket sales, it remains an act of stealing. The studios spend millions of Dollars to produce profitable movies which are linked to many jobs. That should not be undermined by downloading movies instead of going to see them in the cinemas and pay the entrance fee.
3. Research Methodology
This chapter explains the approaches used to facilitate a precise and specific answer to the initial research question. In order to gather relevant and accurate information both, quantitative and qualitative data will be used. However the author’s focus will be on qualitative data collection. The potential bias of primary is quite low due to a wide range of interview partners, all from different sides. Secondary data has been gathered under same criteria in order to minimise the risk of potential bias.
Where, if possible, the author tried to look for alternative explanations and to show that he was aware of any potential bias.
3.2 Justification of Research Perspective
Every research requires distinct methods recommended for structuring research programs. In this dissertation, it has been chosen to base all outcomes and results on actual data or professional forecasts like interviews, surveys and questionnaires. Copies of them can be found in the appendix. A high level of discipline was necessary and essential at the beginning of the research. Even though it got disappointing at some points, as the researcher took a wrong path, objectives from books by Mark Saunders (2009) helped the author to keep focused and motivated.
According to Saunders
* “Data are collected systematically
* Data are interpreted systematically
* There is a clear purpose; to find things out”
(Saunders et al, 2009)
3.3 Primary Data Collection
The author attempted to use all the important primary data collection methods such as interviews, networking and surveys in order to analyse the data objectively. This leads towards an accurate answer to the initial research question.
Interviews with people from the movie industry such as former employees of copyright companies and cinema owners have given a deep insight into the topic.
* Arwed Fischer, former employee of X-Protect GmbH in Munich
* Representative of the ‘Kinopolis’ group, one of the biggest German cinema chains, who wants to stay anonymous.
* Jan Fantl, producer, production manager and former director
Several approaches for the interview structure have been considered and led to the following conclusion: Although unstructured interviews have the advantage of "complete freedom in terms of content and structure" ( Kumar R, 2005), the author of this report decided to mostly use structured or hybrid interviews for his research purposes. This represents a spot in-between the unstructured and structured interviews in Figure 3. That was given due to the fact that face-to face interview were not possible for a number of reasons such as travelling cost or lack of time of the interviewees. Nevertheless personal interviews would have given the author some advantages such as observing his interviewee as well as listening to him or the chance to gather the data more efficiently. (Hollwitz, J. & Wilson, C.E. 41-52)
Therefore it has been decided to make use of telephone interviews, which are far less costly than personal ones, and mail questionnaires which require accurate question design to match reading comprehension of the interviewees. (Using Structured Interviewing Techniques, 1991) Especially mail interviews have been proofed to be quite efficient because interviewees took their time to think about the questions before answering them.
An online survey has been generated and distributed by the author of this report. 47 people aged 22- 50 and from 10 countries filled out this online survey which has been piloted before with 5 people in order to make it more precise and accurate for a wider audience. It was created on the 07.April 2010 and has been closed on the 07.May 2010 .To generate it the online platform www.surveymonkey.com has been used. The complete survey can be found in the appendix of this report. Due to easier access given times and resources it was not possible to have interviews in other countries like the USA or India. At a later point in this report it has been compared to another survey taken by Opinion Dynamics Corporation in 2005 before the 3D technology boomed yet. This will show the process and change of customer’s opinion on 3D movies. Also a questionnaire has been conducted by the author. It has been sent via to several people of the movie industry. The response rate was rather poor as asked people seemed to be busy. Standard questions have been used in order to facilitate the collection of data and due to limitations in terms of time and resources. The questionnaire can be found in the appendices in section 8.1
As aforementioned, the potential bias has been considered in the evaluation process.
Another option to be deemed is the use of a supervisor or mentor. He made sure that collected data was rather objective than subjective and could provide the author with constructive criticism.
3.4 Secondary Data Collection
Thanks to a wider range of secondary data available, the author collected a lot of relevant information on the topic. He did this through a critical evaluation of literature, not only from the USA but also from Europe to accomplish a fair and accurate picture of the industry and its potential in the future. Parts of the research were also based on past and current trends and forecasts that justify arguments and recommendations. In order to sufficiently cut down the total amount of data, the author interpreted data sourced mainly from smaller subgroups rather than “all possible groups” (Saunders et al 2009, p 150 & 152)This method saves the author valuable time and also makes research and evaluation of data more efficient by using a smaller pool of information.
As every other method, this one also has disadvantages, such as gathering the wrong kind of data or using irrelevant data which cannot answer the initial research question accurately. Also some academic literature such as the "The Academy of Management Journal" has been used to provide a different angle of the research question.
A SWOT analysis on the current situation of the 3D Technology and outline possible threats and opportunities for the whole movie industry has been carried out. As a planning tool a SWOT analysis has many benefits like the simplicity of taking one. Nevertheless this can lead to problems like underestimating the value of a SWOT analysis or to an imprecise and weakly conducted analysis. (Ferrel & Hardline, 2007, p. 119-120)
More benefits can be seen in Figure 4:
No need of extensive training or technical skills, only comprehensive understanding of industry and company
Since there is no need for training, costs for conducting a SWOT decrease.
A SWOT analysis can be conducted without using extensive marketing information systems as well as using them to make analysis smoother and efficient.
Integration and Synthesis
Opportunity of integrating and synthesizing qualitative and quantitative information. SWOT can deal with a wide diversity of information sources.
SWOT analysis encourages collaboration between different functional areas.
(Ferrel & Hardline, 2007) Figure 4
3.5 Conclusion of Methodology
Using all the aforementioned methods and approaches, the author attempted to find an accurate answer to the research question. Giving the reader a deep insight into the topic and a widespread view of the 3D Technology opportunities and risks has lead to a complete understanding of the subject. All data has been analyzed and evaluated neutrally so a conclusion has been objectively drawn.
4. Findings and Analysis
This chapter starts with an explanation of the technical side of 3D technology used today followed by an overview of the history of 3D movies and a SWOT analysis. After that, the role of 3D movies in general and in combination with IMAX cinemas as well as the importance of Avatar will be discussed. The chapter will concluded with the comparison of two surveys (for further information please see research methodology) and a forecast.
4.1. How does 3D technology exactly work?
First of all, the binocular vision system is based on the fact that the eyes of a human being are spaced 5 cm apart. Consequently each eye sees the picture from a different angle. At the same time the binocular vision system in a brain is using the difference to calculate the distance. The brain also has the ability to show a relationship between those images even though they are slightly different. The brain can choose objects in the two scenes and work out how far an object is between those images. (How Stuff works 3D glasses, 2010)
The reason for wearing 3d glasses is to provide different images into your eyes. The movie screen in fact shows two different images and the glasses cause one of the images to go into one eye and the other one to enter the second eye. There are two widespread systems of doing it
* Polarization: The majority of the big studios such as Disney or Universal the first choice are polarized lenses for the glasses because they allow colour viewing. Two synchronized projectors project two individual views onto the screen, each with a diverse polarization. The glasses only let one of the images to enter each eye because they hold lenses that are polarized as well. This is comparable with the polarization of sunglasses.
* Red/Green or Red/ Blue. Since polarization cannot be used on a traditional TV screen (unlike on upcoming 3D TVs which will be dealt with later on in section 4.7) the red/green system is used. Again 2 images are displayed on the screen, one in red and one in blue/green. The filters of the glasses only allow one picture to enter each eye. The brain has to correlate those pictures as aforementioned. It is not really possible to use a normal colour movie when using those glasses which makes the image quality far poorer than the polarized one.
(How stuff works, 3D glasses, 2010)
* There also is the possibility of rapidly showing two alternate images one right after another. Special LCD- glasses obstruct the vision of one eye and then the other one in fast sequence. This technology allows colour viewing on a normal TV if certain equipment is provided. One weakness is the high price of the equipment needed.
(BBC News, 2008)
4.2 History of 3D Movies
The movie industry is experiencing the third big wave of 3D movies after two big failures in the past in the 1950’s and 1980’s. In the beginning it was promoted as the "The Miracle of the Age!!!" or a "lover in your arms"(Independent Online 3D Revolution, 2010) In 2008 the big studios tried the establish 3d movies again which has been quite successful ($240 million box office) but only Avatar in 2009 helped the new technology to finally become popular and the ‘miracle" studios expected it to be. Hence more and more movies are produced or post-produced in 3D to the point that today 3D screenings have outperformed their 2D counterparts by more than double in attendance rates and over three times in profits. The graph below (Figure 5) shows 3D film releases over the years starting in the 1920’s until the point when HD technology gets released. It also takes into account the IMAX and its peak in terms of attendance in 1997.
(The 3D revolution, 2009) Figure 5
The table below (Figure 6) summarizes the main differences between 3D movies in the 1950’s and 1980’s and today:
3D movie booms in the past ( 1950’s and 1980’s)
Current situation/ Today
Screening System/ Technology
Two sets of projectors and movies needed –> comparably higher cost to set up and run them
General use of digital 3D makes it more feasible to implement 3D screening systems
Movie Content/ Genre
Mostly Horror movies, over the top 3D effects –> causes eye train, nausea
ü Increased Know-how in showing 3D makes viewing more relaxed
ü Widespread use of CGI makes it easier to produce 3D movies.
Figure 6 (Created by the author)
4.3 SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis also has been conducted to determine and evaluate possible opportunities and threats as well as current strengths and weaknesses of 3D featured movies.
* Still competitive advantage over home cinemas at that price level.
* New cinema and movie experience for demanding audience
* Impossible to pirate 3D movies yet
* Premium prices for tickets allow studios to re-invest higher amounts of money
* Completely new opportunities for directors and film makers: 3D as a another colour in their palette
* Customer complaints about "annoying glasses", "dim colours."
* Ticket prices still very high compared to conventional movies
* Uncomfortable for wearers of glasses since they have to wear the 3D glasses on top
* 3D effects can lead to dizziness, headaches or nausea
* Only one size of glasses
* Disadvantages for smaller studios due to high starting investments which they cannot afford
* High investment of upgrading cost of around €140,000 for each auditorium to be capable of showing 3D
* Not enough cinemas, capable of showing 3D movies yet: Nineteen 3D movies have been announced so far for 2010, some of them will be released at the same time but there are only 4,000 cinemas yet that are able to show 3D movies. Usually, big movies start in over 10,000 cinemas. (Preisgenau News, 2010)
* Expanding opportunities in the home cinema market including co-operations with television and equipment manufacturers
* Re-publishing of former blockbusters such as Star Wars or Lord of the Rings as additional source of income.
* Possible creation of new genres using 3D
* Another step towards 4D cinemas and movies ( moving seats, inflowing smells, real actors in front of the screen etc)
* Showing of sports or music events in 3D in cinemas in the future
* By using a new technology by Technicolor, costs of upgrading screens are about to fall drastically. ( $4000- $ 6000 per screen plus rent of a special lens for $12,000/ year compared to $75,000 for a screen before)
* Home cinema market as a threat in the long-term
* According to the Eyecare Trust "12 per cent of people have a visual impairment that means their brains are unable to correctly process the individual images which are transmitted via their left and right eyes" (Eyecaretrust, 2010)
* No 3D effect for partially sighted people
* Piracy as a threat once 3D televisions and equipment got released and established
4.4 Avatar as an Example
With an estimated production cost of $500M (including marketing with $150M though) Avatar started in over 2,500 3D screens all over the USA. This is a comparably small number as usually potential blockbuster start in over 10,000 screens which is due to the fact that not all of them are 3D ready yet. Avatar was the first movie that has been shot with the new 3D technology from the start on. This is one of the reasons for higher production cost. It also is adherent a much higher risk because in the beginning it was not certain how many screens were going to be upgraded to actually show Avatar in 3D. James Cameron himself said that "This film integrates my life’s achievements. It’s the most complicated stuff anyone’s ever done.” (New Yorker Online, 2009) This quote shows the huge complexity of the movie and the preparation and effort needed to get it done.
Figure 7 below from December 2009 compares the biggest blockbusters of the last years. The first column only talks about production cost and does not include marketing of any form. It is evident that- in this graph- production cost for potential high grosser movies are immense but justified as all of them earned at least three times the money compared to their cost. This is excluding revenues from DVD or rentals or any other form of merchandising.
(The Wrap online, 2009) Figure 7
4.5 Importance of 3d movies
Due to the fact that 3D movies got widely accepted by the audience an increasing number of box office sales fall upon those movies using an advanced technology.
There are several reasons why it seems that 3D movies overall earn more money than traditional movies.
1. Ticket prices: Due to higher ticket prices, box office sales seem higher even if less people went to the movies. 3D movies get higher revenues because of premium ticket prices. Sometimes up to $18 in some areas in the USA.
(Business Insider, 2010)
According to the New York Times (2010) "More than 20 3D movies were released in 2009 – including the blockbuster hitAvatar- and this propelled a boost to $1.14 billion of 3D ticket sales in 2009, from just $240 million in 2008" which shows the enormous increase of sold tickets for 3D movies. Unlike tickets for traditional movies that exist for many years, 3D movies are still between the introduction and the growing phase of the product lifecycle. Hence it is attracting more and more customers. Although there is a slightly distinct situation as 3D movies already partially bring in more money than traditional movies. Therefore it is hard to determine where exactly in the product lifecycle 3D movies can be seen. If one assumes that it is between the introduction and growing stage, prices are still high and customers are still being sought and attracted. Normally there is no pressure for profit yet which again is different in this case. Studios invested a huge amount of money for immediate profit generation. There also is only a limited number of 3D movies available due to a small number of distribution channels. In fact, more and more cinemas are being upgraded to show 3D movies. In the growing stage normally competitors enter the stage and prices fall. As a matter of fact even smaller studios outside the circle of the big five will try to produce 3D movies if they seem to be successful in the long-term. As soon as producing those movies gets cheaper more studios will have the opportunity to enter the market. This also will affect smaller studios that cannot afford cost intensive 3D movies at the moment which gives financially stronger studios a significant competitive advantage.
(Sääksvuori A. & Immonen A., 2008) Figure 8
2. Rising number of customers: Despite the aforementioned fact that ticket prices adulterate the actual success of a movie, 3D movies do attract more customers than conventional ones.
In total 2009 was an extraordinary successful year for the studios. 1.42 billion people went to the cinemas which is the highest value in the last 5 years. (Spiegel Online, 2010) This rapid growth and new record shows the massive eagerness audiences continue to have for great and enjoyable films.
3. Increasing number of 3D capable cinema screens: Another fact for the on-going success is the growing number of upgraded cinema screens that are capable of showing 3D movies. According to the graph below the projected number of 3D capable cinemas is rapidly growing and will reach more than 15,000 worldwide which is more than twice as much as in 2009.
(Sony Online 3D, 2010) Figure 9
4.6 The role of the IMAX group
The IMAX Corporation is "an entertainment technology company, specializing in motion picture technologies and large-format film presentations" (Marketscreen, 2010)
In recent years the group was struggling with decreasing box office sales and a declining audience, as can be seen in Figure 10 below which clearly shows the decrease and stagnation between 2005 and mid 2008.
(Advfn Financials 2010) Figure 10
It is also evident that turnover started to recover in mid 2008 and still keeps increasing.
A similar evolution can be seen in the following graph which demonstrates the Share price performance previous 3 years of the IMAX Corporation.
(Advfn Financials 2010) Figure 11
After a weak 2007 and its lowest share price in 2008, just after the global crisis struck, it also started to recover and almost quadrupled until December 2009.
One of the reasons undoubtedly is the enormous success of block-buster "Avatar" which became the highest grossing film in IMAX history. It is obvious that there is a direct correlation between its release date on 17th of December 2009 and the boosting share prices in the same month.
According to the IMAX group Avatar worldwide earned more than £125 million until 21.02.2010. This conducts a huge increase compared to the previous high grosser Batman: The Dark Knight which earned £41.3 million. (Imdb Batman, 2009)
Therefore, the new technology is an essential factor for the new success of the IMAX cinemas after years of financial underperformances. The gross operating profit almost doubled and grew from $ 55 million in 2008 to $ 100.1 million in 2009 according to the annual report of the group. (Advfn Quarterly Report, 2009)
Many people, working for the industry also expect a further rise in sales within the next years as well they anticipate the new technology to prevail. One of them is Jan Fantl who stated in the interview that "3D is the next best thing and will generate huge amounts of profits in the near future". (Fantl Interview, 2010)
IMAX cinemas will get more important as they will stand for an own experience which justifies higher ticket prices than for 2D movies in traditional cinemas. Whereas digital 3D cinemas and IMAX cinemas almost offer the same price for adults in standard categories on 15.03.2010 as the following table shows (Figure 12)
Although ticket prices for IMAX and digital 3D cinemas are almost the same, the huge success of Avatar and Alice in Wonderland led to an increase of ticket prices in the IMAX cinemas to $20 in the end of March 2010. (Celebrifi, 2010)
The Wall Street Journal states that (2010) “At some theaters in the northwest, adult admission is rising to $11 from $10 for a conventional film, to $15 from $13.50 for a regular 3-D showing and to $17 from $15 for Imax 3-D.” This is due to the fact that going to the movies gets popular in general so that cinemas also can set prices higher for conventional films.
A justification for higher prices can be the aforementioned screen which is four times bigger (588m²) than the ones in traditional theatres. The audience normally sits very close to the screen which leads to the feeling that the screen is almost surrounding them. The following drawing (Figure 13) gives an idea of how it works:
IMAX cinemas also are able to show 3D movies using bothLCDshutter technology which leads to the following section. In the future, IMAX cinemas will get affected heavily by the new 3D technology and are very likely to increase their revenues.
4.7 3D technology in home cinemas
For future prospects it is also inevitable to analyse the upcoming home cinema market. After the first few waves of 3D featured movies in the cinemas have been released, studios and home cinema equipment manufacturers are keen to take opportunities to make profit further. Therefore Panasonic will be one of the first ones to enter the stage and to sell the first 3D home cinema instead of just demonstrating it on exhibitions. (Panasonic, 2010) And more companies are to follow such as Samsung that already launched its 3D kit and Sony that will start selling it in summer. Although only fifteen 3D movies will be available in the beginning it is expected to double up to over 30 by the end of 2010. Pricing also plays a big role for the success of the new technology. According to Bill Foster, a consultant at Futuresource Consulting, the 3D chips only cost about $20 (€15). Nevertheless, necessary shutter glasses will cost more and he expects them to be sold at $99 (€73) (Futuresource, 2010) It is evident that 3D is considered to be the next big thing in the world of entertainment. Estimations state that by 2011 ten out of 100 TV sets sold will be 3D ready.
The importance of this technological movement is emphasized by DreamWorks’ chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg who already has called the development "as important as the introduction of sound or colour". (Independent Online 3D Revolution, 2010) DisplaySearch predicts that the number of 3D-ready TVs will increase from 0.2 million units in 2009 to 64 million units in 2018. It is also forecasted that 3D-ready TV will be the largest application in terms of returns in 2018 with $17 billion.( Digital Today, 2010)
Nevertheless many of the forecasts are biased as the movie industry itself conducted them or assigned a company to do it for them. It is obvious that they rely on some kind of a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ by telling potential customers to not miss out on the next revolution of the entertainment industry.
4.8 Comparison of Surveys from 2005 and 2010
In this section two surveys have been analyzed and compared to each other. One, published in 2005 by Opinion Dynamics Corporation already showed some curious facts on 3D cinema and its likely success in the future (subsequently called Survey A). The second one has been taken by the author of this report in 2010 amongst a number of people from 10 countries (subsequently called Survey B). For further details please have a look at section 3.3
4.8.1 General findings of survey A
Opinion Dynamics Corporation conducted research on this issue on November 29-30, 2005, with 900 adults in the United States. Findings are as follows:
• 12 %, which represents around 26 million American grown-ups’, say they would go to the movies more frequently if there were more 3D films. Another 6% (13 million adults) say they would go more regularly, depending on the films being presented in 3D.
• 14% (over 30 million American adults) say they would be willing to pay $2-3 more to see a feature-length film in 3D, while an additional 6% (or 13 million) would pay more depending on the films being offered in 3D.
• Consumers are somewhat split over the type of 3D effects they might enjoy the most. Over one-third (37%) say they prefer effects that appear to come out of the screen at them, while 31% say they prefer 3D effects that give better depth to the images on the screen.
• Nearly half (48%) of American adults say they have seen a 3D movie (of any length or type) before. One in five (22%) has seen a 3D movie at a regular movie theater, 19% have seen one at an IMAX® Theater, and 7% have seen 3D movies at both types of theaters. It also has been essential in 2005 to examine the possible future of 3D technology. (Opinion Dynamics Corporation, 2005)
4.8.2 Survey Comparison
"Would you go to the movies more often if there were more feature-length films released in 3D?" with the subsequent result:
This result seems rather disillusioning as the vast majority of 74 % would not go to the movies only for its 3D feature. Nevertheless it is important to have a closer look at the target and age group of this survey. 18-29 years old adults state that they are more likely to go to the movies for their 3D features. This exactly is the main target group of most of the studios and movies which explains why they still invested in 3d movies despite surveys like this one.
Compared to survey B (Figure 15), it is evident that many potential customers still would not go to see a movie only because of its 3D feature. Nowadays the movie itself is far more important for them and their decision making with 36 %. Subsequently, studios cannot only rely on marketing the 3D feature but also must provide the audience with quality movies.
Survey A (Figure 15) also took into account the differences between IMAX and regular cinemas. According to this survey question 48% of adults 18-29 had seen a 3D movie yet by the end of 2005, which is quite impressive as there was only a little number of regular cinemas that provided 3D movies at that time.
Survey B (Figure 16) on the other hand shows the increased number of people (46 %) that have seen 3D movies at both a regular and IMAX theater. The number of people that went to see a 3D movie at a regular cinema also significantly went up from 22% to 33%. In fact, 3D featured movies and cinema became more and more popular and successful during the last years.
Most likely one of the most important questions for the studios and cinemas is the following.
In Survey A (Figure 17) the great majority answered that they were not ready to pay more only to see a 3D movie. Only 6 % stated that it depended on the movie. Nevertheless the survey takes can be divided into age groups to emphasize the difference. Adults 18-29 years old (15%), adults 30-45 (16%) and adults 46-54 (17%) are about twice as likely to pay $2-3 more for a feature-length 3D film than adults who are 55 years old and older (8%). Consequently the future for the studios lied in the youth in 2005.
In Survey B (Figure 18) only 17 % refused to pay more for a 3D movie. The majority stated that it was the movie that counts. A quarter of the survey takers were prepared to pay a little extra though only because the movie is shown in 3D. Since Survey B was conducted in 2010, a significant difference to Survey A is obvious in a very positive way for the studios.
Summed up, the most obvious changes between the survey A and B are the increased willingness of paying more money of potential customer of a younger target group (18-30) as well as the enlarged interest in 3D movies in general. From all this data gathered, studios can be optimistic in their future views.
For the studios it is very hard to forecast the success of a single movie or even a whole new technology. They mostly try to find what is most appealing to the audience (unlike independent productions) and therefore have their analysts forecasting risks and returns. Nevertheless, "On averageonly23%of allwide-released pictures in the last 10 years cleareda profit at box officesin North America…and even less worldwide." (Filmforecasting, 2010) Consequently roughly only two out of 10 movies amortize.
This number got even worse in 2007, when only 17 % of the movies cleared their production budgets on the box office. (Filmforecasting, 2010) According to the aforementioned website, most of the movies could have made profitable if they would have repaired errant script components and miss-castings.
Nevertheless there is a different situation to be evaluated since 3D movies follow their own laws. Using a new technology there is a vast number of new opportunities to market those movies. Even if a movie has not been in 3D in the first place, studios do anything to make them 3D in the post production like with the action movie "Clash of the Titans" released in April 2010. The studios know about the huge attraction of a 3D stamp which leads to very optimistic forecasts.
3D display returns are about to reach $22bn by 2018 which would be a massive increase from $902 million in 2008. It can be seen in the graph below that a regular grow for every single year is expected. (Digital Today, 2010)
According to Jennifer Colegrove, director of Display Technologies at DisplaySearch, “A number of manufacturers of consumer electronics devices, including TVs, monitors, notebooks, Blu-ray disc players, and digital cameras/camcorders/photo frames have aggressively promoted 3D in the home. In addition to consumer use of 3D displays, the technology has also been used for many professional applications and advertisement/public displays.” (Digital Today, 2010)
According to a forecast, created by DisplaySearch 3D Display Technology (2009) and Market Forecast Report the findings are as follows:
•3D-ready monitors will grow from 40K units (0.02 percent penetration) in 2009 to 10 million (3.6 percent penetration) in 2018.
•3D notebook PCs are forecast to grow from 66K units (0.04 percent penetration) in 2009 to 17.7 million (3.2 percent penetration) in 2018.
•Mobile phones will be the largest 3D display application on a unit shipment basis in 2018, with 71 million units with 3D capability.
•LCD will be the primary display technology used for 3D displays, as a result of its wide range of display applications ranging from small mobile phones to large public displays and TVs.
•Eyewear will be necessary for most 3D applications for many years to come, due to the limitations of auto-stereoscopic (no glasses) technologies.
•DisplaySearch forecasts there will be more than 7,000 new 3D cinema screens installed in 2010 and an additional 9,000 in 2011.
(DisplaySearch 3D Display Technology, 2009)
It is evident that this report emphasizes the strong increase of profit and distribution of 3D featured equipment or movies. This can be dangerous as forecasts barely ever come out to be true as happened twice to 3D technology already as well as in other industries such as cars (a forecast of 90% of electric cars in 2010) or even aerospace
(Stations on the moon by 1982 and going to Mars by 1990) (Ruediger, G., 2007)
Forecasts mostly play with people’s desires and fears to give them what they unconsciously ask for. Therefore this forecast also is most unlikely to turn out right but even if there will be only a increase half as good as predicted the studios and manufactures shall be satisfied as costs for upgrading screens and shooting 3D movies will fall due to advanced technologies and economies of scale.
Jan Fantl, (https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0266931/) is a successful producer, production manager and former director, who also analysed the current situation, future prospects and whether it would change his work. Based on his answers and all the data gathered over the months the author has reached a number of conclusions which are set out in section 5 of this report.
After evaluating all the aforementioned data and facts a non-ambiguous forecast is barely possible due to the newness of the topic. Since 3D movies just started to become popular and showed their potential with the worldwide blockbuster Avatar it may be the start of a new era of movies. Like former revolutions of cinema such as introducing sound and later on colour people might get used to this new cinema experience. This would lead to increasing ticket sales which are necessary for the studios since shooting 3D movies is far more cost intensive than doing it the traditional way. Even if studios produce a movie in a traditional 2D way and only want to turn it into a 3D experience afterwards, estimated costs are between $8M and $15M and still providing a far worse 3D experience than movies like Avatar which has been shot in 3D from the beginning.
On the other hand, critics state that 3D only is a trend, just something new and exciting for a short period of time which will disappear in the near future. Trends like certain genres that became successful for a few years and then almost completely vanished from the screens are hold as an example. Those genres were the horror films in the 1970’s, the patriotic and not very intellectual challenging action movies in the 1980’s (such as Rambo, Die Hard etc) and the romantic comedies in the end 1990’s (e.g. American Pie). Those genres have been very successful for a while until the audience got bored of it and lusted for a change in the movie landscape. Henceforth this is one of the biggest fears of the studios and they try to work on solutions and an increasing customer loyalty towards 3D movies.
Also the home cinema industry and the IMAX group are likely to benefit from a constant and increasing 3D movie trend.
Although the amount of movies published in theaters dropped by 12% last year, 3D technology could change the film industry forever. However it is doubtful that these box-office numbers can remain as high as they are, especially since Avatar was arecord-breakerandcompetition will be severe. (Business Insider, 2010)
To conclude, Tim Burton who is more successful than ever, also thanks to 3D technology shall be quoted: "We’re surely going to see a lot of bad 3D films in the near future, because Hollywood cannibalises every recipe for success. That’s how the industry works … It’s a great thing when you use it as a technical tool and not as a wonder weapon." (Independent Online 3D Revolution, 2010)
This statement emphasizes the ambivalence when it comes to this revolutionary technology and the fear of exploiting it for economical reasons only. Therefore it will be interesting to see which way the movie industry will choose and how deep changes will be in the cinema landscape in the future.
Due to limited resources and the newness of the topic the following recommendations reflect the author’s personal forecast of a potential change in the cinema landscape.
In general it is assumed that there is a big effect on the industry which can be seen already. Especially after AVATAR, expectations are yet higher although the whole industry was very keen to see the outcome in terms of profit of AVATAR. The 3D movies Ice Age 3D before and Alice in Wonderland after AVATAR were a test run for the studios aiming different main target groups as can be seen in Figure 21. All of them worked which proved the potential of 3D.
Ice Age 3D
Animation in 3D
Action Adventure developed and shot stereoscopic
Alice in Wonderland
shot in 2D posted for 3D
Big movies – ultra wide releases – for large audiences worldwide will become more popular and successful. This is where 3D will work. After a while the momentum will slow down
* Because it becomes a commonly known fact how 3D works,
* Because bad movies will be shown in 3D, as a wave of mass production down to c-level horror films.
* Because it always will be more expensive in terms of production than 2D.
It will continue to strengthen what started before and what has increased due to the world financial crisis: Polarization. Young audiences- the main target group- will not be able to go to the cinema that often anymore due to a shortage of financial resources and increased prices. They only go if they consider it a valuable entertainment experience (e.g. well made 3D movies). On the other hand lower and low budget arthouse for the core fans of movies will still be a niche market that is unlikely to disappear. It is obvious that there will be problems for the midsection and it most likely will disappear. Hence only potential high- grossing or very low budget movies will push out everything in between This situation can be compared to the food industry and its polarization: Junk food or culinary high class food are the most profitable businesses. 3D just adds an opportunity to make the theater house very attractive and appealing again which no other application like home cinema can offer yet. Above all, the benefit of copyright protection is a huge advantage for the whole industry.
It also is essential to take into account the change of the work procedures for directors, producers etc. Now everyone who is responsible for realising a movie has to consider of 3D is necessary and even more important if it is affordable. It is still 15%- 35 % more expensive than conventional movies (Jan Fantl, Interview, 2010). It also is necessary to think about the logistics in regards of time, directing, camera, lightning as which differ from shooting traditional movies as well as the artistic approach of the director. This includes things like "language of framing", the picture as an expression of storytelling that will have to be changed. In fact, every project that only has a low amount of dynamic moving cameras and/or small budgets should be shot in 2D in the future to avoid an over saturation of the market. This also would be advantageous for people that get seasick or a headache watching 3D movies. In the end this of course will be the decision of the producer and the director of what dynamics shall appear in the respective film.
When it comes to market a 3D movie, Jan Fantl also stated that he, like the whole industry will scream:" "Look here it’s in 3D! Come and see!" (Fantl Interview, 2010) This shows that, after all, it still is show business and all about profits like in every other industry as well. Although this might open some opportunities once 3D movies have been established, smaller studios might market their movies in the opposite way: " It s in 2D, here you see a movie and can relax at the same time" (Kinopolis representative Interview, 2010)If the studios do not overuse 3D technology in the beginning, the impact on the movie industry will be very positive.
ü Interview with Jan Fantl, former director and current producer of movies, 31.1.2010
ü Interview with Arwed Fischer, former employee and Investor of X-Protect GmbH, 25.03.2010
ü Interview with a representative of the Kinopolis Chain in Germany, 08.04.2010
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ü Auzel Dominique,1992.Émile Reynaud et l’image s’anima. Paris: DuMay
ü David Parkinson, 1995. History of Film. London: Thames & Hudson
ü General Accounting Office, 1991. Using Structured Interviewing Techniques. Washington, D.C.: Program Evaluation and Methodology Division
ü Greif R., 2005. Measuring the 3D Film Revolution: Understanding the Impact of New Technology on Movie Theater Visitation, Opinion Dynamics Corporation
ü Hollwitz, J. & Wilson, C.E.,1993. Structured Interviewing in Volunteer Selection.Journal of Applied Communication Research, 21
ü Kumar R, 2005.Research methodology: a step-by-step guide for beginners. California: Sage
ü Mannoni L., 2000. The Great Art of Light and Shadow: Archaeology of the Cinema, Exeter: University of Exeter Press
ü Miller D. & Shamsie J., The Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 39, No. 3 Jun., 1996, The Resource-Based View of the Firm in Two Environments: The Hollywood Film Studios from 1936 to 1965
ü Michael D. Hartline, 2007. Marketing Strategy (4th ed.) Florence: Cengage Learning
ü Rüdiger G., 2007. Zukunftsprognosen – Traum und Wirklichkeit Münster: IPT-Verlag
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Chester: Pearson Education Limited
ü Sääksvuori A. & Immonen A., 2008. Product Lifecycle Management (3rd ed.) Berlin: Springer
Indian film industry
Churning out nearly 1,000 films a year, the Indian film industry is the largest in the world. Now, aided by technological advancements, the industry is set to take a further leap – across production, exhibition and marketing. In such a scenario, product placement in mainstream films deserves a renewed focus because as a marketing communication tool, it is fast emerging as the medium with maximum potential to capture and covert audiences to potential consumers. This is especially relevant in a world where traditional media vehicles are increasingly failing to reach the consumers for various reasons.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Brand/product placement is a promotional tactic used by marketers in which a real commercial product is used in fictional media, and the presence of the product is the result of an economic exchange, it is an advertising technique in which the companies pay a fee or provide service in exchange for a prominent display of their product. Product placement occurs in plays, films, television series, music videos, video-games and books. The objective of such brand communication is to expose the audience to a brand, whereby the effect can be maximized in terms of increased awareness and higher recall, so that the customer will buy the brand which has maximum recall; and to satisfy the customer to optimum level.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â This research paper looks at the rationality of brand placement, the possible congruity that can be built in the story, as indicators of success of effective brand placement in films and if so, as variables in bringing desired change in consumer’s attitude. The paper highlights the basic reasons for placing products and brands in Mainstream Hindi films and the effectiveness of these placements as a tool for enhancing the recall value of brands in long run brands in the films. This paper also gives insight as to how audiences react to product placement, do they think it as an effective alternative media, if it has any impact on them and if they find it ethical.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The research incorporated case studies of four mainstream Hindi films, selected on basis of their box office fate and the amount of brand placement. These films are then anaysed in terms of effectiveness of the variety of placements in bringing the desired recall and recognition values. The four films selected include – Om Shanti Om, Goal, Chak De! India, and Lage Raho Munna Bhai. The research concludes with suggestions regarding areas for future research.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Product placement has come as a blessing in disguise for both, the brand and the filmmaker. Through it, the brand managers get the clutter breaking opportunity to look beyond the 30 sec TV commercial and the filmmaker gets to earn huge revenues by just showing the brand being used by protagonist or let it exist in the background. The deal is just perfect for both of them. But the most important person in the deal is the consumer who is vigilant and smart enough to notice what’s served to him and has reservations against in your face placements. Surely he does not want more intrusion in his life.
Hence, product placement has arrived and here to stay. But a word of caution is to be always kept in mind, by both the brand and the filmmaker- if as communication purveyors they are looking for better and innovative means of reaching the consumer, the consumer himself is already bombarded with marketing tactics from all over and in the three hours of movie, he would want to forget about all these intrusions, including advertising. Thus overdose of brand placement will only drive away the consumers from the cinema halls, resulting in a flop film and a failed marketing endeavor.
- 1 INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND
- 2 WHAT IS PRODUCT PLACEMENT?
- 3 PRODUCT PLACEMENT IN MOVIES
- 4 TYPES OF PRDUCT PLACEMENT
- 5 BRAND PLACEMENT IS DIFFERENT FROM CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT
- 6 THE OPPORTUNITY OF BRAND PLACEMENT, CONSUMER INFORMATION PROCESSING AND ISSUE OF BRAND CONGRUITY
- 7 Other variables affecting Brand placement are-
- 8 FAILURES
- 9 RESEACH PROCEDURE
- 10 1.CONSUMER SURVEY
- 11 Objectives of the Study
- 12 Methodology
- 13 Experimentation Procedure
- 14 CASE STUDIES
- 15 1.Om Shanti Om
- 16 3. Chak De! India
- 17 (2007)
- 18 1. Om Shanti Om
- 19 KEY FINDINGS
- 20 Other Issues:
- 21 Key Findings
- 22 Q RATIO SYSTEM CONSISTS OF 2 COMPONENTS
- 23 Other Issues:
- 24 FUTURE RESEARCH
- 25 CONCLUSION
- 26 References
INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND
- The Concept of Product Placement
- Product Placement in Movies
- Types of Product Placement
- Brand Placement is Different from Celebrity Endorsement
- The Opportunity of Brand placement, Consumer Information processing and Issue of Brand Congruity
WHAT IS PRODUCT PLACEMENT?
A product placement is the inclusion of a product, package, signage, a brand name or the name of the firm in a movie or in a television programme for increasing memorability of the brand and instant recognition at the point of purchase. Placements can be in form of verbal mentions in dialogue, actual use by character, visual displays such as corporate logo on a vehicle or billboard, brands used as set decorations, or even snatches of actual radio or television commercials.
The objective of this communication strategy is to expose audience to a brand, whereby the effect can be maximized in terms of increased brand awareness and higher recall, so that the customer will buy the brand which has the highest recall; and to satisfy the customer to optimal level. Because of proliferation of advertisements and the consequent difficulty in getting commercial messages to reach and influence potential customers, product placement appears as an interesting alternative to traditional marketing communication tools.
Basically, there are three ways product placement can occur:
- It simply happens.
- It’s arranged, and a certain amount of the product serves as compensation.
- It’s arranged, and there is financial compensation.
Sometimes product placement just happens. A set dresser, producer, director, or even an actor might come across something he thinks will enhance the project. Usually this has to do with boosting the level of credibility or realism of the story being told. Example can be use of ‘Tata Indigo’ car in movie Aaja Nachle. The car has been used to as mode of transport for the lead actress both when she arrives from abroad and when she goes back. Interestingly the vehicle is widely used as commercial luxury vehicle in many Indian towns. So use of this car added a touch of realism in the movie. However, when contacted, the representatives of the car company denied being approached about the use of their product.
Arranged product placement deals fall into two categories:
- Trade-off of integration or placement for a supply of product
- Financial compensation for placement or integration
The most common type of deal is a simple exchange of the product for the placement. Example, let’s say the production team wants lead actor to display a quirky affinity for a particular type of beverage. This will come across rather strongly over the course of the program — which means the chosen product could get a lot of air time. It turns out that someone on the crew knows someone who works for that beverage. The production people approach the beverage company folks with a proposal and a deal is made; in exchange for the airtime, the cast and crew are provided with an ample supply of the beverage at work. Example: the movie Krish where the lead actor drinks a lot of Bournvita.
Sometimes, a gift of the product isn’t an appropriate form of compensation, so money powers the deal. Imagine that the marketing team at Tag Heuer has heard about this project and feels that, given the star power of the actor playing lead, this project would be a great vehicle for showcasing its product. Someone from Tag Heuer approaches the set dresser with a financially lucrative proposal. Eventually, they come to an agreement and the wristwatch casually appears in several scenes.
Before product placement really saw a surge in the mid 1990s, it was pretty much a do it yourself effort. Now there are specific corporate positions and entire agencies that can handle the job. Some larger corporations will dedicate personnel to scout out opportunities for product integration or placement within films, television shows and even games and music. Good example would be Madison’s specialized division for in-film branding, MATES.
PRODUCT PLACEMENT IN MOVIES
Every frame in a movie has an opportunity for branding. With that intent, a number of marketers are now using movies to project the core values of their brands. In-film advertising, in its most effective form, is about a brand being a part of cinema’s content. Many global brands are now turning to this medium for the sheer impact that a movie can make on its audiences.
Product placement in movies has gained momentum all over the world. The practice of using branded products in Hollywood movies started as casual process since 1940’s. The earliest example would be 1945 movie Mildred Pierce with film star Joan Crawford drinking Jack Daniels bourbon whiskey. The current Hollywood movies feature a plethora of products ranging from telecommunications (Motorola, Nokia), automobile (Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Jeep, Lada and Mercedes) to other products like FMCG goods, Tobacco etc. Good examples are James Bond movies.
Indian mainstream Hindi films, popularly known as Bollywood the world over, caught up with the trend in 1970’s with Rajkapoor using ‘Rajdoot’ in his movie Bobby. Popularity of movies as medium for product placement grew because of the increasing difficulty of using television as an effective medium to target audiences. The film medium provides an excellent message reach and message life and an effective method of popularizing and immortalizing brands.
One of the key drivers for movies becoming a popular medium for product placement has been the increasing difficulty of using television as an effective medium to target audiences. The advent of cable and satellite television has meant that audiences have become more fragmented and tend to demonstrate a greater level of ad avoidance. By contrast, the film medium provides an excellent message reach and message life and an effective method of popularizing and immortalizing brands. The movie-goers vicariously experience the brand as they make a connection between the film, the actor, the product and its consumption, and argue that product placement acts as a perceptual clue which directs behavior to purchase a product to satisfy a need or reinforce a social status. Movie product placement is viewed as a cheaper and more effective alternative to traditional marketing communications, despite its inflexibility, but as a result of the establishment of specialist placement agencies, and through increased brand exposure through cable, satellite, video and DVD, a typical movie with international distribution can reach over one hundred million consumers from box office to TV.
There seem to be three reasons why marketers consider product placement in movies as interesting communication strategy. First watching a movie is high attention and involving activity. The particular exposure context associated with movies in theatres (lights off, minimal noise and distraction possibilities, large screen, difficulty in moving around, no zapping) is bound to lead to a high level of consumer attention as opposed to, say, listening to television. In addition, movie goers expend some significant effort (choosing a movie, driving to the theatre, finding a parking space, staying in line, finding a seat) and money (transportation, parking, tickets) in order to go to a movie and therefore quite involved during the show.
Second, successful movie attract large audiences. A blockbuster movie like Om Shanti Om for instance has been seen by millions of people, and this does not include video purchases and rentals, and eventual television broadcast. Therefore from a strict cost per viewer point of view, a product placement in a movie is a real bargain.
Finally product placement represents a natural, non aggressive, non persuasive way of promoting brand or a firm. Hence it may lead to less counter arguing and ‘internal’ zapping from consumers.
The most famous instance of product placement till date is appearance of Reese’s Pieces in Hollywood movie E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. The film, released in 1982, prominently featured Reese’s Pieces candy.Â While the brand was available prior to the film’s release, appearance in the film is credited with stimulating a 65% sales increase. M&M/Mars had been approached first about a scene in which E.T. is coaxed out of hiding by a trail of candy. In a major blunder M&M/Mars declined the opportunity.
Such success stories firmly establish the importance of product placement.
The use of feature films as a strategy for introducing new products has grown increasingly sophisticated. Savvy marketers now build elaborate marketing communication plans cross-promoting films and brands. For example, Audi used 2004’s Babul, a film by Ravi Chopra, as an integrated element for introducing a new model, the Audi A6. It was judged the most successful promotion of 2004.
Subhash Ghai was one of the early filmmakers to do product placement on a real large scale. Bollywood insiders say Ghai recovered production cost from Coke and other products even before the release of films like Yaadein and Taal. In future 40% of a film’s revenue will accrue from streams like TV, online rights, product placements and digital downloads. Video-on-demand, IPTV and DTH are already fetching handsome returns. Then, of course, there is the overseas market, which is expanding fast. In 2007 alone, at least a dozen Hindi Mainstream films have crossed a US $ 1 million mark in the UK an US.
As successful marketing efforts incorporating motion pictures continue to mount, the casual use of brands as props will diminish. While current practice does not require filmmakers to identify brands placed in films, viewers can reasonably assume that prominently featured brands have offered some compensation or other consideration in exchange for the appearance.
TYPES OF PRDUCT PLACEMENT
In films, product placement can be divided into three broad categories:
- Implicit Mode: in this the star appears in a situation and is seen openly stating that he is using the product/brand. For example, in the movie Chalte Chalte, Shahrukh Khan is seen asking his worker to fill Castrol in his truck.
- Imperative Mode: In this the star would ask his friend/co-worker/peer to use the product. For example, in the movie Koi Mil Gaya, Hritik Roshan is seen recommending Bournvita to Priety Zinta and her mother in the film.
- Co-present Mode: in this, the star appears in some kind of setting with the product or he or she could be seen consuming or using the product. In the movie Diljale, love is the ulterior theme, and Sonali Bendre, the lead actress is shown expressing her love through Archies cards, thus revolving around the ‘social expression’ feel of the Card makers.
BRAND PLACEMENT IS DIFFERENT FROM CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT
The celebrities endorse product and brands with commercial reasons, which normally come in the breaks in television programmes or in cinema halls. The phenomenon of zipping and change in television usage behavior due to surfing during the commercial breaks has reduced effectiveness of television commercials. Similarly commercials of cinema hall are found to be of low involvement as audience takes them as blocks between the reasons of visiting the cinema hall and the time available to them for entertainment. So the brand communication and the entertainment product are viewed differently from the audience of both media. Brand placement provides an opportunity where the involved audience gets exposure to the brands and products during the natural process of narration of movie or television commercial.
THE OPPORTUNITY OF BRAND PLACEMENT, CONSUMER INFORMATION PROCESSING AND ISSUE OF BRAND CONGRUITY
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Of late there have been attempts by Indian producers and brand managers to come together and place the brand in a situation where the audience is captive and more prone to show high level of retention. Many consumers and researchers are of the view that this method is excessive commercialization of media and intrusion in life of viewer.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The viewer does not necessarily go there to see the brands; rather he is going to the cinema hall to escape from the realities of life. Brand managers are using different type of placements to make the brand look obvious at the point of emergence. They are also integrating the brand presence with the plot of the cinema, so that the audience does not feel the brand to be out of context. The brand should also be reflective of the class of user of character in the film. If the plot connection is missing and the brand is not reflective of the character’s class of usage, then probably the whole brand placement exercise will be futile. The success of Indian movies is not based on sound fundamentals which is evident from the number of feature films flopping every year. So if the vehicle in which the brand is placed does not have the required viewership, then the tariff charged to bring brand at some point of the story will also go in drain.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Films are selected as context of research for various reasons as explained below.Â Compared to television, movie viewing has higher involvement. While watching a television programme, the viewer can do multifarious work at home setting, which may affect the attention degree span of the audience and hence, reduce the overall effectiveness of the medium for enhancing brand retention. In opposition to this argument, is the movie going behavior where the viewer makes a voluntary choice for viewing (exposure) a specific film (product) at a cost (time, financial, opportunity cost) for the purpose of wholesome entertainment. So he is more receptive to brand communication provided to him in the movie hall while watching the movie of his choice.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â It has been observed from research that brand recall for commercials shown during the television programmes with higher level of TRPs are very poor due to the channel switching behavior. High level of media clutter, similarity of programming across channels, channel switching behavior are the factors responsible to generate sufficient level of research interest in researchers at the practice of brand placement in movies.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Brand placements are used to increase the level of brand knowledge among consumers as in every advertising medium. The uniqueness of the medium is found in the process of exposure and congruity of brand in the story. There is no competitive exposure in the same medium at the same time, unlike television of newspapers. This is significant as it may increase the level of brand knowledge. Brand knowledge is conceptualized as brand node in memory to which a variety of associations are linked. So it is important to identify the properties of the brand node and brand association.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The factors important for product placement include the level of abstraction and qualitative nature of the brand memory effect and the congruity among brand associations affects the favorability, strength and uniqueness of the brand associations.
The factors being:
Brand awareness: It is the strength of brand node or trace in the memory as reflected by consumer’s ability to identify the brand under different conditions.
Brand image: It is the set of perceptions, held in the consumer’s memory, as reflected by brand associations. Are the other informational nodes linked to the brand node in memory and contain the meaning of the brand for the consumers?
Brand Attitudes: they are the overall evaluation of the brand by the consumers. They often form the basis of consumer’s choice.
Other variables affecting Brand placement are-
Favorability of Brand Associations: Associations differ according to how favorably they are evaluated. The success of a marketing program largely depends on the ability of the marketing program in creating the trust among consumers that the attributes and associations benefits are there in the brand talked about in communications.
The Strength of Brand Association: It depends on how the information enters consumer’s memory (encoding) and how it is retained as part of brand image (storage). Strength is a function of both the amount or quality of processing information received at encoding (how much the person thinks about the information) and the nature or quality of the information at the encoding end (the manner in which the person thinks about the information).
Congruence of a Brand: the congruence of the brand with the story of the film and presentation in the film is another measure. Congruence is defined as the extent to which the brand association shares the content and meaning with other brand associations. This explains how easily one existing brand association can be recalled and how additional associations can be linked to the brand node in memory.
Brand Leverage: Compares the characteristics of the secondary associations with those of primary brand associations. The secondary associations are derived out of the usage of the brand by the character in the film. Example in the film Taal, the hero uses the bottle of Coke as a symbol of exchange of love and this contextual placement increases the strength of association of the brand.
Earlier researches have shown the importance of a strong link between the brand and the film. The stronger the link, the greater is the impact between the brand’s image and the attitude towards the brand sponsor.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Increase in product placements and institutionalization of the industry indicate that advertisers are using the technique to sway consumer’s brand attitudes. The type of placements should look natural to the narration, as consumption symbols are often used to enrich the plot, theme and characters of popular culture texts.
Some consumers may feel that the use of brand names in popular culture simply reflects the increased commercial content of a culture or the producer’s efforts to enhance the realism of their film. However, in case where the brand takes a major role in the story of the film as in the movie Friends, or where its presence in the movie might look suspect as in the movie Yaadein, the audience may realize that it was placed there to affect their judgments and they may counter argue them just as they do to the traditional advertising messages.
Advertising gurus claim that in-film advertising is a very shaky business and most marketers have a tendency and temptation to go overboard with the result that the film would end up becoming a long advertising commercial. Others say that since marketers always tried to stretch their advertising rupee in order to obtain the maximum bang for their buck with the result that brand suffered. However, most advertising professionals vouch for the fact that films, by virtue of being quite engaging, are one of the cost-effective and effective mediums for advertising. ‘If a consumer watches a particular scene and the advertisement is well embedded into that, it will remain,’ they say. This can be referred to the fact that the girls beating the boys fighting sequence in ‘Chak De’ has been referred to as the McDonald’s fight scene merely because it takes place in one of the outlets. Again, there is no mention of McDonald’s in the entire film as it has been seamlessly embedded.
Film content of any kind can be used to build brands. The last one year has been rather active in terms of in-film placements and branding through films. However, the placement of brands such as Ultra Tech poses a big challenge especially considering that there is no obvious benefit in sticking to stereo-types and force-fitting the Brand in film’s theme or storyline,’ he said
Literature survey in the Indian context was more disheartening despite the fact that brand placement is used more and more in Indian films these days. There are hardly any evidences of work carried out on brand placement in Indian Movies.Â The Indian Hindi film industry id the largest in the world in terms of number of movie produced. Yet the success rate of the movies in Indian film industry is very less. If a proper research on brand placement can be done, it can guide the producers, brand managers and academicians to develop and effective brand placement strategy in which the risk of the film making and failure will come down substantially in the Indian market. The producers can charge a price for the brand placement and cover a production cost; the brand managers will find a platform to communicate with the audience about their brands in more effective manner than conventional television advertising.
PROMINNENT EXAMPLES OF SUCCESSFUL PRODUCT PLACEMENTS IN SOME MAINSTREAM FILMS
(In Recent Times)
SOME FAILURES TOO
Bollywood has finally discovered branding. In 2007, according to industry estimates, brand cameos earned around Rs 200 crore, and as a result, even small-and medium-budget movies as well as animated films are hoping to cash in on this new and lucrative revenue stream. Indeed, media analysts and industry watchers expect that figure to climb to Rs 800 crore by 2010.
Some of the select successful instances of brand placement in recent times are cited below:
Rang De Basanti: Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra’s Rang De Basanti was probably the most successful Bollywood branding in 2006 with its limited edition RDB Coca-Cola bottle, and cameos of Airtel, LG, Berger and Provogue in the film. Coke, in a first of its kind attempt, launched Coca-Cola bottles branded with the RDB title and Amir’s picture and produced a movie trailer that was a montage of shots from the film and Coke’s ‘Piyo Sar Uthake’ campaign. Just the right kind of media partners, the film’s marketing ensured good and effective publicity and both the brands and the movie generated a lot of mileage from each other.
Krrish: Rakesh Roshan’s Krrish, now a case study of Indian Institute of Management, Indore, prominently featured Singapore Tourism Board, Sony, John Players, Bournvita, Tide, Hero Honda, Boro Plus, Lifebuoy, HP Power, Acron Rangeela, Hansaplast and Lays chips, followed by merchandising of Krrish masks, lunch boxes, water bottles. Its merchandising sold like hot cakes among children. Krrish made 12 crores out of product placement.
Don: Farhan Akhtar’s Don promoted Tag Heuer watches, Motorola, Garnier, Citibank and, of course, Oakley sunglasses as well as Louis Philippe outfits. The placement ensured that the viewer noticed don’s phone, his laptop, his watch, hia sunglasses and the brand names were the focus of the camera work. But it was still done in a subtle way and did not come across as being imposed on viewer.
Dhoom 2: Sanjay Gandavi’s Dhoom 2 promoted Coke, Pennzoil, Pepe, Sony, Disney channel, Sugar Free, McDonald’s, Speed, and Suzuki Zeus. The movie was quite an opportunity for Coke, for both the brand ambassadors of Coke were starring in the movie together for the first time. The cool couple drinking the always coolest drink, perfect for Coke! The cola company had a special campaign for Dhoom 2 where Hrithik Roshan encouraged youngsters to take a swig and “go dhoom”.
Baabul: Ravi Chopra’s Baabul featured brands like Audi, Kotak Insurance, Eros Jewellery, Nerolac and Taj Mahal Tea. The spirit of Baabul is celebrated with ‘Kotak Life Insurance’. The high profile in-film ad in Babul featured the Audi A6. Chivas Regal, Eros Jewelry and Audi together contributed 40 lakhs in cash and kind for the music release and fashion show of Baabul.
Main Hoon Naa: Farah Khan’s first movie Main Hoon Naa featured the following brands- Reebok, CafÃ© coffee day, Frito Lays, Levis, LML. MHN was an example of optimum utilization of branding in a film. The story of the film revolved around youth hence it gave us the scope of using lifestyle and youth centric brands. The brands that were involved were the ones keeping the modern day college goers in mind, for which using brands is just a way of life. The brands were woven into the screenplay in a manner where it looked like a modern day college going youth was using the product – natural yet conspicuous.
Baghban: One of the clear cases of effective placement in recent times was BR film’s family drama Baghban. The movie creatively integrated five brands in it. The brands included were ICICI Bank, Tata Tea, Archies, Ford and Tide. Baghban truly depicted the craft of product placement.
And these are not mere stating of the brands featured. These placements result in stupendous impact in consumers as delineated by the sales figures of the featured brands, before and after product placement. After Bournvita featured in Krrish, it reported a increase in sales by 15% and intention to use brand by 9%*.
Domios registered greater footfall in its outlets after its placement in Phir Hera Pheri. Garnier recorded a product recall of 46% after it got featured in the movie Chup Chup Ke. Lays got an additional endorsement from Priyanka Chopra after she was shown munching on the snack in Krrish, thus re-establishing Lays as ‘cool snack’.Â After Reebok featured in key scenes in Viruddh, the brand boasted of having got verbal endorsement of Amitabh Bacchan, and extensive reach through multiple showcasing of the film on multiple vehicles. Tanishq recorded a average minimum revenue of 1.45 crore from its Paheli collection. And as if that was not all, they recorded a increase in purchase intent by 13% and favorability of the brand by 10%!!!
That says a lot about the success of brand placements.
There is always the other side of the coin!
Academicians from Universities say that currently, embedded advertising still needs to grow in India. ‘It is like a deranged marriage, the brand most often does not fit into the film the way in which it should. The reason is that most filmmakers still do not think of it as a revenue stream,’ they say.
So apart from the huge successes, there were some bad failures as well. Few of them are:
Ta Ra Rum Pum: After you see drivers and cars layered by brands of their sponsors, Ta Ra Rum Pum a film on racing cars would seem like the perfect avenue to showcase such similar branding. After all seeing these brands is what we’ve come to expect, but corporate honchos didn’t seem happy just with ‘being there’. So they must’ve insisted on special close-ups and zooms for their brands. As a result we get a good dose of Castrol, Goodyear and Chevrolet periodically through this film.
Salaam E Ishq: Salaam E Ishq was another product-friendly movie. With such an extensive star cast and lavish set designs the director must’ve felt the need for corporations to cover up costs. Of the many placements there was one that stood there screaming for attention. John Abraham and Vidya Balan play a couple in love so on the day of their anniversary John decides to gift his lady love with a diamond set. For those curious about the brand, it was Ira Jewellery and the makers give more than a glimmer to those who wonder. To make things worse, the camera decides to zoom more on the brand than the jewels.
Victoria 203:Â If you’re one of the few people that watched the remake of Victoria 203, you’d probably be gripped by the urge to buy diamonds, more specifically Gitanjali Diamonds. That’s because Gitanjali has been constantly mentioned throughout the first half an hour. The makers go to the extent of giving the viewers an unwanted history lesson about the Choksi family that owns the company and their legacy.
Virruddh…Family Comes First: In terms of product placements, Viruddh went to the extent of shoving their branded products down audiences’ throats. What made this blatant promotion unbearable was that Virruddh was made as a serious film about a grieving family and their dead son. Obvious instances were where Sanjay Dutt posed with a can of Elf Oil in his garage and John Abraham praised how great ‘the services of Western Union money transfer’ were.
Koi Mil Gaya:The product placements in Koi Mil Gaya weren’t as awkward as Yaadein but they were definitely obvious. You can definitely tell why the mother (played by Rekha) insists that her overgrown, mentally handicapped son (played by Hrithik Roshan) drink his glass of Bournvita milk. Not to mention another scene where the dimwitted son magically transforms into a promoter for Bournvita when his drink preference is asked. Coffee, tea, Bournvita or me? Other instances include where Hrithik sips Coke with his classmates and rides off into the sunset with Preity Zinta on his Hero Honda Bike in the end.
Yaadein: Few films have been universally panned like the way Yaadein has. Ironically, the film’s message was to shun the materialistic life all the while promoting brands. Coca Cola had a large presence throughout the entire film. It even went to the extent of having the Coke logo branded on Jackie Shroff’s key chain! The blatant praise for Pass Pass the mouth freshener by the film leads also made audiences groan in their seats. The film sank at the box-office, but since Subhash Ghai leaned heavily towards placements it’s likely he covered part of his production costs.
Objectives of the Study
The purpose of this project was to investigate whether the strategies followed for brand placements within Mainstream films affect the memory for the brands and the attitude towards those brands. The opinion of advertising and branding professionals was also taken into account to arrive at a classification for the purpose of research, and the brand placement was grouped as:
A. Implicit: where brand is shown without verbal reference to brand name or benefits (no auditory support).
B. Used in Scene: where brand is used in a scene without verbal reference to name or benefits (no auditory support but with high plot connection due to character usage shown on screen).
C. Integrated Explicit Brand Placement: Where benefits/attributes of the brand/product are mentioned by a main star, along with hands-on use (both auditor and visual mode of presentation with plot connection).
The objective of the study includes consumer’s evaluation of the brand placement, as a strategy for providing brand communication and the reactions to the level of ethicality involved in brand placement which talks about commercialization of entertainment products and intrusion in the life of consumers.
Different variables are used in research for establishing the relationship between the level of information processing through exposure and elements of brand choice in the selected markets. Any exposure to the brand communication affects consumer response, which can be measured by analyzing variables like brand awareness in terms of recall and recognition, favorability, strength and uniqueness of the brand associations in the consumer memory.
The study evaluates the effectiveness of brand placements within Mainstream films on basis of recall, recognition and opinion about brand placement. Four Mainstream films were selected as case studies and hence part of consumer survey.
The films were selected on basis of two criteria:
- Popular appeal (whether the movie was a super hit, average run or a poor grosser depending on box office report).
- The release timings, i.e. two were recent releases (one a blockbuster hit, other a dud), one around six months old, and the last having been released almost a year back.
- The number of brands featured in these movies. All the selected movies had major associations and substantial number of brands featured in the movie.
- The variety of placement types (implicit, used in a scene, and integrated explicit brand placement) (Refer- Appendix)
The films selected: Om Shanti Om (November, 2007); Goal (December, 2007);Â Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Chak de! India (August, 2007); Lage Raho Munnabhai
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â (September, 2006)
Considering that brand awareness is primary goal of advertisers in brand placement, memory based awareness measures such as recognition or recall is appropriate. Short term and long term memory as well as consumer’s evaluation of product placement are tested.
The respondents were approached randomly and verbal consent was sought before administering the survey.Â Once agreed, they were offered a structured questionnaire (Annexure) and requested to answer it. The interviewer cue was only provided in the questions where it was mentioned to provide ‘hint’ and the study objective was not mentioned in advance. A total of 50 responses (30 male and 20 female) were obtained. The average duration of the survey was 15 minutes.
Target Segment: The cine goers-
* Teens within the age group of 15-19.
-10 male and 8 female
* Adults within the age group of 20-35.
-20 male and 12 female
-12 students and 20 working professionals
These are the major target audience for the advertisers and the brands.
Geographical location: Bangalore
Research Instrument: Questionnaire
1.Om Shanti Om
No of Prints: 2000
Budget: 35 Crore
Cast: Shahrukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Shreyas Talpade, Arjun Rampal, Kiron Kher
Box office status: Blockbuster Hit.
Director: Farah Khan
Producer: Gauri Khan
Brands featured in the movie: Nokia, Maybelline, Shopper’s Stop, Tag Heuer,
Om Shanti Om was the biggest hit in the year 2007. Trade analysts have even gone ahead and claimed that it is the biggest grosser in the history of Bollywood. With its stupendous success, it was one film which enabled the brand mangers of the brands featured in the film go laughing to the bank. The film featured some top brands of their category and needless to say, its super success benefited these brands immensely.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The most visible brand of the movie is Nokia. In the film, the lead character Om (Shahrukh Khan) not only uses cellular devices by Nokia, but also mentions them in his dialogues. Further there are significant close-ups of different Nokia devices in some very important scenes. Another interesting observation is that the Nokia devices used are all of different segments. While the character Om, who’s a superstar uses a high end mobile and Bluetooth set, Dolly, a wannabe actress, uses a middle segment cell phone and Pappu, a one time junior artist, uses a low end cell. Thus with one shot, Nokia manages to address its target audience who are spread across these wide segments.
Apart from having their product feature in the film, Nokia also tied up with the film for its promotion. Nokia offered exclusive videos, behind the scenes, ringtones and wallpapers of the movie to its customers. They also ran a contest where if one buys certain specific models like 6300, 5700, 5300, 6233 M, 3000 classic etc, they get a chance to enter a luck draw wherein the winner gets to meet superstar Shahrukh Khan for an exclusive dinner. They also introduced Crazy Mobisodes, which were animated versions of the characters of the film in different formats.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Speaking at occasion, Mr. Bob McDougall Director sales, Nokia India said, “Bollywood is the most popular downloads mobile content besides sports and fashion in India. We are confident that OSO crazy and the other exclusive OSO content will provide our consumer an enhanced media rich mobile experience’”
Apart from Nokia other key brands featured were Maybelline, Shopper’s Stop and Tag Heuer. Debutant Deepika Padukone is the brand ambassador of the cosmetic giant Maybelline and hence it provided a perfect platform for the brand to be featured in the film. The brand also boasts of close-ups of its various products and brand name in vital scenes.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Tag Heuer, SRK’s favorite watch, or as the watch company claims is the brand ambassador for the same. So it was not surprising to see the brand featuring in the movie. However it’s done very subtly as it appears as a background billboard in a scene when the reincarnated Om is in conversation with Pappu. What’s interesting is that the billboard is the exact replica of the Tag Heuer bill boards we see in life. (As seen in the picture in the left)
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Shopper’s Stop majorly had its role in promotion where it launched an exclusive line of clothes and merchandise styled on the movie. It also displayed large banners and roof hangers of the film in its exclusive stores.
The brand placements in the film were divided according to the earlier mentioned criteria. The classification of brand placement in Om Shanti Om is as provided in Table 1.
Table 1: Type of Product Placement
Used in Scene
No of Prints: 600
Budget: 16.5 crore
Cast: John Abraham, Bipasha Basu, Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani
Box office status: Dud.
Director: Vivek Agnihotri
Producer: Ronnie Screwvala
This much talked about movie proved to be a box office dud. Audiences seem not too impressed by either the story or the chemistry between the lead actors, John and Bipasha. According to critics, the movie failed to deliver on its promise of being a high voltage football drama and ended up being a boring discussion of racial tension in Britain.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â However what was interesting in the film was its association with sports brand Reebok. Apparently Reebok played a master stroke by being associated with the movie. Since the film is sports based, it provided ample opportunity for any sporting brand for maximum visibility. And that became true for Reebok. Since in majority of the film the actors are shown wearing football gear, on field or off it, Reebok, which provided the merchandise for the entire team boasts of visibility in almost 70% of the frames. Reebok also is visible in terms of their stores, their soccer kit being used by the team and their advertisings during the crucial matches featured in the film.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Apart from their humungous presence in the film, Reebok was also associated with the film for its promotion. Almost all Reebok Stores, both exclusive and multi brand, carried Goal inspired merchandise. They had huge displays of the movie posters in their stores and major malls, featuring Reebok logo prominently in them.Â They also used the mode of floor stickers in malls leading either to Reebok stores of the multiplex where the movie was running.
Apart from Reebok the brands which got associated with the film were Western Union Money Transfer, Gillette, ESPN Star sports. Western Union has prominent presence in the movie with not only it having an exclusive shot at its outlet but also the characters mentioning it in their dialogues as they discussesÂ when they will be able to earn enough to be able to send money to their families in Asian countries.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Gillette is used by the lead characters for their shaving habits and in one scene the lead actress is seen shaving off the hero’s beard using a Gillette razor.
ESPN Star Sports have been used as official broadcasters of the matches shown in the film. Apart from that, the channel participated in the film’s promotional activities by having John and Bipasha feature in their channel promoting English Premier League.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â A major brand which indirectly got promoted through the film without having any tie up with the movie is English Premiership, the Football League of England. The movie features the sporting, specially the soccer season in England in its totality, starting from the passion for the game to the ambience, the effort, the significance, the madness and the big money riding in it. Further John and Bipasha’s appearance in ESPN strengthened its positioning in India.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Surprisingly, Goal proving a dud in box office did not affect Reebok adversely as many may think it has. Reebok provided a style statement to the team and the merchandise sold in Reebok stores attracted people more because of association with a established style icon like John Abraham and due to their individual novelty factor. Reebok stores, by record, have registered more footfall than they had before and after they were offering special Goal collection.
The brand placements in the film were divided according to the earlier mentioned criteria. The classification of brand placement in Goal is as provided in Table 1.
Table 1: Type of Product Placement
Used in Scene
Western Union Money Transfer
3. Chak De! India
No of Prints: 550
Budget: 15 crore
Cast: Shahrukh Khan and others
Box office status: Super Hit
Director: Shimit Amin
Producer: Aditya Chopra
Brands featured in the movie: Ultra tech cement, Puma, Mac Donalds, Bisleri, Aaj Tak, Times of India, Sports Brands Rakshak and Vijayanti.
Chak De! India is revered for its role in reviving Hockey in India. An unprecedented hit, this movie is the story of one man rising against the system to win back both his and national pride. And he does this through the medium of hockey. The fact that hockey formed the core of the film, provided ample opportunity for advertisers to lap it up and go for featuring their brands. The film provided various avenues wherein brands/products could gain visibility. The film featured Women’s National Hockey team. The brands could feature in as official sponsor of the team, as merchandise sponsor, sports equipment sponsor, hoardings and billboards during the matches, event sponsors, etc.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Ultra tech cement lapped up this unique opportunity and is the most featured brand shown in the movie. It is the main sponser of the Women’s Hockey team and features prominently as sponsor logo in the front of the team’s official uniform. By getting such prominent placement, it has ensured that it is seen in almost every frame a match is played by the team, thus gaining maximum and crucial airtime.
What’s unique in this brand placement is that it’s a first time by any cement brand to be associated in in-film branding, and by doing so Ultra tech cement has scored a perfect ten. Even though there is no product relevance or synergy, the in-film placement initiative has been conducted quite uniquely without a single reference to the brand in the film and without being too obvious or blatant or in-the-face.Â
Ultra Tech Cement Ltd chief marketing officer O P Puranmalka stated, ” Since our brand is virtually seen in almost every frame when the World Cup matches are played, it has helped us reinforce the brand attributes such as ‘global winner’, ‘modern & youthful’, ‘tech-savvy’, and yet ‘intrinsically Indian’ amongst our core target groups across India.”Â
Another brand which caught a lot of eyeball was sporting brand Puma. Puma provides merchandise to the team before their final match. It had a perfect placement as it was associated with the success of the team. Puma won brownie points when its logo was prominently seen in the team uniform throughout the final match.
Others brands featuring in the movie were Mc Donald’s, Bisleri, Aaj Tak, Times of India. While Mcdonald’s featured in a scene where the girls bash up boys gor eve teasing one of them, Bisleri was seen in many scenes as the team and the players sipping water from bisleri bottles.
What was very interesting was placement of Aaj Tak and Times of India. Both of them were shown as the media generating and spreading negative news about the lead character. Its surprising to think why both the brands agreed to collaborate in such form when the situation does more bad than good to their brands. Both are seen as media houses who germinate and support wrong perceptions about the sportsmanship a player shows when he is on the loosing side.
The brand placements in the film were divided according to the earlier mentioned criteria. The classification of brand placement in Chak de! India is as provided in Table 1.
Table 1: Type of Product Placement
Used in Scene
Ultra Tech Cement
Times of India
4. Lage Raho Munna Bhai
No of Prints: 550
Budget: 17.3 crore
Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Vidya Balan, Arshad Varsi, Boman Irani.
Box office status: Super Hit
Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Producer: Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Brands featured in the Movie: Worldspace Satellite Radio, IOCL, Go Air, MSN, Goodday, Kurkure, Bright Outdoor and Reliance Communication.
After the successful prequel, this film came with lot of expectations, and not to mention the amazing brand placements. And true to its series, Lage Raho Munna Bhai rocked the box office with its stupendous success. Not only was it a super hit, it became a phenomenon by claiming the onus of re-launching father of nation. So it wasn’t surprising to see ‘Gandigiri’ flourish all round.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â This was thus an ideal platform for hoards of brands to get their target audience in a big way. Lage Raho however carried a lot of brands as an extention of its prequel, Munna Bhai MBBS. These apart, some new brands too got associated with the movie and rode to success.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â In the centre of the plot is the radio programme which ‘Munna Bhai’ never misses as he is in love with the voice of the Radio Jockey, played by Vidya Balan. Over the course of the film, Munna Bhai too is invited to host show on the radio and he goes on to solve people’s problems through the show, and ultimately gets reunited to his sweetheart via that media itself. Cleary this was a perfect opportunity for Worldspace Radio for brand placement. Nothing could be better than the fact that radio was the centre of the story. This was a guarantee for making the consumers notice its presence and also be ensured of future brand recalls whenever there is a mention of the movie or a broadcast of it subsequently in TV or DVD modes.
So Worldspace succeeded in getting the cherry of the pie. It succeeded in capturing the audiences’ attention to the maximum. Other brands too reaped in a lot through tactical airtime. MSN even ran its commercials in line of the film and participated in promotions as online partner. Reliance communications rode high on good network at cheaper rates proposition.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Kurkure re-established it self as a no excuse snack, and Goodday as premium biscuits.
However, the movie is now almost a year n half old and this time lag has resulted in a lot of memory loss on behalf of the consumers. Worldspace however still commands a substantial recall by virtue of it being integrated in the story itself. A clear example of winning strategy by Worldspace brand managers!
The brand placements in the film were divided according to the earlier mentioned criteria. The classification of brand placement in Lage Raho Munna Bhai is as provided in Table 1.
Table 1: Type of Product Placement
Used in Scene
Worldspace Satellite Radio
Recall scores of Brands placed in the selected case studies:
1. Om Shanti Om
Unaided Recall Score
Aided Recall Score
c. Shopper’s Stop
e. Sia Jewelry
Unaided Recall Score
Aided Recall Score
h. Western Union money transfer
j. ESPN Star Sports
3. Chak de! India
Unaided Recall Score
Aided Recall Score
a. UltraTech Cement
d. Aaj Tak
e. Times Of India
g. Hockey stick brands Vijyanti and Rakshak
4. Lage Raho Munna Bhai
Unaided Recall Score
Aided Recall Score
a. Worldspace radio
c. Go Air
e. Good Day
g. Bright Outdoor
h. Reliance Communications
From Product Placement Recall Exercise:
- Integrated explicit product placement has largest product recall. (Nokia, Worldspace, Reebok)
- With film getting older, the recall diminishes. (Lage Raho Munna Bhai)
- Well known brands are recalled more. (Nokia, Tag Heuer, Reebok). Thus brands familiar to the consumers life are recalled more.
- More air time does not necessitate greater recall. (For majority Ultra Tech couldn’t be recalled first but only after hint)
- Brand associated with promotion and merchandisings have greater recall.
- Interestingly, when probed, many consumers tended to associate brands with a particular movie by virtue of the stars in the movie. Example: many people when asked to recall brands in OSO came up with Airtel and Pepsi, because SRK is the brand ambassador for these brands.
Issue 1- Do you think Brand placement in movies is a good alternative to traditional advertising?
- Substantial number of ‘yes’ coupled with some grave ‘no’!
- While 70% thought brand placement is a good alternative, others differed in opinion.
- Those who think its good believe that it is seamless and catches audience’s interest and attention easily.
- However, those who didn’t like the concept complained that they are irritating and obtrusive in the movie.
- Some said they didn’t pay money to watch an extended advertising.
Issue 2- Do you think real brands should be used extensively in movies to make a scene more believable?
- 77.2% people believed that product placements make the movies more realistic.
- However, majority of them are of the opinion that it is so only in cases where the product placement is un-intrusive and not on your face. They believe that if used intelligently, these product placements help them relate to the movie better.
Issue 3- Does the way a brand is used in movies affect your feelings about the brand?
- 66% people believed that brand placement does affect their feelings in a positive way.
- The respondents believe that they relate to the brands better after watching their brands in movies.
- They feel happy when they see their favorite actors use the brands of their choice.
- However, they feel cheated when brands preferred by them are shown in negative situations in the movie. As examples they cited instances of Aaj Tak’s placement in Chak De. The fact that it was the channel which started the whole non-issue out of Kabir Khan’s sportsmanship in the movie did not go down well with the audience.
Issue 4- Does product placement in movies affect your buying decisions?
- Surprisingly, 59% of the respondents said that product placement does not affect their buying decisions.
- They say that they buy something based on their necessity and preference and not because a certain brand was shown in the film.
- The buying decisions also depend on consumer’s previous personal experience with the brand or his risk taking habits.
- However, the remaining 41% said that they buy products after seeing them in films as they feel that it’s more credible source and if their favorite actor uses it, it has to be good.
- Some also buy the products to look and feel like the actor endorsing it in the movie.
2. INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
Objectives of the Study
The purpose of this essay is to know about the industry insights regarding:
- How the brands get associated with a particular film and at what stage does the involvement begin.
- What are the channels through which brands negotiate their placements in the movie.
- The importance and role of ad agencies in product placement.
- How product placement is measured?
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â And many more such issues.
1. The Process of Product Placement
In-film branding today is the biggest source of revenue after the revenues from film showing. This, together with music and satellite rights has opened up newer avenues for the industry to cover the production cost. He said that, any major film today generates Rs. 6-10 crore worth publicity through promotional tie-ups. Each effective tie-up involves hectic negotiations of around 3-6 months. Sometimes the brands approach the production houses, in other times it’s the production houses which approach the brands for such tie ups. This system depends upon the demand of the occasion.
There is no fixed formula but the factors that are taken into consideration during the negotiation stage are:
- Cast and credits
- Size of the project and the producers
- Timing of the release
- Brand impact
- Possibilities of brand associations through contests and promotions.
If the product is not clashing with the theme of the film, I see no harm in having it in the film. It helps in increasing the realism of the film and help audience connects to the film on a more personal level, as the film characters seem real, not from any far away land. Based on the content of the film and its story line, both, the film maker and the brand managers, can sketch a profile of viewers who would flock to see the movie. Depending on this, a 360 degrees plan is formulated for cross promotion during various stages of film making.
Payments are based on exposure, including the number of times the product is shown or mentioned, the duration of that exposure, and the degree of inclusion of the product in the story line. However sometimes product usage is negotiated rather than paid for.Some placements provide productions with below-the-line savings, with products such as props, clothes and cars being loaned for the production’s use, thereby saving them purchase or rental fees.
2. Role of Advertising Agencies and Their Importance
Recognizing the growing significance of branded entertainment concept in India, advertising majors are beefing up the operations in their respective entertainment wings. Major advertising agencies have created special wing to catch business. They are:
- WPP Group (Broadmind)
- Lowe (Lin Entertainment)
- Percept (P9)
- Leo Burnett (Leo Entertainment)
- Madisoon (MATES)
Apart from these there are some specialized agencies coming up, only dealing with in-film branding. Media e2e is one such agency.
These agencies fix up the deal between a producer and the brand for placement. And today almost all movies have product placement in some amount or other. However some brands go for tie-ups without the help of these agencies. Nokia had a direct tie-up in Om Shanti Om. On the other hand, Ultra tech Cement took the assistance of P9 Integrated for its crucial placement in Chak De.
3. How is product placement measured?
The ITVX tool offered by Media e2e is a product placement valuation metric service for media professionals in the branded entertainment industry. The system hinges on Q-Ratio. The quantitative metric known as a Q-Ratio reflects the quality of product placement or branded entertainment exposure. It is based on the simultaneous calculation of 50 variables. The tool will help advertisers, media planners, content producers & TV stations with valuation & quality of product placements & other forms of Branded Entertainment. The summary output at the end of a product placement is Q Ratio, a single metric that represents the quality of the product placement. This ratio can be applied in a number of ways to privy costs the client typically uses for media measurement to guide prognosis or diagnosis of what clients got for their money.
WHAT IS Q-RATIO? “Q” ratio is a global measure for quality of product placements. It is measured as a % of a 30 sec ad i.e. –
- Decimal fraction of a 30 sec ad or
- Number of commercials to which it is equivalent.
It creates placement standards & parameters for broadcasters, agencies & advertisers. It also hedges the risk in product placement deals.
Q RATIO SYSTEM CONSISTS OF 2 COMPONENTS
1. A psychological dimension, with 3 parts (and multiple levels) that simultaneously interact with each other.
- Impact factor- The backbone of per calculations
- Awareness factor- Measures of involvement
- Integration factor – Measures of engagement
2. A perpetual dimension e.g.: signal attributes
- The clarity of audio & video
- This is called a ‘threshold measure’ – below a certain point it can detract from the message & damage the impact.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â In-film branding was present from a long time but it was caught our fancy in recent times. And it is a welcome phenomenon. Before year 2000, most of the money coming for funding of movies was from mafia and other illegal means. And if not them, there were a handful of financers who controlled the entire movie business. In the year 2000 Bollywood formally got the tag of industry. And this was possible thanks to increasing number of corporate wanting to have stake our movies either as plain financers or through in-film advertising of their products, brands, companies.
Â Â This a big boon to the industry because now with lesser sweat about acquiring finances, we can actually concentrate and experiment with better and relevant themes in our movies. It no longer needs to bend to the pressures of mafia or financer to cut out some parts of the story because it either does not match the views of mafia or is too heavy on the financer’s pocket. The brands coming in have given fresh air to our creative freedom.”
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â In-film branding is the latest way of earning revenues, legally! Its the matter of money coming in via these in-film advertising. With increasingly ambitious budgets, it’s important to get these endorsements as they pay heavy money for the brands to be feature. And at the end of the day, money matters.”
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Both, Nokia and Ultra Tech cement managers talked about the theme of the film matching their image. In case of Nokia they identified with the versatility of SRK, the mood of second part of OSO being projected as both up-market (SRK as superstar) and humble (Pappu as lower income group representative), tech savvy, stylish, vibrant, being the in thing. Ultra tech cement identified with the integrity, the mental toughness, the determination, the zeal, the trust, being global winner, modern and youthful, tech savvy yet intrinsically Indian image of the film characters. Ultra tech pulled a coup of a sort by its placement in the movie Chak de as its unprecedented by any cement company. And they managed to be seen in virtually every frame the team was playing in its official gear, as it was the official sponsor.
There is also a fear in many corporate that if they associate with a film and it flops in box office, it may affect their brand adversely. So investing in in-film advertising is seen as having a risk factor of 50-50. Many thus refrain from such activities. Some however have no issues in promotional activities. They can mostly profitable and does not have that strong an association with the movie to be affected by its commercial success and failure.
The current research provides a foundation for increased understanding about the concept of product placement and its effectiveness in Mainstream films. The paper has highlighted a number of key issues within this research area. It is fairly evident that Bollywood movies have distinct nature and format which distinguishes them from western cinema, in particular Hollywood movies, so there needs to be a research agenda which focuses more extensively upon understanding specific placement strategies, which would then be able to link more closely with specific film themes and structures.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Future research could examine the attitude and interests of audience towards brands and branded goods, to understand individual’s propensity to get influenced by brand image. It can also identify additional variables to further segment the market on basis of behavioral intentions in accepting brand placements.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Future studies can also measure relative scores of product categories (FMCG goods versus consumer goods) and well known versus lesser known brands. The increasing use of brand placement in other media like television, books, regional language and art films, and computer games can also be studied.
Product Placement in Mainstream films is emerging as the most reliable and viable medium from brands today. If there is in-film branding in a movie, the 15,000 audience sitting in the theatre are going to look at it unlike a TV channel where they can browse through different channels. Hence its here that the brands catch and can hold on to consumers’ undivided attention. The power of celebrities, many with iconic and idol status, give greater credibility to brands and reinforce or establish positive associations
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The study indicates that brand placement in Hindi films are effective. The high recall, recognition and positive attitude scores suggest that brand managers are seriously looking at product placements in movies as a new vehicle for reaching to consumers.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â However, several issues need to be kept in mind. Relevance of products to the situation needs to be created- this is possible by incorporating the placement planning at a script level, as practiced in Hollywood. The brand managers also need to guard against the clutter in the scenes- other competing products of product category should not be incorporated. They need to look in the future where use of comparative brand placement will be a reality. The research suggests that explicit placement is more successful than implicit placement. The brand managers however, should pretest the placement to determine the exact level at which viewer irritation sets in. As success of brand placement is dependent on the success of the movie and consequently, its reach, it is not possible to evaluate placements from a sales generation perspective.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â As the Indian economy develops a global perspective, Bollywood needs to follow suit. More importantly, as Indian audiences become fragmented into class specific segments, marketers are faced with the more difficult task of communicating their brand messages. Effective and well thought of product placement appears to be some solution.
- Panda, Tapan K, (2004), “Consumer Response to Brand Placements In Films”, South Asian Journal of Management, Vol 11, Issue 4.
- Dwyer, R. and Patel, D. (2002), Cinema India: A Visual Culture of Hindi Films, London, Reaktion Book Ltd.
- Balasubramanian, S. K. (1994), “Beyond Advertising and Publicity: Hybrid Messages and Public Policy issues”, Journal of Advertising, 23(4), pp 29-47 Business World, May 2006.
- DLR van der Waldt, LS Du Toit and R Redelinghuys, (2007), “Does Branded Product Placement in Film Enhance Realism and Product recognition by Consumers?”, African Journal of Business Management, May 2007, pp 19-25.
- Sengupta. R., (1999), “Taalis for the Showmn” 8th July, The Times of India.
- Clark, Nicola (2008), “In the Eye of Storm”, 16th January, Brand Equity, The Economic Times.
- Kapoor, Jagdeep (2005) “In-film Branding is the In Thing”, 30th June, The Hindu Business Line.
- Arya, Swati (2007) “Ultra Tech Cement Tastes In-film Branding”, 23rd August, Media Newsline.
- FICCI and Ernst Young, (2004), “The Indian Entertainment Industry: Emerging Trends and Opportunities,” FRAMES 2004, Global Convention on the Business of Entertainment; Federal of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industries.
Name :___________________________Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Age:___________
Sex: MÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â F
Occupation: WorkingÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â StudentÂ
Education: School PassÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Monthly Household Income
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Under GraduateÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 10,000-20,000
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Post GraduateÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 20,000-30,000
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Post Graduate(Special)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 30,000-40,000
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â OthersÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 40,000+
1. Do you watch movies?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
2. How often do you watch them?
a. once a monthÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
b. once a week
c. Two to five times a weekÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
3. Which movies have you watched recently?
4. Have you watched Om Shanti Om?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
5. Did you notice any brand featured in the movie?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
6. Can you list them?______________________________________________________
TICK THE BRANDS THEY MENTION. FOR THE REMAINING GIVE HINTS AND MENTION ‘H’ IN FRONT OF THOSE BRANDS.
c. Shopper’s Stop
e. Sia Jewelry
7. Have you watched Goal?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
8. Did you notice any brand featured in the movie?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
9. Can you list them?_____________________________________________________
TICK THE BRANDS THEY MENTION. FOR THE REMAINING GIVE HINTS AND MENTION ‘H’ IN FRONT OF THOSE BRANDS.
l. Western Union money transfer
n. ESPN Star Sports
10.Have you watched Chak De?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
11. Did you notice any brand featured in the movie?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
12. Can you list them?_____________________________________________________
TICK THE BRANDS THEY MENTION. FOR THE REMAINING GIVE HINTS AND MENTION ‘H’ IN FRONT OF THOSE BRANDS.
h. UltraTech Cement
k. Aaj Tak
l. Times Of India
n. Hockey stick brands Vijyanti and Rakshak
13.Have you watched Lage Raho Munna Bhai?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
14. Did you notice any brand featured in the movie?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
15. Can you list them?_____________________________________________________
TICK THE BRANDS THEY MENTION. FOR THE REMAINING GIVE HINTS AND MENTION ‘H’ IN FRONT OF THOSE BRANDS.
i. Worldspace radio
k. Go Air
m. Good Day
o. Bright Outdoor
p. Reliance Communications
16. Do you think Brand placement in movies is a good alternative to traditional advertising?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
17. Do you think real brands should be used extensively in movies to make a scene more believable?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
18. Does the way a brand is used in movies affect your feelings about the brand?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
19. Does product placement in movies affect your buying decisions?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
20. Do you think the idea of placing a brand in a movie is unethical because the movie goers do not want to watch paid advertising?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
- 1 INTRODUCTION
- 2 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
- 3 MODEL
- 4 –
- 5 Literature Review
- 6 Existing Research Available
- 7 Hypothesis
- 8 The perceived success of a movie has a positive influence on the social awareness generated.
- 9 Result and Analysis
- 10 Chak De India
- 11 Step
- 12 Relation
- 13 R2
- 14 Adjusted R2
- 15 Standardized β
- 16 Type of Mediation
- 17 1
- 18 x1 to y
- 19 2
- 20 x1 to z
- 21 3
- 22 z to y
- 23 4
- 24 x1,z to y
- 25 1
- 26 x2 to y
- 27 2
- 28 x2 to z
- 29 3
- 30 z to y
- 31 4
- 32 x2,z to y
- 33 1
- 34 x3 to y
- 35 2
- 36 x3 to z
- 37 3
- 38 z to y
- 39 4
- 40 x3,z to y
- 41 1
- 42 x4 to y
- 43 2
- 44 x4 to z
- 45 3
- 46 z to y
- 47 4
- 48 x4,z to y
- 49 Storyline
- 50 Popularity of Director (POD)
- 51 Promotion Done
- 52 Popularity of Star Cast (POS)
- 53 Variable
- 54 Standardized Beta
- 55 Storyline
- 56 Director
- 57 Promotion
- 58 Actor
- 59 DOR
- 60 Step
- 61 Relation
- 62 R2
- 63 Adjusted R2
- 64 Standardized Beta
- 65 Type of Mediation
- 66 1
- 67 x1 to y
- 68 2
- 69 x1 to z
- 70 3
- 71 z to y
- 72 4
- 73 x1,z to y
- 74 1
- 75 x2 to y
- 76 2
- 77 x2 to z
- 78 3
- 79 z to y
- 80 4
- 81 x2,z to y
- 82 1
- 83 x3 to y
- 84 2
- 85 x3 to z
- 86 3
- 87 z to y
- 88 4
- 89 x3,z to y
- 90 1
- 91 x4 to y
- 92 2
- 93 x4 to z
- 94 3
- 95 z to y
- 96 4
- 97 x4,z to y
- 98 Storyline
- 99 Popularity of Director (POD)
- 100 Variable
- 101 Standardized Beta
- 102 Storyline
- 103 Director
- 104 Promotion
- 105 Actor
- 106 Discussion and Implications
- 107 Scope for Future Research
- 108 Limitations and Conclusions
Movies are rollercoaster ride that have the tremendous power to entertain and to teach. They can be a powerful tool to bring about effective social change – true or false? It seems intuitive and logical that a well made film- especially one with a compelling narrative and well-crafted outreach plan would serve as a catalyst to change minds, encourage viewers to change entrenched behaviors, and start inform or reenergize social movements (Barrett and Leddy, Fledging Fund, Dec’08). But another group of people believe that it can be surprisingly difficult to make a firm connection between the power of a film and social change so the social impact of movies needs to be better understood and documented although it is important to note that not all films are intended to be agents of social change, nor should they be.
Some are simply lovely moving stories whose primary purpose is to entertain and share a compelling story.
The concept of empowerment is inescapably tied to the idea of disempowerment and thus refers to the process by which those who have been denied the ability to make choices acquire such ability (Kabeer, 1999). Empowerment in essence entails a process of change. It refers to the expansion in people’s ability to make strategic life decisions in situations where earlier this ability was not given to them. Batliwala (1994) defines empowerment in terms of “how much influence people have over external actions that matter to their welfare”. The World Bank has identified empowerment as one the key development goals. The promotion of women’s empowerment is based on a dual argument, the first part of which states that social justice is a vital part of human welfare and that women’s empowerment in itself is a means to other ends. The most important element of empowerment is that it is a process (Kabeer 2001; Chen 1992; Rowlands 1995, Oxaal and Baden 1997). According to Jejeebhoy (1997), even though terms like autonomy and empowerment seem like similar concepts, there is an important line of difference between them. The former represents resemblance to a static state while latter is something that continuous to change over time. The concept of empowerment of women does not necessarily imply that a change in the position of women can be brought about only by their own action or that empowering themselves is the responsibility of individual women themselves. It is looked upon as a collective responsibility of every individual member of the society in his own regard as well the responsibility of various legal and political institutions. Most researchers believe that in order to bring about women empowerment it is imperative to have collective action in the public sphere. Individual actions when combined together can help bring about significant normative changes at a broader or societal level. According to sociological theories of diffusion, new ideas and practices often spread gradually without the realization that any fundamental change is occurring (Rogers 1995). At last comes a “tipping point” where the new processes become strong enough in themselves to create a revolution and to create a change in the collective consciousness. Empirical research on gender issues in the field of sociology, economics, demography and anthropology has increased significantly in the last three decades. However, research is yet to make a clear establishment on what is the one factor or the most significant factor that can alone influence this issue. There is still a lot of scope for research on the various dimensions and factors associated with the concept of empowerment.
In this paper an attempt has been made to form a link between the awareness created about the issue of empowerment of women through movies. Movies are an important part of the modern day life and a powerful source of influence. Its impact on various areas in people’s lives cannot be denied. However, how powerful a medium it is to mobilize people for a social cause, to change their attitudes and perceptions about them, is an area open for debate and exploration. Movies influence people in different ways be it in their lifestyle or thought process. If this channel can be effectively tapped to reach out to people and effectively communicate social messages pertaining to different issues of concern then it will become easier to reach out to thousands of people across geographies and to create a change in the collective consciousness, to mobilize people towards a cause for the greater good and create a change at the societal level. In this paper an attempt has been made to study through various hypotheses the impact of movies in generating social awareness in the viewers pertaining to the cause of empowerment of women and the various dimensions that affect the impact that is created.The purpose of this paper is to explore the link between films and coordinated outreach efforts as change agents. i.e. whether an individual would actually change his opinion after seeing a movie. If yes, then movies are a very powerful medium to fight against the perils of the society.
The purpose of the paper is to understand and analyze the extent to which movies influence people’s perception about various social issues. Contributions of factors such as the movie characteristics, movie success in making a movie an effective instrument for generating social awareness will also be analyzed.
The model links the movie characteristics and success of the movies to the overall social awareness generated. Respondent’s attributes consisting of gender acts as the mediator for this model.
The constructs decided for the research are:
1. Movie Characteristics: This parameter consist the characteristics of the movie, various components which define the movie
Storyline – This component indicates how well the issue has been depicted through the movie’s script. The film should have a compelling narrative that can not only engage the viewers but also illustrate complex problems in a lucid manner.
Popularity of the Director & Star Cast – The popularity of the director has a major impact on the pre release success and ratings a movie. The more the popularity and fame of the director and the star cast the more will be people talk about it.
This component will incorporate the promotional activities undertaken before the release of the movie. The pre-release promotion and publicity of the movie plays a significant role in the revenue generated.
Through our research we will try to analyze how these variables impact the success of a movie and the social awareness generated by it.
2. Success of the Movie: Different people have different criteria while measuring the success of a movie. For some it is the revenue generated by the movie, for others it comprises of the number of awards the movie has won. The various components which represent a movie’s success are listed below.
3. Social Awareness Generated:The ultimate objective is the social change which in this research paper is women empowerment. It is a long and complex process, however, in some cases there are key indicators of success. These can be in the form of legislative or policy changes or a shift in public dialogue or how issues are framed and discussed. One needs to be clear about the kind of social issue that a movie addresses and accordingly set reasonable expectations in respect of impact generated. In this paper we intend to evaluate the social change in the society by the following three variables:Action-Under this we look at the short term effect i.e. in terms of the immediate actions taken by the respondents as result of the impact caused by the movie in question.
Impact- This variable looks at a more long term effect caused by the movie in terms of changes in people’s perception, attitude and behavior towards a particular issue or cause.
In this research paper we intend to study these variables via questionnaire, where in we will try and gauge the change in the level of activity under all these variables after they saw the movie.
The study undertaken for the purpose of this paper has been done mainly through primary data collection. The sample population has been taken as group of 150 persons on whom a survey was administered in order to collect the necessary information. The area of research as undertaken in this paper is relatively new as a result of which no fixed methods and scales were available to study the effect of the movies in the manner as required by us. As a result of this on the basis of some of the existing scales and measures we developed a list of statements that would help us to capture the essence of all the variables that had been taken to represent a given construct. The statements so developed were clubbed together to form a simple questionnaire that could be administered upon the respondents. The measure of these was taken with the help of a five point Likert Scale, which gauges the response of the consumers on a continuum varying from strongly disagree to strongly agree. The development of the statements to capture the social awareness generated in people about women empowerment has been made on the lines of the Spreitzer’s (1995; 1996) empowerment instrument, the validity of which has been established and proven. This instrument makes use of four dimensions when assessing the effect of empowerment in people, which in this case we have used to determine how deeply people are affected by the movie and the extent which they feel responsible for things and are willing to take action for the same even on a long run. The essence of the awareness generated among people has been captured on two levels: the first refers to the immediate action that they took to act on the particular issue and the second tries to capture the change in people’s perception and behavior on a sustained basis. The statements as available in the Spreitzer’s instrument have been modified suitably in order to test or capture the impact as created on the movie viewers. Since the scale used in this study is not a pre established one and has been developed by us for the purpose of this study therefore the instrument was required to be put through a test of face validity before it could be administered to the respondents. Face validity is basically a test conducted in order to judge whether something “looks like” it is going to measure what it is intended to measure. In order to test this the original questionnaire was sent to a few experts and their views and opinion obtained on whether they felt that the statements were able to rightly get the message across to the respondent and capture the meaning as was intended by us. According to their suggestions some of the statements that were incorporated in the initial questionnaire were dropped as due to their extreme generic nature they were not able to convey the right kind of meaning and get the response as was required for the purpose of the study. The statements that were removed were:
- The director of a movie influences my decision to watch the movie.
- I’m more likely to watch a movie if made by a famous producer/director.
- The star cast of a movie influences my decision to watch a movie.
- I’m more likely to watch a movie if it has a famous star cast.
After making the necessary revisions we were able to come up with a questionnaire that could convey meaning to people in the same sense as intended by us and which looked like it was capable of capturing the responses in the true spirit bringing about the right understanding on the part of the respondent of the various variables involved.
We also went through relevant articles and journals from EBSCO and other web sources to carry out a literature review to create our hypotheses. The issue which we have addressed is women empowerment. We have selected 2 movies for the purpose of our study, namely ‘Chake De India’ and ‘Dor’. The key issue that has been addressed in Chake De India is that Women are capable of creating a space for themselves in a so called male dominated society while Dor talks about a married woman who has to renounce happiness and live a life of repentance when her husband dies. Subsequently we studied the impact that both these movies had on the viewers in terms of making them aware about the pertinent issue. While selecting the movies various factors were taken into consideration in order to draw a meaningful comparison. ‘Chak De India’ was selected because of the popularity of the star cast, the hype and success of the movie; whereas ‘Dor’ was selected because it is not a part of commercialized cinema and the actors and director are not as famous as in the case of ‘Chake De India’.
Existing Research Available
In 1920’s movie exploded as mainstream entertainment as there were no radio or TV set during that period. A lot of researchers believed that movies had impact on attitude and behaviours of people and they launched a series of studies focusing on effect of films. There were 13 studies conducted primarily by Edgar Dale. He studied film content and categorized them into 10 groups. An observation which came out was more than 75% fall into crime, love and sex categories. Interestingly same kind of trend can also probably been seen today. Edgar Dale used census, survey, questionnaires, case studies and personal interviews in his study. It was observed movies caused attitude, emotions, behavioural change in people who were the part of the study.
Herbert Blumer conducted questionnaires and interviews with people to study how watching movies affected their behaviour. Most of the people who were studied believed that they had been influenced by movies in some way (A brief History of Media Effects Research).
In one of the study, Andrew Butler of Washington University decided to simulate a classroom where films were used as a teaching tool. The accurate version of an historical event was taught to the students and they were also made to watch a movie associated with that event. The movie that was shown contained both accurate and inaccurate information about the historical incidents they depicted. The idea was to see which method led to the most accurate comprehension of the events: teaching or watching a movie. The results were really interesting, when the information in the film and the reading were contradictory — that is, when the film was inaccurate — the students were more likely to recall the film’s distorted version and were very confident in their memories, even though they were wrong (I Learned It at the Movies.By: Herbert, Wray, Scientific American Mind).
In the last ten years, however, “outreach strategies”, have become a central component of movies, spurred by a new generation of producers (The evolving impact of documentary film: sacrifice and the rise of issue-centered outreach (1) by Whiteman, David). Thus at the societal level, movies are assumed to play a role in transmitting, maintaining, and reinforcing the societal and cultural consensus. They cultivate images of society by interpreting the world in terms of "what is" "what is important" "what is ‘right’" and "what is related to what else." In other words, movies generally show a view of reality (Interactive Media and Its Contribution to the Construction and Destruction of Values and Character.By: Kane, Harrison D., Taub, Gordon E., Hayes, B. Grant).
Films affect perceptions that people hold about the world at large and its inhabitants in particular. Even though some people may like to disregard cinema as only a frivolous means of entertainment and nothing beyond that, one cannot ignore the fact that there have been film makers who have managed to lift veil on a hidden plight. It might be about an injustice to a minority, or the courageous story of change by a single individual, but either way it raises awareness about the issue at hand (Movies Promoting Social Change by Robert Oakes).
One of the most popular papers on this topic considers the following factors to be important for a movie to make an impact:
Quality of the movie – The movie should have a compelling narrative that can not only engage the viewers but also illustrate complex problems in a lucid manner.
Ability of the film to create awareness about an issue- Awareness is the first step to any kind of social change. Care should be taken to see whether the film could reach people beyond those who already knew and cared about the issue illustrated in the movie.
Public engagement – This implies not only being aware of the issue to taking action on it. To evaluate a film’s success in this regard one can look at participation in response to facilitated dialogues, blogs, activity on various social networking sites and participation level in various Actions campaigns that are organized around that issue.
The ultimate objective is the social change. It is a long and complex process, however, in some cases there are key indicators of success. These can be in the form of legislative or policy changes or a shift in public dialogue or how issues are framed and discussed.
A lot of film makers are making full use of the social power of the internet to drive their social campaigns. Not only are viewers being encouraged to visit and discuss the movie on online forums after having viewed it ,but, a lot of filmmakers are also using websites to create a community before the film has been released. This is slowly becoming a critical strategy to deepen the reach and impact of films. Engaging a pre release audience increases their investment in the film and logically increases the likelihood that they will see the film and take some action. The film makers are expanding their digital reach to the likes of Facebook, YouTube, MySpace and Twitter to draw in new and diverse audiences who generally may not have been interested in a movie of that particular genre or issue.
Characteristics are the qualities that define the core features of objects and distinguish one object from another. While defining a movie, the initial elements which come to mind are genre, storyline, impact of the personnel in the movie, music, cinematography, etc. movie characteristics are distinguished into two groups; movie traits and picture related communication. The traits describe such attributes which influence the decision of people to watch a particular movie (Jedidi, Krider and Weinberg 1998). Depending on the influence on behavior, the traits are further divided into factors which moviegoers comprehend before watching the movie such as attractiveness of personnel, genre, and success in previous years. The second category contains qualities which can be experienced only after watching the movie like the storyline or script.
The script of a movie decides its fate. If the movie is not made well and is unable to grip the audience to their seats, it does not serve the purpose. The script should be able to define the issue in such a way that people can relate to it and understand the essence of the issue. Poorly made scripts eventually lead to a disinterested crowd of audience and the main motive behind making the movie is lost. The core dimension of the film’s impact remains the quality of the film. This basically means that the film should have a compelling narrative that can not only engage the viewers but also illustrate complex problems in a lucid manner. For this measure researchers look at a lot of dimensions such as festival acceptance, theatrical success, online “buzz”, international and national DVD sales as well as traditional film reviews and awards. Ridley Scott had stated once that the success of a movie is driven by the script (Silver-Lasky 2003). Eliashberg, Hui and Zhang (2006) studied the effect of a movie’s script on the box office revenue and stated that the script of a movie plays an important role in the box office revenue thus generated. Facts have shown that the revenue generated by a movie does not entirely depend on the money spent on the production, but the ability of the script to capture the issue being portrayed in a realistic manner. Finalizing the script is a tedious task and a lot of research is put into it. There is a tremendous gap between the number of scripts registered and the number of movies actually made out of them. It has been estimated through studies that each year over 15000 scripts get registered with the Writers Guild of America, whereas about 700 movies are made in America.
A regularly debated question is whether the presence of stars critical to the success of a movie? The industry is full of actors and actresses but it is the ones who are on the top of the pyramid who command the highest payments. Generally people go to watch a movie because their favorite actor/actress is acting in it. Popularity of an actor is build by his previous performances and success in the film industry such as awards won by him, etc. This provides a benchmark for the viewers and they believe that the presence of that particular actor will result in the movie becoming a hit. Similarly, reputed and famous directors and producers are expected to make good films which are a box office. The expectations from these directors/ producers are far more than some not so famous directors. There is a lot of academic literature on whether the presence of stars affects the performance of a movie, however, the results have been mixed. Direct and absolute causal relationship has not been established. Thurau, Walsh and Wruck (2001) studied the significance of the popularity of the star cast and producer/ director in attracting audience to the movies. The study stated that the motion pictures are a result of the contribution of numerous individuals. Movies are complex creative goods that are the results of teams of creative people working together (Caves 2000). Both the visible personnel like the onstage performers and actors as well as the invisible personnel like producer and director have an influence on the people’s choice of movie. Presence of a famous start reduces the uncertainty in the viewer’s mind about the movie. Arnold stated that analogous to brand names, the presence of famous stars help the movie attain a certain standard. Elberse in her study stated that a popular star as a part of a movie is like a source of free advertising for the movie. He/she can help the film maker to garner valuable resources (in this case the audience) for him/her to be able to reach out to the masses to make the presence of his movie felt. Empirical studies by Albert (1998); Kindem (1982); Wallace, Seigerman, and Holbrook (1993) indicate that the power of stars contribute to 20 percent of the gross revenue generated by the movie. According to Schroder (1995), the director is of great importance while a motion picture is being made. It is his task to coordinate the actors, technical staff and other personnel to achieve his vision. A director’s previous successes are also sometimes included for the advertising and promotion of a movie. For example Titanic was advertised using the catchphrase “From the director of the movie True Lies”. Brand Theories by Chang and Ki state that similar to superstars, presence of famous directors is like ingredient branding. In other words popular directors contribute to box office success by attracting audience.
The success of a movie is also influenced by the promotion done for the movie. Movie promotion is done to make the people aware of the movie, create suspense and interest about the movie. If a person is unaware of a movie, its genre, star cast, director, etc then it is unlikely for him to watch the movie. The pre release promotion of a movie creates a buff and hype about the movie. Based on promos itself people start speculating the fate of the movie. A strong promotion is likely to attract more audience in the early few days of the release of the movie as the only information about the movie before its release is through its promotional activities. The different promotional activities include advertising through print media, film posters, participation of stars and directors on TV and radio, merchandising, trailers, etc. Movie promotion focuses on communicating a movie’s quasi-search qualities like symbolicity, presence of actors and actresses. Attempts are also made to reflect the overall quality of the movie in its advertising through statements like “The year’s funniest movie” or testimonials. Empirical studies by Austin (1989); Eastman, Bradbury and Nemes (1985); Muller and Cheviz (1993) have shown that the customer expectations are influences by the movies trailers. However, the trailers should be such that they do not reveal the movie’s secrets as that interest dies down. For example the trailer of the movie “What lies Beneath” entirely demolishes the surprises. Ebert (2000) said that the approach of modern studio to trailers is taken from the marketing people standing in the supermarkets, offering a bite of sausage. Tasting it gives you all the ingredients of the sausage, except for the experience of eating the whole thing. Internet has become a very powerful tool for advertising. Graaf (1999) in his study stated that the success of a movie is influenced by website advertising rather than conventional advertising. Blair Witch Project was able to earn box-office gross revenue of 130 million dollors in USA and Canada through word of mouth on the internet. According to the study by Barrett and Leddy the film’s promotion and outreach activities play an important role in not only increasing the size of the audience and sales but to use films as vehicles of social change.
- The relevance of the storyline directly influences the success of the movie.
- Popularity of the star cast, director and producer positively influences the success of the movie.
- Promotion positively influences the success of a movie.
Success is defined as an event that accomplishes its intended purpose. Success of a movie is a very debatable topic as different people perceive success differently. Some attribute the success of the movie to the box office revenue generated by it, for others it is the number of awards won by the movie. People also perceive a movie to be successful if it was able to create an impact and awareness about the issue or was able to cause a social drive which changed the mindset of the people regarding that issue.
If a person perceives a movie to be a success then the movie has a strong lasting impression in his mind. The ability of a film to create awareness about an issue is the first step to any kind of social change. In this regard the researchers have considered both the diversity as well as the size of the audience. The research makes an attempt to see whether the film could reach people beyond those who already knew and cared about the issue illustrated in the movie. While looking at the success of motion pictures, a great deal of importance is attached to the number of moviegoers and the gross revenue generated (box-office earnings), along with the movie’s profitability (Thurau, Walsh & Wruck, 2001). In order for a movie to be long term box office success it is imperative that there should be elements present that complement the overall quality of the movie, which can be done effectively through viewer’s perception and the critical reviews that it obtains. In the arena of new product development, word of mouth (WOM) plays a significant role because building consumer awareness is of vital importance, and consumers need information when deciding whether to purchase a product they do not know well (Mahajan, Muller, and Kerin 1984). Similarly movie reviews largely influence the decision of people to watch the movie. Word of mouth is supposed to be more credible and trustworthy, and it is more readily accessible through social networks (Banerjee 1992; Brown and Reingen 1987; Murray 1991). Due to the large number of movies being released these days, movies are seen as consumer goods and not just a source of entertainment. A McKinsey & Company study found that 67% of the sales of consumer goods are based on WOM (Taylor 2003).
Movies which have performed well on the box office are likely to have a greater impact about the issue being addressed. A lot of research has been done to study the effect of the box office success as a driver for carrying out a social change. Barrett and Leddy in their study stated that while looking at a movie as having the potential for social impact it is important to move beyond the box office success and look at the overall impact generated. While one looks at the number of people who saw the film, what’s more important is how many people understood the issue for which it was made. It is not reasonable to expect broad social change if there is little awareness of the fact that a problem exists. In some cases, just getting the audience to watch the film and better understand the issue is sufficient as creating awareness is of prime importance while trying to bring a social change.
The number of awards won by a movie also influences the perception of people regarding its success. A lot of studies have taken awards as an independent variable for predicting the success of the movie as it is perceived that awards reflect quality or might help in generating bigger revenues for the movie. However, the relationship between quality reflected by winning awards and the quality as perceived by movie viewers is yet to be established in a significant manner (Chang & Ki, 2005). Movies like Ben Hur, Titanic and Lord of The Rings are considered to be some of the most successful movies and this can be attributed to the fact that each of them has won a record breaking 11 awards at Oscars. Moreover these movies have a higher recall value in the viewers’ minds and have had a greater impact as compared to movies which have won lesser or no awards.
According to Max Weber ‘action’ can be defined as human behavior which the agent or agents seen as being subjectively meaningful. In this case ‘meaning’ does not necessarily imply that it has to be objectively ‘correct’ or ‘true’ by some metaphysical criterion. Action when looked at this context mainly refers to the initiatives or steps taken by them in the immediate future after being exposed to an external stimulus. For the purpose of this research paper the external stimulus referred to is the movie that the people are exposed to. Action here is judged in terms of steps taken by them in the immediate time span post this exposure. Action can be taken being mainly composed of two aspects. The first refers to the dimension by which people feel like the “engine” of empowerment. It basically refers to the mechanism through which individuals get energized and feel passionate about the work or cause. The second dimension talks about competence which basically refers to an individual’s belief that he/she has what it takes to do a task well. Without a sense of confidence in their abilities, individuals feel not adequate or empowered and thus may not be motivated enough to take any kind of action (Conger & Kanungo, 1988). When talking about impact we consider the long term and sustainable change generated in the people’s attitude and perception about a particular object which in this case would be the movie in question. Impact can be seen as comprising of two primary dimensions. The first thing that it talks about is the concept of self-determination. This primarily refers to whether individuals see themselves as the origin of their actions (DeCharms, 1968) it is very essential for a person to view herself/himself as the source of the action or change if the effect created on them initially is to be sustained on a long run basis. The second part refers to a sense of accomplishment that an individual would feel when he believes that he is able to cause a difference in the manner things happen around him. Without a sense of progression towards a goal, without a belief that their actions are influencing the system, people would not feel empowered (Thomas & Velthouse, 1990).
Action and Impact have been incorporated as a part of the social awareness generated as any change initiated in society or elsewhere will not be complete if checked only in terms of the immediate consequences without giving due importance to its sustainability. Often when exposed to a strong external stimulus people respond by taking some immediate action however, any meaningful change can occur only if the effect of the influence remains on a relatively permanent basis.
Result and Analysis
Chak De : Constructs
Chak De : Questionnaire
Dor : Constructs
Since the area of our research is relatively less explored and the scale used was also developed by us therefore we conducted the reliability test on the various aspects of this study to ensure the reliability of the test scores obtained. As a rule of thumb, a reliability of 0.70 or higher is considered satisfactory to use an instrument further. We conducted this test to obtain the alpha value for the responses received under both the movies to check the internal consistency of the test scores. The values obtained were as given in Table- . since all the values obtained were greater than 0.70, we could conclude with a reasonable level of confidence that the items used were capable of measuring the given constructs and thus the responses received could be used to carry the research forward.
In addition to this all the variables used to capture the various constructs were all us put through the reliability test. The findings of the same have been reported in Table and Table
Chak De India
Construct – Movie Characteristics
Popularity of the director
Popularity of the actor
Construct – Perceived success of the movie
Construct – Awareness generated about women empowerment
Construct – Movie Characteristics
Popularity of the director
Popularity of the actor
Construct – Perceived success of the movie
Construct – Awareness generated about women empowerment
To gauge the impact of movies on the social awareness generated we have used the four-step mediation analysis method developed by Baron and Kenny (1986). There are four variable in the construct ‘Movie Characteristics’ and we have carried out a separate mediation analysis for each of the four variables. In the first step storyline of the movie is taken as the independent variable/ predictor in the regression equation and social awareness generated as the outcome/ criterion variable. The second step uses storyline as the predictor and perceived success of the movie as the criterion variable. In the third step perceived success of the movie is taken as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. In the fourth step both storyline and the perceived success are taken as the predictors and the social awareness is taken as the criterion variable. This is done in order to compare the effects of the mediator which in our model is the perceived success if the movie. The mediation analysis has been done separately for both the movies.
Chak De India
Type of Mediation
x1 to y
x1 to z
z to y
x1,z to y
x2 to y
x2 to z
z to y
x2,z to y
x3 to y
x3 to z
z to y
x3,z to y
x4 to y
x4 to z
z to y
x4,z to y
Table 1: Regression results of the four step mediation analysis for Chak De India
Notes: x1 refers to storyline; x2 refers to popularity of director; x3 refers to promotion done; x4 refers to popularity of star cast; y refers to social awareness generated; z refers to perceived success; p<0.05
Step 1 shows the results of regression using storyline as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the storyline is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.486 and p<0.05).
Step 2 shows the results of regression using storyline as the predictor and perceived success as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the storyline is significantly and positively related to perceived success (R2 = 0.209 and p<0.05) thus validating our research hypothesis H1.
Step 3 shows the results of regression using perceived success as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the perceived success is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.235 and p<0.05) thus validating our research hypothesis H4.
Step 4 shows the results of regression using storyline and perceived success as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the both storyline and perceived success are significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.521 and p<0.05). Moreover the standardized beta value obtained in this step for storyline (β = 0.601) is lower than the value obtained in step 1 (β = 0.697) which indicates that the perceived success partially mediates the relationship between storyline and the social awareness generated.
Popularity of Director (POD)
Step 1 shows the results of regression using POD as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the POD is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.45 and p<0.05).
Step 2 shows the results of regression using POD as the predictor and perceived success as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the POD is significantly and positively related to perceived success (R2 = 0.225 and p<0.05) thus validating our research hypothesis H2.
Step 3 shows the results of regression using perceived success as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the perceived success is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.235 and p<0.05).
Step 4 shows the results of regression using both POD and perceived success as the predictors and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the both POD and perceived success are significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.486 and p<0.05). Moreover the standardized beta value obtained in this step for POD (β = 0.569) is lower than the value obtained in step 1 (β = 0.671) which indicates that the perceived success partially mediates the relationship between POD and the social awareness generated.
Step 1 shows the results of regression using promotion as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the promotion is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.242 and p<0.05).
Step 2 shows the results of regression using promotion as the predictor and perceived success as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the promotion is significantly and positively related to perceived success (R2 = 0.116 and p<0.05) thus validating our research hypothesis H3.
Step 3 shows the results of regression using perceived success as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the perceived success is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.235 and p<0.05).
Step 4 shows the results of regression using both promotion and perceived success as the predictors and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the both promotion and perceived success are significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.356 and p<0.05). Moreover the standardized beta value obtained in this step for promotion (β = 0.37) is lower than the value obtained in step 1 (β = 0.492) which indicates that the perceived success partially mediates the relationship between promotion and the social awareness generated.
Popularity of Star Cast (POS)
Step 1 shows the results of regression using POS as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the POS is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.423 and p<0.05).
Step 2 shows the results of regression using POS as the predictor and perceived success as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the POS is significantly and positively related to perceived success (R2 = 0.257 and p<0.05).
Step 3 shows the results of regression using perceived success as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the perceived success is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.235 and p<0.05).
Step 4 shows the results of regression using both POS and perceived success as the predictors and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the both POS and perceived success are significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.455 and p<0.05). Moreover the standardized beta value obtained in this step for POS (β = 0.545) is lower than the value obtained in step 1 (β = 0.65) which indicates that the perceived success partially mediates the relationship between POS and the social awareness generated.
We also calculated the effect of the movie characteristics on the social awareness generated by taking all the four variables together as the predictors and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. This was done to gauge which variable had the strongest influence on the social awareness generated.
Table 2: Regression results for movie characteristics variables on social awareness for Chak De India
The results in the above table indicate that storyline of the movie is the most instrumental factor in creating social awareness about the concerned issue. The results also indicate that the promotion alone does not influence the generation of social awareness, and a mediating effect is required through the perceived success. In other words, only if the movie is perceived to be successful, the promotion will influence the social awareness generated.
Type of Mediation
x1 to y
x1 to z
z to y
x1,z to y
x2 to y
x2 to z
z to y
x2,z to y
x3 to y
x3 to z
z to y
x3,z to y
x4 to y
x4 to z
z to y
x4,z to y
Table 3: Regression results of the four step mediation analysis for DOR
Notes: x1 refers to storyline; x2 refers to popularity of director; x3 refers to promotion done; x4 refers to popularity of star cast; y refers to social awareness generated; z refers to perceived success; p<0.05
Step 1 shows the results of regression using storyline as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the storyline is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.434 and p<0.05).
Step 2 shows the results of regression using storyline as the predictor and perceived success as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the storyline is significantly and positively related to perceived success (R2 = 0.296 and p<0.05) thus validating our research hypothesis H1.
Step 3 shows the results of regression using perceived success as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the perceived success is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.348 and p<0.05) thus validating our research hypothesis H4.
Step 4 shows the results of regression using storyline and perceived success as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the both storyline and perceived success are significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.51 and p<0.05). Moreover the standardized beta value obtained in this step for storyline (β = 0.48) is lower than the value obtained in step 1 (β = 0.691) which indicates that the perceived success partially mediates the relationship between storyline and the social awareness generated.
Popularity of Director (POD)
Step 1 shows the results of regression using POD as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the POD is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.248 and p<0.05).
Step 2 shows the results of regression using POD as the predictor and perceived success as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the POD is significantly and positively related to perceived success (R2 = 0.118 and p<0.05) thus validating our research hypothesis H2.
Step 3 shows the results of regression using perceived success as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the perceived success is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.348 and p<0.05).
Step 4 shows the results of regression using both POD and perceived success as the predictors and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the both POD and perceived success are significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.51 and p<0.05). Moreover the standardized beta value obtained in this step for POD (β = 0.334) is lower than the value obtained in step 1 (β = 0.498) which indicates that the perceived success partially mediates the relationship between POD and the social awareness generated.
Step 1 shows the results of regression using promotion as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the promotion is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.321 and p<0.05).
Step 2 shows the results of regression using promotion as the predictor and perceived success as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the promotion is significantly and positively related to perceived success (R2 = 0.203 and p<0.05) thus validating our research hypothesis H3.
Step 3 shows the results of regression using perceived success as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the perceived success is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.348 and p<0.05).
Step 4 shows the results of regression using both promotion and perceived success as the predictors and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the both promotion and perceived success are significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.461 and p<0.05). Moreover the standardized beta value obtained in this step for promotion (β = 0.377) is lower than the value obtained in step 1 (β = 0.566) which indicates that the perceived success partially mediates the relationship between promotion and the social awareness generated.
Popularity of Star Cast (POS)
Step 1 shows the results of regression using POS as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the POS is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.331 and p<0.05).
Step 2 shows the results of regression using POS as the predictor and perceived success as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the POS is significantly and positively related to perceived success (R2 = 0.195 and p<0.05).
Step 3 shows the results of regression using perceived success as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the perceived success is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.348 and p<0.05).
Step 4 shows the results of regression using both POS and perceived success as the predictors and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the both POS and perceived success are significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.471 and p<0.05). Moreover the standardized beta value obtained in this step for POS (β = 0.391) is lower than the value obtained in step 1 (β = 0.575) which indicates that the perceived success partially mediates the relationship between POS and the social awareness generated.
We also calculated the effect of the movie characteristics on the social awareness generated by taking all the four variables together as the predictors and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. This was done to gauge which variable had the strongest influence on the social awareness generated.
Table 4: Regression results for movie characteristics variables on social awareness for DOR
The results in the above table indicate that storyline of the movie is the most instrumental factor in creating social awareness about the concerned issue.
Discussion and Implications
The results and scope of this study can have great implications in terms of providing new ways and means of reaching out to people in order to make them more aware and conscious about the social issues plaguing the society. The first step towards bringing about any meaningful change in society is to create awareness about the fact that a problem exists. Since movies have a mass appeal they can be shaped on the basis of this study to ensure that they are used as an effective medium for mobilizing people to work towards a greater good. One of the most important implications of this study derives from the fact that the storyline of the movie has the greatest impact in generating awareness about a particular issue. Thus it can be assured to a large extent that a movie made for initiating social change will have the desired impact if it has a strong script, which is capable of conveying the message to the target audience in a lucid manner. Another important result derived from this study is the partial mediation effect of the perceived success of the movie on the impact generated by it. This implies that a movie maker can only partially control the factors such as the star cast, director et al. that influence the impact generated by the movie as the rest will depend on whether the viewers perceive the movie as a success or not.
Scope for Future Research
The amount of research work done in judging the impact of movies on people particularly in the dimension of generating social awareness had been increasing slowly; however, there is still a lot of scope for further research work to be done. One of the major areas for future researchers to work upon would be the development of a scale that can be used to capture the various dimensions of the constructs included in the model used for the purpose of this study. The scale developed in such a case would not only be required to be tested for face validity but also for content validity in order to ensure that it is able to capture all the facets involved. Future research also provides scope to extend this study to various other social causes pertinent to the society. This will also provide a chance to determine whether the factors that influence the impact generated by a movie differ with the kind of issue being addressed. Also, in the future research work one could take into account the effect of foreign films in generating social awareness within a domestic framework. With increasing globalization, and improvement in technology more and more people are being exposed to foreign films. This provides a chance to study if and how an international movie can influence perceptions and belief systems of a different culture and society.
Limitations and Conclusions
This particular study was conducted to try and capture the social awareness as generated among the people regarding the issue of empowerment of women post watching a moving dealing with the same. Since the survey deals with the respondents painting a social picture of themselves the study by its very nature becomes open to the effect of social desirability bias. Social desirability basically reflects a tendency present in the subjects to try and deny socially undesirable traits and to try and claim the socially desirable ones which are likely to place them in a favorable light. This kind of behavior is particularly shaped by what people believe is the acceptable norm in society. Norms are important determinants of what would constitute behavior that is socially acceptable, as they determine what makes a good impression in a given situation ( cf Atteslander & Kneubuhler , 1975). When an element of social desirability creeps into the minds of the respondents their responses tend to become distorted as rather than giving their true opinion about the cause under consideration ( in this case that of empowerment of women), they try and project an image of what they feel would be the tight kind of opinion to have or the right kind of behavior to indulge in, so as to gain social acceptability. Their focus then shifts to projecting conformity with social standards and opinions rather than giving a picture of their true selves. This particular factor inhibits any study which tries to gauge people’s response in any area of social responsibility. This has also been one of the major impeding factors in this study when collecting data from the respondents as it is hard to be absolutely sure that the responses as submitted by them reflect their true perception about the subject matter of the study. We tried to limit the extent of this factor by giving an option to the respondents where in they could choose not to disclose their identity while filling in the responses. However, the desire to appear socially desirable is so strong in people that they may not completely trust the fact that their responses could not be traced to them and would thus focus more on appearing socially acceptable.
Another major limitation that we came across while conducting this study was the lack of any pre-established scale. The variables which were included as part of the various constructs did not have exact measurement scales available for them. As a result in order to capture the primary data we developed and administered a questionnaire on our own using the Likert scale for measurement purposes. The developed questionnaire could be tested only for face validity and the content validity of the scale is yet to be tested. The content validity checks the extent to which a measure is able to capture all the facets of a given social construct. For a scale to be completely valid and reliable one should take into account the content validity also. However, it was beyond the scope of this paper to test the developed scale for content validity, and hence we have had to make do only with face validity.
The scope of the given study is limited to only two movies, where as to obtain a more holistic perspective one could take into account more movies made on the issue of empowerment of women, across different time lines and genres. Another constraining factor is the number of respondents who have been approached for the study. By increasing the number of respondents probably across different age groups and locations we could get a more complete perspective on the kind of impact that has been generated on the viewers.
Different 3d technologies work
- 1 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
- 2 CHAPTER 2: HUMAN VISION
- 3 CHAPTER 3: Early Stereoscopic History (1838 – 1920)
- 4 This was the start of stereoscopic photography.
- 5 Chapter 4: Early 3D Feature Films
- 6 4.1 The first 3D feature film
- 7 4.2 The first active-shutter 3D film
- 8 4.3 The first polarised 3D film
- 9 Chapter 5: ‘Golden Age’ of 3D
- 10 Chapter 6: Occasional 3D films
- 11 Chapter 7: The Second ‘Golden Age’
- 12 CHAPTER 8: 3D TECHNOLOGIES
- 13 8.1 – 3D capture and display methods
- 14 8.2 – Ghosting & light efficiency
- 15 8.3 – Colour separation – anaglyph
- 16 8.4 – Colour Separation – Dolby 3D
- 17 8.5 – Active shutter
- 18 8.6 – Polarisation
- 19 8.7 – Polarisation – RealD & MasterImage
- 20 8.8 – IMAX 3D
- 21 8.9 – Autostereoscopic displays
- 22 WRITE ABOUT NINTENDO DS 3D
- 23 8.10 Comparison of technologies
- 24 Chapter 9: 3d Cinematography
- 25 9.1 Interaxial distance
- 26 9.2 Convergence
- 27 9.3 Stereoscopic window
- 28 9.4 Depth budget
- 29 9.5 Matching size of screen
- 30 chapter 10: Creating 3d content
- 31 10.1 Computer Generated Images (CGI)
- 32 10.2 Dual camera filmmaking
- 33 10.3 2D-to-3D conversion
- 34 chapter 11: 3D in the home
- 35 11.1 Displays
- 36 11.2 Blu-ray 3D
- 37 11.3 3DTV
- 38 Chapter 12: is 3D bad for you?
- 39 Chapter 13: implications of 3D – conclusions and recommendations
- 40 13.1 Filmmakers
- 41 13.2 Cinemas
- 42 13.3 Health & safety
- 43 13.4 Studios
- 44 13.5 3D combating piracy
- 45 13.6 The public
- 46 13.7 Overview
- 47 GLOSSARY
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
This report will focus on how different 3D technologies work, it will include the entire work flow, from recording the action, encoding the footage, playing back the media via a cinema projector or television and finally how the audience views the 3D film or video, whether it be through specially designed glasses or an auto-stereoscopic television.
At present the most popular way to view 3D media is with the use of specialised glasses, the most popular being, active shutter glasses, passive polarised glasses and colour separationbased glasses.
Wearing glasses to watch a movie is often mentioned as a negative aspect of 3D. There is a technology available that allows you to watch 3D on screens without wearing any additional glasses, it is called autostereoscopy, this will also be looked at.
The health impacts that result from watching 3D will also be examined, along with factors that will prevent a person from being able to correctly view 3D images.
There will be impacts on the entire industry from studios and cinemas to smaller production companies and independent producers if 3D films become the norm and these will be examined.
A good place to start this report is to examine how two of the highest profile media companies around at present are currently viewing 3D technology.
Phil McNally stereoscopic supervisor at Disney-3D and Dreamworks was quoted as saying,
‘…consider that all technical progress in the cinema industry brought us closer to the ultimate entertainment experience: the dream. We dream in colour, with sound, in an incoherent world with no time reference. The cinema offers us a chance to dream awake for an hour. And because we dream in 3D, we ultimately want the cinema to be a 3D experience not a flat one.'(Mendiburu, 2009)
In the BBC Research White Paper: The Challenges of Three-Dimensional Television, 3D technology is referred to as
‘…a continuing long-term evolution of television standards towards a means of recording, transmitting and displaying images that are indistinguishable from reality'(Armstrong, Salmon, & Jolly, 2009)
It is clear from both of these high profile sources that the industry is taking the evolution of 3D very seriously, as a result this is a topic that is not only very interesting but will be at the cutting edge of technological advances for the next couple of years.
This report will be covering the following things:
- What does the term 3D mean with reference to film and video
- A look at the history of 3D in film
- How does 3D technology work
- The implications of 3D on the film business and on cinemas
- The methods used to create the media and also the ways in which the 3D image is recreated for the viewer
The reasons I have chosen to do my project on this topic is that I am very interested in the new media field. 3D video when accompanied with high definition film and video is a field that is growing rapidly. Earlier this year, on 02 April 2009, Sky broadcast the UK’s first live event in the 3D TV format, it featured a live music concert by the pop group Keane, it was sent via the company’s satellite network using polarisation technology.
Traditionally we view films and television in two dimensions, this in essence means we view the media as a flat image. In real life we view everything in three dimensions, this is because we get a slightly different image received in each eye, the brain then combines these and we can work out depth of vision and create a 3D image. (this will be explained further in Chapter 3)
There is a high level of industrial relevance with this topic, as 3D technology coupled with high definition digital signal is at the cutting edge of mainstream digital media consumption. Further evidence of this is that the sports company ESPN will be launching their new TV channel, ESPN-3D in North America in time for this year’s Summer Football World Cup.
In January 2009 the BBC produced a Research White Paper entitled The Challenges of Three-Dimensional Television on this subject and over the next couple of years they predict that it will start to be introduced in the same way that HD (High Definition) digital television signal is currently being phased in, with pay-per-view movies and sports being the first take advantage of it.
Sky have announced that their existing Sky+HD boxes will be able to broadcast the 3D signals so customers will not even need to update their equipment to be able to receive the 3D Channel that they are starting to broadcast later this year.
On Sunday January 31st 2010, Sky broadcast a live Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United for the first time in 3D to selected pubs across the country, Sky equipped the selected pubs with LG’s new 47-inch LD920 3D TVs. These televisions use the passive glasses, similar to the ones uses in cinemas as opposed to the more expensive Active glasses which are also an option. (The differences between Active and Passive technologies will be explained in Chapter 8)
It is also worth noting that at the 2010 Golden Globe awards, on acceptance of his award for ‘Best Picture’ for the 3D Box Office Hit Avatar, the Canadian director James Cameron pronounced 3D as ‘the future’.
At the time of writing this report (27/01/2010) the 3D film Avatar has just taken over from Titanic (also a James Cameron film) to become the highest grossing movie of all time, with worldwide takings of $1.859 billion. This is being accredited to the films outstanding takings in the 3D version of its release, in America 80% of the films box office revenue has been received from the 3D version of its release.
In an industry where ‘money talks’, these figures will surely lead to an dramatic increase in production of 3D films and as a result Avatar could potentially be one of the most influential films of all time.
After completing this dissertation I hope to be able to have a wide knowledge base on the subject and hopefully this will appeal to companies that I approach about employment once I have graduated.
In the summer of 2010 when I will be looking for jobs, I believe that a lot of production companies will have some knowledge of 3D technology and be aware of how in the near future it may be something that they will have to consider adopting in the way that many production companies are already or soon will be adopting HD into their workflow.
In order to ensure that I complete this project to a high standard it is important that I gain a complete understanding of the topic and study a variety of different sources when compiling my research.
3D media itself is not a new concept so there are a wide range of books and articles on the theory of 3D and stereoscopy along with anaglyphs.
However in recent years there has been a resurgence in 3D with relation to film and TV. This is due mainly to digital video and film production making it easier and cheaper to create and manage the two channels needed for three-dimensional video production.
It has proved more difficult to study books and papers on this most recent resurgence of 3D because it is still happening and evolving all the time. I have read various research white papers on the subject, which have been cited in the Bibliography, I have also used websites and blogs along with some recently published books, one of the problems with such a fast moving technological field such as 3D though, is that these books quickly become outdated.
CHAPTER 2: HUMAN VISION
In the real world we see in three dimensions as opposed to the two dimensions that we have become accustomed to when watching TV or at the cinema. Human vision appears in three dimensions because it is normal for people to have two eyes that both focus on the object, in the brain these two images are then fused into one, from this we can work out depth of vision, this process is called stereopsis. All of these calculations happen in the brain without the person ever even noticing, as a result we see the world in three dimensions very naturally.
The reason that we see in 3D is because of stereoscopic depth perception. There are various complex calculations going on in our brains, this coupled with real experience allows our brain to work out the depth of vision. If it wasn’t for this it would be impossible to tell if something was very small or just very far away.
As humans, we have learnt to judge depth even with only one view point. This is why, if a person has one eye they can still manage to do most things that a person with two eyes can do. This is also why when watching a 2-D film you can still get a good judge of depth.
The term for depth cues based on only one viewpoint is monoscopic depth cues.
One of the most important of these is our own experience, it relates to perspective and relative size of objects. In simple terms, we have become accustomed to object being certain sizes. An example of this is that we expect buildings to be very big, humans are smaller and insects are smaller still. So this means that if we can see all three of these objects next to each other and they appear to be the same size then the insect must be much closer than the person, and both the insect and the person must be much closer that the building (see figure 1).
The perspective depth cue (shown in figure1) was backed up when an experiment was carried out by Ittelson in 1951. He got volunteers to look through a peep hole at some playing cards, the only thing they could see were the cards and so there were no other types of depth cue available. ‘There were actually three different-sized playing cards (normal size, half-size, and double size), and they were presented one at a time at a distance of 2.3metres away. The half-sized playing card was judged to be 4.6 metres away from the observer, whereas the double-sized card was thought to be 1.3 metres away. Thus, familiar size had a large effect on distance judgement'(Eysenck, 2002).
Another monoscopic depth cue that is very effective is referred to as occlusion or interposition. This is where an object overlaps another object. If a person is standing behind a tree then you will be able to see all of the tree but only part of the person. This tells us that the tree is nearer to us that the person.
One of the most important single view depth cues in called motion parallax, it works on the basis that if a person moves their head, and therefore eyes, then objects nearer to them, whilst not physically moving, will appear to move more than the objects in the distance. This is the method that astronomers use to measure distances of stars and planets. It is in extremely important method of judging depth and is used extensively in 3D filmmaking.
In filmmaking, lighting is often talked about as being one of the key elements to giving the picture ‘depth’, and this is because it is a monoscopic depth cue. In real life the main light source for millennia has been the sun. Humans have worked out how to judge depth based on the shadows that are portrayed from an object. In 2D films shadows are often used to display depth by casting them across actors faces it allows the viewers to see the recesses and expressions trying to be portrayed.
So far all of the methods that have been described for determining depth have been monoscopic, these work independently within each eye. If these were the only methods for determining depth there would be no need for 3D films as it would not add anything because all of these methods could be recreated using a single camera lens. This is not the case however, a lot of the more advanced methods used in human vision for judging depth need the use of both eyes, these are called stereoscopic depth cues.
A great deal of stereoscopic depth cues are based around the feedback that your brain gets when the muscles in the eye are manipulated to concentrate your vision on a particular point.
One of the main stereoscopic depth cues is called convergence, this referrers to the way that the eyes rotate in order to focus on an object (see figure 2).
If the focus is on a near object, the eyes rotate around the Y axis and converge on a tighter angle , similarly if the focus is on a distant object the rotation means the eyes have a wider angle of convergence.
It is a lot less stressful on the muscles in the eye to have a wide angle of convergence and look at objects far away, in comparison looking at very close object for any amount of time causes the muscles in the eye to ache. This is a very important factor that should be considered when creating 3D films, as it doesn’t matter how good the film is, if it is going to hurt the audience it will not go down well.
A second stereoscopic depth cue that we use is called accommodation, this is the way that our eyes changes focus when we look at an object at different distances, it is very closely linked with convergence.
Usually when we look at an object very close up, our eyes will change rotation and point towards the object (convergence) allowing us to look at the item, our eyes will at the same time change focus (accommodation). Using the ciliarybody muscles in the eye, the lens will change shape to let more or less light in the same way a camera does, thus changing focus.
In everyday life convergence and accommodation usually happen in parallel. The fact that we can, if we wish choose to converge our eyes without changing the focus means that 3D films are possible. When you are sat in the cinema all of the action is projected onto the screen in front of you, so this is where your eyes need to focus. With 2D films the screen is also where your eyes need to converge, but with 3D films this is not the case. When watching a 3D film the focus never changes from the screen, else the whole picture would go out of focus, but objects appear to be in front and behind the screen, so your eyes need to change their convergence to look at these objects without altering their focus from the screen.
It has been suggested that this independence of accommodation and convergence is the reason for eye strain when watching a 3D picture as your eyes are doing something that they are not in the habit of doing (see chapter 12: Is 3D bad for you).
It is also worth noting that our monoscopic depth cues work at almost any range, this is not the case with stereoscopic depth cues. As objects become further away they no longer appear differently in each eye, so there is no way the brain can calculate a difference and work out depth.
‘The limit occurs in the 100 to 200-yard range, as our discernment asymptomatically tends to zero. In a theatre, we will hit the same limitation, and this will define the "depth resolution" and the "depth range" of the screen’.(Mendiburu, 2009)
This means that when producing a 3D film you have to be aware that the range of 3D that you have to use is not infinite and is limited to 100-200 yards.
CHAPTER 3: Early Stereoscopic History (1838 – 1920)
Three dimensional films are not a new phenomenon, ‘Charles Wheatstone discovered, in 1838, that the mechanism responsible for human depth perception is the distance separating the retinas of our eyes .’ (Autodesk, 2008)
In a 12,000 word research paper that Wheatstone presented to the Royal Society of Great Britain he described ‘the stereoscope and claimed as a new fact in his theory if vision the observation that two different pictures are projected on the retinas of the eyes when a single object is seen’.(Zone, 2007)
Included in the paper were a range of line drawings presented as stereoscopic pairs, these were designed to be viewed in 3D using Wheatstones invention, the stereoscope.
Wheatstone was not the first person to look at the possibility of receiving separate views in each eye, ‘In the third century B.C, Euclid in his treatise on Optics observed that the left and right eyes see slightly different views of a sphere'(Zone, 2007). However, Wheatstone was the first person to create a device to be able to re-create 3D images.
Between 1835 and 1839 photography was starting to be developed thanks to work from William Fox Talbot, Nicephore Niepce and Louise Daguerre.
Once Wheatstone became aware of the photographic pictures that were available he requested some stereoscopic photographs to be made for him. Wheatstone observed that ‘it has been found advantageous to employ, simultaneously, two cameras fixed at the proper angular positions'(Zone, 2007).
This was the start of stereoscopic photography.
Between 1850 and 1860 work was starting to be done by various people to try and combine stereoscopic photography with machines that would display a series of images very quickly and therefore using persistence of vision to create a moving 3D image. These were the first glimpses of 3D motion.
In 1891 a French scientist, Louis Ducos du Hauron patented the anaglyph, a method for separating an image into two separate colour channels and then by wearing glassing with the same colours but on opposite eyes thereby cancelling out the image, thus reproducing one image, but in 3D.
Another method used at this time to create 3D was proposed by John Anderton, also in 1891. Anderton’s system was to use polarisation techniques to split the image into two separate light paths and then employ a similar polarisation technique to divert a separate image to each eye on viewing.
One of the main advantages of polarisation over anaglyphs is that they do not lose any colour information, this is due to the fact that both images retain the original colour spectrums. They do however loose luminance. It is common for a silver screen to be necessary, it serves two purposes, firstly the specially designed screen maintains the separate polarisation required for each image. It also reflects more light than conventional screens, this compensates for the loss of luminance.
During 1896 and 1897 2D motion pictures started to take off, and by 1910 after a lot of initial experimenting the creative formats of film that we recognise today such as cuts and framing had started to become evident.
In 1920 Jenkins, an inventor that worked hard to try and create a method for recreating stereoscopic motion picture was quoted as saying ‘Stereoscopic motion pictures have been the subject of considerable thought and have been attained in several ways…but never yet have they been accomplished in a practical way. By practical, I mean, for example without some device to wear over the eyes of the observer.'(Zone, 2007)
It is worth noting that this problem of finding a ‘practical’ method of viewing 3D has still to a large extent not been solved.
Chapter 4: Early 3D Feature Films
(1922 – 1950)
4.1 The first 3D feature film
The first 3D feature film, The Power of Love was released in 1922, it was exhibited at the Ambassador Hotel Theatre in Los Angeles. ‘Popular Mechanics magazine described how the characters in the film "did not appear flat on the screen, but seemed to be moving about in locations which had depth exactly like the real spots where the pictures were taken"'(Zone, 2007).
The Power of Love was exhibited using red/green glasses using a dual strip anaglyph method of 3D projection. (Anaglyphs are explained in chapter 8.3)
The film was shot on a custom made camera invented by Harry K.Fairall, he was also the director on the film. ‘The camera incorporated two films in one camera body’.(Symmes, 2006)
Power of Love was the first film to be viewed using anaglyph glasses, also the first to use dual-strip projection.
Also in 1922, William Van Doren Kelley designed his own camera rig, based on the Prizma colour system which he had invented in 1913. The Prizma 3D colour method worked by capturing two different colour channels by placing filters over the lenses. This way he made his own version of the red/blue anaglyphic print. Kelleys ‘Movies of the Future’ was shown at Rivoli Theatre in New York City.
4.2 The first active-shutter 3D film
A year later in 1923 the first alternate-frame 3D projection system was unveiled. It used a technology called ‘Teleview’. Which blocked the left and right eyes periodically in sync with the projector, thereby allowing you to see too separate images.
Teleview was not an original idea, but up to this point no one had been able to get the theory to actually work in a practical way that would allow for films to be viewed in a cinema. This is where Laurens Hammond comes in.
Hammons designed a system where two standard projectors would be hooked up to their own AC generators, running at 60Hz this meant that adjusting the AC frequency would increase or decrease the speed of the projectors.
‘The left film was in the left projector and right film in the right. The projectors were in frame sync, but the shutters were out of phase sync.'(Symmes, 2006) This meant that the left image was shown, then the right image.
The viewing device was attached to the seats in the theatre. ‘It was mounted on a flexible neck, similar to some adjustable "gooseneck" desk lamps. You twisted it around and centred it in front of your face, kind of like a mask floating just in front of your face.’ (Symmes, 2006)
The viewing device consisted of a circular mask with a view piece for each eye plus a small motor that moved a shutter across in front of either the left or right eye piece depending on the cycle of current running through it. All of the viewing devices were powered by the same AC generator as the projectors meaning that they were all exactly in sync.
One of the major problems Hammond had to overcome was the fact that at the time film was displayed at 16 frames per second. With this method of viewing you are effectively halving the frame rate. 8 frames per second resulted in a very noticeable flicker.
To overcome this Hammond cut each frame up in to three flashes so the new ‘sequence was: 1L-1R-1L-1R-1L-1-R 2L-2R-2L-2R-2L-2R and so on. Three alternate flashes per eye on the screen.’ (Symmes, 2006)
This method of separating and duplicating certain frames effectively resulted in increasing the overall frame rate thereby eradicating the flicker.
There was only one film produced using this method, it was called M.A.R.S and displayed at the Selwyn Theatre in New York City in December 1922. The reason the technology didn’t catch on was not due to the image, as the actual theory for producing the image has changed very little from the Teleview method to the current active-shutter methods which will be explained later.
As with a lot of 3D methods the reason this one did not become mainstream was due the viewing apparatus that was needed. Although existing projectors could be modified by linking them up to separate AC generator, meaning no extra equipment was needed, the headsets that were required did need a lot of investment and time to install. All of the seats in the theatre needed to be fitted with headsets, these were adjusted in front of the audience members. These also had to be linked up to the AC generator so as they were perfectly in sync, this meant that they had to be wired in to the seats.
These problems have since been overcome with wireless technologies such as Bluetooth as will be explained later.
4.3 The first polarised 3D film
The next and arguably one of the most important advancements in 3D technology came in 1929 when Edwin H. Land worked out a way of using polarised lenses (Polaroid) together with images to create stereo vision. (Find more on polarisation in chapter 8.6)
‘Lands polarizing material was first used for projection of still stereoscopic images at the behest of Clarence Kennedy, an art history instructor at Smith College who wanted to project photo images of sculptures in stereo to his students’. (Zone, 2007)
In 1936 Beggar’s Wedding was released in Italy, it was the first stereoscopic feature to include sound, it was exhibited using Polaroid filters. This was filmed using polarised technology.
The first American film to use polarising filters was shot in 1939 and entitled In Tune With Tomorrow, it was a 15 minute short film which shows ‘through stop motion, a car being built piece-by-piece in 3D with the added enhancement of music and sound effects’. (Internet Movie Database, 2005)
Between 1939 and 1952 3D films continued to me made but with the Great Depression and the onset of the Second World War, the cinema industry was restricted with its output because of finances and as 3D films were more expensive to make their output started to be reduced.
Chapter 5: ‘Golden Age’ of 3D
(1952 – 1955)
‘With cinema ticket sales plummeting from 90 million in 1948 to 40 million in 1951’ (Sung, 2009) largely being put down to the television becoming coming in people’s front rooms the cinema industry needed to find a way to encourage the viewers back the big screen, 3D was seen as a way to offer something extra to make viewers return.
In 1952 the first colour 3D film was released called Bwana Devil,it was the first of many stereoscopic films to follow in the next few years. The process of combining 3D and colour attracted a new audience to 3D films.
Between 1950 and 1955 there were far more 3D films produced that at any other time before or since, apart from possibly in the next couple of years from 2009 onwards, as the cinema industry tries to fight back again against falling figures, this time though because of home entertainment systems, video-on-demand, and legal and illegal movie downloads.
Towards the end of the ‘Golden Age’, around 1955, the fascination with 3D was starting to be lost. There were a number of reasons for this, one of the main factors was that in order for the film to be seen in 3D it had to be shown on two reels at the same time, which meant that the two reels had to be exactly in time else the effect would be lost and it would cause the audience headaches.
Chapter 6: Occasional 3D films
(1960 – 2000)
Between 1960 and 2000 there were sporadic resurgences in 3D. These were down to new technologies becoming available.
In the late 1960’s the invention of a single strip 3D format initiated a revival as it meant that the dual projectors would no longer go out of sync and cause eye-strain. The first version of this single strip 3D format to be used was called Space-Vision 3D, it worked on an ‘over and under’ basis. This meant that the frame was horizontally split into two, during playback it was then separate in two using a prism and polarised glasses.
However, there were major drawbacks with Space-Vision 3D. Due to the design of the cameras required to film in this format, the only major lens that was compatible was the Bernier lens. ‘The focal length of the Bernier optic is fixed at 35mm and the interaxial at 65mm. Neither may be varied, but convergence may be altered'(Lipton, 1982).This obviously restricted the creative filmmaking options and as a result was soon superseded by a new format called Stereovision.
Stereovision was similar to Space-Vision 3D in that is split the frame in two, unlike Space-Vision though, the frame was split vertically, and they were placed side-by-side. During projection these frames were then put through an anamorphic lens, thereby stretching them back to their original size. These also made use of the polarising method introduced by Land in 1929.
A film made using this process was called The Stewardess, released in 1969, it cost only $100,000 to make but at the cinema it grossed $26,000,000 (Lipton, 1982). Understandably the studios were very interested in the profit margin that arose from this film. As a result 3D once again became an interesting prospect for studios.
Up until fairly recently films were still shot and edited using old film techniques (i.e. not digitally). This made manipulating 3D films quite difficult, this lack of control over the full process made 3D less appealing to film makers.
‘The digitisation of post-processing and visual effects gave us another surge in the 1990’s. But only full digitisation, from glass to glass – from the camera’s to projector lenses – gives 3D the technological biotope it needs to thrive’ (Mendiburu, 2009).
Chapter 7: The Second ‘Golden Age’
of 3D (2004 – present)
In 2003 James Cameron released Ghost of the Abyss, it was the first full length 3D feature film that used the Reality Camera System, which was specially designed to use new high definition digital cameras. These digital cameras meant that the old techniques used with 3D film no longer restricted the work-flow, and the whole process can be done digitally, from start to finish.
The next groundbreaking film was Robert Semecki’s 2004 animated film Polar Express which was also shown in IMAX theatres. It was released at the same time in 2D and 3D, the 3D cinemas took on average 14 times more money that the 2D cinemas.
The cinemas once again took note, and since Polar Express was released in 2004, 3D digital films have become more and more prominent.
IMAX are no longer the only cinemas capable of displaying digital 3D films. A large proportion of conventional cinemas have made the switch to digital, this switch has enabled 3D films to be exhibited in a large range of cinemas.
CHAPTER 8: 3D TECHNOLOGIES
8.1 – 3D capture and display methods
Each different type of stereoscopic display projects the combined left and right images together onto a flat surface, usually a television or cinema screen. The viewer then must have a method of decoding this image and separating the combined image into left and right images and relaying these to the correct eye. The method that is used to split this image is, in the majority of cases, a pair of glasses.
There are two brackets of encoding method, passive and active. Passive means that the images are combined into one and then the glasses split this image in to two separate images for left and right eye. In this method the glasses are cheaper to produce and the expense usually comes in the equipment used to project the image. The second method is active display. This method works by sending the alternative images in a very quick succession (L-R-L-R-L-R), the glasses then periodically block the appropriate eye piece, this is done at such a fast rate that it appears to be continuous in both eyes.
There are various different types of encoding encapsulated within each of the two methods mentioned above.
The encoding can use either colour separation (anaglyph, Dolby 3D), time separation (active glasses) or polarisation (RealD). A separate method, which does not require the use of glasses is done by using a virtual space in front of the screen and is called autosterescopic.
In cinemas across the world at the moment there are several formats that are used to display 3D films. Three of the main distributors are Real-D, iMAX and Dolby-3D.
Once a 3D film has been finished by the studios, it then needs to be prepared for exhibition in various different formats, this can include amongst other things colour grading and anti ghosting processes.
At present there is not a universally agreed format for capturing or playing back 3D films, as a result there are several different versions, these are explained below.
A large majority of the latest wave of 3D technology options send the image using one projector, so removing the old problem of out sync left and right images. The methods that do use dual projectors are much more sophisticated that the older versions used in anaglyphic films so have eradicated the old problems of out of sync projectors.
8.2 – Ghosting & light efficiency
When you try and create two channels of images (left and right) and blend them into one frame, using passive or active systems, there are some errors that occur and have to be managed. Most of the systems looked at below tend to be good at one thing or the other and have incorporated methods to try and counter problems that have occurred.
The two main issues that arise from blending frames together (passive) and showing alternating frames (active) are ghosting and light efficiency.
Ghosting refers to the leakage of images between eyes. ‘No 3D projection system perfectly isolates the left and right images. There is always some leaking from one eye to the other’ (Mendiburu, 2009).
On most systems this leaking is minimal and not a problem. However, when the leaking raises over a couple of percent, the images appear to ghost or blur. It is especially noticeable on high contrast images.
The RealD polarisation method is the most affected by ghosting due to the methods it uses to split the images. RealD have incorporated a method of reducing this ghosting problem, the solution is called ‘ghost-busting’.
The ‘ghost-busting’ process works by calculating the pattern of light which is expected to leak between eyes, this value is then subtracted from the original image. The drawback with this method is that it reduces the overall dynamic range of the image by the amount that is subtracted.
Colour separation methods such as Dolby-3D and anaglyph both also suffer from ghosting but to a lesser extent.
The poor light efficiency of 3D is another one of the major flaws that had to be overcome with all of the 3D display methods.
Colour separation methods suffer because by their very nature they have to filter certain colour ranges that enter each eye in order to create two images.
In the case of active shutter displays the light levels are diminished even more. As each eye is periodically turned off it reduces the light levels by 50%, plus the dark time between frame means that the overall light level is approximately 20% of the original.
In order to create stereoscopic pictures using polarised methods, the eye pieces filter out certain wavelengths of light, this has a similar effect of reducing light levels.
One solution to the low light problem is the installation of silver screens in cinemas, these reflect more light that the standards screens, thereby increasing the light levels.
8.3 – Colour separation – anaglyph
Anaglyphs are an example of passive 3D because the method works by combining the two images into one, then relying on the glasses to separate the signal into two channels.
Anaglyphs are one of the oldest methods for displaying 3D images, they are also the cheapest type of glasses to mass produce. The fact that they don’t cost much to manufacture is the reason that why 3D is mentioned most people think of these red and blue glasses.
The anaglyph, proposed by D’Almeida (in one form at least) in 1858, used complementary-coloured filters over the left and right lenses to superimpose both images on a screen. Viewing devices with red and green lenses separated the images and selected the appropriate view for each eye (Lipton, 1982).
One of the problems with separating the colour channels in this way to portray 3D is that it reduces the overall luminance level of the image. In addition to this you are also only seeing half the colour in each eye so it is not a full representation of the original image.
Anaglyphs were most widely used for films in the early days of 3D. When Polaroid lenses were starting to be introduced in the late 1930’s, it quickly became apparent that the disadvantages of anaglyphs such as poor colour separation were much less apparent in the new technology. As a result anaglyphs started to be phased out in the cinemas.
Today anaglyph glasses are still used because of their cost effectiveness, although they are mainly used for comic books and stereographic photography, not for moving pictures.
8.4 – Colour Separation – Dolby 3D
Dolby-3D is one of the most advanced technologies currently employed in the 3D market in terms of image quality.
It uses the same theory that was used in the anaglyph technology although in a much more advanced state which produces much improved results. As with anaglyphs, Dolby 3D is also a passive method of 3D.
Dolby believed that there were two key points for 3D to be successful in cinemas. They argued that if 3D is going to be widely accepted into cinemas then the technology needs to be portable and easily installed and moved from screen to screen. This way a film can be released on the largest screen with the highest capacity for seats, then after the film has been out for a while the equipment needed to be able to be easily moved to a smaller screen so the 3D release can still be shown but freeing up the larger screen for a conventional 2D film. This mobility is a major advantaged over systems that require installation of a special screen.
The seconds key point for successful 3D that was identified was the need for passive glasses, this way they would require significantly less maintenance in comparison to active glasses that would require charging or replacing batteries.
‘Dolby 3D uses a “wavelength triplet” technique originally developed by the German company Infitec, specialists in 3D visualisation for computer-aided design. In this technique, the red, green and blue primary colours used to construct the image in the digital cinema projector are each split into two slightly different shades. One set of primaries is then used to construct the left eye image, and one for the right’ (Slater, 2008).
The technique of splitting the image into two primary shades is done by inserting a filter wheel inside the digital projector. Unlike the polarizing method, the separation is carried out before the image is created. This occurs because the wheel is placed between the lamp and the DLP (Digital Light Processing) imaging chip. According to Dolby this creates a better image that mounting a filter in the image path, which is the method RealD employs.
The process of inserting the filer wheel can be done digitally, which means just pressing a switch can convert the projectors from 2D to 3D, and as the screen is the same as with 2D projectors, it means it’s a very easy task converting the screen from one format to the other.
‘Very advanced wavelength filters are used in the glasses to ensure that each eye only sees the appropriate image. As each eye sees a full set of red, green and blue primary colours, the 3D image is recreated authentically with full and accurate colours using a regular white cinema screen’ (Slater, 2008).
The projectors in this format produce a very high frame rate, typically 144 frames per second. This is because the frame rate is effectively halved due to the images being split between the left and right eyes.
Further advantages of this technology are that because the glasses use wavelength filters and unlike the active shutter glasses, do not need to be battery powered, they are cheaper to run and maintain. However, they still aren’t as cheap as polarised glasses, due to the complex structure of the filters which cost a lot to produce.
One of the major advantages of Dolby 3D is that it doesn’t reduce the luminance level of the image, which is a side effect of both the active shutter rand polarisation methods it also has very high quality colour reproduction.
As the luminance is not reduced it means that unlike polarised methods, there is no need to install a special silver screen to boost the overall light level.
8.5 – Active shutter
This method involves periodically shutting off one eye piece followed by the other, it is done at such a fast rate that the viewer should not be able to notice any change due to the persistence of vision phenomenon.
The glasses are synced with the projector using either infra-red, Bluetooth, Direct Link Protocol (DLP-Link Protocol) or similar means to ensure that the timings that the eye piece is shut off is exactly in time with the image being projected, therefore ensuring that a 3D image is portrayed.
This is the same theory as was used in 1929, when Laurens Hammond came up with Teleview. However, were Teleview failed due to technical restrictions, current technology has overcame the earlier limitations.
The new LC (liquid crystal) shutter glasses work by shutting of alternating eyepieces, but unlike the Teleview system they do it by using polarized filters and a liquid crystal. When a voltage is applied to the eyepiece the filter and crystal become dark, when there is no voltage it is transparent. This alternate darkening is done in sync with the refresh rate of the screen, thereby creating a stereoscopic image.
This technology is mainly used in home 3D systems as the glasses are more expensive to produce, as a result it would not be economically viable for cinemas to purchase large quantities to distribute to cinemagoers. Unlike passive glasses they have to been powered, usually by a battery, which means there would be additional problems in cinemas when peoples glasses have ran out of battery etc.
However, a company called XpanD, probably the world’s largest producer of LC active shutter glasses are trying to buck the trend. They have produced a method for producing a cheap digital projector system that still maintains a high quality image. This enables the cinemas to save money by not having to purchase special silver screens as in the case of RealD, this saving in money is cancelled out though by the increased cost of using and maintaining the LC shutter glasses.
One of the main advantages of this method of 3D display is that it reduces ghosting, which is a problem with most of display types. In the case of XpanD they have overcome the usual low light issues that you would associate with active glasses by using a very high shutter speed.
8.6 – Polarisation
When light travels from a source it has electric and magnetic vectors, these vectors move up and down in a random pattern along the Z axis as it moves away from the origin. This is said to be un-polarised.
‘if such a polarising filter is held over the right projector lens, the light for the right image will be polarised in a plane (perpendicular to the filter surface) that can be controlled by rotating the filter in its plane’ (Lipton, 1982).
Polarisation was first discovered in 1852 by William Bird Herapath, albeit only in a basic form. This science was built on by Anderton during the 1890’s, and he first ‘suggested that the use of polarised light for image selection for stereographic projection’ (Lipton, 1982) was possible. But it was not until 1929 when Hand worked out a method of producing a new type of polarised filter (Polaroid), which was capable of working with moving images to create the first stereographic polarised images and then films.
At present there are the options of using either linear or circular polarisation. During the circular polarisation process, the projector polarised the images in a set direction (either clockwise or anti-clockwise), the left and right lenses of the glasses then polarise the incoming signal in the corresponding direction, thereby only allowing one of the two images through.
Tests have shown that circular polarised images usually offer better separation of the individual channels when compared to linearly polarised images but the filters that are required for it to work are more expensive to produce than the linear versions.
If linear polarized lenses are being used, the viewer will achieve the best results if the eyes are kept level, if they are tilted the 3D effects could start to be reduced, this is less noticeable with circularly polarized lenses.
8.7 – Polarisation – RealD & MasterImage
RealD is the most widely used cinema projection system across the globe. In the UK, Cineworld use equipment from RealD. This format uses a single projector and circular polarised glasses.
The stereo digital signal is decoded and sent to the projector, it is then beamed out at 24fps (frames per second) in each eye, which equates to 48fps.
Each of the 24 frames that are projected each second are flashed three time, this equates to a rate of 144 combines frames a second.
The projector buffers the left and right image and projects them in alternation, at a rate of 144 frames per second, presenting three “flashes” of each frame(Cowan, 2007).
The signal is projected through a RealD Z Screen which is placed in front of the projector, this Z Screen polarizes the image. The glasses are polarised to only allow the required image channel through the filter.
A large reason for the success of RealD is due to the fact that they use polarised glasses, this makes it a cheap option for cinemas as the glasses are easy to produce and quite often are disposed of after each use. These ‘throw-away’ glasses raise another problem however, as 3D films become more popular it could lead to very large quantities of plastic glasses being put in landfill, this is at a time where ‘Green Policies’ are at the forefront of political decisions could mean that a method of recycling the glasses will have to be used.
One of the drawbacks with this technology is the loss of luminance in the picture, the cinemas usually need to install a silver screen to compensate for this, which reflects approximately 2.4 times the amount of light when compared to the usual cinema screens. Installing these screens is an additional cost that the cinemas will have to absorb.
During the colour grading phase of the editing process the light levels of the image usually have to be raised to compensate for the overall loss of light when the viewer is watching the film.
RealD has the advantage of being able to reproduce the colours very effectively, this is due to the fact that the same colours are sent to each eye via the polarization method.
MasterImage is a similar method to RealD, in that it uses polarised glasses.
The main advantage the MasterImage holds over RealD is centred on the hardware that is required to project the image.
MasterImage use a easily portable device which consists of a ‘High efficiency rotating circular polarizing filter which provides left and right image separation and bright richly coloured 3D images'(Masterimage, 2009).
This device can be moved from screen to screen depending on where it is needed, although you would still need a specialized silver screen due to the loss of luminance due to the polarizing process, so it is not as mobile as the company make out.
8.8 – IMAX 3D
IMAX were the first company to introduce mainstream 3D films, it was originally intended for analogue film.
The IMAX 3D methods are slightly different to the previously mentioned ones here in that they use two projectors. One each for the left and right images. IMAX 3D is available in digital in some theatres other still use film. Whereas all of the previous techniques are digital only.
With IMAX-3D the image is shot using two cameras, if being made specifically for the IMAX -3D theatres. All of the 3D films for this format of 3D are played back through two projectors. This reduces the luminance issues that are present in the other formats.
‘As of 2010 the linear polarized filter system has become the Imax 3D standard. Linear polarization has a significant disadvantage compared to circularized polarization used in other systems such as Dolby 3D and RealD; with linear polarization you lose the 3D effect if you tilt your head. You may even need to experiment to get the best position for normal viewing’ (3D Forums, 2009).
In addition to this, due to the large screen sizes that are used with IMAX cinemas, ghosting and focusing problems have been reported with 3D in this format, however these have been counteracted by the immersive experience by watching the 3D film on such a large screen.
8.9 – Autostereoscopic displays
One thing that all of the previous methods of viewing 3D formats have in common is that they require the user to wear glasses. For many people this is a disadvantage as the public have become so familiar with watching a standard 2D film where you do not need any extra add-ons to see a film. You could argue that having the filters required for 3D right next to your eyes would result in the best possible reproduction of the image but your average person that does not have or want to have any knowledge of the workings of 3D will probably care very little about this.
Autosterescopic technology is built in to the screen and requires no glasses to view the 3D image.
There are two main types of technology that are exploited in autosterescopic screens: lenticular lenses and parallax barriers.
The lenticular lens approach works by placing an cylindrical lens over each pair of pixels (left and right image), this lens then directs the image to either the left or right eye.
For this display to work it required the person to be standing a set distance from the device. If they stand to far away then the image will miss the eye-line for the person and they will not be able to see a 3D image.
‘In the parallax barrier a mask is placed over the LCD display which directs light from alternate pixel columns to each eye'(3D Forums, 2009). One of the major advantages of this technology is that in can be easily switched from 2D to 3D because the mask is a liquid crystal later, which becomes transparent by turning off the current running through it.
‘Although this technology is currently in existence today it is expensive and there are not too many companies developing it’ (Totally 3D, 2009).
WRITE ABOUT NINTENDO DS 3D
8.10 Comparison of technologies
It is clear that there are advantages and disadvantages with all of the available formats. There is a place for all of the different methods as they all have different uses. Anaglyphs great strength is that they are the easiest to produce and the glasses are cheapest to make. While they don’t look good for films, stereo-photography and comic books remain areas where these glasses are used.
At the other end of the scale are the Liquid Crystal Active Shutter glasses. These are the most expensive due to the electronics involved and at present are only being considered for home 3D systems.
TYPE OF 3D
Very cheap glasses
Poor colour reproduction. Worst of all 3D images.
Tilting eyes doesn’t affect the 3D image. No need for silver screen to boost light levels.
Can result in colour bleeding between eyes.
LC Active Shutter
Good colour reproduction.
Low light levels, expensive glasses. Needs a very high frame rate to avoid flicker.
Viewer able to tilt head without losing 3D image.
More expensive that linear polarised glasses. Needs a silver screen to boost light level.
Extremely large screen creates an engulfing experience. Linear polarised glasses are cheaper than circular polarised glasses.
Eye level needs to be kept horizontal or could lead to poor reproduction of 3D image.
No need for glasses or any other method of filter as decoding filter is built into the screen.
Very expensive, poor viewing angle.
Chapter 9: 3d Cinematography
Cinematography is the art of controlling how a film looks, it includes shooting and editing the film.
With 3D film there are all of the techniques that you would expect of 2D film such as focus, lighting and sound but there are also added aspects which are unique to 3D film, controlling these is vital to creating an effective three dimensional film.
9.1 Interaxial distance
The first of these is the interaxial distance, this means the amount of space between the two cameras.
The standard distance that most directors start with and work from is about 2.5 inches, this is then altered to achieve the desired effect. The reason this distance is used is that it is the same distance as between our own eyes. This allows us to see the 3D world in the same relative manor as we would if we were physically standing there.
Orthostereoscopy is one case where you would not alter this 2.5inch interaxial distance. This method of 3D filmmaking is designed to perfectly replicate the way human vision works. As a result this 2.5 inch human eye separation distance must remain at all times. This method of 3D filmmaking is not commonly used though, and conventional 3D filmmaking doesn’t restrict the altering of this distance
By adjusting this distance you are in affect widening or narrowing the difference between the images that each eye receives. This will have a scaling effect on any images that are displayed in the virtual space.
Moving the cameras apart will make the object grow and pushing them close together will have the opposite effect.
Extremes of these effects are known as hyper-stereoscopy and hypo-stereoscopy. Hyper-stereoscopy is where the cameras are so widely spaced that it creates an effect where all of the images appear to become miniatures. At the other end if this scale is Hypo-stereoscopy, where the cameras are so close together that it is almost a 2D image. As a result the objects appear flat, which is why it is sometimes referred to as ‘cardboarding’.
With larger cameras it is often impossible to physically get the cameras close enough so that the two lenses are 2.5 inches apart, this is fixed by setting the cameras up pointing into mirrors that reflect the image on to the cameras sensors.
The next big control that directors have over the look of a film is the way that the cameras converge. Earlier in this report it was mentioned how human eyes converge on a subject in order for us to focus on an object.
In a similar method, the director has the option of changing the angle of the two cameras on an object in a scene. There are two methods for performing this. You can either do it on set by physically moving the cameras or you can do it in post by performing something called Horizontal Image Translation (HIT). Both methods have things going for and against them.
The benefit of doing the converging on set is that it is cheaper and requires less post-production. The drawbacks of doing it on set is that it can invoke a phenomenon known as keystoning. This is when the left and right edges of an image no longer match as they should. It occurs because when you angle the cameras inwards towards the point of focus, in inevitably means that the left and right sides if each image respectively are closer to the nearest camera, and equally the opposite side now becomes further away. Keystoning, when extreme can be very uncomfortable to watch.
The alternative to converging on set it to do it in post, using HIT. This process gives the director much more control over the angle of convergence. It works by shifting the images left or right to move them out of line. The drawbacks of this method are that it will be more costly and that you will have to shoot the scene wider that it will be displayed. Overshooting is necessary because after the image has been shifted you will lose the pixels that have moved off screen and it is necessary to crop the overlapping images so as you have two frames that are matches again.
Until real time HIT correction is possible live events filmed in 3D will have to rely on physically converging the cameras to create and set the depth.
If the cameras are not converged and stay parallel then there will still be a 3D effect achieved but the furthest point back in the 3D image will be level with the screen.
When the cameras are angled inwards and converge on an object then that object becomes level with the screen and anything behind that convergence point will appear behind the screen in the virtual 3D space (see figure 3: Convergence example).
9.3 Stereoscopic window
One of the big differences between how the viewer sees 2D and 3D is that when a person is watching a 2D medium then they are looking at a flat screen, the edges of the image are defined by the physical edges of the image or cinema screen. This is different with 3D. When a person is watching a 3D film, the screen becomes a window. The viewer can see objects behind the screen or in front of the screen.
One of the problems that had to be overcome with 3D was when this stereoscopic window was broken, as it created an uncomfortable viewing sensation.
In a 2D film if a object is half in the frame, then both of your eyes will see this and your brain tells you that the other half of the object is outside of the frame. In 3D, if a prominent object, such as a person is located half in and half out of the frame then it will result in each eye seeing different amounts of that person. This will cause our brain to have difficulties in compositing the left and right images in to the one image needed for 3D.
To fix this problem it is sometimes necessary to mask a small portion of the side of either the left or right image in order to make the edges of the two images match. This process is performed in post production.
9.4 Depth budget
Inside the cinema there are limits to where it is comfortable to view the 3D content, if the images exceed these areas then it can cause eye strain and headaches.
The optimum Z position to view the image is at screen depth, as the image moves behind the screen or in the opposite position towards the audience it gradually becomes more painful due to the limitations of the ability to independently control convergence and accommodation (as discussed in chapter 2). There are also areas at the extreme sides of the screen, where only one eye can see the image, these areas are also painful to view.
One of the main jobs of a 3D cinematographer is to try and fit the whole range of vision available in real world, into the stereoscopic comfort zone available in the cinema.
One solution to try and maintain the range of 3D space available is to ‘float’ the stereoscopic window. For this to make sense, you have to remember that, the entire range from nearest to furthest point of focus is ‘x’ feet. If there is a image being shown extremely close to the audience, the furthest point in the distance is equal to the closest image + ‘x’. To solve this the stereoscopic window is floated nearer to the audience, so it appears that the screen is closer that it actually is. This is equally true for objects which need to be set far back in the screen.
9.5 Matching size of screen
It is important when the decisions are being made about the level of depth in the 3D image, that the final output medium is being considered. This is because if the film has been made to be screen on a 5 foot screen, then it is instead played on a 10 foot screen, it will double the levels of depth in the image.
This could then push the extremes of 3D beyond the comfortable levels and result in uncomfortable viewing experiences.
chapter 10: Creating 3d content
There are three basic ways to create 3D content. The first two methods involve creating new content in 3D formats, these are: computer generated images (CGI) and stereoscopic film making using two cameras.
The final method is converting existing 2D material in to 3D.
10.1 Computer Generated Images (CGI)
Out all of all of these methods, the one that offers most control is CGI. This type of 3D work is done digitally on a computer, the animator has absolute control, or as close as is possible, over all of the different aspects of the 3D space. He can build virtual environments. control convergence, motion parallax and focus.
Building 3D content this way is very time consuming but it does allow you to be extremely accurate with all of the necessary variables used in 3D.
This complete control over the image explains why a large proportion of recent 3D films have been of the animated CGI type.
Since animated films started to move from being hand drawn to computerized over the last couple of decades, most of the animated worlds are built in three dimensions to start with. So adding a separate camera and moving it a few inches away from the original is a relatively simple step. As a result creating true stereoscopic 3D animation isn’t much of a jump, providing that the virtual environment is built in 3D anyway.
10.2 Dual camera filmmaking
The second method is camera based 3D. This is where on set you have two cameras positioned together at the required distance apart and converged at the required angle.
Using this method two cameras are connected together in a 3D rig. As with the CGI method there are many variables that can alter the 3D image which is being captured.
If the filmmaker is going to set the convergence on set, it is very important to consider the size of the screen that the final image will be portrayed on, as decisions taken when filming will affect the size of the 3D window.
If the amount of depth has been set manually during filming by setting the convergence and distance between cameras, it is much more difficult to adjust the image for a different screen size.
The advantages of filming with two cameras on set is that you have two real viewpoints to work from, this should provide you with the most detailed 3D image as you have more real data available.
The downside to filming with two cameras in 3D is that all of the costs related to capture, storage and editing are doubled, as there is twice the amount of data to be processed.
In addition to this it is necessary to employ a crew that has specific 3D knowledge, and as it is such a relatively new medium at present, the costs of specialist crew will be much higher.
10.3 2D-to-3D conversion
It is possible to convert existing 2D footage into 3D. It is however, a very expensive process when done to a high level.
There are several steps that can be taken to convert the picture.
One of the most powerful methods involve cutting the image up in to sections and then frame by frame manipulating the sections and overlapping them. This overlapping creates parallax(objects nearer to you move by a greater distance) and occlusions (objects further away are hidden by nearer objects), thereby generating a sense of 3D. This frame-by-frame rotoscoping is a very lengthy process.
A further method utilises the Pulfrich effect. Named after the German inventor Carl Pulfrich. He discovered that if the light to one of your eyes is slightly reduced, then when you view objects moving horizontally then they appear to move along an Z axis towards you.
The main method that is predominately used in big budget conversions is the 3D reconstruction and projection method. This is done my digitally modelling the 3D environment and then laying the original 2D frame on top of this. You then create a virtual viewpoint for the second channel. When combined these two channels produce the stereo vision.
The American company, ‘In-Three’ are one of the most well-known of the high end companies that offer the conversion facility. They were responsible for converting Tim Burtons 2010 film, ‘Alice in Wonderland’, into 3D.
They have named their method of conversion Dimensionalization. It exploits all of the above methods to various degrees.
‘With the Dimensionalization process, one eye’s view remains the original image. For the other eye, objects from the original image are altered to achieve the perception of relative depth. In effect, Dimensionalization creates a virtual second camera’ (DeJohn, Drees, Seigle, & Susinno, 2007).
One of the major factors that has to be considered when converting an image from 2D to 3D is the original depth of field used in the 3D image.
‘A wide depth of field can benefit from Detailed Dimensionalization because every element in the shot is well defined’ (DeJohn, Nelson, & Seigle, 2007). If the original frame of the 2D feature has all of the objects in focus because of a very wide depth of field it will mean that it is possible to isolate each different object and give them a 3D position behind and in front of the screen.
On the other hand if the depth of field is very narrow, it is only possible to give the main focused point a new 3D position in front of the screen, the rest of the out of focus objects would have to be placed at screen level.
In Threehave worked out that ‘When an object is shifted to the left in the right image, the right eye will track the object to the left in order to keep the object in its line of sight. This creates the impression the objects are closer to the image’ (DeJohn, Drees, Seigle, & Susinno, 2007). Similarly if the left and right images remain unmoved then the 3D image will be displayed on the screen, and if the image is shifted to the right it will appear behind the screen.
One of the main advantages with the conversion process is that you can manipulate the amount of 3D to match the screen size that the work is being made for. As mentioned in a previous chapter, if you double or half the screen size then it will affect the amount of depth by a relative amount.
The disadvantage with single camera 3D via conversion are that the quality will probably never be quite as good as with two cameras simply because there is half the amount of data being used and you are trying to virtually create another camera. If there were two cameras to start with then you already have the real image.
Another drawback is that it is limited to footage that has already been captured. Due to the extreme amounts of processing that need to be done to the image it means that real-time conversion is very difficult, so live events will not be able to converted in this way, for a while at least.
On the other hand, converting a 3D film to 2D it is a much simpler process, all that is required is to display one channel instead of both, this results in a 2D reproduction of the 3D movie.
chapter 11: 3D in the home
As with the switch from black and white to colour, then standard definition to high definition and analogue to digital; the switch from 2D to 3D will in most cases require new hardware.
It is predicted to be a rapid growth area for technology companies in the years to come as people start to purchase television sets that allow them to watch this exciting new form of media, which up till now has only been available in cinemas.
‘With revenue from 3D TV display sales projected to grow by 95% annually, from $140 million in 2008 to $15.8 billion in 2015, 3D TV is likely to be big business in years to come’ (World Vision, 2009).
With the large sums of money at stake, companies are understandably investing huge sums to come up with what they see as the best or most profitable way of selling 3D capable televisions to the public.
There are a few different types of 3D displays which are available at present, in the same way as there are different method to project 3D displays in cinemas, the same applies to consumer displays. These are: active shutter, polarization and colour separation, with the addition of autosterescopic, which as present is impractical for cinema screens.
The three main types of 3D displays which are commercially available at present are Digital Light Processing (DLP), Plasma and LCD.
11.2 Blu-ray 3D
An important date for the future of 3D in the home, was December 17th 2009. On this day the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) announced the finalized release of the ‘Blu-ray 3DTM’ specification.
‘The Blu-ray 3D specification calls for encoding 3D video using the Multiview Video Coding (MVC) codec, an extension to the ITU-T H.264 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) codec currently supported by all Blu-ray Disc players’ (Blu-ray Disc Association, 2009).
This means that the new Blu-ray3D discs will be compatible with standard Blu-ray DVD players, although they will only exhibit the 2D version of the media.
The format uses the MPEG4-MVC compression to reduce the file size of both the left and right views, while it still maintains full 1080p resolution. Even with this full resolution there is only a 50% increase in data compared to the 2D Blu-ray format.
The MVC compression works by ‘utilizing combined temporal and inter-view prediction’ (Smolic, 2008). This MVC compression is based upon the fact that there are a lot of similarities between the two camera view points, these similarities are then utilised by only sending the piece of data once if it is identical in both viewpoints. As there are only certain parts of the image that will be different in both views, it means that there will be a lot of repeated data that can be discarded.
The importance of having a unified format is that there is now a set of guidelines and way of encoding the high definition 3D format to consumers.
A further key point is that the Blu-ray 3D format will display stereoscopic pictures on any compatible 3D display (LCD, plasma etc) using any other the available 3D technologies, and is not limited to a specific format of 3D projection.
Watching 3D content at home is not just restricted to Blu-ray 3D. 3DTV is starting to be introduced across the world.
In Japan, 3D content is broadcast daily on their cable channel BS 11. In the UK Sky have announced that their new channel Sky 3D will be launched in April 2010, with current Sky+HD customers being able to receive the 3D channel without upgrading their Sky equipment. There are similar stories in American with ESPN and the Discovery Channel planning 3D ventures in the very near future.
Currently there are different methods of sending the 3D signal to televisions. Resolution and bandwidth are the two key attributes that alter for each of the formats. These attributes are intrinsically linked, increasing the resolution creates a better quality image but at the expense of a increased bandwidth.
Checkerboard, panels and line interleaved are all formats that require the smallest amount of bandwidth as the resolution is lower.
There are also full resolution formats, these produce a higher image resolution but require a higher bandwidth. simulcast, MPEG’s Multi-View Coding (MVC) and 2D+Depth are examples of these full resolution formats.
A standard 3D image or frame requires twice as much bandwidth as a similar 2D image, due to the split images for the left and right images. As a result of this it is often necessary to compress the data in order to save bandwidth and incorporate existing 2D devices.
Spatial compression is once such method of reducing bandwidth.
This can be done by sub-sampling left- and right-eye images and then compressing them into a single 2-D image frame. The sub-sampled left and right images can be packed in a top/bottom, side-by-side, line/column interleaved or checkerboard fashion(Zou, 2009). The downside to spatial compression is that it is not compatible with existing 2D displays, also it greatly reduces the resolution as the two stereoscopic frame need to fit into a single 2D frame.
Time multiplexing is an alternative method of compressing the 3D signal. The great advantage of this method is that it retains the full resolution of each frame while still converting the signal to a 2D format. It works by doubling the frame rate, this way the alternate left and right images are transmitted one after the other and twice the existing frame rate.
2D+Depth is another format used for compression, the major advantage of this format is that the signal can also be used with 2D displays. It works by sending the original frame then a difference frame is sent as a metadata stream. This means that the decoding system has the option of using the metadata or not, thereby viewing the transmission as a 2D or 3D signal.
The final method used is colour separation, this is based on the anaglyph method which is the oldest method of encoding images. The dual images are merged into one and then separated with coloured glasses. It is the least enjoyable in terms of image quality and is extremely unlikely to be used for mainstream home 3D exhibition.
Chapter 12: is 3D bad for you?
When 3D is mentioned it is often followed by comments from people about how it causes eye-strain and headaches, but is this just a rumour or does it hold any truth?
A recent study by the Vision Science Program at The University of California, Berkley, has found that looking at 3D displays did cause more fatigue, eye strain and headaches that looking at a 2D display.
In a study published in March 2008 in the Journal of Vision, Banks and his team of researchers had 11 study participants view a monitor that independently controlled the convergence and accommodation distance. Each of two sessions lasted about 45 minutes. "After the inconsistent (convergence and accommodation) conditions, people reported more fatigue, eye strain and headaches," said Banks (Berkeley University of California, 2010).
As discussed in earlier chapters, when your eyes focus on an object, the brain has becomes accustomed to adjusting the convergence and accommodation simultaneously. In 3D films the convergence works independently of the accommodation. This, according to the above study does have an effect and cause eye-strain. It is feasible thought that the skill could be learned over time, and the more 3D displays/films a person sees the easier and less painful it becomes to watch. This would then lead to the question, should it ever be painful to watch a film at all?
More evidence for the negative side effects of 3D, comes from Dr Michael Rosenberg, an ophthalmology professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, he was quoted as saying, ‘There are a lot of people walking around with very minor eye problems, for example a minor muscle imbalance, which under normal circumstances, the brain deals with naturally. These people are confronted with an entirely new sensory experience.That translates into greater mental effort, making it easier to get a headache’ (Daily Mail, 2010).
It has also been mentioned in a previous chapter how the depth budget plays an important part in the 3D films. This sets the limits between the maximum and minimum level of 3D in any given scene. Exceeding this can cause pain to the viewer because of the extremes in convergence that the eyes need to try and accommodate. This is the reason that 3D content has to be scaled to the screen size that the medium is intended for, increasing or decreasing the screen size has the same scaling effect on the level of ‘3D-ness’ in the scene.
On the other end of the scale are the studios and manufacturers of the 3D equipment. They claim that the headaches that people associate with 3D are due to either badly made films or the old ‘red and green’ style anaglyph glasses, and that modern technology has eliminated this problem.
This opinion is backed up in the book ‘3D Movie-Making’, by the renowned 3D expert Bernard Mendiburu, who also claims, ‘a digital 3D movie should not give you a headache (unless the director made an awful film) – and not hurting the audience tends to be a key issue when you’re selling entertainment’ (Mendiburu, 2009).
Chapter 13: implications of 3D – conclusions and recommendations
With the market for 3D films currently booming, directors that shoot high budget films are understandably under pressure from the studios (their bosses) to make as much money as possible.
With the commercial success of Avatar, recently becoming the highest grossing film of all time. Studios will no doubt be pressing for films to be released in the 3D format.
As has been documented in this report it is perfectly possible to convert 2D films to 3D. Although this process is expensive (costs are approximately $15,000 a minute according to Tim Sassoon, director of Sassoon Film Design), it will be seen as a worthwhile step if it doubles the box office takings, more that recouping the fee for the process.
However, according to In Three, the company responsible for converting the 2010 film Alice in Wonderland from 2D to 3D, some shots are more suitable for conversion that others. One of these being shots with a very wide depth of field. As a result this could lead to a trend of 2D films that are being considered for the conversion process being full of very wide depth of field scenes, so as the frames can be pulled apart in post and given greater depth.
There are other factors included in 3D filmmaking that affect the quality of the stereoscopic image. One of these is the type of lens being used. As is the case with 2D films, the lens makes a big difference to the image. With flat 2D films the lens alters the depth of field, in 3D film it affects the ’roundness’ of the image. When long lenses are being used, 3D looks flat, which induces the cardboarding phenomenon. When short lenses are used it creates a round look, which is much better for 3D. This could lead to short lenses being used much more often that is currently the case.
For smaller budget filmmakers and producers, many of whom are still not shooting in HD, the costs involved with additional equipment plus the extra knowledge needed to film 3D means that it will simply not be a possibility for some time to come. In addition to this, at the present time the overwhelming majority of smaller to medium size clients (website videos, conferences, wedding videos etc) will not want videos in 3D as they will not see the need or not be able to justify the additional costs.
Most of the methods that are used for exhibiting 3D films use digital processes. For large cinemas this isn’t that much of an issue as most of them already use digital projectors, the ones that don’t can easily absorb the costs. One way of doing this is to charge extra for 3D films, which is what most of the cinemas in England seem to be doing.
Different methods of 3D need different equipment in order to be able to properly exhibit the material. RealD, which is one of the most prevalent formats being used, requires a special silver screen to boost the light levels. This is an additional cost for cinemas.
All of the methods require a special projector or an add-on to the existing projector. This is an additional cost for the cinemas.
These extra costs however, will be a small price to pay if the income from these new enhanced films mean a larger income.
For small cinemas, this jump to 3D might prove impossible because of costs involved. If, in future the public decide that 2D films no longer have the pull that they used to then these smaller cinemas could end up going out of business, as their income falls.
13.3 Health & safety
The one thing that is essential for stereoscopic viewing is that the viewer has two eyes, and that both the left and right eyes have good vision.
‘Depending on which expert you listen to, between 2 and 12 percent of all viewers are unable to appreciate video shown in 3D’ (Media College, 2010). This percentage is a large portion of the target audience which the studios will have to take in to account.
In order for 3D to become the ‘norm’, there needs to be a way that these people can see the films at the same time in 2D. It is possible to watch a 3D film through 3D glasses, and if you only have one eye, then you would see the film in 2D as you are effectively only seeing one channel. However, if you have two working eyes but poor stereovision, which can result in headaches, watching the film in this way will not help.
The University of California, Berkley, recently carried out a study into 3D and found that viewing stereoscopic films does cause more fatigue, eye strain and headaches when compared to 2D films. The studios and manufacturers of 3D products put this down to badly made films and not the actual technology itself, and argue that as better made films are made, the viewing experience will be easier.
Whichever case is true, the success or failure of 3D films and 3DTV will come down to the consumers and what they are willing to pay for. From researching online for this report it has been a lot easier finding pages, forums and sites detailing how 3D causes side effects such as headaches than it has been finding research saying there are no side effects. This negative press no matter what studios say, is bound to have an effect on people when they decided whether to spend money on the latest 3D technology.
The aim of studios is to make as much money as possible. For them 3D is a very appealing prospect, it means a new exciting way of getting customers to come and spend their money at cinemas.
One avenue that is being explored by studios that is bound to mean extremely big profits for them is the re-release of old 2D films in 3D.
One of the first examples of this was in 2009, the two films Toy Story (1995) and Toy Story 2 (1999) were re-released in the Disney 3D format. It was such as commercial success that the run was extended.
There is also talk of a re-release of James Cameron’s box office hit Titanic (1998) in a 3D format.
According to USA Today, Cameron was quoted as saying ‘We’re targeting spring of 2012 for the release (of a 3D version of Titanic), which is the 100 year anniversary of the sailing of the ship. It’s never going to be as good as if you shot it in 3D, but think of it as sort of 2.8D.’
The conversion process was documented in chapter 10.
From studios point of view there is such a large repertoire of films that can be converted and exhibited to new audiences in 3D or 2.8D as Cameron argues. The potential for vast profits available from this are immense as a great deal of the costs with making an original film are removed. It has to be an avenue that is going to be explored. This could mean that less money and time is spent on creative new projects and more is spent recycling old content.
13.5 3D combating piracy
The studios have been extremely concerned about piracy in recent years, as more and more people illegally download films from the internet or copy DVD’s. For them 3D is not only a great new exciting format to get people in to the cinemas, arguably more important for them, is that it is an excellent way of combating piracy.
‘According to DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg about 90 per cent of piracy today occurs when people bring a camcorder into a screening and they shoot it – and that "won’t work with 3D."’ (Cugnini, 2009)
Due to the separate images that are projected onto the screen, it means that if you record the image with one camera, it is effectively the same as looking at the 3D image without any glasses, so there is no way to decode the separate pictures. As a result the image would be blurry, and unpleasant to watch.
13.6 The public
Later this year 3D television programs will start to be introduced on British television for the first time in digital HD. This is, as quoted in a BBC White Paper ‘…a continuing long-term evolution of television standards towards a means of recording, transmitting and displaying images that are indistinguishable from reality’ (Armstrong, Salmon, & Jolly, 2009).
For 3D to become widely accepted it might be necessary for a unified format for 3D display at home. At present there are various methods that are being used to display 3D at home. Most of the different types of glasses are not compatible with other systems. This means that if for example, you are going to have a group of 5 or 6 people round to watch the world cup games on the new ESPN 3D channel, which is what the company must be hoping, you will need to have an equal amount of glasses for that one system. If you decide then to watch the next game at a different persons house on their different 3D system, you will need another 5 or 6 pairs of glasses. If a universal format was agreed upon then people could have their own glasses that could be carried with them. In practice this will be very difficult to achieve however, as a lot of large companies have invested great sums of money in to their own designs.
History has shown though, that when there are a couple of options, usually there is one that comes to the forefront and leaves the others to be forgotten. This was the case in the 80’s with VHS and Betamax, and again more recently with Blu-ray and HD-DVD.
A further obstacle for the public with regards to home viewing 3D content at present is the costs that are involved. With the economical situation at present, spending a thousand pounds or more on a new 3D-ready TV set might not be at the top of peoples priorities. Especially when a lot of people have spent out on a HD ready TV fairly recently anyway.
In the near future it is highly likely that people will consider 3D the same way they consider sound and colour in movies now. It will become the ‘norm’ for a film to be shot and exhibited in three dimensions, and anything that isn’t will be done for a artistic or creative reason.
It is also highly likely that there will be a large increase in 2D films being re-released in 3D due to the easy profits available to the studios. Star Wars 3D is surely going to be in the cinemas before long.
It is possible that 3D will come to be used in different ways for different genres of films, in the same way that colour is now. In western ‘cowboy’ films, the images usually have a yellow tint. This is something that has become a trademark of the genre though the years. It is highly likely that the same will happen with 3D. In cartoons for example the 3D effects can be really in your face and apparent. In contrast, during serious dramas, the 3D effects can be used in a much more ‘grown up’ way, it can add subtle depth to the picture but without being so in your face.
In terms of watching 3D at home, one of the problems that needs to be overcome is when people want to watch television together, but the situation arises where some choose to watch it in 2D and others in 3D. There is very little written at present about how this is going to be overcome.
All of the TV manufactures mention how the 3D can be switched on and off, allowing to watch TV in 2D whenever you want, but not how it can be watched in both formats at the same time. With most of the mentioned formats if the signal is in 3D, it creates a blurry image on the screen that only looks crisp through glasses. So anyone watching without glasses or without the ability to see 3D may have issues now watching in 2D also.
A good summary of the state of 3D film at present can be found in this review from 1915. As written in the book by Ray Zone on the origins of 3D film.
‘When the first publicly exhibited stereoscopic motion pictures were shown in 1915
at the Astor Theatre in New York, Lyne Denig, a reviewer for Moving Picture World,
wrote, "These pictures would appeal first by reason of their novelty, then because of
the wonderful effects obtained, and after that, when they had become familiar, there
would be the same old demand for an interesting story"(Zone, 2007).
Although these comments are almost 100 years old, the point being made is still very relevant today. It has clearly got a lot easier to produce and edit 3D film, but it is going to be the story that is the most important aspect once the novelty has worn off.
An object that consists of three dimensions (length, width and height).
Accommodation depth cue
A stereoscopic depth cue, refers to the way our eyes change focus.
Active shutter glasses
Type of 3D glasses. Decodes 3D images by alternately shutting of the left and right eye pieces.
Alternate-frame 3D projection
A method of using a single projector to display a stereoscopic film. Works by displaying alternate left and right frames.
A composite picture printed in two colours that produces a three-dimensional image when viewed through spectacles having lenses of corresponding colours.
Auto-stereoscopic / autostereoscopy
A method of viewing three-dimensional images which does not require any glasses.
Ciliary body muscles
Muscles which control the eyes accommodation and convergence.
The process of altering the colours in a image of film. Different formats need different colour balances.
Colour separation glasses
Type of 3D glasses. Decodes 3D images by using opposite colour filters as used in the projection. Red and cyan are commonly used colours.
Convergence depth cue
A stereoscopic depth cue, the brain receives depth cues from electronic signals sent from the ciliary muscles which control the eyes rotation around the Y axis when focussing on objects at different depths.
The limit of comfortable 3D viewing in a stereoscopic film.
DLP-Link is a communication protocol that uses the DLP chip inside DLPTV and DLP Projectors.
A method of displaying stereoscopic films, it used two projects, one each for the left and right images.
The amount of frame shown per second on screen. Film standard is 24 fps (frames per second).
This is where the colours bleed from the left to right frames of a 3D image. It is a problem that needs to be resolved using a ‘anti-ghosting process’. Some formats suffer from this more than others.
HD (high definition)
A video signal which has a higher resolution that standard definition, up to 5 times better picture quality.
(HIT) Horizontal Image Translation
A digital post-production process where convergence can be altered.
An effect which is created in 3D filmmaking when the interaxial distance is extremely wide.
An effect which is created in 3D filmmaking when the interaxial distance is extremely narrow.
The distance between the two cameras in a 3D production.
A problem that can arise in 3D filmmaking, means the left and right edges of an image no longer match.
A monoscopic depth cue, nearer objects move a greater distance relative to further objects.
Monoscopic depth cues
A method of working out depth by using only one viewpoint. Either one eye or one camera lens.
Occlusion (interposition) depth cue
A monoscopic depth cue, overlapping objects are perceived as being closer that objects behind them.
Over and Under
A method of squeezing two frames into a single frame, they are printed on above and below each other.
Passive polarised glasses
Type of 3D glasses. Decodes 3D images by using apposing polarising as is used in the left and right channels of the projector.
Perspective depth cue
A monoscopic depth cue, works by judging distance based on an objects size
A method for viewing 3D images, often used in cinemas. Glasses are usually very cheap and often disposable.
Reality Camera System
A specially designed camera, created for the 2003 James Cameron film, Ghost of the Abyss. Utilized HD video.
Single strip 3D
A method of displaying 3D using a single projector.
The first single strip 3D projection method, invented in the 1960’s, Utilized over and under encoding.
Invented in 1838 by Charles Wheatstone, an apparatus used to view stereoscopic images.
Stereoscopic depth cues
Depth cues based on two sources, left and right eyes.
Stereoscopic depth perception
The method used to see depth by using stereopsis.
Often referred to as ‘depth perception’. It is the process of receiving a slightly different image in each eye which results to a 3D view.
The process of recreating a virtual 3D image. First invented by Sir Charles Wheatstone in 1938.
A single strip 3D method used in the 1960’s. Split the two frame vertically.
The area that a 3D film is viewed through.
A method of cinema projection invented in 1923, uses the alternate-frame technology
The type of encoding used in active 3D glasses. Dual images are switched off and on periodically.
A process where you can view video whenever you want to see it, usually comes as part of a package (Virgin, Sky etc)