Monday, 11 October 2010

Part 5 - Online Screening

What sort of films are exhibited at these sites?

A diverse range of films, mainly shorts but some feature length, are exhibited at these sites with The BBC Film Network, FilmFour and Virgin Media Shorts all screening far more professional, artistic films compared to YouTube and Atom. The BBC, FilmFour and Virgin Media are screening films that have been created by individuals who have a passion for film-making and who take it seriously with The BBC only showing shorts that have won awards and Virgin Media only showing the top ten shorts for that year. The BBC Film Network exhibit’s a wide range of shorts including drama, comedy, documentary and animation while FilmFour showcases over 150 shorts of varying genres. Meanwhile YouTube and Atom allow any film to be uploaded to their sites with Atom showing a collection of comedy shorts that can be either animation or real-life footage and YouTube allowing any genre of film to be uploaded. Vimeo is similar to both YouTube and Atom as it allows it’s users to upload their videos straight onto the website however it differs in the fact that it takes film-making more seriously than the others with several serious short films being exhibited on their site.

Who is the audience?

The majority of the audience who visits these sites and watches the films exhibited are aspiring film-makers, film industry professionals such as critics and directors or generally just people who enjoy watching shorts for pleasure. For example The BBC Film Network is available to anyone who wants to watch the films exhibited there and so therefore is used to promote emerging shorts to a main stream audience. FilmFour’s audience is fairly similar to The BBC’s while Atom’s audience are people interested in sci-fi and technology with animation shorts being extremely popular amongst it’s audience.

What is the submission process?

The sites’ submission processes differ from each other with The BBC and Virgin Media having lengthy submission processes where you have to sign up to become a member of the sites first and then complete a submission form alongside uploading your film (for Virgin Media) and sending in a hard copy (for The BBC.) These submissions are then watched by an industry panel and are then either put onto The BBC’s website or put through to the next stage of the competition for Virgin Media Shorts. With this submission style process there is obviously a chance that your film may not get put through and so therefore will not be viewed whereas with sites such as YouTube, Atom and Vimeo you simply have to create an account and upload your film for it to be viewed. Trigger Street is similar to YouTube, Atom and Vimeo in the fact that your film can simply be uploaded directly on to the website however you have to review a number of other films first.

What are the benefits of having a film screened on site as opposed to another?

There’s a wide range of benefits to having your film screened online and of course these benefits differ from site to site. For example The BBC Film Network holds your film for five years once being published on the site with audiences able to get in contact with you to give professional feedback and advice. Feedback is also one of the main advantages when having your film exhibited on Trigger Street; however your film can easily be removed and there are several digital requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to have your film screened here. Atom is easily the most beneficial however as it allows distribution through the use of the Internet, mobiles and Xbox downloads, with opportunities to even have your short screened on TV through the programme Atom TV. Top users of the site can even earn a shared revenue payment; however this site and it’s benefits are only for those working in the comedy genre.

What have you noticed about the structure/style of the sites and their presentation of the material?

I have noticed that each of the sites can be easily navigated with the clear, organised layouts of the sites being the main reason for this. The films exhibited are also easily accessible with The BBC Film Network giving all films their own online profile helping to add to the easy navigation. However with Trigger Street you have to sign up and become a member before being able to access certain areas of the site and watch any content; therefore not as many films may get viewed, a disadvantage of their membership scheme.

Evaluate their effectiveness in terms of the exposure they achieve for the films and their makers, and also in terms of their potential audience.

Overall all of these websites help to get up-and-coming film-makers and their films noticed; however some do this more successfully than others. The BBC Film Network is one of the most successful when it comes to achieving exposure for the films and their makers with the help of the film-makers own online profile showcasing their works, helping to build a fan-base and get word round about them and their work. Atom and Trigger Street also provide good exposure for new and unknown film-makers particularly if your short is displayed on the homepages of these sites, however with Trigger Street you have to become a member before being able to view anything. FilmFour, Vimeo and YouTube are possibly the least successful when it comes to good exposure for you and your film as the shorts on the FilmFour website don’t get as much exposure as other sections of the website do and Vimeo and YouTube have so many videos that you have to specifically search for the films themselves.

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