Ted Talk

The way short films are made and how that compares to high budget productions and what it means for online media sources and TV.


The focus of my research is to find out the differences in production and distribution between short films and high budget films and online media sources, like YouTube and Vimeo, and the TV industry. These differences can include things like budget, rights, production duration and distribution processes. My goal is to show how the internet is a tool that was just once used to play games or communicate with others but is now being used to distribute full movies and short films on platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo. I could use the production team ‘CorridorDigital’ as an example of this as they have produced a full movie to a high production value to be published on both YouTube and Vimeo. The distribution process on YouTube is much more straight forward in many ways when comparing it to distribution for TV. My aim is to provide information based on the differences in this form of media.

My Opinion:

I have a very strong opinion on this topic. This is because I believe in young, budding filmmakers being given the opportunity to show their capabilities in film or animation without having to wait until they are given the opportunity in a professional environment. That’s if the opportunity even arises. Online platforms like YouTube and Vimeo also encourage filmmakers to actually make content, developing their skills so that they learn them when there wont be harsh consequences in comparison to what a mistake could do when a production team may be relying on you and you don’t have all the skills. That’s why online sources are good because it means its easy to publish content and get real peoples feedback which people can then use to improve enlarge their skillset. Another reason I feel strongly about online media sources is because its easily accessible to anyone and is user-friendly.

What I expect to find out:

I think I will find out things about how TV shows and movies have to be finely tuned even after the production so that the age ratings can fit with the target audience. I will research all the stages a TV production has to go though before it can actually be published. Although online films may have to go through some stages after production and before publication, there is not as many stages as there is for the TV productions. Another thing I am going to look into is revenue and how it works for each platform and if the revenue gets split between different people. For example, music artists and sponsorships could be cut a percentage of the total earnings.


Horror, Romance, Comedy, Action, Sci-fi, Western, Drama, Thriller, Fantasy, War.

Ways that certain genres can be identified in media. For example a form of comedy in the media would be The Simpsons. This is through the appearance of the characters and the style of the show being a cartoon. The cartoon effect usually makes the first impression that it is silly or unprofessional. The characters have yellow skin which automatically makes the characters seem comedic.

I also looked into the genre of Saving Private Ryan. I used the repertoire of elements as a guideline.

The Repertoire of Elements

Saving Private Ryan:

Mise-en-scène: The setting is very historically based around the invasion of Normandy in World War 2. This can be seen through the props and costumes being historically accurate. The scene is also made to look like the iconic beach scene from Normandy. This instantly makes people think of the genre as war and action.


The lighting/exposure is very dim and dingy which represents the mood of the location and action.


Toderov Theory

Tzvetan Todorov is a French and Bulgarian literary theorist and a philosopher. Todorov came up with a theory which he believed could be applied to any film. He beloved all films followed the same narrative pattern. They all went through stages called the equilibrium, disequilibrium, acknowledgement, solving and again equilibrium.

There are five stages the narrative can progress through:
1. A state of equilibrium (All is as it should be.)
2. A disruption of that order by an event.
3. A recognition that the disorder has occurred.
4. An attempt to repair the damage of the disruption.
5. A return or restoration of a NEW equilibrium
A film that follow these steps perfectly is Die Hard.
1. John McClane (Bruce Willis) is coming home to his family for Christmas and all is calm. (The equilibrium)
2. Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) and his team of terrorists take over the nakatomi building which is hosting a Christmas part of which McClane and his wife are attending.
3. (2 points of recognition) McClane isn’t in the room when the terrorists storm in so is able to move up the building when he hears screaming. People outside of the building realise there’s a disruption when a police man’s car is shot at from the building.
4. The police try sending in a SWAT team in which fails. The situation is solved by John McClane throwing Gruber out of a high floor window which kills him.
5. The equilibrium is restored when the police got McClane, his wife and the other hostages out of the building, and the McClanes leave in a police car.
Propp’s Theory
Vladimir Yakovlevich Propp was a Soviet folklorist and scholar who analysed the basic plot components of Russian folk tales to identify their simplest irreducible narrative elements. He came up with the theory that there are 8 main character roles in stories.

“The villain – represents evil and struggles against the hero (e.g. the Salron in The Lord of the Rings)

The dispatcher – character who makes the problem in the narrative known and sends the hero on his way (e.g. Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings)

The helper – helps the hero in his quest (e.g. Samwise in The Lord of the Rings)

The princess/heroine – the hero deserves her throughout the story but is unable to marry her because of an unfair evil, usually because of the villain. The hero’s journey is often ended when he marries the princess, thereby beating the villain (e.g. Rachel in The Dark Knight)

Her father – often rewards the hero with the princess/heroine (e.g. The Sultan in Aladdin)

The donor – prepares the hero or gives the hero some magical object to help him in his quest (e.g. Lucius Fox in The Dark Knight)

The hero – the centrail protagonist who leads the way in the narrative (e.g. Bruce Wayne/Batman in The Dark Knight)

False hero – takes credit for the hero’s actions, is usually good looking and is often actually a coward (e.g. Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight)”


Enigma and Action Codes

Roland Gérard Barthes was a French literary theorist, philosopher, linguist and critic.

Enigma codes pose questions to the audience which are then answered shortly after or later on in the film. For example, who is she? Where is she going? Why is she doing that? They’re questions enabling the audience to get intrigued with the film and wanting to find out the answers to these questions, therefore watching more of it.

Action codes are significant events which move the narrative on in a particular direction. For example, a phone ringing or a knock at the door. Both actions are used to change the scene/narrative for specific reason but to also keep the narrative alive. They teach the audience new things, for example, something new about a character or possibly the plot itself. They give the audience needed information.


Audience Profiling – Target Audience – how can it be defined?

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Religion/Beliefs/Values
  • Sexuality
  • Socio-economics
  • Geo-Demographics
  • Interests and Hobbies
  • Psychographics

Audience Classification – Categories

Different media industries categorise audiences to easily define them and to consider how they will be targeted. Magazine and advertising industries will still categorise audiences in terms of income, lifestyle and needs. This is because these industries are focussing on selling a clearly defined product- they must be accurate about their target audience.

  • Categories A-B are considered the wealthiest and most influential members of society- having the most disposable income.



Although demographic profiling works, there are still some issues with it.

  • It classifies a whole household on one person’s occupation
  • It ignores groups such as wealthy people who don’t work and self employed people
  • It contains no information about the size and structure of households
  • The rise of early retirement with a high pension and the ‘silver surfer’ means that retired people have moved to a higher category to reflect their disposable income.

The Hypodermic Needle

The hypodermic needle is a theory which states that the media is like a needle which injects thoughts and ideas into the audience which will influence their behaviour. For example, if you watch a violent movie or play a violent game then you may go and do something violent. It also presents beliefs and expectations to the audience.


Representation is the way aspects of society, such as gender, age or ethnicity, are presented to audiences. Ideology is usually the behind the representations of aspects like gender or ethnicity because the media producers ideas and beliefs are usually represented through their work. This is why representation is different in all texts because it is an indication about what the producer believes or wants to make other people believe.

Marketing and Promotion

The goal of marketing and promotion is not just to reach as many people as possible but is also to reach the right audience. It is a tool used by film makers, movie producers, music producers, etc. They can use the audience classification charts to help them find the most efficient way to advertise their product to the right people. This could be done by selecting the TV channels that the target audience watch and advertising their product that way.

Technology (Digital)

Technology is used for social media which is used to an advantage for advertisers. Advertisers use medias like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Myspace, etc. Nearly every form of advertising is on social media because it is such a worldwide platform. Primarily adverts on social media are used for upcoming films and games.

Powerpoint and Script

TED Talk


Annotated Catalogue

  1. futurelearn (no date) The seven stages of film production. Available at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/film-production/0/steps/12304 (Accessed: 01 March 2017)

This article talks about the overall processes a movie has to go through before distribution and briefly touches on individual roles like the producer, line manager and production manager.

2. Poacher Behind the Scenes

Sam and Niko (2014) Poacher Behind the Scenes. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9mQ_8WCETs (Accessed: 03 March 2017).

This is the behind the scenes of the production stages of a short film with a high production value. In the video they talk about equipment etc. They also have a significantly smaller crew than traditional TV crews. It shows how much Hollywood movies differ from online films.

3. Sync – The Movie

Corridor (2014) Sync – The Movie. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhjimhX9d5U (Accessed: 07 March 2017).

This is a full movie on YouTube which was made in collaboration with Google and they gave CorridorDigital (the makers) the rights to upload it to YouTube and Vimeo. There are aspects of this film which do show it as a more budget film as opposed to a typical Hollywood action/adventure film. This is seen through the CGI because of gun smoke and green screen work.

4. CorridorDigital Homepage – http://www.corridordigital.com/

CorridorDigital (no date) Corridor Digital Homepage. Available at: http://www.corridordigital.com/ (Accessed: 08 March 2017)

This is the CorridorDigital homepage which has previews playing as you enter the site and also has links to their videos, YouTube page, store and a link to people they’ve worked with. I may se this reference to talk about people they’ve worked with.

5. Film Crew List – filmincolorardo (no date) Job Descriptions. Available at: http://filmincolorado.com/resources/job-descriptions/ (Accessed: 10 March 2017)

This lists and describes most of the department roles in TV production. I can use this to compare the crew sizes and roles of TV production to online productions. This will show the significantly how the numbers differentiate from one another.

6. Skeleton Crew List – indiewire (2013) The 5 People Filmmakers Need for a Tiny Skeleton Crew. Available at: http://www.indiewire.com/2013/09/the-5-people-filmmakers-need-for-a-tiny-skeleton-crew-34424/ (Accessed: 10 March 2017)

This list defines the essential roles for a film crew to work. It says the minimum amount of people you would need for a budget shoot at a location would be 2-5 people. This can vary from 2-5 people to 10-15 (depending on the shoot). (Refer to source 2).

7. Behind the Scenes – IMAGINE

DSLRguide (2015) Short Film Behind the Scenes – IMAGINE. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSY_fZp6zPQ (Accessed: 10 March 2017).

This is the behind the scenes of an award winning short film called IMAGINE which explains more about a skeleton crew and an in depth interview with the DP (Director of Photography). He explains how it’s is his role to take the directors vision and physically create it in camera. It is also his role to meet with the producer before and go through storyboards and decide on how he wants to overall image to look/feel. They have to create an overall ‘image’ of the film.

8. Netflix Growth Analytics – forbes (no date) Netflix Soars on Subscriber Growth. Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurengensler/2015/01/20/netflix-soars-on-subscriber-growth/#1af9c79d409c (Accessed: 10 March 2017)

I used this source to add to my presentation for showing statistics. This is to aid my description and to help me get my point across. It is about how Netflix has grown over the recent years and how this ties in with TV views reducing.

9. Netflix Growth Chart – Richter, F. (2015) Netflix Hits 65 Million Subscribers. Available at: https://www.statista.com/chart/3153/netflix-subscribers/ (Accessed: 10 March 2017).

This source is also used for helping me to get the concept across to the audience. Netflix generated $1.64 billion in revenue between April and June, a 23-percent increase over last year’s June quarter. Meanwhile net profit declined by more than 60 percent to $26 million, mainly due to costs related to the company’s international expansion. In a letter to shareholders, CEO Reed Hastings explained that the company plans to operate around break-even through 2016 and to rake in substantial profits starting in 2017.

10. Traditional TV Video Trends – MarketingCharts.com TV Weekly Viewing Trends Among 18-24 Year Olds. Available at: http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Nielsen-Traditional-TV-Weekly-Viewing-Trends-Among-18-24-Q12011-Q32016-Jan2017.png (no date) (Accessed: 10 March 2017).

This reference s also for the aid of getting the concept through during the presentation for the audience.

11. Giving Presentations : Expert Solutions To Everyday Challenges 2007, n.p.: Boston, Mass. : Harvard Business School Press, 2007., Exeter College Library Catalogue, EBSCOhost, viewed 14 March 2017.

This book explains how to keep the audience engages and how to present information in such a way that it’s kept interesting. It also says how to use multi-media as a tool to get the point across better. It also talks about making sure to use the right length of video and the essential parts.

Discarded References

James, D. (2016) Netflix Review. Available at: http://www.techradar.com/reviews/audio-visual/av-accessories/netflix-1065801/review (Accessed: 09 March 2017).

This reference included only one persons review and facts they have gathered about Netflix which didn’t really apply to my topic as I was looking for facts and figures.

Netflix (no date) How does Netflix work?. Available at: https://help.netflix.com/en/node/412 (Accessed: 10 March 2017)

I was originally going to use this as a source but later decided that that it may not be an accurate source for facts as it is of the actual Netflix page which means it may be bias or misleading.