Friday, 7 May 2010

Case Study 2: DNA Films

Company Website:

DNA Films is an independent film production company set up in 1997 by Duncan Kenworthy & Andrew MacDonald. They have produced a relatively small number of films which have been successful both commercially and critically, including:
  • 28 Weeks Later (2007)
  • Sunshine (2007)
  • Notes on a Scandal (2006)
  • The History Boys (2006)
  • The Last King of Scotland (2006)
  • 28 Days Later (2002)

DNA films have a distribution agreement with Fox Searchlight, a subsidiary of 20th Century Fox which specialises in independent and British films. This is an example of synergy, where two companies work together for mutual benefit. DNA benefits from Fox Searchlight's access to funds and a worldwide distribution network, while Fox gains cultural and artistic kudos by supporting more 'edgy' productions. They might get lucky with a film which breaks out and becomes a world-wide commercial success, or they may benefit from the long tail effect.

28 Days Later is probably their most successful since it made enough money to spin off into a franchise, with the sequel 28 Weeks Later released in 2007 and 28 Months Later which looks like it's currently languishing in production hell. It is also a brilliant example of many of the concepts which you need to understand.

While 28 Days was distributed through Fox Searchlight, 28 Weeks was distributed through Fox International - this might sound like a trivial difference, but what it shows is that the franchise had, in effect graduated from being a small, risky proposition to a big commercial release.

It has spawned at least one fan film called The Rage (2008). The existence of this is due to the proliferation of digitial film-making technology which is cheap enough and easy enough for amateur film-makers to use. As such it is also an example of user-generated content, which is one of the features of what we call Web2.0. The audience is becoming involved in the production and distribution of their own work via the internet.

View Year 12's Research Presentation on DNA Films:

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