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Old December 2nd, 2006, 12:44 AM   #1
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Ad-Supported Movie Possible?

Hello,

I live in a country with a very big piracy problem, so I came up with the idea of asking corporate bodies to pay for advertising slots in my movie, which will then be distributed in VCD format for free or at a cheaper-than-average price.

The problem is that I'm yet to come accross a movie that was released with this model.

I seems as if the "movie experience" is so much different from the TV experience. As if movie-watchers are accustomed to an uninterrupted 2 hours of immersion in the story. So I don't know how they'll react to commercial breaks in my movie.

What do you think about the idea of an ad-supported movie?

Thanks.
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 01:21 AM   #2
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What is often done is to innocuously insert ads into the film itself, rather than taking a commercial break. It is called "ad placement"; you have probably heard of it. Viewers may take more kindly to it than frequently interrupting the film, which I think would harm the immersion. Or do you mean showing a roll of ads at the beginning, like they do at the cinema?

In the end, you gotta do what you gotta do to get your film made. Best of luck to you.
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 01:59 AM   #3
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Yeah, I've considered ad placement but I don't think corporate bodies in my area will buy it. It'll be much easier to convince them to pay for commercials.

Quote:
Viewers may take more kindly to it than frequently interrupting the film, which I think would harm the immersion. Or do you mean showing a roll of ads at the beginning, like they do at the cinema?
Do you think it would be better to show ads at the beginning or end of a film rather than interrupting it? Or maybe just after the beginning and just before the ending of a movie? All over the web, I find people complaining about this sort of thing, but they don't complain as much about tv commercial breaks.

It seems as if a large block of adverts at the beginning or end of a VCD is much more likely to be skipped than 30 second ads inserted all over the movie, unless the ads are actually worth viewing on their own merit - with high entertainment value, special promotions and exclusive discounts.
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 08:51 AM   #4
 
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I would never buy or watch a movie that had commercials breaks throughout--not even one!

AMC (American Movie Classics) was the first cable channel to show feature length movies without commercial interruption. I watched that channel more than any other (I did not subscribe to movie channels, i.e., Showtime or HBO). The day AMC started breaking up movies with commercials, I stopped watching AMC.

I don't--will not--watch any movie that has commercial interruptions.

Quote:
The problem is that I'm yet to come accross a movie that was released with this model.
And there is probably a very good reason why you haven't. No advertiser is going to absorb the cost of pirating. Why should they? What is his incentive?

1.) The cost of making a movie is already very expensive. 2.) The cost of mass producing DVDs, printing, cases, marketing, distribution, etc., that ain't cheap either. 3.) Then there is the cost of pirating--lost revenues.

In my opinion, no advertiser is going to absorb those costs, especially the cost of pirating. Why should he? What is his incentive? He can reach far more people for a whole lot less money than what is being proposed.

But getting back to my original objection. It all boils down to ruining the cinematic experience--the "immersion" as Erme said. I, for one, wouldn't even watch such a movie if was free.
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 09:50 AM   #5
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I would never buy or watch a movie that had commercials breaks throughout--not even one!
It all boils down to ruining the cinematic experience--the "immersion" as Erme said.
- What about a movie with commercials before and after it?
- What if "sponsored by so-and-so" is printed at the bottom of the screen throughout?

Quote:
No advertiser is going to absorb the cost of pirating.
The idea isn't complicated at all. The pirate can distribute VCDs at a cheaper price because he only pays the cost of CD duplication and printing. If the advertiser covers the cost of production, then we will be able to meet the pirate's price. With his cost advantage gone, the pirate will no longer have the incentive to duplicate that particular VCD. Even if he duplicates it, he's also going to be duplicating my advertiser's message!

Quote:
Why should they? What is his incentive?
Sales? Branding? The same reason they advertise on TV?
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 11:56 AM   #6
 
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Seun,
There are advertisers that pay big money for product placement in most major movies, "Casino Royale" is a huge case in point. Sony Pictures was paid/funded in great part by Sony Electronics for the placement of product. Apple spends millions on millions for product placement. Taking that to another level isn't too difficult to imagine, or better yet, what about taking the concept of:
When the product is seen, a small link appears in the video that allows the viewer to click an information page relating to the product? DVD Studio Pro and Sony DVD Architect (and other apps) allow you to insert a live link into the stream. If it was small and inobtrusive, it wouldn't irritate too many people. Some would be bugged by it, but I'd wager most wouldn't care. For some sorts of films, I'd assert that this is the only way they'll be made or distributed in the future, films that support a particular corporation's viewpoint or policy, films that support a specific type of product, or promote a particular point of view will become more common. Heck, we're seeing *all* sorts of movies being made to support religious views, paid in part or full by the religion, so there is no reason to believe that this won't/can't spill over into the corporate sector as well.
Power to you, it's an interesting topic and opportunity.
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 04:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seun Osewa
- What about a movie with commercials before and after it?
- What if "sponsored by so-and-so" is printed at the bottom of the screen throughout?

...
For me thopse are two worlds that should never meet. If I pay out of pocket to experience the content, such as a movie that I see in a theatre or rent for home viewing then I get furious at the inclusion of commercials whether they are in front and back or imbedded in the content. Product placement doesn't bother me because it doesn't interupt the 'suspension of disbelief' that is part of enjoying the story experience. When I pay, I'm paying for the content and commericals aren't part of what I've purchased. I resent paying to see them - it feels like the advertiser is blatantly stealing my time from me. And conversely, if there are commercials then I expect to get the content for free, viewing the commercials being the price I pay to view the content and there should no further out of pocket expense required on my part.
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 10:55 AM   #8
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Here's what the "sponsored by" line might look like:
http://img117.imageshack.us/img117/5...soredbybj7.jpg

Those two lines would be there throughout the movie.
That should satisfy any advertiser, right? And it seems pretty unintrusive, right?
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 10:58 AM   #9
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I wouldn't like it at all. If it popped up a FEW times, it would be better.
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 06:07 PM   #10
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What about giving the customer the choice?

Here's my 2 cents, take it or leave it...

You have two renderings of the film.
Rendering #1 - Decide what type of ad sponsoring to use, for this example I'll say that the movie is broken up with commercials just like it would be on TV. And let's say this rendering cost $3.
Rendering #2 - Same film, no commercials. Cost $10.

The back-end deal - Company A backs the movie in exchange for their ads playing in the commercial spots. The difference in the cost between the 2 renderings ($7) is paid to Company A as Rendering #2 is sold, until 125% of their original investment is met and then the $7 split 50/50 between you and Company A after that.

You get to make the movie, Company A gets their commercials. The only downside is that the pirates still have a slight advantage on reproducing the flick without the ads, but that is always going to be there in some degree.

Any thoughts?

Kevin
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Old December 6th, 2006, 08:44 AM   #11
 
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Kevin, commercial sponsors--those selling a product or service--do not place ads to make money from movies sales. They place ads (buy commercial time) to sell THEIR products. They will make far more money in sales of their products/services than they ever would in a "recouped investment" deal.

That "expense" (buyng the commercial time) is written off as an advertising expense in their corporate budget.
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Old December 6th, 2006, 01:46 PM   #12
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Yeah, that is great. You will end up with pirated movies without ads selling better and more expensive than your discs.
And with the time spared from cutting ads, they can even add feature films to sell their next pirated copies.
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Old December 6th, 2006, 07:45 PM   #13
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In current business models, theaters don't do films with advertising in them. They may play trailers or commercials beforehand, but no advertising in the middle of the film. On television, you have some movies made specifically for television and the film is cut with commercials in between.

Breaking into this system might be hard without experience and a track record. An exception to this may be particular content which is closely tied to the product. I can't think of a film that does this, but on TV there's Victoria's Secret fashion show (product = lingerie). In video games, there's America's Army (product = join the army). It seems like you want to do your own thing, so this route probably isn't what you're looking for.

2- Does your country have grants or other government subsidies for film/TV? Some countries do this to support their cultural industries. The projects don't need to be very commercially viable.

3- If your project is not commercially viable, then you may have difficulty convincing other people to give you money unless you are a good salesperson. From the perspective of the company buying the advertising:
A- Is putting money into your project (whatever media it is) better than buying airtime on TV, or placement before a movie? / How cost-effective will the advertisement be?
B- How many people will be watching the show? If this is unknown, is the advertiser ok with the risk?
C- Is the advertisement targeted towards their target demographic? Some advertisers want to reach a lot of people, while a soap company may want to target mothers. Advertisers may want to pay a higher CPM to reach a targeted audience.

4- There are however examples of people do manage to fund their film through private investment (some people like the glamour of the business). These are likely bad investments, although some movies have become very successful and made a lot of money.

5- Some people shoot a short version / excerpt of their film and show it at film festivals, hoping to get attention for their film that way.

6- You might be able to produce your film for very little money. Don't worry about the production values so much, just get off your ass and shoot it. If the ideas are good, people will watch it. For example, many people watch videos on Youtube.

7- Think outside the box?? There may be other ways of getting your film produced.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 12:28 PM   #14
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Jay, I think that you missed the point of my post. In the scenario that I proposed the company would be loosing out on their commercials being seen on the copy without commercials - kinda goes without saying, huh? So because they would be investing in the project and on some of the copies not getting their advertising - not driving people to their place of business - they'd at least get something in return for their gamble on the project. But I can see that you're not interested in other people's ideas...


"Kevin, commercial sponsors--those selling a product or service--do not place ads to make money from movies sales. They place ads (buy commercial time) to sell THEIR products. They will make far more money in sales of their products/services than they ever would in a "recouped investment" deal.

That "expense" (buyng the commercial time) is written off as an advertising expense in their corporate budget."
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Old January 3rd, 2007, 12:17 PM   #15
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There's enough "product placement" in current films nowadays, we've started to become immune to it.

It can (somewhat) fill in some gaps if your production is large enough, but don't expect it to pay your budget if you're shooting a cheap indie project.
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