Welcome to my A2 media coursework blog. My name is Maisie MacGregor (candidate number 0506), and I will be working in group 4 with Molly Sullivan (candidate number 0816), Ellie Brackpool (candidate number 0100), and Mari Leach (candidate number 0440).

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Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Case Study 2 - Papadopoulos & Sons - Director Q&A

After watching the film we got the chance to talk to the director Marcus Markou about the production, marketing and distribution of Papadopoulos & Sons. From this I learned a lot about the process of making a film, particularly an independent film.

Papa & Sons had a relatively small budget of £85,000 which came from the business Marcus shares with his brother, and this meant that they had to do things quite differently to someone producing a film with a bigger budget. The Line Producer, a job which previously I didn't know existed, played a massive role in budgeting as they went through the script line by line to figure out a realistic budget.

Marcus persuaded actors to join the cast because they loved his script, rather than for large amounts of money. Stephen Dillane even got Game of Thrones to push their entire shooting schedule back a week just to finish the job when a day of filming P&S had to be cancelled, and for the chance to act as the father to his biological son, Frank Dillane. Similarly, George Corraface, a popular actor in France and Greece, agreed to meet with the director to discuss the job because he loved the story so much.

However, Marcus believes that a working environment like this is better if it is seen as less of a job and more of something enjoyable, as he was never in it for the money. He tried to eradicate the typical hierarchy of the industry on the first day by putting himself on the same level as the actors and extras, which worked well for a family-feel film like Papa & Sons.

The film shared a release date with higher budget blockbuster films who had more money and resources to promote their films. However, Marcus used clever marketing techniques, and rather than paying for advertising slots on TV or around London, he took to social media to promote the film. Sites like Twitter and Facebook were useful as, for example, they decided to contact fish and chip shops on the off chance that they would go to see a film about a fish and chip shop, and in many cases they did. Another way Marcus promoted the film was handing out flyers in the cinemas it would be shown in and telling people why they should come to watch his film.

They chose the locations of the cinemas to screen the film in by finding those near to Greek churches, as where there is a Greek church there is a Greek community, and in the Greek community there will be many people wanting to see the film. Although he never intended for Papa & Sons to be aimed at only Greek people, he found that families, but particularly Greek families, would be the most relatable audience and so targeted them.

Marcus described the film as having "a life of its own" as it has been shown and received well in so many places he could never have imagined, such as being screened in the European Parliament in 2012 as the Greek Prime Minister was making a hosting a talk about the Greek economy in the room below. It has also been shown at film festivals in France, Greece and the USA, which Marcus told us was an excellent way to spread interest in the film.

For me, Papa & Sons is a great example of how a film can do well even with a small budget, and using the resources available such as social media.

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