Marketing Plan

Summary

Director’s Vision

Cast and Crew

Marketing Plan

 

ELSA’s target audience will be the 18-30 demographic and the younger end of the 30-44 demographic. The strength of this market, together with the tight structure of the ELSA script, the creative input of the cast, director, DOP and designer, and impact of our experienced sales agents, should ensure interest from major distributors for launching a theatrical, DVD and TV release. ELSA will appeal to audiences attracted by classic British character based comedies like The Office, League of Gentlemen and The Full Monty. It will also appeal to audiences attracted by the American feature comedies of Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller and Will Ferrell.

Historically comedies have performed well in the UK. From the early days of Ealing to the spectacular successes of the Working Title features of the nineties and naughties, comedies have always proved popular commercially successful vehicles for British talent.

In the 1970s, when cinema attendance was plummeting and film production in the UK was in decline, low budget comedies saved the British film industry. The feature adaptation of the popular TV sitcom On The Buses was filmed for £90,000 and made over £1M. Other TV adaptations Up Pompeii, Dad’s Army, Steptoe and Son all went on to perform well at the box office. Along with the success of the Carry On films and the Monty Python films low budget British comedies kept the British film industry alive until the mid eighties.

The British comedy A Fish Called Wanda was released in 1988 and grossed $190M world wide. Leon the Pig Farmer was released four years later winning four awards including the FIPRESCI award at the 1992 Venice Film Festival. Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Bean and lower budget TV adaptations Guesthouse Paradiso, Kevin and Perry Go Large and Ali G Indahouse reminded us of what the British film industry does best – Comedy.


Character Driven Comedy Audiences:
During the last few years, interest in character comedy has increased parallel to their greater sophistication and quality as shown by the hugely successful sketch shows The Fast Show, League of Gentlemen and Little Britain. In particular an increase in the output of popular character driven comedy on the UK screen can be seen in the past five years with the release of Shaun of the Dead, The League of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse and Confetti. Shaun of the Dead, released in 2004 to coincide with the release of the remake of Dawn of the Dead, found popularity with male audiences aged 18-30 and 30-44.

The popularity in the UK of US character driven comedy features such as Dodgeball, Wedding Crashers and Meet the Fockers shows that there is a huge demand for this kind of product both in the States and here in the UK.

Swingers, released in 1996, was a hugely successful and popular movie. The films budget is estimated at having been $200,000 dollars. The actors, although unknowns at the time of release, soon became popular stars of character driven comedies and now guarantee a box office return. The story concerns Mike’s (John Favreau) struggle to make it as an actor in LA while overcoming his sense of loss and loneliness since the break-up of his relationship. With the help of his best friend (Vince Vaughn) he is re-introduced to the social scene and the dating game and overcomes his feelings of failure and inadequacy to emerge stronger and wiser at the end of the film. There is a parallel here with the character of Warren Haywood in ELSA who starts the film in a state of depression at the continual failure of his writing to find a home on the West End stage. Against seemingly insurmountable odds; a cash flow crisis, an oddball group of staff and students, a bad intentioned nemesis waiting to take advantage of his plight - with the help of his old mentor Jack Claret he overcomes his feeling of failure and inadequacy to direct an award winning show and realise his dream of writing a play for the West End. The main characters in both films are actors and the story is one of a struggle for success.

Swingers found popularity with males aged 18-30 and the younger end of the 30-44 spectrum. Although made for a mere $200,000 it went on to gross more than $4.5M. It rated highest with young male audiences but also appealed to females aged 18-30.

Dodgeball is closer to ELSA in plot structure. Also starring Vince Vaughn this time in the role of an everyman character – the disorganised manager of Average Joe’s Gym Peter La Fleur – the estimated budget was a whopping $20M. The film grossed over $144M worldwide. Again the film was most popular with male audiences aged 18-30 with males 30-44 being the second largest group the film found appeal with. Clearly character driven comedies are most popular with this demographic and advertising will be targeted to appeal to them.

DVD Market
Prior to 1985 theatrical release represented the main source of revenue for a feature motion picture. With today’s mass communications revolution t his is no longer true therefore decreasing investment risk and increasing earning potential.

Specifically, in 1980 theatrical releases accounted for 55 per cent of the film’s overall world revenue. In 2004 this figure was 17 per cent and decreasing with DVD sales worldwide ($20.9 billion) that year almost tripling box office revenues.

The UK DVD market is also a thriving one. According to the British Video Association, the value of the home video market (VHS and DVD) was £3.13 billion in 2004, an increase of 9 per cent on 2003. Films accounted for 85 per cent of this, equivalent to over three times the value of the UK theatrical market. 

TV Market
The appeal of ELSA within the context of high returns for low cost character driven comedies in all territories will ensure a broad audience in TV – a global market where films can be broadcast very easily.

Emerging markets
Over the next two years great advances are expected in the speed and take-up of broadband internet access and 3G telephones leading to a new market in digital downloads. 3G TV and movie downloads are already available. In 2005 online film retailer Lovefilm.com launched a broadband film download service. Sky has also launched a similar service to its customers. By 2008 digital downloads will have emerged as a specific territory available for the exploitation of ELSA.

The Digital Screen Network will become more important as a theatrical market in the UK as the cost of distribution is reduced by the new technology. ELSA will be shot on High Definition and would seek a release on the UK Digital Screen Network as well as a traditional theatrical release subject to a distribution deal to cover the cost of film out.

The solid characters, plot points and creative impact have already attracted established actors such as Barber Ali (Dirty Pretty Things) for the part of Sayeed’s Dad. The completed screenplay is being sent to actors and their agents by our casting director, Gillian Hawser, to elicit their interest in the project.

 

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