Week 5: Mass to Niche to Mass: The Film Industry


Extremely intrigued by the proposed idea of “content as a commodity” and its relationship to distribution control, I decided to explore further the effects of the “Hit-Driven Model” and its relationship to the evolving film industry. Through the examination of top grossing movies, I discovered that many were controlled by America, with high budgets, high risk, large revenue, concentration on profit gain, focused distribution and production, English language and the concentration of US personnel.


This was then counter-acted on the idea that “Film festivals” were created to seek talent away from the highly materialized and consumer driven forces that characterised the film industry. Establishing a basis to seek talent from independent and foreign niche film makers. Ironically, this market was saturated with high costs of entering content and was used as a channel to source highly marketable and profitable content to use and shape the mass market of ‘blockbusters’. This can be exhibited in the presentation through the examples of “Directors who went from Indie to Blockbuster” (Saadi, Z 2015) and “Tips on Independent Film Distribution” (Arijon, D 1991).


If you know of any foreign, independent or indie films that made it BIG or should have been recognised..POST BELOW! It would be great to discuss why they did or didn’t gain access into the mass market X


6 thoughts on “Week 5: Mass to Niche to Mass: The Film Industry

  1. Interesting read! Your Prezi presentation was really well made too, I didn’t know Jurassic World or Avengers 2 were up there with Titanic and Avatar as the top grossing films of all time. I do wonder how those rankings would be different though if they took into account the fact there’s a larger population to spend on things now than there was when Titanic was around – I couldn’t actually find anything on it, though some tried to take into account the change in inflation like this guy to readjust those rankings http://www.federicopistono.org/blog/list-of-200-highest-grossing-films-of-all-time-adjusted-for-inflation
    Not being much of a movie buff myself, I can’t really think of many foreign/independent/indie films that should have been recognised but weren’t. I can’t help but think of the channel SBS 2 though in regards to this, they frequently play foreign movies late at night and do marathons of movies for ‘niche’ markets; at the moment I think they’re doing kung-fu specials. I tend to see them as the channel that support non-blockbuster movies, I actually watch them every now and then just for something different!

  2. Actually, even all Chinese film, but under the China’s restriction controlling, government department usually choose what can be released.
    So sometimes, a Chinese film even win a international film awards, it was not really release in China mainland.

  3. Interesting take on the ‘long term effect’, I actually disregarded the idea of film grossing so it was good to further my understanding in this area. I focused in on the idea of online video content and online revenue which when you compare to your ideas is also being threatened by the evolving film industry with competitive budgets as you mentioned. It’s interesting to think it could also be the space in which this content is exposed. What I mean is they have this platform and logo which we know or ‘trust’ which Kevin Kelly talks about in ‘Better Than Free’ and therefore the content is always going to be exposed to an audience no matter what content it is.

  4. This is a great area to explore when considering the long tail effect as there is most defiantly a gap in the market for exposure of niche…or i suppose the term in this industry would be indie films.

    Mad Max is a good example of an indie film that was successful. Also the Blair witch project comes to mind, I’m pretty sure they had a budget of like $35,000 or something?
    But of course how can we forget Reservoir Dogs!

    These are all examples of successful independent films of course, as others are really that accessible or spread.

  5. Hey I really liked that you chose to explore the Long Tail Effect, focussing on the film industry – something that I hadn’t thought about in detail! Your prezi was really informative but also looked really nice too so well done. The part of your prezi that I found really interesting were the directors that went from “indie to blockbuster”. I think with the help of platforms like Netflix and the Internet in general, these “indie” directors are able to get their stuff out into these “niche” markets and therefore have the exposure to potentially make it to blockbuster.

  6. Interesting way of exploring the Long tail Effect. I would not have thought to explore the film industry. Your prezi was really well thought out and very informative and is also pleasing to look at
    I have never really watched that many indie films so it was hard to relate to the examples but other films that you have mentioned helped me understand it more in the end

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