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MAFilm Distribution and Marketing

Birmingham City University
United Kingdom, Birmingham
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Interested? To learn more about this study programme, entry requirements and application process, please contact one of our consultants in a country nearest to you.

Programme structure

The film distribution projects are structured around the product development cycle (DPDDD) Discovery, Planning, Design, Development and Deployment. The modules for the course relate to each stage of this cycle and in the Master’s by Practice module you work through all stages from concept to deployment.

The content and approach of the curriculum is informed by, and has a strong emphasis on, digital communications production processes. Learning takes place in a simulated agency/office environment that fosters the practical application of skills to industry set projects, looking in depth at the production process from brief to deployment. Underpinning practical work will be a strong emphasis on business strategy, analytics and monetisation. Modules are as follows:

Your Audience (15 credits)

This module introduces you to the ‘discovery’ stage of the DPDDD model. It focuses on the tools, frameworks and processes to critically review insights, scholarship and trends in marketplace and film distribution landscape, which can be applied to case studies, examples and briefs. We will encourage you to be incited, disrupted and challenged to think analytically and holistically about topics by engaging with subject experts and engaging with blogs and online discussions with specialist groups e.g. on LinkedIn or Quora.

You are supported to develop your own methods and approaches to critically review your online persona and identity and adapt it according to your own brand or philosophy. You will be encouraged to organise and extend your learning to develop your specialization in a way that suits your individual ambitions and needs.

You will also get free FULL membership to the Producer’s Forum (worth £60) and the opportunity to attend events and network.

Film Distribution and Marketing (15 credits)

The module also focuses on the ‘discovery’ stage of the DPDDD model and introduces marketing, distribution and release strategies and how they link to the production cycle of different types of film. It provides an in depth analysis of the roles and stakeholders within distribution and what it takes to persuade exhibitors or film festivals (or anyone) to play/distribute your film.

The module takes you through a range of distribution scenarios and evaluates them in terms of success. It enables you to understand the relationship between the distribution plans, the audiences and how films are ‘consumed.’

You will study contemporary marketing theory, particularly focusing on Inbound Marketing / content marketing techniques, online marketing, social media and their role within film distribution.

By the end of this module you will have worked with the tutors to secure your one-two days per week internship or live project related to your career aspirations.

Film Financing and the Value Chain (30 credits)

This module is focused on ‘Planning’ and is concerned with the financial and legal aspects of film distribution, advertising and marketing as well as developing key skills around entrepreneurship, selling and negotiation.

The module provides the skills and knowledge to prepare financial reports and budgets including marketing and advertising deliverables, income forecasts and release budgets. You will also get knowledge of legal issues related to film distribution and marketing and will look at IP, contracts, libel, technical standards, copyright and be able to confidently apply these to practice.

During this module you will visit film distribution organisations and digital agencies in London. Travel and accommodation are covered as part of your course fees. In addition there will be case studies from guests related to crowd funding and legal issues.

Digital Departures (30 Credits)

This module is focused on ‘Design and Development’ phase of the DPDDD model and has been designed to provide an environment that encourages digital innovation and experimentation in using online tools for film distribution, marketing, finance and networking. Digital has remodeled the ways in which films are released, promoted and consumed, and you will explore how it is reshaping the kind of entertainment that a modern cinema can be.

Indicative content includes: in depth knowledge of innovations in television and film viewing e.g. transmedia, 360, VOD, SVOD & PPV and three screen, how to maximize on the opportunities, advanced knowledge of SEO, PPC and affiliate marketing and how to interpret web analytics and web intelligence tools e.g. Google Analytics and Silktide. You will also create a website in Wordpress.

You will be working on projects with leading experts in digital, including Mark Brill, Chair, Mobile Marketing Council and Mike Villiers-Stuart, an award winning International Broadcast Marketing Consultant. You will also have mentors and guest experts taking you through case studies and reviewing your ideas and plans.

Project Management and Solutions (15 credits)

This module is about ‘Planning and Development’ and focuses on project management techniques, particularly focusing on Agile and Waterfall techniques. It provides you with an in depth understanding of risk analysis, needs analysis, gap analysis and impact on budget. You will also work on your time management skills, how to build an effective team and to identify your leadership or management qualities.

You will understand the challenges of project managing a distribution plan throughout all stages of the film cycle e.g. capturing stills, developing trailers and building social buzz and getting knowledge of the network and personal involved. You will also gain more advance practical skills in developing deliverables and getting advanced skills in copying writing and SEO.

There is the option to go to the London Independent Film Festival in April 2014 (TBC). Train ticket covered only.

Project Development and Deployment (15 credits)

This module is focused on ‘Deployment’ specifically on producing deliverables, user acceptance testing, measuring impact, distribution tracking and adapting content to improve call to action response rates.

This is a highly practical work-based module where you are focused on delivery. There are four key workshops and regular 1:1 sessions and formative feedback. These sessions include: – writing creative briefs for marketing and advertising, using advanced analytics techniques to measuring response, knowledge of getting and using third party feedback and web design and HTML

We will provide you with a personal ‘creative’ coach that will work with you throughout this process.

Masters by Practice (60 credits)
MA Film Distribution and Marketing takes place over 12 months.

Initially you’ll be based for four full days per week at the University’s NTI Birmingham facility, but over the year you will increasingly work offsite to immerse yourself in the industry and support your work on ‘live briefs’.

This module delivers against the programme aims to provide theoretical and professional knowledge, challenging work practice simulation, develop strategic, reflexive and analytical industry workers, and enables you to develop qualities and skills for effective continuing professional development. It does this by inviting you to respond to current challenges, giving you an opportunity to enact, consolidate, and master techniques for planning, analyzing, digital assets and content development developed earlier.

You will originate, execute and deliver a full distribution and marketing campaign allowing you to further develop and consolidate mastery of key skills, and knowledge of, and engagement with, current opportunities in the field. This module encourages and tests skills of initiative and independent practice and is conducted through live projects with support from course tutors.

You will attend the Edinburgh Film Festival for a week (June 2014). Travel and accommodation included and a contribution towards tickets for events as part of course fees.

Career opportunities

This course is specifically designed to prepare market-ready, entrepreneurial graduates able to meet the challenges of the new film distribution and funding environment, with the intention that students will play a key role in production teams of the future, in emerging roles such as Producer of Marketing and Distribution.

The course’s strong emphasis on commercial awareness, market awareness and technology innovation in the sector also provides students with the opportunity to pursue careers in the following positions/company types:

Apply now! Fall semester 2023/24
Application period has ended
Please see the university profile or contact us for the deadlines that apply to you
Apply now! Fall semester 2023/24
Application period has ended
Please see the university profile or contact us for the deadlines that apply to you