Thursday, 13 October 2011

How has Working Title adapted to changes in the film industry?

The Biritsh film company Working Title has had to adapt to all the changes in the film industry.

One significant way that Working Title has had to adapt to changes in the film industry is how it packages its films to appeal to the US market. As the US market is attracted to British A-list actors as well as American A-list actors, Working Title is using more famous British actors in its film. An example is one of Working Title’s latest films, Johnny English Reborn. This has Rowan Atkinson in it, a British actor adored by the American market. Also, it is packaged as more of a comedy, and appeals to home viewing. As home viewing (DVDs, Blu-Ray, TV, Pay-per-view) is now much more popular than the cinema (96% of films are watched at home now), this is an important adaptation that Working Title has made.

Furthermore, films like Senna appeal to cultures within the American market. There are many motorsport fans in the US, and so a film about one of the most iconic F1 drivers will sell well.

In addition, by making the film and DVD release of Senna a long time apart, it motivates people who want to see the film to see it at the cinema. As the DVD release was a year on from the release of the film, people who really wanted to see it went to the cinema.

Also, Working Title is having to adapt how it packages its films for the DVD market. A great example of this is Love Actually. There are several about the DVD packaging for this film that make it appeal to the DVD market. The most obvious is the “Christmas present” theme of the packaging. The packaging actually has a graphic of a bow round it, and it also has graphics of snow. This combined with the film being centred on Christmas, means that it becomes the perfect Christmas present. This, as well as the famous British and American actors listed on the front of the DVD’s packaging, makes the DVD’s packaging very effective. It is a great example of how Working Title has adapted to the fact that most films are viewed at home now.

As well as this, Working Title has adapted the way it has directed films to certain markets. An example of this is its recent film “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”. For this film, Working Title marketed the film towards the European market. They did this by using European A-list actors (like Gary Oldman, Colin Firth and Tom Hardy), as well as a top class European film-maker (Tomas Alfredson). This, added to the fact that Working Title is a successful European film company, confirms that the film is targeted towards Europe. However, Universal did not fund this film. This is partly due to the European direction of the film. As "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" is one of the first big films to be made completely in Europe without any involvement with Hollywood, this means less focus goes onto the Hollywood studios. As Universal Studios is based in Hollywood, this means less focus on them in particular (as they are backers of Working Title). This could be the main reason why Universal did not back this particular Working Title film.

In conclusion, Working Title has had to make some significant adaptations to keep up with the changes in the film industry. The film industry is ever-changing, and that can make it harder for smaller film companies to stay afloat. This is why Working Title has had to work hard to adapt to the changes within the film industry.


  1. Good work William. This answers the question clearly and you show understanding of the way films are packaged to make them appealing for home viewing platforms. Important to make the point that Universal financed many of Working Title films and these were then packaged for US audiences. You could suggest directly why Universal not interested in TTSS - Universal involved in massive budget films for cinema audiences.

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