Slumdog Millionaire

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Slide 1

How Is Slumdog Millionaire Devised to appeal to a larger audience?

Slide 2

Origins Slumdog Millionaire was based on the novel Q&A Vikas Swarup – an Indian diplomat. Film was based on hope, survival, and redemption – these are key themes all Hollywood blockbusters are based on these themes, so they were vital to the success of the film.

Slide 3

Adapting novel for the Screen Before it was published, Swarup’s agent sent a copy of the novel to Tessa Ross (Head of Film4) She purchased this, and immediately pitched the idea to Simon Beaufoy (a known ‘name’ in the business) His name was needed to secure more funding for the film, as he has worked on one of the most successful brit films of all time –The Full Monty. He has also worked on small films based on the Asian community. Changed central character- no longer an Orphan raised by an English Clergyman. More focus on Romance

Slide 4

Funding Crisis Film4 only has 11 staff and budget or £10m so partners were needed to fund the film. Key decision- took film to Celador Films (Christian Coulson) an experienced producer with several important credits. Celador Films own the rights to Who Wants to be a Millionaire Could act as an advert for the TV show. Celador was breaking up, but Coulson ensured Film 4 would get rights- they added £8m to production budget.

Slide 5

Danny Boyle & British cinema in india Film4 offered the film to Danny Boyle, who accepted to direct it. Long history of ‘British’ films made in India many American using British actors He had no obvious Indian/Asian connection and for preparation watched Indian films.

Slide 6

Music Boyle sent a rough cut on DVD to A. R. Rahman (major composer on the World Music scene who has scored many Indian films of varying styles and who has a huge fan base in India) Rahman teamed up with M.I.A. for two tracks, thus adding to the movie’s appeal to an audience interested in World music. r selling point for the film One track, Paper Planes, was nominated for a Grammy for Song of the Year.

Slide 7

Festivals, Release Pattern & Distribution Coulson sells film rights to Warner International (for distribution rights in North America) and Pathé International (a French company) for the rest of the world. Warner allowed Coulson and Ross to show film to Fox Searchlight an agreement was reached that left Warners with a stake but allowed Fox Searchlight distribution rights for North America. Fox deal just in time for Toronto Film Festival

Slide 8

Festivals, Release Pattern & Distribution Platform release in US and Canada 10 screens on Nov 16; by Christmas week – 589 screens; 1500 by late January Wide release elsewhere 324 screens in UK on Jan 9,which was building on success in US and Canada. Release in India on Jan 23rd

Slide 9

Success Most British films that have done well abroad have been made by companies with direct Hollywood studio connections Slumdog looks set to be the most commercially successful British independent film of all time – earned approx $300m at the box office so far. Success in Britain. In a proportionate way, Slumdog has been the biggest success in the UK, making $45-50m appeals to the multi-cultural society that the UK has become- the appeal to mid-teen-early20s audience of a young British lead actor known for his role in Skins

Slide 10

Success Success in the USA, Many of the same reasons as it was a success in the UK the rags to riches story resonates with the idea of the American Dream The key to its success may be down to the ethnic diversity of the audience Boyle and Patel devoted themselves to hundreds of interviews on TV channels across the US (especially on Fox subsidiaries)

Slide 11

Slumdog as a british film Slumdog was set in India however: India source material was by an Indian writer, although not written in traditional Indian literary style Director, writer, lead actor, key members of the film crew were British; two-thirds of the dialogue was in English; the initial funding for the production was British; the production company and producer were British It was passed as British by the UK Film Council and thus received tax allowances.

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