Thursday, 13 March 2008

Working Title Films - case study

Undertake some detailed research on Working Title Films. Who are they? Where are they based? When were they established? By whom? What, and when, was their breakthrough hit film? What sorts of films are they best known for? What are your favourites? (write these as a comment to this post) What are some of their more successful titles? Do they have any special relationships with certain writers or directors? What major awards have they recieved?
Read these articles (and print/take notes) from the bbc and The Guardian. Use their wikipedia entry and official website (have a look at the archive to get an idea of the variety in their work) and other internet resources. Also consider your own knowledge and understanding of Working Title Films.
Final big question:
How do you account for their continued success despite the regular forecasts of doom and gloom for the British film industry? Write at least one side of A4 on this question. Make at least five key points, use PEE and back up with specific examples from a range of films.
Start in lesson, finish for homework and hand in first media lesson next week.
Finally, your favourite Working Title films as comments to this post please...get some healthy debate going!


ponkalulu said...

Sadly, I really liked the film the Borrowers. I read the book when I was little, or got it read to me I can't remember, and it's one of my favourites! I also really love the Bean films, Rowan Atkinson is a hilarious genius. I think it's great that Working Titles can do such a mixture of films.

Burby said...

urm well they have worked on produciton for a few coen brothers things which is impressive, but im gonna be even more unoriginal and go for shawn of the dead as my favourite working title - esque film :P

jonathan of rose said...

Well... not seen many of their "big" films, to be honest (besides Love Actually in lesson, obviously).
The main answer would probably have to be Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, I guess. Don't feel like I should say stuff about ones I haven't seen... And though Burby's right about the Coen brothers stuff being cool, I have, embarassingly, only seen O Brother Where Art Thou and bits of Fargo and the Big Lebowski. Should probably do something about that...

az said...

got a few favourite films by working title, obviously shaun of the dead and hot fuzz - both hilarious!and then i started the watch the first hour or so of the big lebowski and thought it was a really different offbeat comedy - two thumbs up from me!!by the way bit of a shock about anthony minghella!

Mr. M said...

Ponkalulu - not 'sadly' at all. We all have our own tastes and opinions...Rowan Atkinson has certainly had a successful partnership with WT over the years - he has brought them enormous revenue too!
Burby - Shaun of the Dead is a great film and was a bit of a gamble for WT (that payed off)- in fact it was produced by WT2 an offshoot company set up for more low budget features like Ali G In da house and Billy Elliot.
John - you should def do something about that. Lots of great Coen bros films in the WT back catalogue such as The Man who Wasn't There and Barton Fink.
Az - Def see the rest of The Big Lebowski - very funny indeed - "The Dude abides!"
Shame about Minghella; far too young and probably another great film or two left in him. He was doing good things at the BFI too...

C'mon the rest of you - get some debate going!

One of my fave WT films would have to be 'Dead Man Walking' 1995 - haunting film with Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon directeed by Tim Robbins. A close look at the complex issue of the death penalty
in the US - great performances. Anyone seen it?

Abster said...

erh... I really don't have a favourite working title film! Sorry! Obviously I love all the girly films, like Bridget, Love actually, About a Boy etc etc. but I love the period dramas like pride and prejudice, atonement and Elizabeth. Ned Kelly- was hot, Orlando Bloom and Heath Ledger. The calcium kid= WORST FILM EVER- I have never seen anything more poo in my life. I hated that film. But in all fairness the title says it all, I shouldn’t have even rented it! Hehe!

Mr. M said...

Fine to have plenty of faves, Abster! Just shows that there are plenty of good, broad audience friendly, British films alongside the more edgy and gritty issue based 'serious' films.
I heard Calicium Kid was awful - what was it about it? Acting, script?

Ash-a-ley said...

Im liek Abi i don't have Particular favourites, but i do liek the chick flicks... because ima loser, and i think Love Actually is a really good film. I really enjoy all the storylines, and also the soundtrack haha! singing every 5 minutes!

To be honest im not a fan on the Shaun of the dead and Hot Fuzz... it has just never partcuarly appealed to me. I saw SOME of Hot Fuzz, and i just got a bit bored... my dad liked it though.

I watched Pride and Prejudice tonight which i have been wanting to watch for ageeeeesss! Partly because i am a massive fan of Keira Knightnly Her + Chanel= Amazeing... i think the director of Pride and Prejudice workled with her and made that advert aswell, and Atonement.. don't take my word for that, but i think i read it when researching Atonement. Which im going to watch soon.

ANYWAY so Pride and Prejudice was on ITV (ADVERTS! GRR) and i thought it was really good, you could tell it was appealing to the the foreign audinces aswell with all the wide shots etc and showing the views and architecture.. but i think that is the beauty of the time period anyway. But i thought it was really good! i really liked the relationship beteeen the sisters... it made you warm to the family. So this is also my answer to what have you watched over the holidays aswell lol! Ill keep you posted ha!

Ash-a-ley said...

I can spell but just not too well tonight ha!

EmilyB said...

like a few other people i did also enjoy watching love actually in the class, as i had only seen it once before and its a great british film - very funny!! The other night i watched Billy Elliot for the 435363 time as it was on TV and its one of my favourite Working Title Films, great narrative and love the ending when he ends up to become a perfessional dancer and his dad is really proud of him... awww!!! and i love the soundtrack, im sure loads of you have watched it. My worst working title film ive seen is Notting Hill - basically just hate the film, dont really like Hugh Grant that much he makes me cringe and it bores me!!!
hope everyone is having a great easter, dont get too fat!!! x

Stacey said...

I love about a boy! one of my favourite films in the world! i love the cross shots between will (hugh grant) and Rachel when she can see the real him and how he has changed. i also like the narration well kind of that hugh grant does especially at the begining (no man is a island and how he feels) Atonement was good but personally i felt it dragged on a bit when he is on the beach in normandy got just a tat bit boring but i supposed represented britishness in those days so thats why its so popular maybe. I love bridget jones but the first one is far better than the second. (generally i have a love of hugh grant! so i like love actually especially when he is dancing!)hot fuzz and shaun of the heat i like because they are funny but prefer others. xxx