HOLLYWOOD AND THE BUSINESS OF FILM - 2018/9

Module code: MFC2044

Module Overview

This module looks at film as a business by exploring the contemporary film industry in Hollywood and beyond. How does a film get from being an idea (or pre-existing material such as a book or play) to the cinema? Who gets to decide what films are made and what factors play a part in making such decisions? How does the money from the box office get distributed? How are films marketed and promoted to audiences and what is the function of annual industry events such as the Oscars and the Cannes Film Festival? How does the Hollywood model compare to independent production outside of the US (for example, the British film industry)?

This module will demystify how films actually get made in the contemporary film industry by looking beyond the glitz, glamour and celebrities at the process of film production, distribution, marketing and exhibition. 

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

HONESS ROE A Dr (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

JACs code: P303

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 40

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

n/a This module has a capped number and may not be available to ERASMUS and other international exchange students. Please check with the departmental exchange coordinator.

Module content

Indicative content includes:


The process of film production, distribution and exhibition
Film marketing and publicity
Diversity in the film industry
Film festivals and awards ceremonies
Star power and packaging
Film funding
The British film industry
Film reviews

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation PRESENTATION 35
Coursework ESSAY 65

Alternative Assessment

Individual presentation/ oral exam (in place of group presentation)

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of how a film gets from idea to marketplace and the various factors that might influence its success. Students will put together a project proposal for an assigned film genre and budget that they will present verbally and in writing.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:


Presentation: group film production strategy (weeks 10/11)
2000-2500 word write-up of the production strategy (end of semester)


Formative assessment and feedback


Informal weekly feedback during discussions on interpretation and analysis of readings and lecture content
Weekly informal discussion and feedback around developing students’ individual project pitches/ proposals.
Group strategy outline [formative assessment for presentations and report] submitted in 2nd half of the semester 
Individual/group tutorials (upon request) at any point during semester

Module aims

  • Develop student's abilities in writing and talking about film
  • Consider film as a commercial commodity that is made and sold
  • Identify the stages that take a film from idea to marketplace (production, distribution, exhibition, marketing)
  • Investigate the industrial practices and sub-systems the underpin the film industry, such as star power, film awards and ceremonies, film classification and censorship, diversity in the industry and film reviews
  • Offer an opportunity to undertake alternative forms of writing and talking about film, including film reviews, project proposal documents and pitches

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Describe the process of how a film gets from idea to screen KCPT
002 Interpret the function of various industrial practices and activities within the context of the film industry KCPT
003 Identify the various factors that contribute to a film's success and position within the national and international marketplace KCPT
004 Identify the key industry organisations, institutions and individuals and analyse their role within the broader industry KCPT
005 Express their understanding and analysis verbally and in writing KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 128

Tutorial Hours: 22

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to develop an understanding of how the film industry works.. Weekly sessions will help students break down the different elements and stages involved in putting together a proposed feature length film project.

The learning and teaching methods include:


2 hrs per week of seminars, lectures and discussions (11 weeks)
Weekly readings

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for HOLLYWOOD AND THE BUSINESS OF FILM : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/mfc2044

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
English Literature with Film Studies BA (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Media Studies with Film Studies BA (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Theatre and Performance with Film Studies BA (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Liberal Arts and Sciences BA (Hons)/BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature and French BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature with Creative Writing BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature and German BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature and Spanish BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.