Straight Outta Compton


Context of the film

Historical : 

  • A portrayal of mid-1980s California but was produced 30 Years later: 1992 racial tension and LA riots may have impacted portrayal.

Cultural :

  •  N.W.A was known as advocates for free speech and producers of protest songs so were considered significant for social change -

- However, the biopic film may be a glorification/exaggeration of this as produced by two of the members

  •  Were criticised for heavily misogynistic lyrics and promotion of objectifying lifestyle.
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Ownership and Control of the film

  • Was produced by Legendary Pictures which was in partnership with Universal - as the film's distributor. 

- Universal is owned by NBC Universal which is a media conglomerate of Comcast company and is a private and commercial media. Their funding comes from the profit of the product - influence the glorification of the film.

- Legendary Pictures is known for its many successful action/thriller films - Jurassic world, The Dark Knight Rises, Watch Men, Godzilla ... There would be a high-quality expectation and also a high level of drama/action expectation.

  • Was also produced by two members of the former band - Dr Dre and Ice Cube -  accused of downplaying and sanitising problematic areas of themselves and their work.

- Their controversial politics of the band - the name of the band and their more controversial songs (F*** tha police)-  not mentioned and considered in the marketing. Events such as Dr Dre's 1991 assault of female journalist Dee Barnes not included in the film.

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Audiences the film attempts to target

Fans of N.W.A :

  • Both the older fans (of the period) and younger fans (attracted to their cultural significance) - already 2 different perspectives as older generation have more knowledge of the culture ... 

Fans of Gangster Rap : 

  •  80s the start of Gangster Rap - confronts contemp societal struggles - new diverse and cultural outlook 

- 2 different hearings - Ethnic groups (a retelling of their reality), White suburban (fantasy - they've never experienced - living life through artist struggle and glorification of the lifestyle).

Fans of biopic films :

  • Open minded, more educated, older audience, no specific interest in N.W.A

- Must cater for all these audiences - fans may be attracted to the formation of the band while wider audience may be attracted to social tension, cultural change, drama or the rapper lifestyle.

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Marketing through the trailer

  • Familiar conventions of lighting (Harsh red and glowing yellow semiotics), music and sounds (audible crash of Ice Cube on Police car) , and editing (end sequence - fast pace, jump cuts scenes of tension, violence, car chase...) - to create a glorified drama.
  • Green band and Red band trailers - caters for a wider audience but also creates audience promotion and stigma of 'the controversial trailer'.

The Protagonists :

  • Non-represented characters - Black minority - emphasised through police scenes - cultural and social interests.
  • Binary oppositions between police and hip-hop group - creates that sense of social tension
  • Star appeal - directors and actors names are absent from trailer replaced with the N.W.A members - interest of the real-life of stars - for fans etc ..
  • Film logo - parental advisory logo - stigma and interest as holds explicit, rebellion, drama and social tension semiotics.
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Digital impact on distribution and production - St

  •  Multiple trailers released on Youtube from February 2015 - a guaranteed audience that will be active and go and watch it. A wider audience that will seek out the trailer after seeing things on social media

- Both Red band and Green Band trailers released - A secondary audience is created that will consumed via DVD or Streaming.

  • Audience drive marketing by promoting/ talking on social media platforms. Members of N.W.A can use their platform to promote it,
  • A global trailer was released April 2015 following a Fast Furious 7 film

- involves vertical integration universal ( also have talked about fast and furious 7 as the Jurassic world trailer was anticipated). Also a wider audience for fast and furious 7 is now introduced to the film.

Viral Marketing :

- Beats by Dr Dre launched a personal app Straight outta Somewhere - integration of his company and a wider, active and involved audience - 6 million photos created.

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