Monday, 4 January 2016

50 marker (2)

Discuss the issues raised by media ownership in the production and exchange of media texts in your chosen media area.

Film producers such as Universal and Working title face many issues in the production and exchange of their movies. It’s up to them to make things that are going to be popular to the public, within budget to produce and ultimately make money. However with the rise of technological convergence and the changing market it becomes increasingly challenging to get it right. Within the production of films the key aspects for companies such as Universal, Working title or Warner Brothers, is if they are going to have and make money. In order for them to be successful and make big bucks they have to be prepared to lay their trust in producers and directors and provide them with millions of pounds that they can’t guarantee they’ll get back. Such as with the film John Carter that was a box office flop, causing Disney to lose out about $80,000,000 and the Chairman Rich Ross to resign. Institutions have to be sure that the initial idea of a film is good. Such as with the film ‘Inception’, Warner Brothers took a real gamble as to if the complex and big scales ideas of Christopher Nolan were worth the risk. He himself wasn’t even sure and went on to direct ‘The Dark night’ to gather experience. Some of the key issues faced with a film like his were the drastic scale he had envisaged.$160,000,000 million dollars were spent on this film and it required a team of very talented and experienced professional to make sure the special effects and scenes were exquisite. Luckily their efforts paid off however they had to take the risk in order to reap the rewards. Many decisions are involved in the suitability of a film, from the choice of director, storyline to whether it will be 3-D/HD or digital. All of which can effects costs and the audiences response to the movie. Aspects such as the films format will also affect the exchange of a film. For example a film shot in digital is easily distributed to cinemas all over with the simple use of a memory stick. Whereas the traditional 35mmfilms reels are far larger and more awkward and expensive to distribute limiting the quantity of copies and also exhibition to audiences. The format also decides the fundamental quality of a feature and its overall appearance and appeal. A fundamental aspect that is affecting the film industry is with the rise of technology and the exchange of films via internet and the use of piracy. Some institutions will have lost thousands or even millions of pounds because audiences prefer to go and watch a film illegally at home for free rather than paying at the cinema.

It’s so easy for people to conceal a small camera when going to the cinema and pirate a film uploading it to the web. And the ease of carrying a copy of a film round on a smart phone or laptop is far more convenient and simple then having a DVD or Blu-ray. This means institutions have a challenge to compete and combat with this often illegal and growing trend, as they are not gaining the same from their productions and reduced successful means reduced further investment. Ways in which companies can try and reduce piracy and lowering audiences is with the use of copyright encryptions on DVDs and making movies seem so alluring and amazing with the use of marketing advertisement and stunning special effects, that people can’t wait to see it and want to view it at optimum quality.

 Offers and extras such as two for one cinema tickets and special features on DVDs also provide dedicated audiences and fans with little enticements that intrigue and encourage them to spend more money of films and move away from new age methods. Issues that small production companies may face is competing with the huge media institutions and the increase of concentration media ownership. Nowadays the major film companies, Universal, Disney, Working Title, Paramount and 20th Century dominant the market and reduce the possibility of small independent companies to make their name and ever compare to the scale of these blockbusters. Smaller production companies are less likely to get their work shown cinemas or be able to afford the fancy equipment or advertisement that would help them achieve a large audience. They will also have films that don’t contain the famous actors or directors that pull in a large fan base. However the rise of technology may actually have help small production companies, as with sites such as YouTube and Vimeo short films and clips can be easily and quickly shared to lots of people online. Although online as well they will still be up against the big movies and more developed companies. Overall I believe that the key issues for media ownership in the film industry, is a company being able to know its audience and truly understand what they want from a film. Although they also require funds and the technology to produce their ideas and share them with the world, with the example of Walt Disney’s ‘John Carter,’ merely having a large budget doesn’t determine its success.

With the increase of piracy and technological convergence, owners are faced with difficult decisions as to what films will do well and which techniques to use to produce them (e.g. special effects, Digital filming, and settings). Unfortunately institutions will never be able to truly predict what will be popular or not, and so they rely on experience and market research to establish preference of audiences and prevail.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

50 marker (1)

To what extent does digital distribution affect the marketing and consumption of media products in the area of media you have studied? (50 marks)

Digital distribution is very important in the modern day. People rely on the internet nowadays to watch newly released films rather than going to the cinema. They would rather watch films from the comfort of their own home as they know that films are illegally put onto certain websites after 2-3 weeks of the film being released in cinemas. This is piracy and is illegal, for obvious reasons, however this is a rapidly growing problem that film production companies should take into consideration when in post-production phase. One of the main negative aspects of digital distribution is piracy. If an uncoded copy of the film is leaked then it can be copied and watched on multiple websites. It is then hard to take down the film or the websites. This ultimately means that the money that consumers would have paid in order to consume your product is now lost and not returned into the industry. Therefore, film institutions must be careful when distribution comes into play.

The majority of films are distributed digitally rather than film, in the recent years. This is because digital distribution is a lot cheaper than film. Digitally filming a media product is more accessible to production companies nowadays and it is easier to film and edit on. This saves the institution time and money. Depending on what type of Production Company this is, depends on how much profit affects them. A big company like ‘20th Century Fox’ , for example wouldn’t lose out as much as a smaller production company, like independent, British company ‘DNA Films’ that produced British sci-fi movie ‘Ex_Machina’.

Fortunately, thanks to new technologies available to us, advertisements can be distributed in many different ways. YouTube is a big social media website that gives a different mode of communication to the target audiences and more. YouTube also has the ability to be able to ‘share’ their videos on other social media sites that mass audiences from worldwide use.

Another production company that helped produce British sci-fi film ‘Ex_Machina’ was ‘Film 4 Productions’. This company is a British film production institution that is owned by ‘Channel 4 Television Corporation’. The company have been responsible for backing a large number of films made in the UK. However, they’re British based and do not own as much money as the production company, ‘Warner Bros’ that produced and distributed Hollywood blockbuster, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’. ‘Mad Max: Fury Road reached a total gross of $300 million, whereas ‘Ex_Machina’ met a gross of $38 million.

Due to digital distribution audiences can also consume media products in more ways than they previously could. For example, through the use of sites such as Netflix, Love Film and Sky Go users can consume media whenever and wherever they are for just a limited monthly subscription, for example a minimum of £5.99 for Netflix or a little more if you wish to view content in higher quality. Films can also be distributed to services such as iTunes where they can be purchased for a small price and digitally stored and kept permanently. Consumers can also watch films at home through the use of tablets, smart TV's and smartphones as they all support subscription services such as those mentioned previously. Also, cable services such as Sky offer users the ability to download media content that can be stored digitally and viewed 24/7. Consumers can therefore also consume media in high quality that will not deteriorate over time, unlike film will, meaning that the overall long term consumer experience is more pleasing. 

What is distribution?


What is it?
Distribution is the action of sharing something out among a number of recipients.

What part of the supply chain is distribution?
Distribution is the third part of the supply chain, it is often referred to as 'the invisible art', a process known only to those within the industry , barely written about and almost imperceptible to everyone else. 

What is distribution often referred to as?
'The invisible art'.

What does 'vertical integration' mean in terms of distribution?
Vertical integration means the 3 stages of production, distribution and exhibition are seen as working as a whole large process under the control of one institution. 

Why isn't 'vertical integration' so common in the independent sector?
In the independent film sector, vertical integration does not operate so commonly. Producers tend not to have long-term economic links with distributors, who likewise have no formal connections with exhibitors. Here, as the pig-in-the-middle, distribution is necessarily a collaborative process, requiring the materials and rights of the producer and the cooperation of the exhibitor to promote and show the film in the best way possible.

What three stages are involved in the independent sector? 
In this sector, distribution can be divided into three stages - licensing, marketing and logistics.


What is licencing?
Licensing is the process by which a distributor acquires the legal right to exploit a film. In distribution, licensing itself can take place on two levels.

What are the two levels to licencing?
'International' distribution and 'Local' distribution. International distribution ensures that the films find their way to the 90+ market 'territories' around the world. Local distribution involved the distributor acquiring the licence to release and exploit the film in a particular country. The distributor will usually pay the producer a minimum guarantee for the licence. This fee will vary depending on the status and perceived commercial potential of the film, and on the range of rights that the distributor chooses to exploit.

What is the advantage of being a major US studio?
The major US studios generally have their own distribution offices in all the major territories.

What three different types of rights can you acquire on a local level?
The distributor will usually pay the producer a minimum guarantee for the licence. This fee will vary depending on the status and perceived commercial potential of the film, and on the range of rights that the distributor chooses to exploit. A distributor will usually be offered theatrical rights, for showing the film in cinemas; video rights, for video and DVD exploitation; and TV rights, if the distributor is able to sell the film to a broadcaster.

What are royalties?
In addition to paying a fee to secure the film, the licence will stipulate that the distributor will also pay royalties to the producer, taken from the profits that the film generates. A local distributor will conventionally share profits equally with the producer for the theatrical leg, pay back higher royalties for broadcast rights, and lower for video/DVD.

What is the most effective way to increase interest in a film?
Once the licence has been agreed, it is then the distributor's job to launch the film. In the UK, feature films are released initially theatrically (in cinemas). A theatrical opening is seen as the most effective way to create interest in a new film. The big screen is still the optimum setting for a film for both audiences and the filmmakers.

How long does it take for a film to reach 'free to air' TV?
Some months following the theatrical release, a film will be packaged and released on DVD and VHS video, then on various forms of pay television and eventually, two years after opening in cinemas, on free-to-air television.


What are the two key questions surrounding the marketing of a film?
The marketing of a film release revolves around two key questions: 'When?' and 'How?'

What day are films typically released on?
In the UK, Fridays.

What will a distributor look at before releasing a film on a Friday?
A distributor will assess this schedule to identify a Friday release date where there are only a few films scheduled for release. 

What is a 'light' week in terms of distribution?
Finding a 'light' week will ensure that there will be both screen space and adequate review column inches in the press allocated to any potential release. A further consideration for scheduling a release is the seasonality of the film. For example, it is widely assumed within the industry that specialised films have the greatest potential to reach audiences during the academic year.

What does it mean to 'position' a film distinctively?
Finally, the distributor will try to position the film distinctively and avoid a release date occupied by other films with similar traits (story, subject, country of origin). In recent years in the UK, these two aspects of release planning have become increasingly difficult, as the release schedule has regularly featured over 10 new releases in a week.
After setting a release date, the distributor works towards the theatrical release, investing in the materials and the marketing campaign to support it.

Why has this become increasingly difficult in the UK?
In recent years in the UK, these two aspects of release planning have become increasingly difficult, as the release schedule has regularly featured over 10 new releases in a week.
After setting a release date, the distributor works towards the theatrical release, investing in the materials and the marketing campaign to support it.

What are P&A?
The costs of theatrical distribution, met by local distributors, are often referred to as 'P&A', or Prints and Advertising. P&A are the nuts and bolts of marketing and distributing films into cinemas, the tools used by the distributor to create a public for its film.

How much can P&A cost?
Less than £1,000, but up to £1 million, depending on the quality.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Essay - Media Ownership

What impact does the media ownership have upon the range of products available to audiences in the media areas you have studied?

All media products made will have institutions behind them that synergise in order for the work to get the most recognition and success it potentially deserves. Hyperdermic needle theory is used by the bigger companies, because they have the money behind them in order to control the media and allow making change to the products, initially without letting other institutions know, because they have previous talent and success attached to them and at the end of the day, it is a competition in itself.

The Mega franchise Model is the idea that one company owns every step of its own setup. I.e. Disney owns its production companies like PIXAR, and also the distribution companies like Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. This means that at every step of the chain Disney controls the entire franchise, from the movie itself, to the soundtrack and even figurines. However, these big companies are set on making millions. This means that to get a lot of money out, they have to push a lot of money in. They make mainstream films, usually prequels, sequels or superhero movies. All three of these genres already have large fan bases, meaning the films made in these genres will almost always make money.

An example of one of these ‘Mega franchise model’ production companies could also be ‘Time Warner’, who were in the parent organisation of the production overlooking the blockbuster ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, inevitably achieve a wider range of products; because of the amount of money the company has behind it. The most recent ‘Mad Max’ movie, had a big budget of $150 million and grossed almost $300 million back, which proves that the range of products this film made would be a lot bigger compared to the British low budgeted  film ‘Ex_Machina’, produced by DNA Films and Film 4 productions. ‘Ex_Machina’ only made a global gross of $38 million and although this was a huge profit for the moving picture, (as the budgeting was just $15 million), it still only had a DVD gross of $7 million, which is a very low figure in comparison to the ‘Mad Max’ DVD sales figure of almost $40 million. This means, that obviously ‘Mad Max’, figure wise, achieved more success, because of the size and popularity of the companies working behind it.

Films like ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ had the ability to use vertical integration, this is when the production company has the ownership of the means of production, distribution and exhibition of the film by the same company; because of this they receive all of the profit. ‘Time Warner’ is the parent organisation of ‘Warner Bros’, ‘Village Roadshow Pictures’ and ‘Village Roadshow Entertainment’, which were the subsidiary companies of the main media ownership of the film. Other moving pictures that the company have produced have all developed a lot of success, some of these include, ‘Harry Potter’, (which is one of the biggest franchises ever made), ‘The Dark Knight’, and other ‘Batman’ films. Institutions like ‘Time Warner’,  tend the follow the ‘7 steps to create a blockbuster’, which means that each film has an A-list star and the best visual effects companies working on the product etc. the company does everything with the money it has, in order to get the most success.

Low budget British films, like ‘Ex_Machina’ and ‘Kill List’ (also produced by small, independent British companies), have to synergise with other production companies in the industry to enable to make firm connections, enough the find the right amount of money to make and produce the film.  One of the production companies that produced the British film ‘Kill List’ was ‘Warp X’.  Warp Films is an independent film production company based in Sheffield and London. Warp Films is a well-known company in UK but doesn’t get much notice globally, it has produced many successful films in the UK like Four Lions, this film made $41,512 at the opening weekend in the US and £608,608, it also grossed at £2,932,366 (UK Box office) and $4,658,570 (US Box office).  Although Four Lions gross wasn’t as big as ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, it still made a huge profit. Warp film is a much smaller production company, mainly because Warner Bros is has much more power and money because of a higher conglomerate and links with subsidiaries because with other subsidiaries, they are able to use them as advertisement for a product or service, which brings more money input, this allows Warner Bros (Time Warner) to have a more dominant position in the media as it knocks out or knocks out other competition, giving Warner Bros more global success, whereas Warp films would only be popular with Britain and partly America.

Production companies based in America will have the automatic ‘jump’ into success compared with British filmed, purely based in the UK. The whole concept of blockbusters and success came from Hollywood and hit moving pictures made in places in America like New York, LA and California. The films that are produced by institutions like ‘Warner Bros’ will have a pre-judgment filter pasted through them by the mass audience, which links back to the Hyperdermic needle theory, which therefore substitutes the low budgeted movies made by smaller production companies into the band of unsuccessful films.

With new technology and a wider range of product available to the public now, more movies can become successful. For example, apps and games can be distributed to the apple app store and movies can be distributed to ITunes also. With this new marketing routine, movies can produce a lot more money from their distribution in the post-production stage of their journey as a piece of media produce.

The media ownership of a product, like a movie, has a huge impact on the range of products that are available to global and local audiences, because of the fact that money is a big factor to the success of a film. If a possible blockbuster potentially flops in the post-production stages of its journey, like how well it does in cinemas, then a bigger production company wouldn’t feel the loss as much as a smaller and independent company that doesn’t use horizontal integration or links in the production stage.




Tuesday, 8 December 2015

100 Facts

100 Facts on 'Mad Max: Fury Road'


  • Max and the main antagonist, Immortan Joe, never directly interact with each other, apart from when Max hijacks the People Eater's Limousine. They exchange gunshots during the takeover.
  • The film used three identical War Rigs, the large main truck in the film. They were based on a Czechoslovakian all-wheel drive military vehicle.
  • In the German-dubbed version seen in Germany, as in the original English version, the Buzzards speak Russian. In the Russian-dubbed version seen in Russia, they speak German. This way, they sound foreign and evil to everyone.
  • The "crows" on stilts are the boys abandoned by the Vuvalini when the green place turned sour.
  • Night scenes were filmed in bright daylight, deliberately overexposed, and colour-manipulated. In many shots, the sky was digitally replaced with more detailed or interesting skies.
  • The first Mad Max film where Max is credited by his full name Max Rockatansky.
  • This is the second Mad Max film for screenwriter Nick Lathouris. As an actor, he played a brief role in Mad Max (1979).
  • This is director George Miller's first R-rated movie since The Witches of Eastwick(1987).
  • First 'Mad Max' movie since Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), a gap of thirty years.
  • With a runtime of two hours, this is the longest film in the Mad Max series.
  • Actors were digitally duplicated in post production to expand the crowd scenes so in reality only a few actors were actually needed on set during filming.
  • The girl who Max sees in his visions, commonly believed to be his daughter, is in fact Glory the Child, who can be seen in the comic series. It can also be noted that she is seen being run down in a desert by a selection of vehicles, while Max's child was killed by a biker gang prior to the war.
  • Certain screenings have shown the film in black & white. There was a rumour that this print would appear on the home video release, and that George Miller tried to press Warner Bros to include it, but it doesn't appear that's going to happen.
  • Production was originally set to film around 2011 in the traditional setting of Broken Hill, Australia, but due to heavy rainfall transforming the desert landscape into a lush meadow of flowers, the production was moved to Namibia.
  • Australian crows or ravens are used in the Mad Max films, including Fury Road, as symbols of death and destruction.
  • In the new Max Rockatansky's back-story: Max lost his family when they were killed in the midst of the chaos of the nuclear attack.
  • Although Max never gives his exact nickname to the audience, he refers to himself with similar words like "insane" or "crazy".
  • This is Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's second major acting role after Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011).
  • Co-writer Brendan McCarthy designed many of the new characters and vehicles.
  • Marco Beltrami was considered to score the film.
  • John Powell was set to compose the soundtrack.
  • Keeping in line with the previous incarnations, Max barely speaks in this film. This excludes his narration in the beginning.
  • Filming lasted 120 days, and the film runs at 113 minutes without credits. So, it could be said that each day equals about a minute of the film.
  • Since Immortan Joe wears a full breathing mask in all of his scenes, no part of his face below his eyes is ever seen.

  • Who directed the film?
  • George Miller directed the film.
  • Who produced the film?
  • George Miller (yes, the same man that directed the film), Doug Mitchell and PJ Voeten.
  • What was the film's budget?
  • $150 million.
  • Who were the 2 top actors in the film?
  • The 2 main protagonists in the film were played by Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron.
  • Who did the distribution for the film?
  • Warner Bros distributed the film to all the cinemas over the world. 
  • Who wrote the screenplay for the film?
  • George Miller wrote the screenplay, again, with thanks from Brendan McCarthy and Nick Lathouris.
  • In what year was the film released?
  • 2015.
  • What was the UK release date of this film?
  • 14th May 2015.
  • Which production company produced the film?
  • Warner Bros.
  • How much money did Warner Bros spend on advertisement of the film alone?
  • $43.7 million.
  • What did characteristic did George Miller want to portray in the character of Max?
  • George wanted Max to have an 'animal charisma'.
  • What did Nicholas Hoult (actor that played the character of Nux) say about the original franchise of 'Mad Max'?
  • Nicholas 'was blown away by the fact that so many things I’d seen in pop culture were basically based upon this world that George created."
  • Which one of the 'Five Wives' does supermodel, Rosie- Huntington Whitely play?
  • She plays the role of Splendid. 
  • What was one thing that George Miller wanted to make clear about the film?
  • That is wasn't a CGI film. The film crew along with Miller's direction made the effects with real vehicles crashing and a large amount of in camera tactics were used instead of technological ways. 
  • The invasion and subsequent war in which country, that stopped filming?
  • This film was in development for many years. The pre- production stage began back in 1997. Attempts to start filming were made in 2001 and 2003, but the filming was stopped, because of the 9/11 attacks in America and Iraq War. The film was finally focused on more closely in 2007, when George had finished his work on 'Happy Feet'. 
  • What TWO formats was the film originally going to be in , to only then NOT be in?
  • Miller did think about making the film a cartoon based film, that was more aimed at a lower target audience.
  • How many times was filming delayed?
  • Filming was delayed 3-4 times within the process. 
  • In what year did filming first conclude?
  • 2011.
  • In what year did they have to go back and film additional scenes?
  • The film wrapped in December 2012, although additional footage was shot in November 2013.
  • At what point did Warner Bros panic and insist that someone should write a script?
  • Miller worked with comic book artist Brendan McCarthy on the boards for over a year. By the end they had produced up to 3500 panels, that filled the room they were working in. At some point later a conventional script was written for technical reasons. The writing was done in a visual form. 
  • When did the stars sign up to be in the film?
  • Hardy was cast as Max in June 2010, with production planned to begin that November.
  • Where was the film originally going to be produced only for it to rain?
  • Australia. 
  • How much was spent on TV adverts?
  • Warner Bros spent $43.7 million on advertising alone.
  • How long did crew stay in Namibia?
  • Around 2 months.
  • How many visual shots were in the film?
  • Over 2,000. 
  • What occupation did George Miller take up in order to earn enough money to make the 4th Mad Max?
  • A Doctor.
  • Miller has announced more movies will be made, true or false?
  • True. Tom Hardy said in an interview last month that he’s attached to star in three more “Mad Max” films, adding the qualifier. “Everything’s based on figures and how things are perceived. Inevitably it’s a business.”
  • In the post-apocalyptic world of Fury Road, everything has to be reused and reproposed, so to make sure they got the right look for the movie's props, the production design team used what?
  • They used soda cans, tyres and inner tubes to make weapons; melted down old tankards and trophies to make car accessories.
  • How many cars were used as help to props?
  • 350 salvaged cars were used to part-build and customize a host of vehicles.
  • Who built Furiosa's mechanical arm?
  • Furiosa's arm was built by industrial designer Matt Boug.
  • How many stunt performers was bought in to complete Immortan Joe's Army of 'War Boys'?
  • A core team of 65 stunt performers were used.
  • What did the stunt performers get into  in order to act as best as they could?
  • They took part in special drama workshops and intense fight training.
  • Which member of the crew helped lead this action?
  • Actor and co-writer Nico Lathouris .
  • Where did Miller get his ideas of the Polecats from?
  • After he saw street performers balancing on poles.
  • How tall were each of the poles?
  • 30 foot.
  • Who plays 'The Doof Warrior'?
  • Australian musician iOTA.
  • What was so special about iOTA's role?
  • He wrote and recorded his own war tunes, which he plays on a double-necked electric guitar as the front man of the crazy band whose music rallies Immortan Joe's troops.
  • To get a sense of their personalities, George Miller asked actresses auditioning for Immortan Joe's 'Five Wives' to read a scene from any film or TV show except Fury Road. What were some of these choices?
  • A Monty Python scene which was picked by first-time actress Abbey Lee.
  • To prepare to play the 'Five Wives', Lee and fellow actors Rosie-Huntington Whiteley, Riley Keough, Zoe Kravitz and Courtney Eaton, spent how many weeks in Sydney rehearsing and working with Fury Road co-writer Nice Lathouris and choreographer Meryl Tankard?
  • 3 weeks.
  • What did the actors of the 'Five Wives' have to research in order to get into the best character they can be?
  • Violence against women in war zones with Vagina Monologues playwright, Eve Ensier who's worked with female rape victims in the Congo.
  • When did Tom Hardy sign up for 3 new 'Mad Max' films?
  • April 3rd, 2015. 
  • The jacket Tom Hardy wore is a replica of the one Mel Gibson wore, true or false?
  • True.
  • What 3 genres does 'Mad Max: Fury Road' fit into?
  • Action, Adventure and Sci-Fi.
  • How is the film editor related to director George Miller?
  • Margaret Sixel is George Miller's wife.  
  • The older actresses playing the Vuvalini did their own stunts. True or False?
  • True. 
  • What did the actress, Charlize Theron have to do to play her role in the film?
  • Shave her head. 
  • What happened to Tom Hardy whilst on set for the film?
  • Broke his nose. 
  • How many hours of film did Sixel have to edit?
  • 480 hours. 
  • A comic book series showing how Immortan Joe came to power is being published by Vertigo. True or False?
  • True. 
  • George Miller almost pulled the plug on the idea of making the film,when location search became a struggle. True or False?
  • False
  • Who had to come out of retirement to head the film cinematography?
  • John Seale. 

Class and Status Representation

Class and Status in 'Downtown Abbey' 

The mise en scene is an important feature of this still from the TV show 'Downtown Abbey'. 

The costume that the women are wearing indicate class. They are wearing fancy clothes to show that they are upper class and have the money to afford luxurious clothing. 

The wallpaper and interior of the room are also fancy looking, this shows that everything they own is of a high quality.

They are standing in some kind of order, based on their role in the house. This is a metaphor for their structure of life. From when upper class are born, stereo typically they have their life planned out for them. Inheriting a lot of money from their past ancestors etc. This is proven in the way they are placed in the image.