Friday, October 17, 2014

UNDERSTANDING THE FILM INDUSTRY

The film industry consists most significantly of: Production and Distribution. Production involves the development, financing and filming of the production. Distribution involves the promotion and exploitation of films throughout the world in a variety of media, including theatrical exhibition, home entertainment, television, internet streaming and ancillary markets. 

The production of a film (theatrical or TV) starts with:

 STEP ONE:  DEVELOPMENT
  •  the screenplay is acquired by the producer. 
  •  producer seeks production financing.  
  •  producer seeks tentative commitments from a director, the principal cast members and creative talent. 
  •  proposed production schedule and budget are prepared.  
  •  Funding from various sources, tax-based funding, co-production funding, equity participants are finalized
  • decision is made to “greenlight” (approve the film for production).

STEP TWO: PRE-PRODUCTION

Producer:
  •  engages creative talents
  •  finalizes filming schedule (days or shoot, actors required, locations,) and production budget
  •  obtains necessary insurances and completion guarantees.  
  •  establishes final filming locations
  • secures filming facilities and prepares for the actual start of the filming. 
  • Sales through Sales Agents are made prior to commencement of production, sales (referred to as pre-sales) often form part of financing for film production. 
STEP THREE :  PRODUCTION  
Principal photography:  
  • actual filming of the screenplay.
  • filming may extend from 7 to 16 weeks, depending upon:  budget, location, weather, unforeseen complications   
STEP FOUR:  POST-PRODUCTION
  • the film is edited, special effects added,  dialogue,  music and pictures synchronized.  
  • The result is the master negative from which the release prints of the film will be made.

STEP FIVE:   DISTRIBUTION & ACQUISITION
  • Licensing the film for distribution / exploitation in various markets in different territories pursuant to a release pattern.  Film companies may acquire distribution rights before production has commenced. 
  • The right to distribute the film may be acquired by more than one distributor acquiring the rights from the producer in one or more markets or media or a combination of both.  
ACQUISITION
Alternatively, they may acquire the distribution rights in respect of a territory or market when the film has been completed.  This is known as “acquisition”. In addition to acquiring distribution rights, distributors heavily invest in direct distribution expenses:  
  • costs of producing numerous prints of the film
  • costs of advertising the film., commonly known as “P & A” (Prints and Ads).  
  • manufacturing costs in relation to the video and DVD, and digital release of a film.
STEP SIX:  SALES & SALES AGENTS
  • Sales Agents employed by film producers sell exploitation rights in respect of films in territories to distributors. 
  • Studios typically distribute through their own networks so sales agents are most often used by independent film producers who do not have their own distribution capability.  


STEP SEVEN:  EXHIBITION
  • The completed film is exploited in various territories and markets in what are termed “release windows”.  
  • These markets include theatrical exhibition (cinema release), non-theatrical (which includes airlines and hotels), home entertainment (rental, sale through video and DVD), and presentation on television (including pay per view, pay TV and free to air.)

FILM LIBRARIES

Once a film has been through the release windows, the final stage in its life cycle is its addition to a film library.  Individual films in a library may continue to earn income for many years through continued exploitation on television and in various home entertainment formats, and film libraries are tradeable assets.




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