If you’re in the film business there’s a good chance you’ve read a statement like this before:
Statements like this usually go on half a page or more, listing a pile of risks, including competition and the like. But I am focused here on the specific risks a producer confronts when birthing and bringing a film to market. These key risks are confronted in each film, and are events against which you can forge a viable campaign of mitigation and defense.
In general, in life, to the risks go the rewards. Risk, and this potential for rewards, are both inherent in the business we have chosen to pursue. However, I am very much against running wildly into the risk storm, yelling, “Wow, this is risky, but fun!” We must understand and inspect the risks, and we must take measures to control them and to control the relationship of our projects to those risks, while not limiting the potential for reward.
These Risk Points
Are Met at Key Tasks and Their Attendant Decisions
- Creation of a quality script
- Effective development and packaging of the property to make a quality film
- Fully financing the film
- Completing the film at a level commensurate with its budget and market
- Gaining adequate distribution in the marketplace
- Achieving effective marketing for the target audience
- Achieving consumer uptake or sales levels, thereby achieving financial goals
Each Film Has Many Risk Points
Every risk point I list here is actually a decision point and an action point. The act of planning the business of your film is the act of learning about, understanding and gaming out your moves in advance so as to minimize risk and maximize potential. You pre-visualize the creative plan of your film to mitigate production risk, so why not pre-visualize the business plan of your film and mitigate the business risks. Mitigating the business risks protects the precious creative asset you are producing. This is to the benefit of all stakeholders in the asset, including you!
The result of this approach to answering the risks will be an effective and powerful business plan. https://filmprofit.com/what-is-a-film-business-plan/
There are, of course, very complex business moves that people might take, all meant to target and neutralize financial risks. These are good and viable, but most of the items I want to highlight in this series of articles are easily do-able by any producer, and are primarily focused on how information and preparation will enable you to be ready for the key risks in front of you, risks you can manage without being a hedge fund manager.
This Is An Ongoing Series
I will be discussing these risk points in future installments of this blog. To go on this little journey with me, you can subscribe here:
What originally caused me to begin FilmProfit® was my noticing that the studios and big players had lots of folks to help them figure out how to make their films profitable. Indie producers were in a gunfight with rubber stage knives. I wanted to give them some weapons to begin to level the playing field a little. The things I do, whether for rump indies or mid-level players, or even the studios are meant to get down under the hood, not just numbers, although numbers tell a story, but to get at the functions, of moviegoers, exhibitors, distributors, and all the working parts of the industry, and help my clients see better what they are getting into and how to prepare for it.
Onward and Upward