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Free course

The business of film

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The business of film Copyright free Icon

Making a film is a creative endeavour, but it's also a business project. And just like any other business, most films are intended to make money.

This free online course, The business of film, will show you how film production works. It has been created with Pinewood Studios – the leading provider of studio services to the global screen-based industries.

Using the value chain concept and film case studies, with input throughout from individuals involved in making those films, the course provides a practical, in-depth exploration of how film financing works, and the key business decisions that are made along the way.

It addresses questions like:

  • Why do films fail?
  • Why are intellectual property and copyright important?
  • Why do films get public funding?
  • What is the relationship between marketing, box office returns and film success?

The course will examine these topics in the film industry as it stands today, as well as considering how further changes could impact the industry and its stakeholders.

This course material was originally written for FutureLearn in 2015. It was published on OpenLearn in February 2019.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • recognise the contribution of film to the economy and how this business model is changing in the digital era
  • appreciate the impact of emerging platforms on the traditional distribution and marketing of film
  • understand the processes involved in selecting and selling a film idea, given the changing concept of ownership in a digital world
  • demonstrate an understanding of how films are financed and the opportunities emerging investment platforms have on film finance
  • identify and understand the impact of future trends and changes on the film industry and its stakeholders.

First Published: 24/01/2017

Updated: 04/03/2020

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