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The business of film
The business of film

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3 Thinking about the value chain

In the film industry, the term ‘value chain’ is used to describe the series of steps that run from the first creative spark that inspires the film-makers to begin the project, through to the end of the commercial life of the completed feature film. The same term is used in a slightly different way to help analyse business processes in many industries.

The concept of the value chain will be referenced throughout this course, so it’s an important idea to get familiar with.

Described image
Figure 5 The stages of the film value chain

Activity 2 Stages of the value chain

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes

To get you thinking about this, take a look at the main stages of the film value chain in Figure 5 above – there are seven of them randomly displayed:

  • distribution
  • concept origination
  • development
  • finance
  • creative packaging
  • production
  • exploitation.

Take some time to think about what the correct chronological order should be to create and deliver the film. Note down your ideas in the box below.

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As you might expect, there is more than one way to describe the value chain, so there is some flexibility involved. Also, not all of these stages will take place for all films.

In general, the film producer is the one film-maker that accompanies the film on its entire journey through the value chain until it is safely in the hands of the distributors. In many ways, this course will give you a producer's perspective on the film production process.