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The business of film
The business of film

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5 Building the case

At the start of this week it was stated that the development process ‘takes an idea for a story and aims to turn it into a valuable film project worth investing in.’ You have seen how confidence in a film project is required even before the writer gets started.

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Figure 7 16mm film and reels

In a wider business context, this is often described as building a business case. A business case is usually focused around a particular proposal, such as the investment in a film project.

A business case should:

  • Focus on strategic needs. The focus should be on a few key issues with priority given to those that are strategically important and easy to address.
  • Be supported by key data. Financial data needs to demonstrate the appropriate returns on any investment. This can include interviews with talent or cases of success or failure in your organisation or competitors. Include background information on the rigour of the information provided.
  • Demonstrate solutions and actions. The team should discuss how proposals will be acted on and who would be responsible. Alternative scenarios should be recognised and the feasibility of implementation presented.
  • Provide clear progress measures. When you are looking for significant investment over time it is reassuring to offer clear measures to allow for regular monitoring of progress. Proposing review mechanisms also adds credibility to your proposal.

Any project, including a film, can be dropped at any moment if confidence in its success is low. Building a strong business case, or development process, can help to prevent this.

Coming up in Week 3

In Week 3 you’ll see what happens at the other end of the value chain: sales and distribution. This determines how and where a film is released. You’ll also examine the way that revenue from the box office flows back to the various participants in a film project. Go to Week 3 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .