Bringing Your Creation To Life
The motion picture industry is a cultural industry. Evaluation of success in the industry is based on both the product creativity and its economic performance. These are determined by the industry-specific success factors in the creative industries that revolve around the quality of the human capital; its experience, knowledge and ability to reconfigure industry competencies into specific projects.
Being a very competitive market internationally, filmmaking requires that you produce memorable, engaging and high-quality productions. A number of countries in the continent have incentives for investors in the industry. Check with your investment office for incentives in your country. The industry provides fast turnaround, a great opportunity to market a country, high paying jobs, tax revenues, and can grow and prosper fast depending on the talent a country/community. Unlike other production processes it produces hardly any toxic waste and returns are great and can continue over several years.
The business provides numerous income streams for a filmmaker at different stages of production at pre and post production. Before production one can integrate brands and products into a film, after production revenue from ticket sales, cable rights sales, online rights subscriptions, cable subscriptions, TV sales and video sales. Launches and premiers also provide great opportunities for revenues from brands.
Overall, the industry has been growing in the continent and turnaround time has been reduced by budget production. However, there is still great opportunity in producing high-quality movies at a reasonable cost. The marketing and film distribution aspect of the business is unexploited and this provides a great opportunity for entrepreneurs wanting to get in the sector. The average three-year turnaround period that has been the trend in Hollywood is reduced to about a year in Nollywood. But even for high budget productions with many actors, the turnaround time is much faster than with internet products which turn a profit on average in five years and manufacturing which does so in six to ten years.
KEY SUCCESS FACTORS
Financing; as with other industries this is a problem but unique to filmmaking on the continent possible investors have not been sold to the business opportunity of the industry. What has been marketed is more the glamour and for this reason, quite a number of good artists and producers hardly make a living and production may be compromised. Lack of understanding of the business models and statistical data also make it difficult to get financing. While it is important to get a good financier to cover budgets the reality is that most producers will have to do a good mix of services that will pay before they are able to attract the few investors in the industry for larger budget productions and even then attracting investors is harder than in other industries in the continent..
The ability to engage build up relations with new talent in the industry; this is crucial for the success of filmmakers. In the American movie industry studies done show that the number of awards and nominations lead actors to win, significantly contribute to the success of a movie while this is not so in the Italian movie industry where newcomers have an equal chance to do as well as Award winners. . Since no studies have been done for the African movie industry we cannot state hard facts, however, new talent is continuously emerging and the talent pool of bankable actors growing. For this reason, it is logical to assume that there is an opportunity for success with both new and experienced actors the filmmaking industry is relatively young.
Talent and Flexibility of crew; author, writer, director of the photography, director of music, set design, costumes etc. the experience of the crew will determine the quality of work and ability to be flexible in different conditions and handle the different aspects of production. Flexibility is crucial for both the quality and efficiency during and after production
Talent and flexibility of genre of director(s); Flexibility in genre and talent allow the director(s) to handle wide genre of productions and, as a result, increase the opportunities available without compromising quality. Talent in this perspective also refers to the ability of the director to recognise talent, work with different team combinations and bring out the best in the team.
Relation capital of players in the local industry; filmmakers should have good relations in the market they operate in. This allows them to have access to not the skills and knowledge available in their community in the industry (Africa, South America, American or European), but also to financial investors. Currently, there are few investors and producers in the industry in the continent and plugging into the network makes it easier to not only be successful at production but also be successful in the monetization (marketing) of the product.
Good choice of scripts; the script can make or break a movie. Great actors with a poor script and there’s no story to tell. However, a good story and script will result to an engaged audience and possibility of future rights in reproductions.
Ability to attract bankable actors; having bankable actors allows one to market the product before during and even after production. Bankable actors will open doors for brands to get involved in the production and even after production will market the product.
High-quality equipment; the African movie industry started with low budget movies and poor equipment. However to really market to the world and grow global market it has through time come to the place where quality production is crucial as skills have continued to develop. Matching the skills with quality equipment expands the market for both local and international productions.
Marketing; distribution is key to sustainability in the industry because that is the only way to pay back investors in the film and guarantee future income. With the wrong distribution strategy, there will be no royalties coming in and pirates will take advantage of the situation. A good distribution strategy and partners ensure constant income. Currently with improving internet connectivity in the continent trends are towards video on demand. However, it is important to note that internet penetration is still a challenge in most African countries and there is a need for innovation in distribution to rural areas and other suburbs.
Other Than making movies and TV series there are numerous opportunities to make films for different purposes for different target markets. From doing movies for NGOs and content for media houses, there are also other opportunities.The goal would be to find a niche you are really good at and develop content that is suitable number of the population;
Training material; There are many opportunities to prepare material of organisations. These include training material in special areas like legal services, accounting, governance, universities and consulting firms and other learning and training institutions.
Marketing material/advertising; for both internal and external marketing with large organisations and mainly for external marketing purposes for home and small businesses.
Events; While there is an opportunity for weddings and other such events that market is flooded with many small photographers and video producers. The events you would be a target are national events or corporate events that can be later used for the organisations marketing material or campaigns. target organisations could be government, political, national figures (e.g. athletes)
Entrepreneur’s Journey with Award winning Producer & Actor Ken Smart
OTHER OPPORTUNITIES ATTACHED TO THE FILMMAKING INDUSTRY
There are numerous opportunities attached to the industry and while they can run as a separate business a strategy in expanding or focusing your services would be to target the movie making business if you country has a thriving film production industry. The reason for this is that income from the industry is good and this is a great platform for marketing yourself as a specialist in your area. Below are a couple of opportunities you may want to consider.
- Film Distribution
- Makeup Artist
- Music Director
- Set Designer & Costume Designers