How to Start a Movie Studio

by Maurice Moss

Robert Redford is an actor who has helped to revolutionize filmmaking. Festivals like Sundance and the growth of the Internet make movie making into a much simpler process. Anyone with a camcorder and a great idea can start a film company. More people have the option to create and distribute their own films. This makes owning a movie studio a reality for more than just media giants like Paramount and Time Warner. Here’s how to start a movie studio.

Find out where significant incentives are offered. The key to starting and maintaining a movie studio is making movie at or below budget. A major tool in keeping movie budgets within operating limits is filming at locales that where talent and locations are garnered at competitive rates. Canada and the state of Louisiana, for example, are locations that are typically not synonymous with movie making. Both areas, however, campaigned to movie producers by offering financial incentives to film in these respective areas.

Discover directors on the rise. Find the up and coming talent in film schools and various film festivals. There are directors that have films in the can that are completed. All they need is a studio to market and distribute the film to the right movie outlets. This is where a new movie studio can come in and form contractual agreements with talented directors before they blow up.

Seek established producers. This is a good strategy for new studios that want to grow fast. Up and coming producers may have great projects available, but lack the experience to always broker a deal to the best advantage of the studio. Established producers know how to make the deal attractive for everyone.

Work in partnership with bigger studios. Bigger studios like Paramount may look to smaller studios to find the next big thing. Even big independent studios like Lionsgate may work with smaller studios to find new, innovative films.

Distribute video online. Sites like YouTube make the distribution of film very simple. Studios can reach millions of people instantly via a viral marketing campaign. New films can catch on like wild fire without the work involved with getting a traditional distribution deal for a film. It will often make a traditional distribution deal easier to obtain.

Contact the Small Business Association. The SBA is a good first stop for any business starting out. This site provides checklists for opening a business and obtaining necessary licenses. You will find a link the its website under the Resources section.

About the Author

Maurice Moss has been a writer and editor for more than 10 years. He is a member of the Society for Technical Communication, Usability Professionals Association and the American Society for Training and Development. Moss' work has appeared in print and online publications, including "Nursing Management," "Eclipse" magazine and He is pursuing an M.A. in technical communication at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

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