Winning any game depends largely on knowing the field on which you’re playing. Building a successful company in any industry is heavily reliant on having the best information available. Knowing the landscape of the industry informs almost every decision in a company, and allows entrepreneurs to figure out where they fall within it.
Unfortunately, the film industry playing field is shrouded by a veil of uncertainty. This contributes to the inherent risk involved in making an independent film. The industry is ill-defined, and without such definition it becomes much more difficult to build a business plan and marketing strategy for an independent film. If we don’t even know how many films are made in a year, how are we to build an accurate competitive analysis? If we don’t know where most filmmakers make the majority of their income, how can we create informed bids for our labor if it’s not a union shoot?
What’s more, data of this nature is not just important for a company, but it is also vital information for investors. Investors rely on data and precedent to decide on where to put their money, and most of the data they need to make an informed decision is not available to the public. Without this data, building successful production companies is a much riskier path than it should be, and with this risk it makes little sense for investors to enter the field.
Thankfully, some of that data may soon be available for filmmakers, thanks to Producer Foundry and Media Research Associates’ first-ever State of the Film Industry Survey, sponsored by Stage32, Fandor and Indiewire. The survey aims to add more transparency to the industry, and to make available data that is vital for filmmakers not only to make films, but to build successful companies out of their projects.
For this survey to have the greatest impact Producer Foundry needs as many filmmakers as possible to take 10-12 minutes to fill out the survey. The higher the response rate, the more reliable the data will be. The more reliable the data, the better marketing plans filmmakers can build from them, and the more likely it is that investors will sign on to help fund their projects.
After collecting the data, Producer Foundry will craft a comprehensive report of the findings. Some of this data will be made available for free in the form of infographics and articles. All respondents will have the opportunity to receive notifications from Producer Foundry that will include when the report is made available, as well as releases of the infographics and articles. Finally, thanks to a sponsorship from Fandor, all respondents will also receive a three-month trial subscription for completing the survey.
Take the survey by clicking here.
Yennie is the author of The Guerrilla Rep: American Film Market Distribution Success on No Budget, Founder and CEO of Guerrilla Rep Media and Founder of Producer Foundry. Formerly, Yennie was the Chapter Leader for the Institute for International Film Finance for San Francisco, Vancouver, New York and Los Angeles and screened business plans for the Film Angels. Yennie is also a contributor to HopeForFilm.com and Cinesource Magazine, and has been featured on CNN Money. Follow Ben on Twitter: @TheGuerrillaRep.
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