There are ten major participant categories in the motion picture industry.  All ten play a part in the success of any picture. A producer has inter-relationships with each of them and to be successful, must consider how each component contributes to the failure and success of the bottom line of a project. We begin with the audience.

Know Your AudienceWhen it comes to the motion picture industry,  there is no more important participant component than the picture’s audience. The motion picture industry is a consumer-driven business, so without an audience, there is no business.

In particular, reaching the target audience of the picture is critical to its ability to bring in income. It is essential for a producer to understand who his target audience is and what pictures that target audience has responded well to in the past (referred to as a comparable or antecedents).

This will help the producer manage the project to meet the expectations of this target audience while keeping in mind their related consumption dynamics so he or she can maintain a relative balance for the cost of production.

Once a story is located, a producer must ask two questions:

  1. Who is the picture’s target audience?
  2. How has this audience responded to at least five pictures released in the prior five years with similar story/genre, director and actors, and related marketing campaign placement?

Both questions help a producer begin analysis of a project in different ways.The first question allows the producer to research the size, entertainment consumption and media use profiles of the picture’s target audience.

The producer should first research the primary release area (i.e. the United States) followed by the subsequent international release territories (i.e. Canada and Europe). The second question allows a producer to make projections for the gross receipts based on past behaviours for this audience under similar conditions.

Once a producer has this information and an estimated budget for production and distribution costs, he or she can begin their Internal Green Light Analysis. The producer compares the information to reveal the income-to-cost ratio. The analysis should reveal a 2-to-1 ratio between gross receipts and estimated costs. If the number is the same or higher than this, the producer should proceed. If not, then the producer should pass.