Production CompanyMost corporations, media, and movie businesses depend on creativity and intellectual property to produce revenue because they always must generate a fresh product and reinvent themselves. The corporation solely possesses a record of previous achievements, associates, knowledge, standing, and “heat.”

These corporations have a lot of promise, but few important resources, other than people.  This reality makes the challenge to substantially increase the equity investment of operating capital for media groups even more difficult. The ethereal nature of these creative enterprises are hard to appreciate and, thus, hard to sell for a profit, the single biggest criteria an investor has. The potential profitability lies with the people, the internal culture that connects the group together and promises future collaboration.

Such corporations are thus extremely reliant on those inventive people, who could simply leave and work somewhere else. Thus, a media venture must understand how to recruit the finest writers and directors, obtain the best out of them, and hold on to them. Reliability and inventive performance are more possible if the person feels “at home” in the corporation, in addition to feeling appreciated and encouraged. A culture that fosters familiarity, comfort, and professional courtesy helps to foster creativity and loyalty..

Professor Edgar Schein claims that organizational culture can be categorized into three stages: first, the things that you can feel about people’s behavior and the workplace’s appearance; second, the organization’s openly adopted ethics such as the mottos or mission statements; and lastly, the fundamental attitude and obvious statements about what does and does not work.  These stages normally work in tandem, but are occasionally in conflict. For instance, a re-branding or a new slogan does not always reflect how people act or what the organization actually represents. What people reveal and do are frequently very different. The following investigates this in detail.

  1. Surface manifestations: Surface manifestations are artifacts. These are material objects, noticeable and touchable structures, and procedures and practical conduct that may incorporate the physical appearance of offices, heroic stories, legends, ceremonials, jokes, language, and mottos.
  1. Espoused and shared organizational beliefs and values: Espoused and shared organizational beliefs and values are concepts, objectives, and ethics. They can be ethical, social, or spiritual teachings. Espoused and shared organizational beliefs and values also include biases in favor of one type of conduct over another, which strengthen the surface manifestations. Espoused and shared organizational beliefs and values are proof of what has succeeded and what has not. To some extent, it is observing in reverse. However, occasionally management enforces them. They are merely objectives, philosophies, and justifications. Espoused values might imitate preferred conduct but are not seen in real conduct. To actually function, not only must employees list them, but also employees, along with leaders, must communicate and trust them.
  1. Basic underlying assumptions: This is where Schein thinks the most accurate culture is present because it is somewhat intuitive rather than cognizant: what people think. Basic underlying assumptions are beliefs employees maintain about the organization’s identity. They are unnoticed and “undervalued.” Thus, basic underlying assumptions are hard to recognize or affect. They are a rational map of the organization that gives members an awareness of individuality and confidence. Testing these assumptions through modification can be extremely angst-provoking for the group’s members.

If a potential writer is visiting the corporate office and speculating whether to work with this producer or investor, all of these elements are unintentionally or blatantly affecting the answers to his questions: “Do I like these individuals?’” “How do they act toward the individuals who work with them?” “Do individuals appear happy?” “Do I assimilate here?” “What do they represent?” “Will they defend my story?” and lastly “Do I rely on and wish to back these individuals for at least the next three years?”  If the visiting writer is still choosing the corporation to which s/he will option his concept or hot fictional property, then the answers to these questions will determine whether or not the producer obtains the rights.

So how does this operate in reality? One example is the husband-and-wife producer team Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen at Number 9 Films. When speaking to previous employees, the terms ‘family’ and ‘friendly’ often arise; the office is operated with individuals who have been with them for numerous years. In a case interview, Stephen Woolley stated that ‘”he writer becomes part of the family, the family that creates the movie,” and that the writer would not be kept from the set or the editing room. They ask writers to organize screenplay meetings at their family home in the country over weekends, so that the writers feel like a part of their lives. This workplace culture creates a friendly, nurturing enviornment that tells writers that they are valued and persuades them to work again and again with Number 9 Films.

The way that the producer and development executive behave toward writers reflects the coprorations culture, showing potential investors and colleagues much about the producer’s priorities.  These priorities are also reflected in many other choices, from the office’s appearance to the projects placed on the development slate. Identifying this organizational culture can help investors and creative talent decide whether or not they want to work with the production company.

Leaders construct and modify organizational culture

The founders or leaders of an organization normally create the organizational culture, and the manner in which they approach tasks and challenges affects the way everyone else acts. The following are ways that leaders introduce organizational culture.

  1. Primary (or implanting)
  • Individual appeal and communication skills (consisting of individual conduct like equality, reliability, desire, emotional surges)
  • Issues that leaders consider, gauge, and regulate on a normal basis
  • Responses to serious episodes and disasters
  • Distribution of resources
  • Intentional role modeling, instruction, and coaching
  • Assignment of rewards and standing
  • Hiring, promotion, and firing methods

2.   Secondary (or fortification)

  • Organization design and arrangement, systems, and processes
  • Customs and practices
  • Plan of physical space, surroundings, buildings
  • Stories about influential people and events (mutual history)
  • Official statements of organizational beliefs, duty, doctrines, and charters

In the early days of a corporation’s development, an alluring leader with an obvious strategy can exert a great deal of power. What once were solely the founder’s suppositions and viewpoint ultimately become the group’s mutual suppositions, once they have proven successful.

Edgar Schein claims that culture matures first from the founders’ viewpoint, ethics, and suppositions, which are conveyed to the remainder of the group by individual appeal or everyday management conduct; second, the group’s learning experience as the organization progresses by success, helping to strengthen the leader’s vision and implanting the group’s experience as helpful and thus repeatable; and third, the viewpoint, ethics, and suppositions introduced by new members, once the group accepts them (although Schein acknowledges that there might be a setback before this new power is acknowledged as successful).

As corporations grow larger, however, the circumstances become more complicated. The corporation could change from a fluid corporate configuration to a more rigid one, where the leader has fewer everyday dealings with employees and instead employs a tier of middle managers. Most production corporations are created and managed by producers who began as creative; their intent may never have been to become a manager or administrator and they may not have a skillset that supports that role.

As the corporation expands, new employees produce their own viewpoint and suppositions, which can endanger the present corporate ones. For instance, because of fast growth or a merger, a huge influx of new employees can be a menace to the existing culture. A leader could attempt to influence the new employees the way he did at the beginning, or the sheer size of the larger company may cause some individuals to work less effectively.

Due to expansion, the main culture frequently divides into sub-groups or subcultures, partially because humans are communal animals who would rather be a member of a small team rather than an enormous one.  To accomplish this, people create small groups within larger ones, usually in the form of social cliques or friendships.

Larger organizations can produce subcultures around many distinct spheres of activity. For instance, subcultures can be created around departments, job roles, geographical locations, or products, each with their own leader and reflecting their own concerns, systems, or geographical area. There can even be counter-cultures when the subcultures assume a stance that is deliberately or intuitively contradicting the main culture. Additionally, corporate power sometimes moves from the founder to a chief executive and board of directors, leading to restricted terms of office and shareholders’ demands for income, all of which has an effect on the overall corporate culture.

These bigger corporate issues do not normally affect film corporations, which tend to remain small.  Even when these film corporations go through the incorporation process, becoming a much larger corporation, the most you usually see in a film corporation is the development of resilient subcultures focused on departments like distribution, production, and sales.

However, these corporate cultural issues are extremely significant matters for bigger television production corporations that expand into many distinct programs and production units. The bigger the corporation, the greater the staff turnover; as a result, the corporation inevitably has a mixture of interlopers, including but not limited to a new chief executive officer (CEO) or senior manager. The outcome can be a big organization that does not have a homogeneous culture and is therefore less likely to be effectively guided by the leader.

The difficulty with commercial cultures and subcultures is that they automatically defy modification and interference, because culture is essentially traditional and founded on what has proven already successful. Because of this, corporations might consider employing individuals who are already securely integrated into the present culture rather than bringing in people who may not be accepted.

If a creative corporation does not pay attention to the unspoken culture at work, they may move from being original and ground-breaking to becoming conventional and ineffective. Employees can be defiant if a new leader arrives with new plans, or if inner procedures must change because of outside opposition.  Few people like change, and even fewer like it when the change feels like it is unnecessary and originating from an “outsider.”

The “way we do things around here” can, however, become stifling, rigid, and counter productive, and any leader needs to recognize how to challenge cultural defiance.  Time, of course, is needed to learn about and integrate into the existing culture, but the use of middle management can help a new leader implement new customs and corporate ethics. On a positive note, once the changes have been deemed successful, that new leader will immediately be welcomed into the new culture.

The difficulty of examining culture

Another layer of this challenge is the inherent difficulty of examining and investigating a corporate culture of which you are a part.  Your conduct and the employee’s reactions to it are an integral part of the culture, and it’s difficult to separate oneself enough to impartially examine it. This principle is why psychotherapists can never evaluate themselves and why “appreciate oneself” is one of the most difficult personal challenges to achieve.

Culture is a theoretical and variable notion and differs based on the observer’s biased opinion. Many writers have discussed the difficulty of studying and recognizing organizational culture and the significance of culture in comprehending defiance to commercial modification.

Culture difficulty in assignment and development

The producer’s affiliations with writers and directors can produce a team that supplies some type of stability in an organization that may otherwise suffer from a disjointed and multi-player value chain.

This allows the producer to create a corporation with a clear track record and future income potential rather than a series of independent distinctive movies; the corporation’s culture is essential in accomplishing this, regardless of the difficulty of recognizing and regulating it. A resilient inventive culture can assist in recruiting the appropriate staff, and the subsequent discussions with those staff members can help the producer understand how to retain those creative thinkers.

At its center, culture involves ethics and individuality: the leader’s ethics and the people’s combined ethics as they behave as a team. However, additional difficulty exists if you regard the whole procedure of funding, distribution, and audience response as a series of exchanges between many distinct organizational cultures and ethical systems.

Case Interviews: Keeping and Cultivating Talent

Stephen Woolley (producer): We frequently work with the same individuals again, because the method has been beneficial in terms of what they and we have brought to the table. For example, Mark O’Rowe wrote Intermission which was very successful in Ireland and a big hit for the director John Crowley who consequently is on everyone’s list of A-list directors. And then Mark wrote a screenplay for us called Perrier’s Bounty, which was somewhat successful, but is currently writing End of Sleep for us, so the fact that Perrier’s Bounty was unsuccessful doesn’t discourage us from wishing to work with Mark because we didn’t see it to be his mistake. We have an immense reliability to the individuals that we work with, provided that the experience has been pleasant.

Julie Baines (producer): It involves obtaining writers and directors at an initial period and encouraging them, cultivating them and assisting them in creating their first movie. Being very encouraging but also permitting their imagination to prevail. I’m a team player and actually think that the team creates the movie, and the teamwork is strong artistically for a project.

Kate Lawrence (development executive): I assume we’re extremely cooperative and from the off you would realize that Elizabeth [Karlsen] and Stephen [Woolley] will be hands on through the development procedure… They’re extremely encouraging, assist their writers, directors, and cast, and will defend people’s corners if they have faith in it. We contemplate a lot on who we hire as writers and directors, and we wish those affiliates to endure. So there is no economic benefit for them to remain with us such as a retainer, but I presume it’s only because they enjoy how we work or our visual and recognize our taste.