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Online course

The Business of Film

Explore the intriguing world of film production and find out about the complexities of development, distribution and finance.

Find out how movies are funded, made and marketed

Making a film is a creative exploit, but just like any other business, the aim is also to make money.

This online course will show you how. It has been created with Pinewood Studios – the leading provider of studio services to the global screen-based industries.

Using the value chain concept and independent film case studies, it provides a practical, in-depth exploration of key business decisions.

It asks: why do films fail? Why are intellectual property and copyright important? Why do films get public funding? And what is the relationship between marketing, box office returns and film success?

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What topics will you cover?

Week 1: Introduction to the business of film Introduction to the course, educator, experts and why study the film business considering why films matter, the main challenges, and introduction to the film value chain which is a key theme throughout the course.

Week 2: Development - where do films come from? Exploring the development process, who is involved, why films don’t make it, understanding Intellectual property and copyright, while introducing the case studies that will be used throughout the course.

Week 3: Distribution - where do films go? Understanding the film value chain, how it is built, what are the elements, who are key in distribution, marketing and box office returns.

Week 4: Finance: how are films paid for? How to attract finance for your film, through listening to experts and drawing on case studies, while understanding the funding avenues available and your responsibilities.

Week 5: Production – the cost and complexity of films A practical look at how films are made, and the questions as a producer you should be asking, to ensure that smooth running of your production.

Week 6: The Filmmaker as Entrepreneur Reinforcing the learning outcomes of the previous weeks and considering the skills required to operate in the film sector into the future.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced
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What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Demonstrate and understand the contribution of film to the economy and how this business model is changing in the digital era.
  • Apply and understand the processes in selecting and selling a film idea within the changing concept of ownership in a digital world.
  • Apply and understanding the impact emerging versus traditional platforms has on the distribution and marketing of film.
  • Demonstrate and understanding how films are financed and the opportunities emerging investment platforms has on film finance.
  • Assess and understand the function and components of film making.
  • Identify and understanding the impact of future trends and change on the film industry and its stakeholders.

Who is the course for?

This course is aimed at those who already have a basic understanding of film production.

Who will you learn with?

Hilary Collins

Hilary is a strategic design academic with research interests in the economic and cultural role of the creative industries. She teaches OU courses in Strategy and Design Thinking

Who developed the course?

The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning, with a mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas.

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Join this course

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  • Access to this course for 8 weeks
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes

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$59

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Tests to validate your learning
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime
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