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This content is taken from the The Open University's online course, The Business of Film. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second BHARAT NALLURI: It’s easy to forget that filmmaking is a money making business, as well as being part of our cultural lives. If it doesn’t make money, it won’t survive. It’s as simple as that. This course is about the business of film, and how films make money. I’m Bharat Nalluri I’m going to be your host for this course, the Business of Film. Over the six weeks, it will give you a handy overview of the process and an understanding of who does what. It will introduce you to key terms and concepts and crucially explain how the whole house of cards that is film finance is put together.

Skip to 0 minutes and 36 seconds Along the way, you’ll meet some of the key individuals involved from the UK film industry. You’ll also get the chance to meet some of the people involved in the making of the feature

Skip to 0 minutes and 45 seconds film, Spooks: The Greater Good, released in the UK in May 2015. They will give you an exclusive insight into how an independent feature film is put together from beginning to end. The examples and individual’s you will meet are British. The principles apply wherever you are in the world, and you will have plenty of opportunity to jump in and join the discussion. Feel free to share your experience or impressions on the business of film in your country. Keep an eye out for the links and other information provided throughout the course.

Skip to 1 minute and 18 seconds You may not be in film, but that doesn’t mean that some of the business concepts and ideas you will come across don’t apply to you in your business or field of activity.

Film-making as a business

The film business aims to make money, just like any other business. However, as a cultural aspect of our lives it is also an important part of the creative sector.

The usual norms and expectations of a business are sometimes tempered by other considerations. Throughout the course we will highlight particular areas of business learning relevant to film and the creative sector as a whole, and provide pathways to further information and study.

In the video you hear from Bharat Nalluri. Bharat was Director of our case study film Spooks: the Greater Good. He will meet you at the beginning of each week and will take you through the different elements of the course. You’ll also be meeting a number of key players in the UK film industry – from the very beginning of the film-making process through to the end product and its distribution and sales.

The lead educator on this course is Hilary Collins. The course was co-written by Richard Miller and Gerard O’Malley.

Hilary is a strategic design academic with research interests in the economic and cultural role of the creative industries. She teaches Open University courses in strategy and design thinking.

Richard is a creative industries consultant with Available Light Advisory and Professor of Film and Creative Economy at the University of Hertfordshire. In the 1990s he produced American independent films out of New York.

Gerard O’Malley is a consultant working in digital strategy and development in the arts and film. He is also the founder and director of The Film Network.

We encourage you to take part in the comments and in the discussions, by asking questions and engaging in conversation.

To understand the film business it is important to understand some key business concepts and perspectives within the film industry. How is value created in the world of film? What are the different stages of a film’s life cycle? How are films paid for? Who is involved in the film production process?

What do you think? Share your thoughts with other learners in the comments. If someone has asked a question that you too would like answered, be sure to ‘like’ it. This will help our mentors to answer your questions more quickly.

Mark each step as complete as you make your way through the course. You can see your progress on this course at any time, by selecting the progress icon at the top of the course. This page will carry on updating as you progress through the course.

© Still in video: from Spooks: The Greater Good, courtesy Shine Pictures

© Activity image: Will Jackson CC by 2.0

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This video is from the free online course:

The Business of Film

The Open University