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four Classes Entrepreneurs can study from filmmakers

June
29, 2020

Read 6 min

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneurs' contributors are their own.

Filmmakers are a force to be reckoned with, as putting your productions together is no easy task. Indeed, there is a lot that entrepreneurs can learn from filmmakers considering that they not only bring their creative idea to life, they also have to market it, distribute it, find an audience, and pay investors back. Your role is ultimately quite similar to that of an entrepreneur.

Here are the four most important lessons that every founder can learn from filmmakers.

Marketing and distribution for films must be strategically planned and carried out during production, not once the project is complete. "Marketing your film requires a long-term strategy," said Jia Wertz, a documentary filmmaker whose recent release has played "Conviction" at numerous festivals around the world. "What are their interests and where do they consume content? A clearly defined marketing strategy is the roadmap for success. A gripping trailer will not do it alone. A social media strategy, press work, interviewing potential target groups, navigating to film festivals and Community demonstrations are part of the recipe. "

Just like product development in the corporate world, no one can see a movie without a marketing strategy, and all your efforts – not to mention the cost – go unnoticed.

Related: Former MGM President Yoram Globus' $ 50 million plan to disrupt Hollywood

Make diversity a priority in the hiring process

In the past, black people were underrepresented in television and film. The Washington Post recently highlighted 100 cases in which colored people were misoccupied, underscoring the decades of intensified racist stereotypes.

"If we want to change our culture, we have to change the stories we share," says Kirthi Nath, documentary filmmaker at Cinemagical Media. “And whoever tells these stories is important. We need colored people in front of and behind the camera. People around the world feel the pain and harm of white supremacy, toxic patriarchy, and systemic oppression. We have to do this both at the roots and on the surface. As colored people, we live out our lived perspectives and our position with a lens to share authentic stories that disturb the white view. Telling these decolonized stories will be part of the medicine for collective healing. "

In the past few years we have finally seen a change that has proven to be generally recognized by the public. It's no secret, however, that companies in all industries have historically under-served colored people in terms of leadership and compensation.

In recent years, however, there has been a shift in diversity attitudes. According to a study by SocialTalent, most studies on diversity in the workplace showed that with each increase in gender diversity by 1 percent, the company's sales increased by 3 percent and a higher degree of ethnic diversity increased sales by a whopping 15 percent.

Entrepreneurs can create a more inclusive environment by following an Accenture-like model with diversity training divided into three categories. Her mandate states: "1. Diversity awareness to help people understand the benefits of working with a diverse organization; 2. Diversity management to enable managers to lead different teams, and 3. Professional development to empower women, LGBT and ethnically diverse workers to build skills for success. "

The film production clearly contains a lot more elements than can be seen in the final cut, and this is because the project management is divided into phases. It all starts with writing the script and pitching, followed by casting. Countless logistical and budgetary problems have to be considered during the pre-production. In the end, everything comes together when the post-processing takes place and sounds, music and visual effects are added.

In entrepreneurship, project management should also be divided into a number of phases. "Whether it's a product launch, a marketing campaign, or even a linchpin, some elements of project management are just evergreen and universal," said Elisha Kalfa, founder of Focus Global, an early-stage healthcare investor. “As soon as a project is required, a team of experts is put together. You start planning, followed by execution. The latter has its own sub-phases, including A / B tests, which are closely monitored and controlled before final completion. "

Explore remote options if possible

There are many positions in the film industry that can (and often will) be filled from afar. Many of them revolve around writing, but computer-intensive roles such as reviewing footage and editing are also good for virtual posts. For some one-off tasks, freelancers or agencies are often contacted to quickly meet the requirements.

"We have been working on many aspects of the conviction from afar," added documentary filmmaker Wertz. “However, after the outbreak of the pandemic, our entire team was far away and the process was almost seamless. With all of the technological advances and options available to us, we were able to have an editor from Nigeria, an animator in India, and team members in the United States. It is really remarkable. "

A team of seven editors worked on Netflix’s hugely popular Tiger King, using Google documents and Slack conversations to map the story and figure out the flow of the numerous interview topics and phrases the film brings.

Entrepreneurs can also follow suit. With much of the economy shut down, many of the largest technology giants have asked their employees to work from home, and in many cases have done so after the offices reopened. This agreement cuts costs for employers and enables them to hire talent from a much larger pool. It is one of the elements of the new normal, which is promising. Similar to the film industry, remote options for positions requiring a lot of typing or computing can be more convenient.

Related: 5 project management mistakes that can harm your business

You don't have to go through the Hollywood studio system to understand the basics of running a small business, but it turns out that a look behind the scenes can serve as a reminder of what makes a successful business tick.

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