The film and media industry is taking growth leaps every year. In 2016, the Kenyan film industry revenue earnings were reportedly 200 billion shillings. In 2017, the Kenya Media and Entertainment Industry were estimated to be worth 216 billion shillings and were expected to hit 309 billion shillings in 2020. The reports point to increase in value of the film and media industries.
These industries have immense opportunities and production companies are coming up to exploit the hidden treasures of the ever-growing creative economies. As a filmmaker or media producer, you may wish to start a production company. It is a tricky industry and you need to learn the ropes before you venture into the industry. We have hacks for you.
This is the most difficult stage as you need to figure out what you want to do. You may decide to venture into films, commercial or industrial. It’s advisable that you pursue a path you’re skilled in. A media trainee may take the commercial or TV dramas route while a film producer is highly likely to be successful in film production.
Write your short-term and long-term goals and identify your strengths. Conceptualizing the idea is important before you start developing your company.
Study the Market
Do a lot of research in your area of interest. If you choose to do commercial production, then research your area to gauge the market and other players in the industry. Pay attention to services offered and fees charged by other companies so that you find ways of competing in the market.
If you opt for the film industry then seek areas you are talented in. A skilled artist may offer pre-visualization services while someone skilled in promotions may be involved in film marketing. Review the history of established production companies to learn more about the industry.
The name you give your production company is as important as your services. This will become your brand so come up with a relevant tag. Your company name should stand out.
One of Hollywood’s accomplished directors, Steven Spielberg has named his production company, Amblin Entertainment. He named it after his first completed film, Amblin.
Starting a production company involves trade-marking your name. You need to acquire the services of a lawyer to help you file your trade-mark. Before this, you must come up with unique name. Having a name close to another production company won’t get you a trademark.
Type of Company
Figure out what type of business your production company will be. This will affect the tax fillings. This information will be required by the registrar of companies. Your company may be a sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Company, Cooperative, Corporation or Partnership.
Certified Public Accountant
Find a Certified Public Accountant. He will be in charge of all accounting relating to your business. A CPA will help you fill in your taxes and set financial goals for your business. A CPA is crucial to your business so you may need to find the right person for you .Do your research so that you get the right person for the job.
Every company must have a business plan to operate. This is the blueprint of your business as it stipulates your company’s functions, policies and goals. Include a mission statement which contains your mission and ethics. This will guide your daily operations. For example, your plan may carry how you will make money from your films.
A business plan is vital for a production company. If you don’t have a background in business or law, you may seek the services of a business lawyer. The plan should include your research and market analysis. It helps you to gauge the performance of your production company.
Consult an attorney when starting the operations of your business such as hiring staff so that you adhere to the rules and regulations. An attorney helps you to deal with copyright issues such as protecting your work from copyright infringement and intellectual property.
Finding a good corporate or company attorney is essential for your business because you need representation. This is a costly venture so you need to research and choose the ideal attorney you can afford.
Getting start-up capital for your business is an uphill task. You will need money to buy quality equipment. When it comes to film production, pre-production is the cheapest stage. You can float this stage and come up with an idea which you can present to potential investors to seek funding for your film.
If necessary, you may take a business loan.
After all the development and planning, get down to work. You need to network with other industry players. In this age of the Internet, maintain a presence online such as establishing a website and social media accounts.
Hire staff depending on the scope of your project. Hire only the people you need, from scripting, technical to casting and editing.
When you’re starting your production company, consider producing shorts, basically short films that you can submit to film festivals to build your brand.
Take advantage of the Internet. Share your content on digital platforms such as YouTube as this gets your name out there.
Some of the production companies in Kenya are Blue Sky Films, Protel Studios, Moonbeam productions and many others. Kenya has hundreds of production companies and most of them are individually owned, so you can own one too.