Production Houses and Studios have come into being since long and continue to remain a mainstay in film production businesses in today’s time. The earliest beginnings of cinema had individuals like Lumiere Brothers, George Miles, etc. who self-financed their own films. We also had Dada Saheb Phalke in India who was among the pioneers of silent cinema and who took cinema to new heights.
But like all ventures, films require capital, labor, talent and a customer base (in this case, audience) to work well. This is where film production houses and studios play an important role. The main primary role is to produce and distribute cinematic products which entertain audiences. They act as a midway between talent and its dissemination in the form of a finished product: Films. This is why in today’s time of increased competition, film production houses need to churn out new content and story ideas to the film market. The film business is a volatile market where the timing of release and PR machinery must be fine-tuned 24/7. One single mistake can cost a lot in terms of revenues and market reputation.
Film production houses manage talented artists, bringing them together for film projects. Artistes like Directors, actors, cinematographers, sound directors, make-up artists, extras, etc. are brought together and managed. Contracts are drawn up by production heads which will bind them to the project for a limited duration. Production houses obviously will have to have an extensive line-up of legal rights to purchase, execute and to defend themselves from any potential lawsuits.
Timely execution of the projects is of the utmost importance for Production Houses. Delays can lead to spiraling costs and can result in losses for the company. Henceforth, production houses are staffed with line-producers, accountants, etc who keep track on costs and expenses. Talent management of artists is a delicate balance of egos and work to be done. It is a tight rope which must be navigated with great risks.
Releasing films is also another matter of concern for profitability. Understanding audience footfall in theatres is the key to success. Weekends are considered the best time for film ticket sales and Production Houses would want to maximize their chances of success. Film distribution in theatres requires extensive negotiations. After all, theatre owners also take their share of revenues before they reach to the intended parties. In mainstream cinema, a large chunk of expenses is spent on well-established actors & actresses as their star charisma pulls many audiences. This is the reality of today’s commercial cinema and this trend will continue in the years to come.
Even with many safeguards, film business remains a risky business. The challenge in creating quality content while keeping profitability in mind is huge these days, especially in the Indian context. The business owners of a production house must have their own sense of creativity and understanding of audience trends and tastes to execute such projects.