Creation of SMEs in the cinema and audiovisual sector

 

The creation and development of SMEs in the “cinema and audiovisual” sector in countries in the ACP zone

Through lessons from experience and different contacts both in the field and with funders, Core Advice has explored a development niche : welcoming foreign productions (films, TV dramas, documentaries, advertising films, etc.) to emerging countries. Many of these countries are little known, have small populations, are landlocked, are in a post-conflict state or have few other resources, but they do nevertheless have a particularly rich human tapestry and natural landscapes that offer an untapped potential to appeal to the imaginations of filmmakers from the world over. These opportunities when exploited offer a welcome benefit in many different ways both directly and indirectly, with significant economic and social returns (direct and indirect employment, training, regional development,...).  

Welcoming foreign productions to the region will gradually enable future young entrepreneurs, film creators and technicians to “learn as they go”, and to become influential players in the creation of structures necessary for the cinema and audiovisual sector economic, legal and technical environment. In addition the returns for related economic sectors such as tourism, represent genuine opportunities.

More and more foreign productions are looking to new horizons for their film shootings, and, to make it possible, they need to be certain that there are facilities in place capable of providing both the human and material necessary resources.

Core Advice is focusing on the exploitation and development of this potential, using models that have been successfully used over the last few years in certain African countries (particularly around the Mediterranean), as well as in Europe.

Core Advice’s reflections and work contribute to the development of these niche businesses in the countries of the ACP zone, and exploit the domino effect on related professions and services. It is clear that foreign film shooting generally necessitates calling on local on-site artistic and technical collaborations (directors, actors and extras, accountants, drivers, people to work on the costumes, stage sets, electricity and machinery, etc.) and on local service industries (transport for both people and material, freight forwarders, construction and craftsmen, interpreting services, telephony, banks, catering and hotels, catering on shooting locations, hire of various materials, etc. ).

In order to foster the emergence of the private sector of this branch and to stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit in those businesses that are connected to it, Core Advice has developed a particular approach aimed at supporting and setting in place the creation of a structure of local service provision (executive production), capable of managing all of the operations linked to this activity, thus meeting the expectations of professionals in the sector, and therefore able to attract and welcome foreign productions to the region.

The creation of this commercial, private business is based on the development of a viable economic model that is structured in such a way as to provide integrated services offering appropriate material and human resources. Its continued success and development may well lead to an increase in the competitive services as the ones available at an international level (studios, offices and production workshops, post-production space, projection rooms, rental of technical shooting equipment, etc.). 

In order to assist the emergence of such businesses in the ACP countries, Core Advice focuses its support on:

  • the identification of a local economic operator (drawn from the infrastructure, logistics, telecom sectors, etc.), a corporate citizen who cares about local economic development, who will support the creation and the setting up of an SME intended to welcome foreign film shoots to the region;
  • the diagnosis of what is already in place, determining the scope of the activity, the prerequisites necessary for the activity start up, etc.;
  • the identification and training of the funding entrepreneur and of the main collaborators needed for the start up of the business (technical assistance);
  • the definition of the business project and of its needs in terms of human and financial technical resources;
  • the operational framework during the start up of the business and its activities;
  • the development of tools and communication campaigns in order to “sell” the region to international foreign productions;
  • the development of a comprehensive, detailed 5-year business plan.