The Business of Entertainment®

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From Edison to the Internet, Hollywood’s business model has remained essentially the same - use other people’s money to create entertainment products and generate revenue from the controlled consumption of these properties through distribution channels either owned or leveraged by content owners and distributors. In this series, Patrick Gregston covers the historic development and fundamentals of the traditional entertainment model and discusses how changing consumer habits and new technologies are contributing to disruptions and opportunities along Hollywood's value chain.


Get “The BIG Picture” in today’s Hollywood with

The Business of Entertainment® Career Series

Over fourteen hours of insider insights for only $159.39!

The Business of Entertainment® Career Builder Bundle features expert industry insiders sharing their knowledge and experience in today’s dynamic entertainment industry.  You’ll learn about film production financing, movie and television distribution, copyrights, movie publicity, electronic post-production, video games, Stereoscopic 3D and more!  Likewise, ALL of our courseware is available ALA CARTE for as low as $0.00! 

We designed our video courseware for individual study or to seamlessly integrate with college-level courses on media, film and television studies.  If you are an educator of media related studies, looking for a bonfide “Hollywood Connection”, The Business of Entertainment video courseware is precisely what you need to season your curricula with insider insights.  Now, you don’t have to ‘be’ in Hollywood to learn Hollywood’s secrets - The Business of Entertainment video courseware is the long-distance learning tool you’ve been looking for!

"Most films lose Money", says Schuyler M. Moore (partner at Stoock, Stroock & Lavan, LLP), but Hollywood continues to attract huge sums of money for film production from investors worldwide. How does a $300M box-office success 'lose' money when Hollywood appears to be so wildly successful?

Sky Moore’s presentation posits some preliminary issues for wannabe producers to ponder before proceeding down the perilous path of movie making. Sky will cover the basic economics of the film industry, advice for getting started, sources of financing, legal pitfalls, and suggestions for navigating the treacherous waters of film production. Sky also traces the history of several "mini-major" distribution companies, how they grew and why they failed.

Motion picture production can be independent or studio financed, and the big difference between the two is typically budget, control and time. This lecture covers the step-by-step process a producer should undertake regardless of the project's budget.

Randy Greenberg is experienced with both large ($20 million+) and small ($1 million) productions.

The title of Mr. Greenberg's lecture "From Idea to Start of Principal Photography" says it all. Where do stories come from and how does a producer gain the right to tell that story? Where does the money come from to finance the project, pay for the talent, the director, the cinematographer and everything else? How does a producer secure distribution and what happens when the lead actor breaks his leg - on the set? Mr. Greenberg covers these and many other topics on "What Every Producer Needs to Know to Survive and Thrive".

“Follow the Money”.

It’s true that most of the revenue associated with filmed entertainment springs from distribution activities and content licensing beyond the domestic and international box office. Seth Zachary presents an overview of the current domestic (U.S.) licensing practices for motion pictures following theatrical release.

The discussion covers exhibition markets from hotel/airline and residential Video-On-Demand (“VOD”), through home entertainment, pay television, cable, network and syndication television exhibitions.

Daniel Smith discusses the history, trends and consumer habits that are shaping the direction of television distribution and syndication today.

IMDB defines the role of a Unit Publicist as a "member of the publicity department who works on location during the production of a movie. Duties includes working with the residents of the location where the film is being made, as well as setting up press visits and electronic press kit interviews.

The unit publicist assembles the biographical materials and notes about the making of the movie that are later turned into the movie press kit. Unit publicists are itinerant -- they move from production to production and are on the production payroll. They report to the filmmakers and, if the film has a releasing studio, they also report to the publicity directors. Once principal photography is over, the unit publicist moves on to another job." In this three-part interview, David Linck candidly discusses his experience as a UP and offers advice and insights for the would-be producer and entertainment journalist.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act governs the ‘do’s and don’t’ associated with electronic piracy, digital rights and Internet distribution.

How does the DMCA fit within the larger U.S. Copyright Act and what should a content creator or owner do to protect their intellectual property? What are the rules that apply to ‘name, likeness, image’, and how do content creators and distributors protect themselves from unexpected lawsuits? What are ‘clearances’ and why should producers be wary of signs and sounds captured during a shoot?

Josh Hiller tackles these and other questions in this informative lecture on a widely misunderstood topic.

Motion pictures can be studio-financed or independently financed, and the difference between the two is budget, time and creative control. What are the trade-offs by making your movie before selling it to distribution? Who finances independent films and do they make a return on that investment? How do you take your finished movie to market and where are the buyers?

Daniel Linck is principal of Pacific Horizon Entertainment and has produced (and sold) numerous television, video and lower budget theatrical works and documentaries. In this candid interview, Mr. Linck discusses the pitfalls and triumphs of independent feature production, managing distribution and sales and the shark infested waters of foreign film markets.

Over 60% of motion picture distribution revenues come from countries outside The United States.  The majority of studio motion picture and television content undergoes a process of translation, adaptation, additional dialogue recording (ADR) and mixing in dozens of languages for global distribution and exhibition in theaters, home entertainment media and television.

Javier Ponton covers the end-to-end creative and technical process, including the importance of matching vocal performances with the original actor. Examples will underscore why managing the language dubbing process is critical to the cultural and financial success of American content around the globe.

Digital high definition cameras and desktop post production technologies make it possible for anyone to create a commercially exploitable and professionally deliverable entertainment product.  Or do they? What happens when your movie sits on a combination of hard drives, HD-SRW tape and USB keys?

In this series, Steve Kochak focuses on real-world case studies and advice on how independent digital producers can better plan their projects for the long marketing tail, beginning with submissions to film festivals and markets like Sundance, Cannes and the American Film Market.

From Wii to X-Box to BD Live, the game industry is booming with over $10 Billion in annual U.S. sales.

The majority of gamers are older than conventional wisdom would suggest. More women over 18 play games than boys age 17 and younger. 80% of gamer parents enjoy games as a family, and the most frequent game buyer is well over 30.

Not necessarily for nerds, the game business is now challenging (leading?) filmed entertainment for consumer attention and $$$. Josh Resnick, co-founder of Pandemic Studios discusses the global game business, trends and challenges.

Three dimensional viewing technologies have come a long way since the blue and red paper glasses used to view 3D in the 1950’s. The recent increase in theatrical 3D releases has proven to be extremely popular among consumers, and so it only makes sense for the creative industries to team with product and service providers to develop ways to move that experience into other environments, enabling the consumer to enjoy 3D experiences anytime and anywhere.

Philip Lelyveld covers 3D visual perception concepts and content production technology, the current state of the market for theatrical and home 3D experiences, and projections concerning the future of the consumer 3D experience.

As digital capture increasingly offsets film-based feature and television production, the industry must grapple with ways to archive assets for posterity and future revenue possibilities.  The problem stretches beyond entertainment and envelops other critical facets of our lives, such as medicine and world events.  Consumers are becoming aware of how the problem affects their own digital collections of personal images and recordings.  How do we protect these treasures from obscurity?  Patrick Murphy discusses the historical development, benefits and consequences of digital capture and storage.

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