Increased film activity in Greater New Orleans means potential business opportunities for local companies. When a production (film, commercial, or other type video shoot) comes to town they need all kinds of goods and services. Everything from security services, office supplies to port-o-potties are needed to complete a film project.
Productions want to buy locally and are encouraged to do so through our state’s film production tax incentives, but you must educate yourself on the culture and nature of the film industry so that you can market your business appropriately and serve the industry effectively!
Step 1: Understand the Industry.
Time is Money.
- The production has the huge task of preparing, shooting and wrapping an entire film in a very short amount of time.
- Filmmaking is a 24-7 job. If you want to do business with the industry you must be ready and willing to be flexible to meet their needs.
- In marketing your business to the film industry, your efforts should be clear and concise. (Forget the bells and whistles!)
- Answer your phone! Films are on a tight schedule. If they call and you don’t answer – they won’t call again. If they call with a rush order and you deliver on time they will remember you and use your business again.
- Productions love to save money! Even though films may have millions of dollars in their total budget they have tremendous expenses as well. Your marketing pitch will stand out if you bid competitively, provide coupons/discounts for first-time customers, or throw in lagniappe to sweeten the deal. Landing that first film industry client is priceless so go the extra mile to show them how badly you want their business.
Do your homework.
The more you know in general about the industry the more prepared you will be to do business with them. Through your research, you will begin to identify what departments on the film might need your good or service.
- Research the different aspects of the film industry to determine what departments within the production will need your goods and services. Click crew positions to learn more about the different departments and what role they play in the production process. This information will help you understand what types of goods and services are needed and to which department you should direct your communications.
- Do you know someone who works in the film industry? Use your network: family, friends, and colleagues to find a film worker to speak to about the industry. The film industry is highly reliant on networking and reputation. Not only will you learn more about the industry and how to service it, you might be able to secure a recommendation from your contact.
Step 2: Marketing
Begin by listing your business with local film production databases.
Listing your business is only half the battle. Directly marketing your company to productions is the most effective way to successfully do business with the industry.
The office suggests that those looking to directly market themselves to the film industry create a one page advertising flyer to distribute directly to the productions. This flyer should:
- Be simple. Keep your one-page flyer simple! Do not make a flashy flyer – No pictures. A simple logo may be included but you will be emailing and faxing this document so elaborate designs will only cloud your message.
- Identify who you are and the services you provide.
- Contain relevant and up-to-date contact information that will connect the production directly to you or other management level employee who can make decisions.
A great example of what your flyer should look like: Crescent City Cupcakes’ Example Flyer
Step 3: Connect
Once you have created your flyer you’ll need to identify active projects with which to share your information. Click here for contact emails of current and upcoming productions.
Final words of advice:
- The more you know about the film industry the more likely you are to do business with them. You need to understand where your business fits into the production process so that you can target your marketing to that department.
- Make sure your message – on your flyer, on the phone – is short, clear, and concise. Remember, film workers are very busy – so be prepared!
- Bid competitively! Offer discounts or extra services. These gestures WILL pay off.
- Be persistent! Breaking into film industry business is not easy but can be very profitable. Make marketing to film projects part of your weekly routine.