Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Starting Your Own Production Company

Everyone in the film industry typically fantasizes about starting his or her own production company. The idea of building your own slate of movies is incredibly exciting and enticing. I was bitten by the bug as soon as I started working in film. I just knew from the first day I stepped into a production office that I too one day wanted my own company that made movies.

It's pretty easy to actually start the company. You can be a sole proprietor. Or you can come up with a name for your company and either create a Doing Business As (DBA) name or start a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or some sort of corporation. And voila! You have a production company.

Does starting your own production company mean you are a film producer? Not at all. It's the hands-on experience either in a school setting or working for others or by actually making shorts or features that prepare you to be a producer.

And will you start to magically make movies once you start your company, even with no experience? Sure, if you have the money. Will you make good movies? Probably not. The odds are stacked against you that, with little to no experience, you will be able to successfully develop, plan for, and complete a well crafted film. That's like saying you could President without any political experience. Not gonna happen.

Producing is a career that takes experience to execute. However, many are sucked in by the glamor of being able to say, I'm a producer, and by the relative ease of starting a company, finding scripts to develop, and running around "saying" he or she is a producer. Well, they're in for a shock. Producing is really hard work and takes a lot of stamina, guts, and a high threshold for pain.

So before you leap headlong into starting your own production company, ask yourself, do I have the experience to be a producer? If the answer is no then go get some and then start your company.

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