CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS
It is impossible to predict what will make a motion picture successful; however, there are three factors that contribute significantly to the success of a motion picture – target audience, production cost and distribution.
5 Pictures Entertainment will work with investors to ensure the target audience matches their expectations and needs. The obvious target audience for our first film "Against the Wind" would include not only marathon runners, but casual runners as well. According to the Running USA’s State of the Sport study dated July 14, 2009, there are approximately 41.1 million total runners and 7.7 million to 14.9 million 'Frequent' runners in the United States with ‘Frequent’ being defined as runners who run at least 110 days per year.
The production cost of an average Hollywood film produced by a major studio continues to rise and now stands at over $60M according to industry estimates. Each of the major studios has established specialty units to try and produce pictures at lower budgets. According to the MPAA, the average production costs for these subsidiaries and affiliated studios (companies such as Sony Pictures Classics, Fox Searchlight, New Line, Miramax, and Warner Independent Pictures) are still an incredible $23.5 million dollars. As a result, Hollywood has a strong incentive to work with independent producers who can deliver quality motion pictures that have wide audience appeal.
5 Pictures Entertainment plans to create financially successful films for a fraction of the average studio cost. 5 Pictures Entertainment plans to achieve this goal by:
- Reducing overhead - The average studio picture is burdened with significant overhead charges that have little to do with the production of the film such as office space, administrative personnel, and physical plant. As 5 Pictures Entertainment is not hindered with studio costs the production team will keep overhead to an absolute minimum and will devote its resources to delivering a quality film to the screen.
- Adhering to a realistic budget - The team will create viable budgets that takes into account all aspects of production and post-production. While the budgets are only an estimate and subject to change, the filmmakers have relied on their own experiences and consulted with other knowledgeable and experienced industry professionals to arrive at realistic cost projections. The budgets will take into account up-to-date union and non-union pay scales, along with current standard costs to cover sets, locations and equipment rentals. Expertise in managing the costs of physical production is one of 5 Pictures Entertainments' key assets.
- Keeping to a realistic production schedule - It is vitally important to create a realistic schedule that is neither too long as to be excessively expensive nor too short as to be unrealistic. Schedules being developed by 5 Pictures Entertainment will take into account optimum scheduling of actors (day-out-of-days) as well as efficient use of stages and locations.
- Utilizing extensive pre-production planning - While production companies find it difficult to plan for every contingency, 5 Pictures Entertainment will take a very thorough planning approach during pre-production. The filmmakers will develop a plan to ensure a smooth operation during principal photography. Proper planning includes finalizing scripts, preparing shot lists, and creating storyboards in order to visualize all of the important shots and sequences as well as timely and accurate communications with key personnel.
- Maintaining strict financial and accounting controls - A key reason for budget overruns on films is the lack of financial controls. 5 Pictures Entertainment will hire industry-specific entertainment accountants employing GAAP and industry standard accounting practices.
- Leveraging product placement - 5 Pictures Entertainment plans to proactively seek product placement in order to take advantage of the industry practice of using donated props, settings, food and vehicles by corporate partners in return for the promotion of these items in the film.
"Simply spending money neither ensures success nor quality"
The principals of 5 Pictures Entertainment wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment. The challenges presented by a low budget feature film, coupled with the freedom of the independent producer, frequently inspire and enable creative alternatives, both in terms of story and story-telling.