1st Edition

Risk in the Film Business Known Unknowns

By Michael Franklin Copyright 2023
    314 Pages
    by Routledge

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    This book explores the complex, multifaceted and contested subject of risk in the film business. How risk is understood and managed has a substantial impact upon which films are financed, produced and seen.

    Founded on substantial original research accessing the highest level of industry practitioners, this book examines the intertwined activity of independents, large media companies including major studios, the international marketplace, and related audio-visual sectors such as high-end television. The book shows how risk is generally framed, or even intuited, rather than calculated, and that this process occurs across a sliding scale of formality. This work goes beyond broad creative industries characterisations of a "risky sector" and concentrations on Box Office return modelling, to provide a missing middle. This means a coherent analytic coverage of business organisation and project construction to address the complex practicalities that mobilise strategic operations in relation to risk, often in unseen business-to-business contexts. Informed by economic sociology’s concepts addressing market assemblage and valuation, alongside applications of science and technology studies to media and communications, the book respects both the powerful roles of social and institutional actors, and affordances of new technologies in dealing with the persistent known unknown – the audience.

    Examining a persistent business issue in a new way, this book analyses top level industry practice through established mechanisms, and innovations like data analytics. The result is a book that will be essential reading for scholars with an interest in the film business as well as risk management more broadly.

    Part A: Framing Risk  1. Introduction  2. A Question of Framing: Multiple and Imprecise Diagnoses of Risk Part B: Detailed Risk Responses  3. Understanding the Organisation of Risk Responses  4. Outward Looking Considerations  5. Layering of Project -Specific Infrastructure  6. Motivations, Rationalisation Processes, and Organisational Cultures  Part C: Risk Environments  7. Environmental Uncertainty: Future-Oriented and Macro Level Considerations  8. Responses and New Directions


    Michael Franklin is Lecturer in Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK.