The Business of Film: A Practical Introduction (Paperback) book cover

The Business of Film

A Practical Introduction

By Paula Landry, Stephen Greenwald

© 2019 – Focal Press

356 pages | 40 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138571419
pub: 2018-07-06
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Hardback: 9781138571402
pub: 2018-07-06
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The updated second edition of this text introduces readers to the business of film at every stage of the filmmaking lifecycle, from planning and production to distribution. Authors Paula Landry and Stephen R. Greenwald offer a practical, hands-on guide to the business aspects of this evolving industry, exploring development, financing, regional/global/online distribution, business models, exhibition, multi-platform delivery, marketing, film festivals, production incentives, VR/AR, accounting, and more. The book is illustrated throughout with sample financing scenarios, charts/graphics, and includes detailed case studies from projects of different budgets and markets.

This new and expanded edition has further been updated to reflect the contemporary media landscape, including analysis on major new players and platforms like Netflix, Amazon, Google and Vimeo, shifting trends due to convergence and disruption from new technology, as well as the rise of independent distribution and emergent mobile and online formats. A companion website also includes downloadable forms and templates, PowerPoint slides, quizzes and test banks, and other additional resources.

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors

List of Figures/Tables


Chapter 1: A Brief History of the Film Industry

Movie Industry Themes

A Brief Business History Of Film

Convergence And Disruption

Fast Forward To Present Day

Chapter 2: A Business Overview of Film

Key Characteristics Of The Industry

Structure Of The Industry

New Media Players And Their Impact

Chapter 3: Movie Development

Where Films Come From


Studio Versus Indie

DIY Filmmaking

Chapter 4: Financing

Corporate Financing

Picture Financing

Crowdfunding, Production Incentives, Soft Money

The Future

Chapter 5: Production




Impact Of Mobile, VR/AR And IMAX

Chapter 6: Distribution

Distribution Details

The Distribution Agreement

Changes In Distribution: OTT, Convergence, Disruptors

Impact Of The Internet And Mobile Technology

Direct And Hybrid Models

Global Influences On Distribution

Chapter 7: Movie Marketing

Marketing: Creating Awareness For A Film

Social Media

Trends In Promotion And Marketing

Film Festivals And Markets

Chapter 8: Film Exhibition, Retail & Consumption

Exploitation: Creating Availability Of A Film


Rethinking The Theatrical Experience

New Business Models

From Video/DVD To VOD/PPV

Online And Mobile Platforms

Cable/Free-TV/Cutting The Cord

Impact Of Global Markets

Ancillary Rights

Chapter 9: Accounting

GAAP Versus Contractual Accounting

GAAP—Corporate Accounting

Chapter 10: Case Studies

How To Make $250 Million And Lose It, In A Year: The Story Of The Film Business

– By Stephen Greenwald

Cell Phone Feature Film: Tangerine

Comic Book Movies Take Over The World: Wonder Woman

Relying On Genre: 2017 Horror Movie, Stephen King’s It

Netflix In Movie Theaters: Okja

Contrasting Film Industries: Europe And Hollywood

– By Michael Kalb

The Nature Of Copyright: European Author’s Rights Versus American Copyright

– By Michael Kalb


A. Option and Literary Purchase Agreement

B. Release For Submission Of Materials To Studio Or Production Company

C. Writer Theatrical Short-Form Agreement – Work For Hire

D. Life Story Rights Agreement

E. Directing Agreement

F. Actor Services Agreement

G. Product Placement Release

H. Script Readers Coverage Report Content and Format

I. Acceptable Genre Classifications

J. Film Festivals

K. Online Film Distribution Platforms

L. Popular Movie Industry Trade Magazines / Sites


About the Authors

Paula Landry is a writer/producer, film business and media consultant, interested in disruptive business models. Landry crafts feature films and episodic content, business plans, budgets and schedules, as well as branded content for Fortune 500 companies and non-profits. Landry is president of IdeaBlizzard Productions and is also the author of Scheduling and Budgeting Your Film: A Panic-Free Guide, now in its second edition. An active member of NYWIFT, Landry conducts media seminars worldwide, coaching creative entrepreneurs and teaching MBA students in various colleges in New York City.

Stephen R. Greenwald has served as an executive, financier, consultant, and lawyer within the motion-picture industry. He is currently the managing partner of G&H Media LLC, Chief Operating Officer of Grey Eagle Films LLC and Director of Media Studies at Wagner College in New York. Stephen has worked widely in the movie business, and from 1999 to 2007 was president of the Metropolitan College of New York, where he launched an innovative graduate business program in media management, the first of its kind in the country.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / Film & Video
PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / Direction & Production