Chapter 3: Film production and finance

Film Production and Finance

◉ “Chapter 3 offers an account of the main production models around the world. Film production since the 1980s is distinguished from earlier periods by a slow fading of the national-industry model and an emergence of various models of local, regional, and transnational collaborations. Based on our proposition of the five cinematic centers, we provide five different paradigms of production, exploring emerging transnational, global, and regional production patterns” (Deshpande and Mazaj 12).

◉ “Unevenness is the availability of capital and resources around the world results in radical differences in filmmaking environments and production practices. If a major Hollywood film today requires an average budget of $140 million, an average European production costs about €6 million, while an average Nigerian video-film is produced for $40,000–figures that are hardly comparable ” (75).

Five Different Paradigms of Production Patterns 

Hollywood

◉ Hollywood’s intervention in film production outside of the US is rendered effective by its capital resources and its attractive market that assures exposure and financial returns

◉ Hollywood’s financial muscle is on clear display with blockbusters crowding up multiplexes in far corners of the globe, but its interests in financing filmmakers in other countries only to appropriate their work suggests domination by other means

◉ Hollywood exerts enormous influence over the production and circulation of films from different parts of the globe

➞ Wong Kar-wai’s Yi dai zong shi/The Grandmaster (2013) was distributed by the Weinstein Company. Harvey Weinstein, serial rapist and former head of the Weinstein Company, compelled the director to re-edit the film and produce a more linear narrative with expository title cards to suit the tastes of American audiences 

European Union

◉The EU provides a unique transnational state structure along with private capital

◉ The filmmaking process is supported by two sources of funding: private (banks, sales of distribution rights, broadcaster’s funding, co-production finance, and other investments) and public (government grants, loans, lines of credit, tax concessions, material support in terms of transportation, locations, logistics, incentives-awards for productions that promote national culture

◉ Funding from public organizations such as Eurimages allocates its co-production funds on the basis of films’ “European character”

➞ For Eastern European countries, this inequity among European member states in political and economic terms weighs heavily on the conditions of co-production, enforcing “Europudding” cross-cultural content 

Asia

◉ Offers a different and unique configuration, where strong national industries–China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Korea–serve as agencies toward an informal transnational production structure.

◉ Here, regional identity and an environment of co-production is not based on a formal state structure (as in the case of the EU) but is rather spurred by both globalization as well as the long history of regional relationships and collaboration between Asian countries

◉ The post-Tiananmen Square period marks a re-orienting of the Chinese economic system towards liberalized capital flows

➞ Capital flows have been liberalized and investors from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong have supported productions to boost regional collaboration 

India

◉ Despite the importance of the local industry, India lacks a national support scheme, and private capital runs most of the industry, with its paths difficult to track 

◉ The Indian model of production is transitioning from an informal economy of private money to formal industry structures that aim to resemble similar ones elsewhere.

◉ The small but significant support of the state, even after the economic liberalization of the 1990s, remains important for the country, which boasts the transnational powerhouse of Bollywood.

➞ Legitimization of the industry is partially controlled by the middle classes and the elite 

Nollywood

◉ Nigeria’s powerful video-film industry that continues its prolific production and has become a major force in the region’s economy and cultural influence.

◉ Produced in video in multiple languages–Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, Bini, and English–phenomenally popular Nigerian films are made in different urban centers of the country, led by sprawling Lagos, which produces more than fifty video-films per week

◉ Unique in its distribution model and entirely bypassing theatrical distribution, Nollywood’s video-films are seen mostly in households across the continent, and in diaspora communities

Other models of production

Co-production funds

◉ Nordisk Film and TV Fund promotes films of Norse nations (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden)

◉ Latin American countries have increasingly adopted regional collaboration models 

Film festivals’ production funds 

◉ International film festival financing has assumed a greater role in the production of world cinema with specialized monetary funds 

Individual production of films 

◉ Digital platforms and the idea of crowdfunding, a process in which artists turn directly to audiences to fund their work 

 

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