Film Industry

How To Start A Production Company: Everything You Need To Know

Photograph of the blog post author, Jodie Francis

Jodie Francis

4.8.2021

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Have you ever found yourself wondering ‘how to start a film production company’? Then you have come to the right place! Consider this article to be your helpful guide on how to start your own production company. We have considered all of the most commonly asked questions surrounding the topic and have answered them all for you! 

For instance, when you should hire an accountant, the fact that you need a niche, when and why you should buy production insurance – and so much more! 

So, make sure that you keep reading to discover everything you need to know about how to start a film production company. 

What Is A Production Company?

film  production company

A production company creates video content, like television, film, and music videos. They can be very involved or not particularly involved, it will depend on various factors and the deal that is struck.

The production company will typically create two different types of projects. 

The first is the content that’s produced within their own creative team. The second is content the production company has been hired to create.

This would mean that they would be provided with a brief and wouldn’t have any involvement in the creative development process. 

Rather the production company would be responsible for physically creating their vision. Ensure you keep reading to discover how to start a film production company. 

How To Start A Production Company

Now it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for – our step-by-step guide outlining how to start up a production company. 

Beginning your own production company will require dedication, hard work, and a lot of pre-planning

However, it can be extremely rewarding! Also, when you break down all of the different steps, everything appears a lot more simple and less intimidating!

Market Research 

business meeting

The first steps you need to take are market research. Consider what people are looking for, what their needs are, and what will attract them to your production company. Of course, you can’t please everyone – and you want to stand out.

You could talk to potential clients and make helpful notes so that you can refer back to what they say at a later date.

You could also network with other companies, or simply research them online and see what kind of services they are offering so that you can get an idea of what else is out there. 

Find Your Niche 

film production company

Next up you need to determine the niche for your company. This will mean considering the type of content you wish to create, and what will be your specialism. This is important as it will give you a unique selling point. 

For example, you could specialise in independent drama movies, or low-budget horror films. Really narrow down what you would like your company to focus on. 

Name Your Company 

film camera

This leads on directly from the points above. Choose a name for your company that will speak to people, stand out, and is unique enough to demonstrate the brand identity that you wish to convey.

It’s definitely worth spending a significant amount of time on choosing the name. 

Of course, you will then need to apply to get the name trademarked, provided that it hasn’t already been taken by another company. 

Make A Business Plan 

business plan

How to start a production business is no easy task, so you’re going to need a plan. Drafting out a business plan is the next logical step in how to start a production company.

This is where things start to get serious, as a solid plan is the foundation for any company. 

It’s important that you don’t try to reach a too high-level right from the beginning, consider making a plan that will let you build up your company in a gradual manner.

This is a good point to consider how much to start a film production company. As you will need to plan out your start-up costs, from taxes, down to the cost of renting office space, as well as wages to pay employees. 

You need to draft a mission statement that will explain the goals for your company and the ways in which you plan to make a profit.

Consider where you want your company to be following its first year in operation. 

Hire An Attorney

lawyer

This is an important step in creating your own production company, and one that can be overlooked.

Take some time to research for a well-respected entertainment lawyer or a small business specialist lawyer, with a focus on production services. 

They will work closely with you throughout the process of setting up your production company and beyond. Their legal advice will be of vital importance, particularly when it comes to reviewing any legal document that you need.

Lawyers remain important when you begin to hire people to work for you, as they will also look over these contracts to ensure that nothing is missing. 

Decide What Type Of Company You Want To Become 

business meeting

By this we mean you need to make decisions based on tax and structure. For example, you could choose to become a limited liability company (LLC), a sole proprietorship, a C-Corp, or an S-Corp. 

An LLC is a great option as it can provide a start-up production company with legal flexibility. However, a sole proprietorship can be one of the easiest to establish.

Do your research (and get some legal advice) to help you decide what will be best for your company.

Focus On Funding 

funding

When considering ‘what do you need to start a production company’, funding definitely plays a big part in it. As with any company, you will need sufficient funds to begin.

Of course, you could provide this money yourself if you possess the means. 

However, it’s unlikely that you will, therefore you will need to consider other options. This could be through crowdfunding, receiving a business loan, or by reaching out to investors

Remember to never borrow more than you need, as this can result in your business being in trouble later on if you can’t pay it back.

Sort Your Paperwork 

paperwork

Keeping organised and on top of all your paperwork is always going to be a good idea.

Being in charge of a company can be stressful, and you need to ensure that you have set up a variety of things.

For example, a business bank account, taxes, an employer identification number, and more.

Figuring out a filing system for all these important pieces of paperwork will prevent you from having problems in the future. 

Find Your Production Accountant 

accountant

Now is the time that you want to hire a production accountant for your company. It is highly complex to keep track of the payroll in the entertainment industry

Therefore, hiring someone who specialises in doing this is a great idea. 

A production accountant will keep track of your company accounts, and they have special training on how to keep track of a payroll that is constantly changing.  

Hire Your Team 

film production company

Next up it’s time to hire the rest of your team! This is one of the most important steps in creating your own film production company. After all, it will be the team of people who make or break your company. 

You need to ensure that you hire people who are well-qualified for the job, and who possess great communication skills. This is because your team will need to communicate ideas effectively. 

On your executive team you need four main roles. These will be a head of distribution who will market the content, a head of post-production who will organise the editing process, a head of production who will budget and track the whole process, and a head of development who is in charge of what scripts to produce. 

These will be permanent roles at your company, but you will also need to hire people for roles on different a project-by-project basis.

For example, actors, writers, and directors. You should also make sure that you budget for the payroll for these roles. 

Build Your Online Presence 

social media

Building your presence online is an important step in creating your production company, as potential clients need to be able to find you easily online. 

Begin with creating a website that outlines what you offer. It’s a good idea to hire a website developer to create this to ensure that it looks professional.

Also, make sure to include the various ways that clients can contact you. 

Also consider your social media presence, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as this is a great promotional tool for your company.

Make sure that your content is engaging and eye-catching on these platforms, so that people want to engage with it. 

Buy Production Insurance Cover 

insurance

This is a vital step in creating your production company, so make sure that you don’t overlook it! It means that you will be covered when it comes to accidents. 

During filming, accidents can occur due to stunts and just general injuries. Make sure that you find a good insurance protection policy to protect your company and your crew

Produce Samples 

film production company

It’s a good idea for a new company to produce some short content so that people can get a feel for what your company can offer them. It will also demonstrate the voice of your company and where it can be considered unique. 

You can advertise these shorts (in advertisement form) on your website or social media.

Or you could bring them to studios and investors to help convince them to invest in your project.

Look To The Future 

film production company

Now it’s time to look to your (hopefully bright) future! It’s important to keep an eye on the different trends and shifts, so that you ensure that your company keeps up! This can mean examining the changes in technology, for example.

Making sure that your company stays relevant is important and will help to secure your place as a successful production company in the future. 

Now You Know How To Start A Production Company

movie production

Now you know everything about how to start a production company! It requires a lot of hard work and planning (as starting any company would be), so you need to be prepared to put the time and effort in!

We hope that we have answered all of your questions concerning ‘how do I start a film production company’, as it can feel a lot less intimidating when it’s broken down into the individual steps that you need to take. 

Remember not to overlook things like getting insurance, hiring a production accountant, or keeping up with market research trends.

Additionally, it’s vital to discover and establish your niche as a production company, so that you stand out from the crowd. 

This also applies to naming your company, as this is what people will remember you by. Don’t be afraid to get creative and ask your team for ideas. Good luck on beginning your new production company!

Have you had any experience making a film company? We’d love to hear all about it in the comment section below! If you enjoyed this article, why not share it on your socials? Be sure to tag us in your post @musicgateway!

Would you like to learn more about the film industry? If so, then make sure that you check out our blog here at Music Gateway!

Here you can learn about How to Become a Movie Producer, How to Make a Short Film, Famous Movie Props, and plenty more informative articles for you to enjoy.

So, what are you waiting for? Head over there today and improve your filmmaking knowledge and skills!

Are You A Filmmaker?

Need financial backing to support your project? Our film investment can back projects of all sizes from independent short films to major releases covering all corners of the globe. If that wasn’t enough, promote your work, list your upcoming films and allow fans to pre-order or buy them with your very own Showcase site. Finally, with our concierge and service and extensive music library, allow us to help you find music for your film. Check out our Music Licensing service for starters!

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