The production value of your film can have an influence on profits. And the thing is, nobody can actually tell what films will be successful with 100% accuracy. Even the major studios release big-budget movies that fail miserably. And these movies are created by experienced motion picture executives, complete with a staff that does tons of audience research…
William Goldman said It best with his quote, “nobody knows anything.” And if anyone tells you they can assure you the film will make a profit, they are wrong. So when it comes to making a film, it’s important to mitigate the risks as much as possible. One way to do this is to make sure your production value is way higher than the budget.
Production Value Influences Profits
When I say production value, I’m first talking about the cast. Having a name cast or at least a semi-name cast can make your film much more sellable. In the foreign sales world, the first question motion picture buyers ask is, “who’s in your film?” This question comes before anything else. So imagine if you can deliver an A-list name for your film?
If you were able to attract a name cast for a low price (while it’s always a risk) you’re on a much better path to making a profit from films. It’s like you’re stacking the deck in your favor before the movie even starts. Let’s say you have a $2 million drama. Put an A or B-list star in the film, work on increasing the overall production value (sets, FX, camera, look, etc), and you could have a film that looks like your budget was $10 million.
Let’s look at this another way. Pretend you’re making a $750,000 movie with a TV star. This sort of scenario could be a little risky. But if you make a $100,000 movie with that same TV star, now you’re risking less money. The trick is making your $100,000 budget look like a $750,000 budget or at least close. And while this is easier said than done, a little creativity can go a long way towards making a profit from films. If you’d like more info on this, check out my training on how to hire actors for a movie.