When developing film industry opportunities for related businesses, it is important that regions have taken the time to examine where their strengths lie and know how they are going to build on those strengths. The first step is to build strong community and local support. We talk about building these partnerships in the AFCI Management Master’s classes.

With strong community support and political commitment in place, a region should consider the strategic elements of the film business specific to them and exploit these elements. For example, one region with an underutilized airport saw the opportunity to attract films based on the availability of a strong local base of skilled flyers to do air stunts. The region’s film commission brought the flyers together as a group and helped to develop the business opportunity.

At the same time, there are communities that need to develop more infrastructures for filming and conduct assessments to determine what is missing from the business base in their communities. Guiding businesses is a role that both film commissioners and economic developers should perform, particularly when it impacts the strategic development of future business.

Business opportunity assessments are often mirrored in the economic development world through business attraction strategies. While there are subtle differences, most assessments should recognize the strengths and weaknesses in a region utilizing a traditional SWOT analysis or other analysis tools.