The next challenge is to ensure that you have the tools to both market and communicate what you have to offer filmmakers. In the world of economic development, there are a number of standard tools used to attract investment into a community. Working in collaboration with your economic development office you can use these tools to attract film activity. These include:
• Business Directory – also known as a Production Guide or Production Directory – which lists local crew, talent, film-specific (grip, lighting, camera, specialized transport, expendables) and non-film specific companies (hotels, lumber yards, car rental companies). A Production Guide is a vital tool for attracting the film industry.
• Labor Force Assessment – identifies the skill sets in your community and how deep is the labor force in terms of numbers and quality. How well trained is your workforce and are there resources or a plan for increasing their skill sets – either on-the-job training or educational training?
• Major Project Inventory – highlights your recent accomplishments in attracting film productions and film-related businesses.
• Availability of Business Resources – The ability to meet with elected officials, business and community organizations is Essential to your success. The availability of educational programs, innovative funding sources and the ability to provide a range of services should never be underestimated for successful attraction to take place.
• Marketing Materials – There is a need to illustrate to the competitive world the amenities that your community has and the attraction it holds for prospective filmmakers. The effective use of websites, videos, marketing brochures and strategic campaigns are key to successful business attraction and investment.
Much more could be said about the points above; this is meant as an overview of what is required. The last component – marketing – is considered by many to be the most important part of the attraction challenge.