Whether you are a new film commissioner who is just starting out in the industry or a seasoned professional, it is important that you take some time to assure you understand how your organization is structured and how it impacts the operation of your office.
In general, Film Commission offices fall into one of a few different structures. The most common ways to structure a film commission office are within a government agency, within a separate not-for-profit entity or in a combination of these two. The way a film commission office is structured will depend on how it was started, the preferences of the stakeholders and the rules within the jurisdiction. Regardless, all film commissions are sanctioned by and represent their jurisdiction’s governing body.
1. What is the mission of your film commission office?
In the broadest of terms, the main goals of a film commission office are generally the same: to attract film production to the jurisdiction and/or boost indigenous production in order to improve the economy of the area. There are, however, variations on this theme. In some countries, the impetus behind encouraging outside film companies to shoot in the jurisdiction is specifically to gain experience for their own citizens, training them as the filmmakers of the future – in order to tell their own stories, express their own cultural beliefs. In other countries, while positive economic impact to the region is encouraged, there is an inherent value attributed to filmmaking as culturally significant for the wellbeing of the jurisdiction.
2. When was it last reviewed?
3. How does it guide your work?
Sample Mission Statement: To promote our region for film, television and digital media production to the industry-at-large for the purpose of local job creation, increased tourism, business creation and expansion, and general economic growth.
Sample Mission Statement: to help local and international producers get their projects made successfully; to increase the number of film, TV, commercial, and corporate video productions that are shot and produced in our area; and to develop a diverse, established talent pool that local, regional and international filmmakers can depend on.
Sample Mission Statement: to position our region as a globally competitive film destination thereby creating sustainable jobs, business opportunities, boosting tourism, and developing core skills related to the film and ancillary industries as well as to provide superior, specialized services, encouraging international production activity and stimulating the growth of domestic production opportunities.
Each of these samples is somehow different and from these statements, one can see the type of programs that can be expected of that commission ie. Workforce training, working with tourism, offering financial incentives, marketing locally and globally. How each office goes about fulfilling these goals can also differ. Let’s start by examining how an office might operate in a government structure.