As an economic generator, the film industry is like any other sector in that it is connected to a chain of suppliers that feed the industry. Anna Nagurney, in her book Supply Chain Networks, defined supply chains, logistics networks and supply networks as:
“a coordinated system of organizations, people, activities, information, and resources involved in moving a product or service in a physical or virtual manner from supplier to customer. Supply chain activities (a.k.a. value chains or life cycle processes) transform raw materials and components into a finished product that is delivered to the end customer. Supply chains link value chains. The arrival of new production into a community should result in the evolution of services to provide inputs into that particular sector.”
In traditional economic development terms, this is fairly easy to understand as one can envision a manufacturer of trucks pulling in supplies from all over a region using the skills and inputs available to create a finished product. In many regions around the world, film production is categorized as “manufacturing.”
When television and film production begin utilizing an area, a range of goods and services are required to ensure that the industry can thrive. The industries that are created to serve the film business remain in the community long after productions leave and continue to contribute to the economy.
The film industry, being labor intensive, must also have access to trained personnel. There is a great demand for training programs in media studies of all kinds, and colleges, universities and technical schools worldwide are establishing new programs or expanding existing ones. For example, emerging film centers such as Vancouver, British Columbia on Canada’s west coast have well-established film schools that serve the growing industry. The Vancouver Film School serves as a great example.
The school has become the largest private post-secondary entertainment arts institution in Canada, graduating well over a thousand aspiring artists annually with expenditure in excess of $20 million a year. The school, founded in 1987, offers a proven education for everything seen, heard and experienced in the entertainment industry. As a results-focused school, VFS teaches the arts through doing, with programs in Foundation Visual Art & Design, 3D Animation & Visual Effects, Acting for Film & Television, Classical Animation, Digital Character Animation, Digital Design, Entertainment Business Management, Film Production, Game Design, Makeup Design for Film & Television, Sound Design for Visual Media, and Writing for Film, TV & Interactive Media.