A SWOT or other regional analysis is the starting point in determining what film-related businesses would be the best fit for a community or region. The next step is the development of an opportunities assessment. Typically this involves a research-oriented approach to identifying – and quantifying – business opportunities and how to market them effectively. The same principles hold true for communities looking to attract new film projects and film-related businesses
Key elements of an opportunities assessment include:
1. Is this a fit for the region or community? While we tend to think that every community will welcome film production, this is not always the case. The added traffic, chaos, and intrusive nature of film is not always embraced by a community. Be certain of the “friendliness” of your community before attempting to attract business. Push back may come from simply not knowing what to expect or what the advantages are for the community. Educating your citizens may well be the first order of business.
2. What is the potential market? As discussed above, it is essential to realistically assess the key components of film production or post-production that exists in your community (Locations, Weather, Crew/Talent, VFX, Incentives, Easy Transport, Businesses and Services, Infrastructure). Once you have done this, you can then determine what type(s) of production is possible. You are best to stick with what you have currently, rather than projecting what you COULD have in the future. It’s important to start from where your community stands today and work up from there.
3. What successful community or region can you learn from? A successful film community that has many of the same attributes as yours can offer a blueprint for the development of your jurisdiction. By browsing through the list of AFCI members, you may find a community that you can learn from. Not only will this potentially give you pointers on the approach you take, but may indicate the level of attraction that might be possible for you. Remember: you can learn from others mistakes as well as from their successes.