With more and more digital outlets for film and television content available in our modern world, the production industry is seeing a surge in new facilities opening in states that offer incentivized tax credits for film production ventures. Opening a production studio sounds like a great money-making idea in a hot market, but a lot of prospective owners don’t have the first idea about providing the features and amenities that keep projects coming back. At Exchange, we’ve had the privilege of seeing the operations of many production facilities both good and bad – let’s examine some key points that will make a facility look, feel, and run like a first class establishment.
Not All Warehouses Are Created Equal
Just because you have a large warehouse space with room to shoot does not mean you have a living, breathing studio – we’ve seen this over and over again in the production facility world. As a prospective studio owner or operator, you must invest in proper soundproofing, rigging, overhead & floor lighting, and heating & cooling units to give producers the ability to support every project with the right equipment. Getting your environment ready to shoot is no easy task, but before you accept any projects it is imperative to lay proper foundations that make the takes go by smoothly.
Since you will also have people in your facility working for the duration of their project, you also have to provide certain tools and creature comforts in your space that directly accommodate the crew. In our digital age, reliable phone, internet, and wi-fi installations are an absolute necessity in the facility – these tools will help foster productivity and collaboration, keeping everyone involved firmly in the loop. Communications infrastructure and the internet have become the lifeblood of productions both big and small; if you are able to provide these effective tools you’ll immediately have a leg up on your competition.
Other creature comforts like clean dressing rooms, restrooms, kitchens, snacks, energy drinks, water, good coffee and tea are the icing on the cake that make the client feel comfortable, which earns you repeat business and referrals in the long run. Having these features operational from day 1 of a production will position you and your facility as an experienced, trusted advisor that has all the angles covered.
Hire Talented People
Right now there’s a host of young editors, cameramen, stylists, production assistants, audio engineers, and grips that are looking for experience – so much so that some are willing to take unpaid gigs to add credits to their reel. Mix these younger team members with seasoned production gurus in your facility so both parties can share experiences, create workflows, and learn & collaborate on the best practices. Go interface with university film programs nearby and put roots into the local community to find and hire the most talented, passionate internal staff you can find – these people will act as the glue that holds your studio together.
Externally, you also need the very best in ancillary services that will help projects run smoothly and keep clients coming back to your facility. Contracting out to service professionals in support realms will take your studio to the next level in your customer’s eyes. Proactively taking care of things that support productions like office space, food and beverages, and communications installations including phone, internet, and data network security keep clients focused on their project by keeping their productivity, motivation and morale high.
People-People Make The World Go ‘Round
In an industry full of long hours, early mornings, late nights and consecutive days on set, it’s safe to say production people operate under high levels of stress and pressure. Your local staff has to remain level-headed, fielding any comments or concerns while calmly communicating with the production team to ensure their needs are met. Being a “people-person” means you have to be good at your actual job, but also good at how you go about doing your job. It is imperative to have local professionals in your studio that both facilitate good energy and bring synergistic solutions to the projects that use your space.
In conclusion, production facilities and studios are multifaceted investments that need a special type of owner/operator that is one part industry professional, one part relationship manager, and one part customer-service minded business man or woman. While they are complex endeavors, production studios run smoothly when the proper technical and service-level standards are upheld, meaning potential clients can come in, feel comfortable and complete their projects efficiently. Providing features, amenities and the right human capital that make productions a breeze guarantees your facility will stand out from the rest.
Exchange is an IT service provider for the film and television production industry boasting over 20 years of experience driving success through innovation. Whether you’re in the office, on location, on set or anywhere in between, Exchange keeps you productive and connected with cutting edge internet, network, wifi, phone, voice and video services. There’s no project too big or too small – give Exchange a call today and consider it done.