2019.11.23 Data-Led Indie Film Strategies - Raindance


Data-Led Indie Film Strategies


A one-day course from leading film industry analyst Stephen Follows

When: Saturday 23 November, 10:00 – 17:00
Where: Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA
Price: £195



About this Event


  • Discover what you can do to make your film a success.
  • Impress investors with evidence of indie film profitability.
  • Super-charge your business plan with data-driven insights.
  • Learn the hidden patterns behind what makes independent films sell.

Getting an independent film funded, made and distributed takes a huge amount of hard work, passion, tenaciousness and grit. Added to this, you need to know what sells and what fails.

Each film is creatively unique and so we can be lulled into a false sense of security that it’s all down to chance. ‘Nobody knows anything’, right? While it’s true that there’s no guaranteed model for consistent success, there are patterns behind what works. Sometimes, pretty strong ones.

When we zoom out and look at the whole marketplace, we start to see what sells, to whom and why.

If you ignore these patterns, you make your job infinitely harder and you may even find it’s impossible for your film to succeed. However, once you know how the film business really operates you can arm yourself to make the best possible product.

Stop guessing and learn what actually works.


What To Expect:

For each and every major genre of independent film, you will:

  • Understand the overall likelihood of making a profit.
  • Get clear on what audiences want from these films.
  • Learn the elements needed to improve your odds of success.
  • Get advice on where to spend your already-stretched budget to maximize audience appeal.
  • Understand the different types of risks involved.
  • Learn the biggest breakout films to use as best practice and case studies.
  • Know the key points needed to attract investment.

Attendees will also receive a digital pack containing:

  • The slides shown in the course.
  • Data on top performing elements of independent films.
  • Graphs and insights which can be used in a business plan.

This course contains data, insights and patterns gleaned from past independent films and should not be the sole basis of any legal, financial or accounting actions. Always take professional advice from an accredited professional, such as a lawyer or accountant, before committing to any plans.

This course is focusing on fiction feature films, which means not much coverage of documentaries or animations.


About Stephen:

Stephen is an established data researcher in the film industry whose work has been featured in The New York Times, The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Mirror, The Evening Standard, Newsweek, The New Statesman, The A.V. Club, Screen International and Indiewire.

He acted as an industry consultant and guest on the BBC Radio 4 series The Business of Film, which topped the iTunes podcast chart and he has consulted for a wide variety of clients, including the American Film Market and the Smithsonian in Washington. He has been commissioned to write reports for key film industry bodies and his most recent study, looking at gender inequity in the UK film industry, was launched on the BBC Radio 4 Today program.

Stephen has taught at major film schools, normal business schools and minor primary schools. His lessons range from established topics such as Producing at MA and BA level, online video and the business of film producing to more adventurous topics such as measuring the unmeasurable, advanced creative thinking and the psychology of film producing. He has taught at the National Film and Television School (NFTS), The Met Film School, Filmbase, NYU and on behalf of the BFI, the BBC and the British Council.


Testimonials from New York version of this course (October 2019):

“Two years worth of graduate school film marketing and film finance classes in one afternoon” Jon Crystal

“If you want to be a successful filmmaker you should learn from Stephen Follows. His guidance is data-driven (from credible sources) and his insightful analysis is clear. Very few people on the planet who know more about the business of movies than Stephen Follows” Daniel Lawrence Abrams

“Stephen is able to present massive amounts of film industry data in an extremely clear and succinct way that all filmmakers can find real value in.” Paul Bland

“This course opened my eyes to profitability across different genres. While it’s impossible to predict which genres will break out, Stephen’s data is invaluable when it comes to producing and funding an independent film” Thomas Verdi, Founder and Executive Producer at thefilmfund.co

“An amazing course. If you’re not using statistical analysis as a tool for your productions, this course will make you reconsider.” Gregory Martin

“Fantastic! Packed with valuable data broken down into easy to understand graphs and explanations. Stephen Follows walks you through it all with thoughtful and engaging analysis.” Deboleena Maitra

“Stephen is a wonderful teacher and a source of more data-backed information on film profitability than anyone else!” Ike

“The Data-Led Indie Film Strategies course from Stephen Follows is both comprehensive and eye opening. If a prospective producer is seeking in a cold, hard look at the data underlying the modern-day film production and distribution with a focus on theatrical exhibition, this is the course for him or her. I cannot recommend the seminar too highly!” Green Miller


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