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What Is the Film Industry?

By Jacob Queen
Updated May 23, 2024
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The film industry is involved in the creation and distribution of films as a product. This industry is a worldwide phenomenon, but some countries have a greater role in production than others. This industry generally employs a wide number of people directly through production and distribution process, and it also employs a large number of people indirectly because of the money spent to produce films. In most cases, the film industry is focused on films as a medium for entertainment, but in some situations, it may use film for educational purposes as well.

From an artistic standpoint, the most powerful people in the film industry are generally the directors and the screenwriters. These people aren’t seen on-screen by the public, so they aren’t always well-known, but they have more to do with the visual techniques used and the story of a film than anybody else. Despite the enormous power these people wield when behind the scenes, they often have very little power over their creations from a business standpoint.

The people in charge of the film industry in the area of finance and marketing are generally the film producers. These are the people that arrange for money to create the film and oversee the hiring of talent to create the product. Different producers have different levels of power in the industry. Some simply aid in financing and may have very little to do with the actual creation of a film, while others take a much more significant role in the process. Sometimes films have several different producers, although usually only one or two will actually have any real involvement.

The film industry employs a wide range of people who are never seen by the audience. In many cases, these people don’t actually make very much money. For example, any movie set will probably have certain people employed to clean up or bring food to the cast and crew. These people are also a big part of the industry, and they actually outnumber the higher paid people, such as actors and directors, by a significant margin.

There are certain places such as Hollywood California and Hong Kong that tend to become centers for the film industry. As a result, many countries produce significantly more movies than others. These countries will then distribute their products to the rest of the world, translating the languages and doing whatever else is necessary to help them sell.

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Discussion Comments
By David09 — On Jan 02, 2012

@miriam98 - Well producers oversee hiring of talent. Sometimes there are a lot of people that you need to hire and that’s why you need so many.

That’s what I think. But I agree, sometimes it appears there are a whole bunch of them in one movie.

By miriam98 — On Jan 01, 2012

@everetra - While I understand that there are a lot of film industry jobs, sometimes it appears there are too many chiefs if you know what I mean.

Take the producer for example. Okay, I know what they do, but why do some movies have so many of them? I mean sometimes it’s laughable. I’ll be reading the credits and they seem to go on and on…producer, executive producer, assistant producers, producers, etc.

Why do they need so many producers? In the back of my mind I keep thinking the studio is flush with cash so they begin doling out these titles just to make a few important people happy.

By everetra — On Dec 31, 2011

@Mammmood - That’s a great story. I’ve done some studying up on the film industry myself and it is a challenging business. You hear tales of wanna-be actors waiting tables while they wait for their big break. So it’s cool that your daughter got such a chance.

I think the biggest challenge is for the screenwriters however. While I do agree that they hold enormous power, I’ve also heard that once a writer produces a script, he no longer owns it anymore.

The director and other writers can pretty much rewrite it. They have total creative license. As long as the writer gets paid they shouldn’t care anymore but some do.

There is a business side to film, and that part is pretty much out of your hands. If the director thinks the script needs a major revision to make it more marketable he will do it. That’s tough, I think, for the writer to give up that creative control.

By Mammmood — On Dec 30, 2011

I have a personal story to tell of how I got involved in the Hollywood film industry. Actually, it was my daughter who got involved.

A local production studio was shooting an independent film, for which they brought in some Hollywood talent. Some of these were actors and directors and producers. They also needed some local talent as well.

Specifically they were looking for someone to play a lead child role in the film, someone with an Asian look.

Well, my daughter is half Asian. We got a call out of the blue. A friend of the company knew us and asked us if we would like to audition her. We said sure, but I honestly didn’t expect anything from it.

Long story short, she auditioned and got the part. Within two years the film was out on DVD and they also played it in cable channels. That type of break doesn’t happen often, but it’s nice when it does!

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