The Independent Journey in the Movie-making Process: An empirical study of the key success factors leading to projects completion

Valentina Biancofiore & Bianca Ramponi

Student thesis: Master thesis


Managing a movie production requires the ability to generate proper strategies and business models, which respect the typical features of creative products. The aim of this thesis is to understand how independent productions deal with the typical uncertainty of the market, succeeding in the movie-making process in condition of scarcity of resources. This research focuses on a qualitative primary case study based on the Italian independent production Fabulae and on the production phase of its first episode Who’s afraid of the big wolf?. Other independent productions have been analysed as secondary case studies in order to obtain good insights on the subject from different experiences. All the data have been gathered through direct observations and interviews. A dual point of view has also been used to analyse the primary case study in order to give major insights for our research.This initial discussion has been focused on a literature review aimed to explain the most important stages of the movie-making process and the changes brought by technology. Focusing on the movie-making process, the study highlights the importance of technological advantages for independents. The democratization of this sector has made it possible to generate audio-visual products in an easier and cheaper way, influencing both the production and distribution stages of the movie-making process. Although the technological changes reduced the entry barriers in the movie industry and all the expenses necessary to make a movie, fixed costs are to be considered incisive also in low-cost productions. The research show that business models can be essential for independents in order to clarify their intentions with their movies and find the best way to deal with their creative, passion-driven projects, especially when resources are not easily accessible. The conclusion of our research demonstrates through our findings that independent filmmakers overcome all the limits brought by the lack of human, technical and economic resources by a combination of elements that can be brought together by the passion that moves all their actions. Even if the conditions are not in their favour, independents are moved by a deep desire to tell a story and to express themselves through their movie.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages136