Lights, Camera, Action! How to Start A Production Company

Producers working in Hollywood earn between $750, 000 and $1 million per movie.

Even first-time producers make around $250, 000. Let’s not forget about the blockbuster producers who make tens of millions per hit!

But a production company is a business like any other. And in the US, 44% of businesses fail by their third year. So, you want to be a blockbuster producer, not a flop, don’t you?

In that case, you need to know how to start a production company that will succeed. Read on to find out everything you need to do when starting a production company.

How to Start a Production Company Begins with Your Brand

Who you are will dictate so much about your production company. So be clear on this when starting out.

This doesn’t mean the company can’t adapt and grow with time. But it creates a starting point for your media identity.

You need to know what type of films and TV you want to make. This will make sure that anyone who works with you aligns with the company’s goals.

It will also help people identify your production company. They’ll know what to expect from you and look to you for specific things. For example, if you want to produce comedy, then don’t promote yourself as a horror brand.

Choosing a name is a big part of deciding your brand. It will be with you throughout the company’s journey so choose something that will age well.

And you want it to be something that stands out from the crowd. But whatever the reason behind your company name, make sure it doesn’t distract people from the message you’re putting out there.

Pick the Right Company Type

Registering your business is a key step in how to create a production company.

This creates the company in the government’s eyes. It also creates a base to build up from. But you need to choose the right type of company.

A Limited Liability Company, or LLC, is the best type of company for a production company. This allows you to create partnerships as the business grows.

It also means you’re protected when it comes to legal liability and taxes.

A lot of people starting out will create sole proprietorships. But these mean you and the business are legally one and the same thing. This isn’t great for a production company as it means you have no protection if any accidents occur on set.

You should also avoid becoming a cooperative or corporation in your early years. A corporate structure is overwhelming and unnecessary in the early days.

Get It Down on Paper

This doesn’t mean doodling your ideas in a notebook. Having all your paperwork filed means that your production company is a legal entity.

This is the skeleton of how to start a film production company. Some of the things you will need for creating a production company are:

  • Local tax registration
  • A company bank account
  • A website
  • Your Files of Organization
  • Employee numbers

If you have the budget, you might want to hire an experienced agent to help you with this. Most of the paperwork is straightforward but it can be time-consuming.

While you’re organizing this, you also might want to set up social media profiles for your company. These will help you promote your company online and boost your profile.

Secure Funding

Without funding, you will struggle to get any work into production. So how to start your own production company also involves getting financial backing.

There are several different routes you can take for this. Or you might use a combination of them to raise your capital.

Small business loans offer you the startup capital to help get you into production. Once you are making money, your production company will be able to pay these off. Take your time to see options of small business loans to find the right one for you.

But you might like to get funding from places that you won’t have to pay back immediately. Private investors are like gold dust if you can find them.

You will need a business plan for your film before you give it to potential investors. An important part of this plan is the distribution of your film as well as the production costs.

Larger production companies might invest in you if they like a project. This means their production company name would also go on the titles. Or a single producer might come on board and bring money with them.

You could also apply for funding from art schemes or use product placement. Launching a crowdfunding page can help you get the last bits of your financing in place.

You can find out more about financing businesses here.

Get a Team Together

Now you’re ready to start putting together your production company’s team.

Having people working with you will help the company grow. And it will mean you have specialized people working in different areas. Some good people to get on board are:

  • Head of development for script reading
  • Head of production to oversee the creation of projects
  • Head of post-production to oversee the completion of projects
  • Head of sales and distribution to organize funding and distribution

With these people behind you, you’ll be able to start creating content and see it go places!

Start Creating Content

There’s no point learning how to start a media production company if you’re not going to use it!

Once you have a team in place and a script, you want to make you can start production. Short films or web series are great if you’re starting out.

They’re easier to schedule and much cheaper to make. This means you can showcase your talents without risking too much financially.

There are loads of festivals out there which take short film and web series submissions. In fact, within them, there are categories depending on the genre of your films.

You can also use these short-form productions to gain funding for bigger projects. If an investor sees how well your idea works as a short, they’ll be more likely to fund your feature.

And don’t forget to promote your production company using your social media profiles. Nothing attracts investors like ‘likes’ and ‘follows’. This tells them they could make some real money back.

The Bottom Line

Starting a production company from scratch requires a lot of hard work and passion.

But once it’s up and running, there are loads of benefits to reap. And now that you know exactly how to start a production company, there’s nothing to stop you!

To keep up to date on the latest film and TV news, check out breaking entertainment news here.

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Melissa Thompson

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.