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Film Producer

Odds of Getting In

In the current economy, the odds of breaking in as a successful producer are small. Investments from the independent film financing world have largely dried up and reliable sources of financing are scarce. Fewer and fewer movies are being made every year. A combination of the Internet providing more interesting activities for teens, piracy, and the end of the DVD as a big profit source for studios have cut the number of films being made dramatically. In 1970, the greater Hollywood community made about 1,500 films; in 1980, the number was 1,200; in 1990, it was 850; in 2000 it was 650; in 2010 it was 450; most pundits predict that only about 300 total will be made in 2020—i.e., very few jobs and extremely few NEW jobs will come available. Remember that the lion's share of production jobs in Hollywood are highly unionized, so tenure matters and unions structure contracts that favor their existing members over new entrants.

There are, however, unique opportunities for those who can get the financing to get a movie made. If you can manage to bring in the money to table that first film and actually make your investors a profit, you’ll have a great chance to keep working. And there will ALWAYS be a hit movie. There will ALWAYS be profits from it—they just won't be as big as they were 20 years ago.

But let's be frank, Frank. We're talking about a pretty big "if." It's a lottery at best.