In Episode 1, I took a detailed look at “Budget Development”. In this episode, I shall be letting you in on how to put together a business plan for your movie.


In the entertainment lexicon, two words “Show” and “Business” were integrated to become one acceptable word called “SHOWBIZ”. Many are familiar with the “show” while the “business” is alien to many. I declare in this article that no “Show” is sustainable without a good working knowledge and very deliberate construction of the “Business”. It always starts with a plan called “BUSINESS PLAN”. This is a document that details the vision, strategy, and the financial projections of your intended film production. It equips potential investors with elements that will help them take a decision whether to invest in your project or not. It is therefore the most important document in the life of a filmmaker.

Cover page

The cover page of a business plan document should be as beautiful and attractive as you can make it look. It should have your business name written across at least half of the top at the centre. Beneath this with about four spaces, the title of your film project should be boldly written. Following this is the name of the addressee (to whom the proposal is presented). Do not forget to state the reason for the proposal (purpose). Close the cover page with the name of the person presenting the proposal (that may be you).


The inside page is the project summary page. This should clearly write out the synopsis of the film script. Usually between half a page and a full page, synopsis is a summary of the script highlighting its concept, essence, and dramatic conflict in an intriguing form. Synopsis is written in the third person prose, and makes evident the structure of the script. The synopsis is written in present tense. A well-written synopsis will take the potential investor less time to understand both the concept and structure of the story. This may trigger off his interest to know more.

Audience analysis

As a filmmaker shopping for an investor, your business plan must present your target audience before the investors. The plan must analyse the audiences breaking them down to primary, secondary, and tertiary audiences. The investor will desire to know the percentage of the investment that can be recovered via your primary audience and why they will want to watch your intended movie. It is expected that a movie’s cost of production should be recovered through its primary audience.

The secondary audience should account for your profit, while the tertiary audience would scale the movie. In articulating the income potentials of your movie through its audiences, also explore the multiple streams of income the intended movie will have propensity to command.

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The business plan of my film, “Ikoka”, was developed by the business unit of my company, Prolens Movies Limited, and was able to identify multiple streams of income, namely, Ikoka (as a Benin Dialect movie 2004); Ikoka (as a drama text for junior secondary schools in Edo State); Ikoka (subtitled in three international languages to enable spouses of our diaspora audience watch and enjoy the film); Ikoka (sound track and music), and Ikoka (stage drama performances). This type of presentation is likely to guarantee refund of investor’s money and hence trigger his interest to invest.

General essence of story

A good business plan should be able to compose concisely the general essence of the story of production, its impact on what segment of society, and the relevance of story to humanity in general. It may also deal with age demography or generational flow. This will help an investor position recovery of investment in the market place.

Market positioning

A business plan uses the essence of story information and the subject matter of the conflict to position the movie properly in the market during its release planning. For instance, “’Ikoka’ is purely African, proudly Edo-centric story in the realm of historical management of rebellion in the monarchical government in Africa. An entertainment and educational material providing insight into the cultural relativism of the African people”.

Release information

A good business plan is expected to articulate the various windows of release of this intended movie. The producer should commission a study or contract a film distributor to determine the friendliness and potential acceptability of the story with the various windows operators. The possible windows are: premieres; film festivals; cinemas; home entertainment; video on demand; social media; broadcast, and flight syndication windows.

Linking movie to target audience

Here you must list the various markets your story is targeted at and show effectively what channels, and how efficiently this movie will be linked to your target markets; eg, marketing materials; direct mail; advertising; social media marketing; internet marketing; email marketing; contests; marketing with content, and unique marketing ideas.

Conclusively, try to insert the summary of cost and revenue to establish the viability of your project. Next Episode (Episode 3, the last in the series), I will advance this narrative to the rider “Pitching For Finance” armed with the Business Plan and Budget for your film. Keep reading.