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Study information

The International Film Business: Approaches, Concepts and Strategies

Module titleThe International Film Business: Approaches, Concepts and Strategies
Module codeEAFM205
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Mr Jezz Vernon (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module introduces you to theoretical and practical concepts related to finance, investment, intellectual property, distribution and international sales and business strategy, applying these concepts directly to the international film business. The module will focus on aspects of entrepreneurial activity, film finance, pitching, marketing, leadership, project management, and financial management, as well as developing an understanding of the role independent production companies play in the creative industries and entertainment value chain.

There are no pre-requisites for this module and it assumes that you will not have studied business or business subjects before.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to build core competencies and the contextual knowledge needed to work in the international film business. The curriculum balances generic business content, such as accounting, business entity structures, funding and the ability to prepare business pitch documents with skills of particular use in the media and creative industries, including intellectual property law, creative management, financials, marketing, contracts, and negotiation.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Develop a sophisticated understanding of the key business structures and strategies employed in the film industry; how companies interact financially; the different commercial consequences of each structure; and the challenges facing these structures in the changing environment of the international film business
  • 2. Identify and evaluate the importance of business planning and feasibility studies.
  • 3. Identify and evaluate the key features of intellectual property law as they apply to the international film business.
  • 4. Distinguish between marketing of goods and ideas in the sales package and explain the different approaches needed to appropriately pitch ideas to funders

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Demonstrate a sophisticated knowledge of the ways in which the international film business embraces complex and interrelated issues across the film value chain, and to apply this knowledge to produce advanced analyses of key case studies
  • 6. Deploy an advanced approach the study of the international film business in terms of the inter-relation of various commercial, technological, artistic, and regulatory factors, and to conduct research and engage in critical discussion and debate
  • 7. Utilise advanced and precise skills in the assessment of film finance, sales, distribution and exhibition practices

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. Present ideas to different audiences using appropriate media
  • 9. Develop soft skills in relation to pitching, negotiation and career development
  • 10. Work independently and in groups

Syllabus plan

This module is usually delivered through a series of four teaching blocks, spread out at intervals across the term. Each block of teaching will be taught in conjunction with expert guest industry tutors providing specialist input from across the film business and film value chain.

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it each block will cover the following topics:

Teaching Block 1: Business Structures and Film Finance

Teaching Block 2: Intellectual Property and copyright

Teaching Block 3: Distribution Marketing and the art of the pitch

Teaching Block 4: International Sales, the package and networking

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching48Four blocks of teaching – typically each block will consist of lectures, seminars, workshops and Q&A sessions with guest speakers
Guided Independent Study252Preparation and independent study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Practical exercises in seminars and workshopsEither short 5-10 minute group presentation, 300 word written report, wiki or or short answer/multiple choice tests1-10Oral feedback from seminar lead in class

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Take home exam paper30Multiple-choice/short answer test1-7Individual feedback on request
Group presentation20Approx 4 minutes per student1-2, 5-8, 10Written feedback from 1st and 2nd markers
Business proposal pitch deck25Annotated pitch deck of approximately 12 slides and 1000 words.1-2, 5-8Written feedback
Practical group exercise25Group pitching exercise, 20 minutes, plus supporting material from pitch1, 3-4, 7-10Written feedback from 1st and 2nd markers. Oral feedback from other negotiators and peer observers

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Take home exam paperTake home exam paper1-7Referral/Deferral period
Group presentation1000 word research report)1-2, 5-8, 10Referral/Deferral period
Business planBusiness plan1-2, 5-8Referral/Deferral period
Practical group exercise1500 word research report.1, 3-4, 7-8, 10Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Reassessment exercises will carry the same weightings as the original assessments.

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 50%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Finney, A. (2014) The International Film Business : A market Guide Beyond Hollywood, 2nd Edition, Routledge, London
  • Moore, S.M. (2007) The Biz : The Basic Business, Legal and Financial Aspects of the Film Industry, Silman-James, Los Angeles, California
  • Bespoke package of articles cases and other readings prepared in the form of a module reader

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

International film business, film finance, accounting, intellectual property, negotiation, pitching, leadership and management

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


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