Screen producers entrepreurially innovating across disrupted markets

Gerard Reed
The University of Adelaide (ECIC)

This paper establishes and examines the linkages between the creative producer and the entrepreneurial endeavour, and enterprise they undertake as well as the ecosystems they operate within and outside of. The creative producer is required to develop skills and experiences to enable a range of entrepreneurial approaches to facilitate the production, and marketing, of screen content. Importantly during recent era the creative producer is required to innovatively interpret and adapt to disruption across local, national and international markets. This disrupted space presents the producer with the opportunity to innovate creatively, which in turn represents a range of challenges. These challenges can be outlined especially by the increasing fragmentation of distribution outlets, and the devolving of financing options, including recoupments on investment across the ever-diminishing traditional long tail of the screen product.

Utilizing design (de Bono, 1992) and parallel thinking (de Bono, 2016) to inform industry, undergraduate and post-graduate courses in screen business and enterprise innovation, a new approach to empowering and equipping the creative producer with entrepreneurial tools is being developed and implemented. The consciousness of the creative producer is also enhanced by the ability to strategically plan and prepare for the seemingly unknown or unseen future of a fragmenting and disrupted market whether local, national, or international in its reach and scope.

The intangibility (Penrose, 1955, 1959: Penrose & Pitelis, 2009) of understanding the firm and incorporating creative production for screen outputs in terms of products, services and experiences is examined in detail. As a distinct outcome of the process of incorporating design and parallel thinking techniques and theoretical understanding for the screen practitioner, is the transformational empowerment to the processes and thinking that the creative producer is able to instil in the operational and strategic elements of the production company or organisation.

The screen practitioner or producer is able to utilise this new approach to screen business innovation and develop process and procedures to assist with future planning and the learning opportunities that may eventuate informed by customer or user centred design. The use of lean methodology (Ries, 2011) is also implemented in terms of its use of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) which does not always translate effectively to screen production, however with a modification by extension of its tenets an almost customised version of the MVP is developed for the screen practitioner as producer.

The combination of design and parallel thinking in terms of the entrepreneurial ecosystem is also advantageous for the screen producer and when extended by the MVP and lean methodological outputs the future potential is demonstrated across opportunities in the market. Also examined is the opportunity cost that must always be a factor of consideration for any entrepreneur but especially the creative producer whom must invest exponentially in the development phase of projects, which may not be realised in the fragmenting and disrupted market, either at the time of development or in the future.

This paper is the culmination of successful explorations across industry, undergraduate and postgraduate programs of study where practice is incorporated with theoretical elements and tools that enable and empower the creative producer to excel in a fragmenting and disrupted market place from a local to national and global perspective.