What Does It Mean To Be A Commercial Film Production Company in 2023?

Posted Aug. 26, 2019

What is a production company anyway? What role does it play in 2020, and who is all involved? We answer a few common questions in this breakdown all about companies.

What Is A Commercial Film Production Company?

Although the landscape is changing for film production companies, the traditional model is based around making it easy to organize video shoots. Advertising agencies or brands hire commercial film production companies to execute creative scripts once they've been signed off by a client. Usually the scripts are for television commercials, online ads, ads that play in movie theatres and now more than ever, ads for social media.

In the past, companies used to specialized in Broadcast or Online content only.

Now, there are many more hybrid commercial film production companies. Some of them help write scripts, some of them provide creative directors to oversee the ideation, and some of them work beyond the film medium, and produce theatre, PR stunts, VR and AR projects that are non-traditional. Many of these non-traditional mediums has led to the rise of a new term, content studio, that has begun to take rise.

How Do Commercial Film Production Companies Operate?

On one hand, commercial film production companies work on the basis of project bids. Usually there are multiple bids per project, and clients must weigh various criteria points including cost, creative, track record and expertise and service experience. A production company is selected based on the criteria set out by the client, as well as the director attached to the bid.

The involvement of the director is to envision the creative aspect of the project bid, while the producer must envision the logistic aspect of the project bid. The two go hand in hand, and the production company has the task of insuring the bid.

What Role Do Directors Play at Commercial Film Production Companies?

What Role Do Directors Play at Commercial Film Production Companies?
Director Farhad Ghaderi setting up a shot for Virtuous Circle.

Most commercial production companies in 2019 represent a roster of directors. This means that this roster is the pool from which a client or agency can choose for project bids. By being on a commercial roster, a director can have the benefit of a sales team whose job it is to showcase the director to various new stakeholders. Furthermore, it adds a level of weight to a director's name if they are being backed up by a much larger company.

Once directors are being selected to pitch for a project bid, their role involves lots of writing and research to create a treatment and various other pre-production documents should they win the bid.

Who Do I Talk To For A Job At A Commercial Film Production Company?

Who Do I Talk To For A Job At A Commercial Film Production Company?
Farhad Ghaderi (left) and Shelby Manton, Executive Producer for BOLDLY

Commercial production companies are usually made up of at least one Executive Producer, a Production Manager, and several coordinators and sales people to maintain all the moving parts of bidding, pre-production, production, and wrapout.

If you are looking to speak to someone in a decision-making position at a production company, you're better off speaking to the Executive Producer. Their job is to onboard new directors, manage existing rosters, and work with clients, agencies and other stakeholders during all facets of commercial production.

What Is A Production Service Company?

Commercial Production Companies are usually based in a specific city. So when they need to film global campaigns or move from one country to another for a shoot, they often engage local experts: enter the Production Service Company or 'Fixer'.

This is a company that has expertise on the ground for below the line crew, equipment, vehicles, transportation, locations and more to help a Production Company realize its creative goals in a new territory. This is great because anyone can hire a production service company if they need to film in another country.

Thanks for reading!

As always, if you liked this breakdown, share it with your friends in film. And if you have more questions that are unanswered, don't hesitate to reach out and ask us. We love to make our blog better, so your feedback is greatly appreciated.