A fistful of dollars or the sting? Considering academic–industry collaborations in the production of feature films

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JournalMedia Practice and Education
DateAccepted/In press - 2 Mar 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 12 Jul 2018
Issue number2
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)139-158
Early online date12/07/18
Original languageEnglish


Increasingly universities and film schools are looking for ways to provide richer experiences for students to enhance their employability as well as find ways to make their programmes stand out in a competitive marketplace. Likewise, economic pressure on commercial feature film production companies, particularly independents, is forcing them to consider alternative means of production and new sources of cost-effective project support. This paper looks at the emergence of formal academic-industry collaboration in the creation, production and support of commercial feature films. Looking at a wide range of examples from collaborations worldwide, it considers three basic models: University as film production company with 'soft' investment; University as film production company with 'hard' investment; and University as film production service provider. It is argued that all three models can be viable but that alignment with corporate and institutional objectives, as well as realistic expectations, are essential to success.

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