In the last two years, the Clayton State University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has assisted an increased number of film, television, and music industry clients. In an effort to better serve these clients, along with local small businesses who want to become vendors to the entertainment industry, SBDC has launched a series of non-degree courses that focus on the behind-the-scenes business aspects of entertainment. These classes will empower the creative class for success beyond their artistic talent and skill.
The interdisciplinary curriculum focuses on three key areas: getting suppliers “camera-ready” or “film-friendly;” empowering content creators and above-the-line crew with the tools and resources needed to scale their operations from projects to pipelines; and helping independent performing artists, below-the-line crew, and freelancers turn their crafts into companies.
Transferring capabilities and target market expansion into the film and television industry can be very feasible for vendors from fields such as construction, dry-cleaning, transportation, and property leasing. Likewise, craftspeople that are prevalent on almost every production set (e.g., carpenters, electricians, caterers, hairstylists, makeup artists, and tailors) can also learn to duplicate their competencies, build businesses around their crafts, create jobs, and serve other markets.
Judiffier Pearson, Clayton State SBDC’s film and entertainment consultant, developed the curriculum and had it vetted by an advisory team comprised of leaders from film, television, music, digital media, and economic development.
“Creating these courses and building industry collaborations has been a labor of love,” she says. “Not only can creativity and business proficiency coexist, it is necessary.”
The Clayton State SBDC already has a steady stream of entertainment-related clients putting their advice into practice. The new roster of courses is designed to complement the SBDC’s confidential, one-on-one consulting services, which are no cost to Georgia’s established small business owners and budding entrepreneurs, thanks to the SBA, the University of Georgia, and Clayton State University on a local level.
The SBDC can assist all for-profit entertainment-related companies with annual revenues up to $38.5 million.
is important to know because often, small business owners who could benefit greatly from SBDC training and consulting don’t take advantage of the services because they don’t realize that their companies meet the SBA criteria of what constitutes a small business by industry,” Pearson asserts.
The film and entertainment course lineup integrates the disciplines of management, marketing, finances, and operations with industry-specific practices and case studies to keep the content relevant and valuable. In “fusion” courses like Beauty & Business Behind-the-Scenes Bootcamp, registered attendees will develop marketing strategies and living business plans while engaging in hands-on technical development facilitated by highly acclaimed instructors who have mastered their crafts.
Clayton State SBDC’s 2014/2015 Film/TV/Music business courses will debut in October in collaboration with the University of Georgia SBDC’s Office of Minority Business Development. For more information, go to www.MorrowSBDC.org.