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The factors that drive success in motion picture development : an Australian context

Rossiter, Craig (2003) The factors that drive success in motion picture development : an Australian context. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

The motion picture industry is characterized by a high degree of artistic innovation that revolves around the project rather than the firm. Success is elusive and firms operate in an environment of symmetrical ignorance, that is, high levels of demand uncertainty as well as product uncertainty. This makes managing the commercial development of new products difficult. The study of the factors that drive success in new product development have been significant, however, little attention has been given to experiential and creatively driven products such as motion pictures. While a number of studies have attempted to find accurate means to predict performance in motion pictures, most of these have met with limited results, yet few, if any, have linked the knowledge gained from the study of new product development with the industry. Similarly, the impact of market orientation on firm performance and new product success has been the focus of much empirical research since the late 1980's and has been shown to be significantly associated with new product performance. Here, the marketing literature and the NPD literature converge, yet few studies have attempted to study how the same concepts might apply in motion picture production. The primary focus of this study was to explore the feasibility of the NPD and market orientation literature in the development of successful motion picture and whether or not similar application of this knowledge is tenable. As such, the study centers around two broad research issues: RESEARCH ISSUE 1: How can Australian films perform better? In other words, what are the factors that drive success in Australian motion picture production? RESEARCH ISSUE 2: What is the role of the audience in the development of successful Motion Pictures in Australia? Or in other words, do Australian filmmakers need to be "close" to their audience (market oriented) in order to attain higher levels of success. Australia has been used as a context primarily due to the accessibility of data. This represents a relatively new setting for the study of NPD and market orientation and a new industry. Therefore, an exploratory study was designed which utilized in-depth interviews with experts from three sectors of the Australian motion picture industry. This was deemed to be the best approach given the dearth of previous studies in this setting and the fact that the majority of past industry studies have been quantitative. The findings reveal some support for a significant relationship between success and new product development activities such as product advantage, market orientation, up-front homework, early product definition, cross-functional and coordinated teams, and launch. Product advantage, however, is better understood in terms of a movie's marketability and playability, that is, the perceived superiority of its attributes before and after its viewing. A market orientation is likely to be more effective in the motion picture industry when it helps a firm lead its customers rather than encourages a firm to be led by them. Finally, despite previous studies in the Australian industry, the number of scripts in development is unlikely to matter. What matters is that the scripts that are ready to move into production are evaluated fully and that full support is provided to those that make it through in order to give them the best chance for success.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 15891
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Radbourne, Jennifer & Arnold, Nellie
Keywords: New Product Development, Market Orientation, Strategic Orientation, Product Advantage, Services Marketing, Arts Marketing, Performance, Marketability, Playability, Motion Pictures
Department: Faculty of Business
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Craig Rossiter
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:52
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:40

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