As Economic Developers, Film Commissioners increasingly need to be able to prove their value by providing detailed annual reports about the economic activity generated through their activities. This is easier said than done: filmmakers are notoriously cagey about sharing any information with Film Commissioners. Worse, it’s been my experience that nothing the film industry does can be conveniently fit into existing Economic Impact Assessment programs or methodologies. This means that Film Commissioners are typically required to conduct some nifty thinking and footwork, to make the numbers make sense. Essentially what you’re being asked to do is create a “scientific” (ie measurable, repeatable, comparable process) for the chaos that is film production on location.
The key purpose of an Economic Impact Assessment is the to assess the impacts of a given intervention (such as a Film Commission) or sector (such as “The Film Industry” on the broader economic environment of a region. The results of the impact analysis often determine the level of public support to be provided on the grounds of economic benefits to a given area.
The attached document assumes that the assessment is required to a) demonstrate the importance and reach of existing levels of film production in an area, and b) demonstrate the value of the film commission to the community because of this impact, and it therefore provides examples of some of the options, norms, flags and pitfalls when trying to calculate sector value.
Click on the link to open Sector Economic Impact Assessments for Film Commissioners