“Data-driven moviemaking” are the words on everyone’s lips in the film industry.
Big data moviemaking is set to revolutionize the whole industry. From how movie scripts get written to how films are marketed directly to their target audience, the industry is set to change in a very big way.
With all the major Hollywood studios already clambering to take advantage of big data analytics, many independent filmmakers are wondering if they will too be able to use data to improve the commercial viability of their films.
In this article, we are going to look at a recent case study where data-driven moviemaking was implemented by an independent movie production and how it could have helped generate even better revenues than the film actually did.
Largo Films And Data-driven Moviemaking
A few years ago, a group of frustrated short movie makers gathered together to vent their frustrations at how hard it was to get shorts made and distributed.
Little did they know that in just a matter of a few years, they were going to spark a short movie revolution.
In order the help filmmakers overcome the distribution problem that had been plaguing short films for generations, the group decided to create the Netflix of short films.
This dedicated short movie viewing on demand platform was to become Sofy.tv.
Sofy.tv was launched in early 2018 during the Cannes Film Festival. Thanks to the expertise of its creators, including its chief partner, EPFL, a leading university in the field of machine learning, the platform embodied unique features that were a huge hit with its members.
The platform contained a state of the art movie recommendation system that remains unmatched by its competitors even to this day.
This recommendation system actually analyzed each film uploaded to the platform to create a ‘recipe’ of its exact ingredients.
These ingredients were then stored on a database, along with past user preferences, to allow the software to precisely match a particular users movie preferences to the most suitable movies.
So accurate is this system that Sofy.tv members rarely have to actually search for movies at all!
Sofy.tv continues to grow by leaps and bounds.
Getting itchy feet, the team at Largo Films decided to move on to help filmmakers in another way.
In a massive leap forward, Largo Films decided to bring data-driven moviemaking to the masses.
This step involved using the expertise they had gathered while creating Sofy.tv’s AI-driven movie recommendation tool to create software that could help dissect films even before they are made.
By pooling vast amounts of big data on past movies and setting their sophisticated AI algorithms to work to identify patterns, Largo Films recognized that they would be able to give filmmakers valuable feedback, and in real time!
Literally, any part of a film could be analyzed to identify strengths and weaknesses based on existing data.
So, for example, a movie’s likely gross could be calculated by analyzing the ‘ingredients’ of the script and comparing these to the performance of similar ingredients from films in the past.
This analysis goes much deeper than a conventional one where a producer might say, “Oh, this movie is like Avatar, which grossed big, so let’s green light this movie based on that”.
With their software, Largo Films actually identify micro strengths and weaknesses of a film, and even estimate how a movie’s gross would improve, should certain changes be enacted.
Tke Domani e Un Altro Giorno
I recently wrote an article regarding Largo Film’s first published success story. “How Largo Films Can Accurately Predict Your Films Gross” detailed in full the following information.
The article detailed Largo Film’s success at predicting the gross of Italian independent film “Domani e Un Altro Giorno”.
Despite an unforeseen downturn in the Italian movie market when the film was released, the company was able to accurately predict a gross of between “€ 1.6M and € 4M”.
According to the site “The Numbers”, the movie finally grossed $1,967,899 worldwide. Largo Films were proud of the accuracy of their software, especially given the unforeseen downturn.
However, all this doesn’t answer the title question of whether independent filmmakers can afford data-driven moviemaking.
Data-driven moviemaking: A must for all filmmakers
The cost to the producers of Tke Domani e Un Altro Giorno to have Largo Films analyze their film ended up being just a tiny fraction of the final gross.
For those who question the need to pay for “pre-access” to audience’s opinions on their films, here is something to consider:
Largo Films breakdown their input into the following proportions:
- Script Analysis – Enhancement 15%
- Rough Cut Analysis and Enhancement 25%
- Fine Cut Analysis and Enhancement 35%
- Trailer Predictions 25%
This means that they are active throughout the entire production of the movie. At all stages, the team at Largo Films will be accessing the film to identify any possible improvements.
One such set of improvements were identified during the production of Domani e Un Altro Giorno. Largo Film’s experts immediately flagged these to the filmmakers.
However, it was decided that due to time constraints that the changes would not be made.
Post-release, the in-depth analysis determined that had these changes actually been made, the film would have achieved better box office returns.
In fact, estimates suggest that these extra returns would have more than paid for all fees relating to the big data analytics service.
While there is not sufficient data to unequivocally make this claim, it seems to be the case that employing a data-driven moviemaking company such as Largo Films will likely more than recoup the investment via increased sales.
Since Largo Films are also able to help with big data targeted marketing, which allows filmmakers to maximize the number of ‘bums on seats’ for their marketing budget, the real question should be, “can independent filmmakers actually afford NOT to use data-driven moviemaking?.”
For more information on how big data analytics can help your film become a success, contact Largo Films.
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