Millionaire Masterclass Preview
29 Jun 2009
Our Millionaire Masterclass videos are now available!
In production for the last two years, these cover every aspect of starting and growing
To coincide with the launch, Guy Kingston and John Richards return to the studio
and discuss business advice and business education as well as the background behind
The Millionaire Masterclass is a new concept in business learning – a series of
9 videos made to exceptionally high standards, on sale at price levels everyone
The Great Idea
How To Come Up With
It & How To Test It
The Business Plan
Why It Matters &
How Easy It Is
Raising The Money
Where To Go &
How To Ask
The Ultimate Key
To Business Success
Useful Ideas; Some
Risks & Pitfalls
Useful Made Easy
Using It To Maximum
How To Keep Them
Going For Growth
Expanding In The
These videos are available in 3 separate bundles:
All 9 Millionaire Masterclass videos plus our unique
Recession Special - How To Survive & Profit During Downturn (66 mins)
How To Be A Mini-Mogul
Elmore Leonard’s novel
Get Shorty builds on a fantasy which many who are successful in relatively
mundane businesses have had from time to time:
What if we could take the skills that we have developed in our own businesses and
apply them to the supposedly more glamorous business of film-making?
In the novel, a movie buff’s established business is what might be termed the provision
of high-interest, high-risk credit. The satire is based on his discovery that the
skills that made him a successful loan shark are also the skills that make a good
Adding to the irony, some Hollywood producers bought the film rights to Leonard’s
book and turned it into a very successful movie.
It is undoubtedly true that many of the skills of a successful entrepreneur are
the same as those of a successful producer. Indeed, the organisation of a film project
resembles the organisation of a new business with a short product life cycle. At
the very end of a movie’s closing credits, you may see that a limited company has
been set up specifically for the purpose of making that one film.
It starts with a business plan. This is not usually a formal business plan, but
the script acts as both the initial business plan and the initial product: the objective
is to sell the script to people who can finance the film. To the script may be added
a production budget, properly costed by a professional production manager, and an
outline of how the film, once produced, is to be sold and any profits distributed.
The financing of a major feature film is usually even more complex than the financing
of a major new business, with a budget of six to eight figures. Most of the money
is usually found by pre-selling various rights – to cinematic distribution, to DVD,
to television, etc.
The actual making of the film is no more than a giant exercise in project management,
a matter of hiring the various professional specialists and letting them get on
with it – while making sure they keep to budget. Since the film project is not a
permanent organisation, these people are not permanent employees, so the producer
has few effective sanctions and even fewer inducements to offer these people. So,
like any product management, film production demands the highest qualities of leadership.
Finally, there is the challenge of selling the finished film to the general public.
If a major studio has invested in the film, the studio’s own distribution division
usually takes over the marketing. These organisations are well-connected, so they
ensure that the film actually gets on cinema screens, and is reviewed by all the
influential critics. A film without these big studio connections is much less likely
to be noticed – indeed, it may never be seen on a big screen.
It is easy to see how the standard enterprise skills that are required in any business
apply to all these stages of film-making.
Many entrepreneurs from other sectors have therefore flourished in the movie business,
especially in its early years. Sam Goldwyn famously learnt his craft as a vice president
in charge of sales in a successful garment company before co-founding MGM.
It is more difficult now. Like most sectors, the film industry has become more formal
in its structures, with its own academic qualifications and standard career paths.
Although there are still glorious exceptions, Hollywood is now very much a town
This is reflected in its product, the sequels and franchises that betray a narrow-minded
lack of imagination.
In the long term, this will prove to be to Hollywood’s disadvantage. The public
are always looking for something new to entertain them. If Hollywood ceases to provide
that originality people can and will look elsewhere.
So the best option for an entrepreneur who dreams of film-making is not to muscle
his way into Hollywood in the Get Shorty style that Hollywood itself sells to us.
Instead, the entrepreneur should ask how he can provide what Hollywood is not providing
– how he can become the alternative to Hollywood.
This is not as far-fetched as it sounds. Modern digital video cameras make good
quality production standards an affordable option. The internet provides a versatile
The film business is but part of the entertainment sector and the entertainment
sector is in a state of permanent revolution, with both technology and public taste
changing by the day. A new age is dawning and the pioneers of that new age are not
Hollywood executives. They are the equivalents of Goldwyn and the pioneers of Hollywood
itself, entrepreneurs looking for new ways to turn a buck.
At the moment, they might well be selling suits.
© Agincourt Productions