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Report 2008
fondazione ente dello spettacolo
tertio millennio film fest
» Report 2008
Chapter 1 - An atypical product
"Film is an art, cinema is an industry"
Luigi Chiarini,
university professor, critic and director

Just like most cultural heritage, film making has a double identity, artistic and financial. It is indeed an intellectual product in terms of its uniqueness, originality, and strong artistic and creative components; and is, above all, constantly reproducible, destined for the most ample diffusion possible and, therefore, for mass consumption. "There exists three universal languages”, explained Frank Capra, director originally from Palermo who was not only the creator of his own success, but also the fortune of Hollywood, "and, besides mathematics and music, there is only cinema”. In connection with the world, cinema incorporates material and spirit and is, in turn, a world of connections. Rather than being a product that is consumed in the literal sense of the term, it is, in reality, a form of media that transmits values and communicates content; it is an experience that the spectator (despite not having the possibility of knowing the 'sense' of the film nor the sensations that it will give before purchasing) decides to live out on the basis of their own capacity to give meaning. "There is no other form of art like cinema”, maintained the Swedish director Ingmar Bergman "for striking the conscience, stirring the emotions and reaching the secret chambers of the soul”.
Film belongs, in no uncertain terms, to the category of experience goods, which are differentiated from search goods in which enter other types of gross market where the general public decides what to purchase based on previous knowledge, from the moment, in the case of mass consumer goods, the principle reasons of purchase involve information and previously acquired purchases is sufficient to give value to the choice.
With relevant particularity (above all compared to traditional supermarket goods) that every motion picture makes history in itself and, therefore, in its nature as good experience, the cinema must manage, each time, on a daily basis, to convince the potential spectator to invest economic resources and time for a good of which they cannot understand the quality unless they have already seen it. (1)
Being a unique product, with original planning, every cinematic work represents, moreover, a prototype and as such film making is often defined as "the industry of prototypes”. Every film presents, in effect, peculiar and unrepeatable characteristics with a high content of specialized work but also, a great amount of capital, where diverse factors are constantly involved. The vast amount of creative and human components renders the process of film production theoretically and technically impossible to standardize, jeopardising the possibility of attaining the results of the so-called experience economy (economic advantages derived from the implementation of productive processes aimed at the realization of standardizable goods).

¹ Severino Salvemini: “Tra cultura e mercati: cenni sull’industria cinematografica”, Economia della cultura,
numero 1-1992, pagine 49-55, e “Il cinema impresa possibile” (a cura di Severino Salvemini), Edizioni Egea, Milano 2002, pagine 57-60.


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