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Report 2008
fondazione ente dello spettacolo
tertio millennio film fest
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» Report 2008
Part Three - ARTISTS AND THE MARKET
WORK AND CAPITAL
Chapter 5 - Profession and Job Market
“IT'S FUNNY HOW THE COLOURS OF THE REAL WORLD
ONLY SEEM REALLY REAL
WHEN YOU VIDDY THEM ON THE SCREEN

Malcolm McDowell, in A Clockwork Orange by Stanley Kubrick



According to classical economics literature the cinema industry is not particularly intensive in terms of work but rather in terms of capital. This is determined by the principle characteristics of the product. By its nature the sector is characterized by production on request and, therefore, is affected by the life of the single projects. The sector is seldom structured on periods of activity which last a long period of time and, indeed, even if it were, it would never be definitively programmable a priori, in the sense that eventual successes are always determined by the finished product, and by public opinion.
In particular European cinema – and, all the more so, Italian cinema – is otherwise qualified by what economists call ‘pure additionality’; in other words that factor, determined by the characteristics of the base market and by the fundamental structures of the activity sector, which places a number of companies (above all smaller companies) in the condition of not being able to produce and incapable of offering their films to the consumer-spectator without some form of external intervention, an intervention which, in the end, is almost always translated into the providential – in as much as it is limited – public maintenance under the form of irreplaceable contributions of capital, assistance and financial incentives on the part of the state, regions, local organizations, government institutions or central emanation bodies.
Lacking continuity, it remains particularly difficult to elaborate management strategies which permit the realization of the so-called economies of scale, in other words, the rationalization of every process and passage of production common to all the ranges and types of manufactured product which a company puts onto the market. This is the case in general, and still more in the cinema industry.
In terms of the cinema industry, it is not possible to have any uncertainties regarding the fact that in any working circumstances – even outside of the diverse sizes or business volumes – there are commitments which require a very high level of professionalism and specialization in every individual area; including those of distribution, business and finance, and the diverse services, from pre-production to post-production.
These few undercurrents enable the delineation of the specifics of the job market in the cinema industry; a characterization found reflected, moreover, in the same nature and composition of its productive apparatus.

 

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