The Worldwide Motion Picture Group has been using the knowledge and expertise gained through close to a decade of being the industry leader in screenings, ad testing and tracking to evaluate scripts and movies over the past two years.
Some use it to help decide if the potential playability or marketability of a project is strong enough to move forward with the film.
Many use it on films that are already greenlit, simply to make adjustments at the script stage rather than in the editing room.
With the information one receives, including comp movies, genre assessment, concept studies and notes based on screenings and ads from the same genre, it becomes a very powerful tool to bring to the table (or keep in your back pocket) when the inevitable argument of “I am not going to take the blame if this movie doesn’t work” comes up.
The most common question/comment we received on this product in the beginning was “What about the art? The vision?” Is it still the vision when it undergoes it’s first rewrite? Or how about after the initial screening suggests a new title or ending? The writer/producer are generally not even in a position to give input into this process at these stages.
A method of understanding the potential for success: Should you make the movie? What can you expect from audiences? From marketing? Given that the decision to make a film involves a great deal of financial and personal commitment, informing that decision with the best possible analysis of the projected playability and marketability at the very least allows for an increased chance at success or cautions the filmmaker about moving forward.
We use a four stage process that evaluates a movie’s potential by providing meaningful qualitative and quantitative insights: Evaluation of that specific genre/subgenre, Playability, Marketability and Foundation of Support (based on moviegoer feedback from a concept).
Assessments are rooted in our experience with thousands of scripts, completed films, advertising tests, positioning studies and screenings as well as the results from the concept test; all leading to a research-backed recommendation about how best to move forward with the project. Not only do we use our historical database (e.g., if you have a supernatural horror film, we would look at all screenings and ad tests of the genre to note potential areas of concern within the movie), but we also add secondary research and analysis as well as quantitative validation of 1,500 moviegoers.
Before a film goes into production, whether it is a fully written script, treatment or merely a thought in the filmmaker/screenwriter’s mind, a decision needs to be made whether to move forward with the movie’s development.
- These types of studies (tested among 1,500 moviegoers) determine whether the concept or story is appealing, and to which audience it finds its base of support in a competitive environment.
- This study can also present the concept in combination with various talent and/or film titles, in order to ascertain what the relative pluses and minuses associated with each potential cast member and/or title, and which potential actors and/or title best “fits” the movie concept.
When a qualitative read is needed on any materials, from the film in a rough form to any advertising material, focus groups are recommended. This will allow you to conduct an in-depth probe on your subject matter, finding out the “whys” behind the “whats.”
- We encourage these to be conducted before the campaign development in order to assist in the creation of the marketing strategy.
- Respondents are recruited, a discussion guide is developed for the group and the moderator leads the discussion to ensure that the agreed-upon issues are discussed.
- MPG provides a written analysis based on in-going objectives along with a DVD of all the groups.
- Getting this information early, learning in a qualitative way what works and what doesn’t before the actual development of the creative materials begins, can actually make the process more efficient. Fewer revisions mean spending less overall on creating the ads.
- Focus groups can be conducted either offline (traditional method) or online.