Whether you are watching your favorite show on television or through your chosen digital platform, know that before the show became real, it traveled across several checkpoints. This article serves as a quick rundown of the main players that make up the business of show.
Actors are the ones we celebrate most. They bring words on a paper to life. They make us laugh, they make us cry. Without them, our favorite tv shows are not possible. A good actor can improve a decent script and make a good show. A great actor will make you think you are living in the moment with the character and in the world, they live in.
Behind every great actor is a great writer. Sure we all love Brad Pitt and Will Smith, but without writers like Chuck Palahniuk, and Ed Solomon, movie stars, television stars would not exist. Words and stories help the audience connect with stories that we all care to hear.
Directors are the ones who give stories context. They take a script, they take words on paper and shape the world you see. They shape how characters are perceived. Choosing angles, picture formatting, and often times the final edit. Great directors know just about every aspect of production and are involved in the entire process. Pre-production to the final edit. Then you have geniuses like Michael Bay (pictures above), Tyler Perry and George Lucas who take producing and directing to another level
Talent Agencies and Talent Management companies represent the creatives above. They help actors, directors writers find work in the industry. The best talent agencies have had relationships with Casting Directors and Producers for years and rep the top creatives in the industry. Some Talent Management companies themselves produce content.
Producers are the most well-connected people in the production machine. They have ties to the creatives mentioned above and typically package projects for television networks before a show is greenlit. Packaging is an industry term for bringing actors, writers, and directors to a project. Network TV shows are purchased because of their package. Their appeal or perceived appeal to the masses.
TV networks are the business side of the machine. They are the companies that release and distribute content. At the beginning stages of production, also called the development phase, TV Network Executives work with writers, and producers to make sure the story is on par with a network’s brand. Each network is different. Some produce and distribute car shows, others produce and distribute sports. To take is another step further, they may only distribute one sport. Tennis Channel for instance.
Every time a commercial is played, the TV Networks receive a check from Ad Agencies. This transfer of money is called an Advertising buy. For instance, McDonald’s hires an advertising agency to film a commercial. The Ad Agency produces a commercial and then plans the advertising spend across multiple networks. You, as a consumer, see the commercial, want to buy a Big Mac, and because you do, MacDonalds ends up paying for your favorite TV show. Make sense?
These are your major players. If you would like to learn more about each facet, make sure to read the entire Show Business series or contact us. We love hearing from people that are passionate about the industry.