Gianlua Sergi

27 March, 2015, by Steve Upcraft

Hollywood in your Business

Ingenuity Breakfast Event – Tuesday 24th March 2015

Speaker: Gianluca Sergi, University of Nottingham

This week’s Ingenuity Breakfast was entertaining in every respect. Gianluca Sergi, Associate Professor of Culture, Film & Media Studies at the University of Nottingham, gave an insight into how some of the leading lights in Hollywood encourage creativity in their employees.

The film industry is generally thought of as being a medium of arts and science. It’s easy to forget it’s also very much about business:
• In the USA the industry is forecast to hit $100billion of revenue by 2017
• In the UK it’s the fastest growing sector, totalling £1.4billion in 2014

Making a film is a complex business – averaging $139m and 10 producers per film, not to mention the hundreds of behind-the-scenes workers, there’s often even a ‘Thanks’ department. Most businesses are small though and the majority working in the industry are freelancers – it really is an industry built on SMEs.

At the other end of the scale, one of the biggest, and probably the best-known film studios in the world, Disney employs 180,000 people worldwide. It would be easy to think the company adopted a hierarchical approach to deal with such a workforce, however, Gianluca revealed that Disney has operated an innovative, collaborative process since its early days in the 1920s. While other studios, such as Fox, had traditional layers of management, Disney’s approach was process-led:
• The story is king, and at the heart of the process
• Staff work to a creative brief, going the extra mile to realise the client’s vision
• Creativity is rewarded creatively; all involved in making a film are listed in the credits (although a revealing video clip of Danny Boyle showed that even Oscar-winning directors sometimes forget someone!)

Disney's circular organisational structure

So what are the lessons for businesses outside the film industry? As Gianluca said, remember:
• You don’t have to be in show business to show off your business
• Creativity is not restricted to those labelled ‘creatives’
• Allow your whole workforce to reveal their creative side


If this has whetted your appetite for more tips on how to bring out the creativity within your business, Gianluca is running a workshop on the topic on 6th May – contact us for details.

Our next breakfast session will be on Tuesday 21st April, when Richard Baker from the Nottingham Evening Post will be interviewing Jayne Francis-Ward (Nottingham County Council), Peter Richardson (D2N2 LEP) and Steff Wright (Gusto Group Ltd) – they will be outlining challenges, opportunities and benefits of local businesses working with and in collaboration with local authorities and local partners. Come along – listen, learn and contribute.  For more information, visit the Ingenuity website.

Posted in Ingenuity Knowledge Exchange