The FOCUS project was developed in response to feedback from the sector, which indicated that there was a lack of access to sector specific business support for screen sector companies. FOCUS supports independent microbusinesses or SMEs who require specialist advice in order to grow their business, but who do not have access to such support in house.
FOCUS is delivered by Film City Futures in partnership with Scottish Documentary Institute. At its full capacity, the project represents an investment in the Scottish screen sector of £750,000, funded equally by Creative Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, and the participating companies.
Independent companies in Scotland working in TV, film and animation were invited to apply to take part in the project, with applications made on a rolling basis via the Film City Futures website up until the deadline of 31st March 2018. 20 companies have now been selected to take part.
The FOCUS process is split across two stages. In Stage 1 the participating companies receive support to create a Business Development Strategy which sets out a plan for achieving business growth and extending the ambition for the company, including recommendations for the company to access further support in specific business areas.
Stage 2 involves putting the plan into action through consultation with industry experts with various specialisms. Areas of specialist support include distribution, international sales and co-production, development, finance, production, HR, book scouting and legal support.
Consultants across both stages are sector specific experts with the necessary skills and experience to have a direct impact on the success of the participating companies. Experts include business management consultants Mike Kelly and Katherine Otway, production executives Ulla Streib and Paul Donovan, and script and development consultants Laurie Hutzler and Helen Hawken.
In addition to the main program, FOCUS provides access to expertise through events and workshops which are available to screen sector companies throughout Scotland. Previous events have focused on EIS and film finance, GDPR, screen business management, and the digital commissioning landscape.
FOCUS also provides a free monthly industry newsletter, FOCUS ON Screen, which highlights news, and opportunities relevant to the sector.
Please visit the Film City Futures website for more details: www.filmcityfutures.com