Pakistan

How to Start Media Production House in Pakistan

Business plans for Pakistan

Media Production House is responsible for the development and filming of a specific production or media broadcast. In entertainment, the production process begins with the development of a specific project. A Production House is considered to produce unique stories related to daily lives of a common man with an efficient execution in a given period of time. The services include;

  • Preparation of content and drama scripts after approval from channel
  • Casting of relevant characters as per channel choice
  • Shooting complete project
  • Post shooting activities (editing)

There are various off-shoots of these services which may be used to entail the desired results according to the set objectives.

The production house needs to stay active by launching best quality drama which has strong story line, remarkable dialogues and proper execution of drama. This thing is only possible with the use of latest and advanced technology equipment such as camera, lighting etc. If the production house fails to produce good quality content, their revenues and market presence starts depreciating with time.

Location and layout is very important factor for production house. To find a location for production house there is a list of criteria that the premises should meet: Cost, size and location, Structural condition, Maintenance liabilities, Tenure, Accessibility and parking, Layout, Front elevation, reception appearance, Security, Surroundings and Lighting. Once a location is finalized then the design and layout of the interior should be taken into account.

The target market for production houses are the channels that will ultimately broadcast the drama on TV. Moreover for any production house the common household will be on the top of the list who likes quality entertainment for passing their leisure time.

Media House in Pakistan Segments Brief

Production House deals with plays broadcasted on TV for different set of audience. In our report, play segments elaborated includes:

  • Telefilm
  • Sitcoms
  • Serials
  • Drama Soaps

Each category is defined as follows;

Telefilms is a category broadcasted for 70- 90 minutes and is broadcasted occasionally in case of national or religious events and globally celebrated days like mother’s day, father’s day etc. It is a featured film and requires shooting time from 3 days to 5 days.

Sitcom is a situational comedy category with comical characters and different story line in each episode. It is broadcasted for 30 minutes to 1 hour varying from 1 episode per week to daily shows. Sitcom is such entertainment, having more audience as compare to other production entertainment category.

Drama Serials is a drama category which involves 25 episodes and it is broadcasted once in a week. The duration of shooting for serials is 3 days per episode and it is completed within at least 2-3 months. The shooting duration takes maximum 50-75 days depending upon the project. After completion of shooting the serial is set for on air.

Drama Soaps is a drama category which involves 100-200 episodes depending upon the Television Rating Points (TRP) and at least 30 minutes slot for five days in a week including 12 minutes advertisement slot per episode. The duration of shooting for drama soaps may take from minimum 6-7 months to complete 100 episodes. Once 20-25 episodes are completed, the drama is set on air and at the same time shooting of further episodes is also in progress.

Media Production Process Steps in Pakistan

Following are the steps involved in making a single project for any media production house company in Pakistan;

  • Formation of Idea and its scripting.
  • Planning and budget allocation.
  • Sharing one liner/summary idea and available budget details with channels through personal contacts.
  • Acceptance from any channel lead to formation of contract between both production house and TV channel.
  • Contract includes details of project price, casting, payment terms and some other requirements.
  • Shoot locations are decided, after finalization of casting and finalizing of project team as mentioned above in step 2.
  • In case of big project such as soap. After completion of 20 to 25 episode shoots, soap is ready to be ON AIR and provided to channel for broadcasting.
  • Shoot include (shooting and its complete editing)
  • As per contract payment terms, production house will receive their partial first payment from channel on 20 to 25 episode handover.
  • Each episode shoot and its editing take around 4 to 5 days working.
  • The shooting and other activities continues till the end of the project.

It is recommended for a new production house business, it should be started with a single project of telefilm in beginning. Gradually it can strengthen its company by earning good reputation in media industry and gain audience’s attention. There are companies dealing in full-fledged drama soaps and serial production along with earning good profit margins as they have matured in this field but a newly formed company faces barriers as lack of contacts in media industry and absence of strong drama portfolio. An active production house runs in proper fashion once they are able to establish a strong portfolio of various telefilms, soaps and serials.

Success Factors for Media House in Pakistan

Key success factor (KSF) are those functions, activities, or business practices, defined by the market and not by the company, and as viewed by customers that are critical to the company/customer relationship. Key Success Factors (KSF) are generally those areas that a company may focus on, to attain its vision. As based on the interviews conducted with Production house directors, managers and related staff persons, there are some critical points that have been noticed and found common in several interviews. Due to its repetition and emphasis by production houses, we have formulated such list of critical points that can be counted as key success factor for a new body to start a production house

  •  Must have sufficient knowledge and background of the industry
  • Should have attractive ambiance for Production house Head Office.
  • Should utilize latest shooting and post shooting equipment.
  • Should have minimum three projects in hand for starting a production house. It is preferred to begin with Sitcoms and telefilms.
  • Should have good contacts with media groups to get their project easily approved.
  • Should have experienced scriptwriter and Production manager on company payroll.
  • Should finalize renowned star cast at early stage of production for the approval from channels.

A production house should have a team of experienced and skillful personnel. Specifically in the area of Script Writer and Production Manager who have sufficient experience and knowledge to run production house. In that case, production house need to keep such key person on payroll instead of contractual basis.

One of the key ingredient for bringing investors or venture capitalist interest in production house is through good ambiance of Production house office. This will give professional impression on people visiting first time. They would admire by surrounding of office and love to work in such environment.

Producing any project successfully require not only the idea or the theme of the project but also the equipment used for the shooting and post shooting activities. Such equipment should be of high quality and latest version. For this, production house can rent such equipment or the best option is to invest and purchase such latest model equipment to enhance their production quality.

The most important and essential way of running a successful production house is handling their budget carefully and smartly both at the same time. In this case, Production house do not need to wait for the previous payments at the cost of wasting time to produce new projects. They should start one project keeping the budget for the next one at the same time. In this way, production house can execute consecutive projects one after the other. However, they would be receiving payment of old project and meanwhile ready to launch new one as well. It is preferred for new production house it should have minimum three projects in hand at the start.

Personal links to get channel approval for project idea is another secret ingredient for every new or old production house. The more you have strong connections in this field the more you will be able to secure your projects with big channels.

To make firm step in the production house industry, one should start with small projects such as Sitcom and Telefilm. These small projects will allow them to understand the detail of this field and will train them to go higher with huge budgets and huge projects such as Serial, Drama soap and films.

Once the Production house is ready with script writing, theme or idea for a new project then they should immediately finalize Star Cast by contracting them earlier. This will give them edge to pitch script writing with channels. Channels would be happier to work if production house has already arranged well-known celebrity of industry for their project.

The number of production houses are increasing at a very fast pace due to demand pattern that rises every single day. Although they are numerous in number currently but that does not prove logic to disregard the idea of starting a production house for a newbie. The idea here is to promote the availability of services to the growing needs of public not for just drama soaps, serials but animated films/cartoons for younger ones.

Increasing demand pattern for entertainment programs widens the vision to enter in this dynamic field and public is more inclined towards quality dramas. Concurrently, the competition is very high and need big investment for an entry in this business. One should start with firm and properly designed business plan in order to succeed over competition. The penetration into the target market i.e TV channels in the case of production house is only based on the work excellence and building the trust with channels. As a result, production houses rely on directly contacting their target customers/channels.

The public want entertainment after a hectic routine of daily life; most of them want quality shows to pass their leisure time instead of watching dramatic/plotted news. Therefore, they are likely to take interest and are willing to watch good dramas, serials and telefilms. Hence there is a need for new production houses to be setup in Pakistan.

Media Production Industry in Pakistan

In 1946 EverReady Pictures was established as first production House Company by J.C An ad, which became the largest film production and distribution company in Pakistan. The following year, Evernew Studios was established. In 1947, after Pakistan’s independence from Britain,

Lahore was regarded as the production hub of Pakistan. Upon independence, there was a shortage of funds, filming equipment which initially paralyzed the industry. With hardships faced, the first Pakistani feature film, “Teri Yaad” released on 7 August 1948, premiering at the Parbhat Theatre in Lahore. Initial famous Pakistani dramas are Waris, Dehleez, Anganterha, Alif noon, SonaChandi, Alpha Bravo Charlie and so on. The very first time PTV transmitted its live telecast was on November 26th, 1964.

Currently Pakistan is country of vibrant media. There are number of private as well as state television channels in Pakistan. These private and state television channels broadcast all kinds of media stuff like news, documentaries, current affairs talk shows, dramas, and music, sports and even religious programs. These television channels are always in need of quality productions and that demand gave rise to the emergence of many private productions houses in Pakistan which produce all kinds of entertainment and commercial productions.

To understand the market scenario, a fact realized by having discussion with field experts is that a person with good knowledge of the business, reasonable amount of investment, good PR and links with TV channels can start his own production house. Moreover as per the market scenario and discussions with field experts there are currently around 50-80 production houses in Pakistan that are active and the majority lies in Karachi, termed as the business hub. Currently the boom of media industry has opened up many opportunities for a new entrant who wishes to provide creative and quality matter.

The rapid rate at which the demand for TV shows increases and continues to add multiple production houses in the market is a reflection of competition in drama soaps, serials and telefilms. This expansion increases accessibility, thus, making it more convenient for filling in the gap for a new production house and ultimately increases competition. Especially in recent years, we have been introduced with quality dramas and serials at our channels and this shows the potential of media industry.

In the current market scenario mostly media houses are linked with TV channels in order to secure their business and portfolio. They are now termed as sister companies more rather than independent production houses. This linkage is beneficial for both and as per the market experts’ opinion, for a new production house, a necessary step is to find the initial references at the start in order to get the business.

Future of the Media Industry in Pakistan

The media industry is growing by leaps and bounds and becoming increasingly competitive in Pakistan. The revival of Pakistani films, dramas, serials and telefilms has led our audience to a new level. In the face of rising competition and slot wars, a nearly insatiable demand of the good quality entertainment shows will continue to open new opportunities for filling the gaps by new entrants of this industry. Moreover the experts and experienced individuals will strive hard to find ways to serve their customers by making their services even more attractive. Nowadays many channels are likely to focus on starting their sister concerns as production houses in order to cut their expenses and to capture part of this market by offering total arrangements under one roof.

Before starting a business one must know their target market, which will help you to create a business model accordingly. The potential market for any new production house would be the public with age group of 15-45. Further the potential target for any production house will be based on the percentage of Local Entertainment in market share. As per Media Logic survey, September 2016 it is a fact that Local entertainment has the largest share of 37% in our media industry. This highest percentage is clearly an indication of market potential for any new production house company who can target the audience with good quality TV shows like dramas, telefilms etc. Second place is reserved for News channels which gives competition to Local Entertainment. Further it can be said that the common household public including Adults and children nowadays like to pass their leisure time with good quality shows in the prime time.

Investment Required for Media Production House Setup in Pakistan

Production House Company deals in major productions namely Telefilms, Sitcoms, Serials and Drama soaps. The Estimated cost is around Rs. 28,288,775 with fixed investment of Rs. 12,188,000 and working capital Rs. 16,100,775. Details of these financials can be studied in the media house business plan by SMEDA.

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2 Comments

  1. Great insights. We are following a slightly different model. We are part of another company and act as its production arm. Such model is useful for people who are in a partnership.

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