Industry Insight

Creative Entrepreneurship

Ask any producing student in film school what they want to be and the answer will mostly like be “Creative Producer”. However, there is a new word in town that sounds much cooler: CREATIVE ENTREPRENEUR.  It might sound like just another buzz word, but the future belongs to those that can be creative and entrepreneurial.

To understand this point all we need to do is read a comment from Jeoffrey Katzenberg’s panel during the Entrepreneurial Leadership In the Corporate World. He said the following: “TV is a growth business. Short form content is a growth business. Movies are not a growth business.” Short form is a viable business and represents a huge opportunity for ambitious filmmakers.”

This is great news for aspiring filmmakers because short form content is in their realm of expertise. Every film school student learns how to master the short form format, but those stories are usually shelved and never reach an audience. However, if you can produce good short form content, Katzenberg’s statement should sound like a golden opportunity.


Biola Media Conference is well aware of this golden opportunity and has been sharing the perspective of creative entrepreneurship with aspiring filmmakers. This year BMC hosted a panel of creative entrepreneurs who are shaping how entertainment is approached.

The panel was composed of the following visionary talent:

Steven Haddadian

Steven is a young entrepreneur, investor and producer with a vision to inspire his audience and the people around him in every project he’s a part of. In early 2013, Steven left the studio system to co-found his second company, a stealthy LA based tech startup
Steven Haddadian


Boye Fajinmi

Boye Fajinmi is all about art, creativity and it’s intersection between business and media. He is currently research manager at Paramount Pictures where he currently works in the Digital, Interactive Marketing and Micro Budget divisions.


Zach King

Huffington Post calls him The King of Vine. He has millions of views on YouTube. Ellen Degeneres recently featured him on her show, and had him make several vines just for her. He is breaking out using his talent to tell a story in 6 seconds.

I had the opportunity to speak with Steven, Boye, and Lisa Swain to get some advice for aspiring filmmakers. Below are some snipets from these conversations.


“The digital landscape has a lot of good opportunities and it is very young.”


“A creative entrepreneur turns big data into smart data by leveraging and analyzing big data.”


“The basics of storytelling are similar regardless of the format.”



Digital Landscape

Most filmmakers dream of having their projects screened on the silver screen, but the opportunity in the digital landscape cannot be ignored. According to Steven, “The digital landscape has a lot of good opportunities and it is very young”.

A creative producer can find an audience in the digital landscape. If a platform can’t create an audience, the next step is to follow Steven’s advice: “If a digital platform is not working, then maybe a new platform needs to be created.”

Steven is creating a solution by launching a new app that has potential to revolutionize the media industry. Follow him to stay updated and be one of the first to know when his app launches.

For digital landscape recommendations check out “7 Startups That Every Filmmaker Should Know”.

Smart DataiStockphoto_Thinkstock_social_brain_0_1_0_0_0_0_0_0

Boye says, “Big data has always been used, but big data by itself means nothing. A creative entrepreneur turns big data into smart data by leveraging and analyzing big data.” Smart data can then be used to make decisions that will impact the development of data and strategic direction of projects.

Big data has always been used in the entertainment world, but now innovators like Boye are using that data to understand and react to trends a lot quicker.

The great news is that studios are not the only ones who can access big data. You also have access to big data from Youtube, Twitter and Facebook. It’s now up to you to translate that data to make storytelling decisions.

Story Telling

Even though the landscape is shifting quickly, everyone should remember that content is king. Innovations will always disrupt the industry, but a good story will always be needed.  The digital landscape and smart data are useless if the content is not entertaining and original.

According to Lisa Swain, an experienced industry professional and Biola professor, “Story must always come first. The basics of storytelling are similar regardless of the format. We are adjusting to new paradigm, but there is an advantage to being a student because they don’t bring preconceived notions of how it has always been done.”

Creative Entrepreneurship is not just a new buzzword, but an approach that needs to be adopted by storytellers. The next wave of successful storytellers will be those that can combine entrepreneurship with their creative visions.

Make sure to follow BMC here and here to find out who will be leading the panels next year.