What Does Motion Picture Packaging Encompass?

What Does Motion Picture Packaging Encompass (1)

The first ingredient of film production entails amalgamation of the package. Hence, it behooves entertainment-industry participants to ascertain what packaging entails and how to best optimize it. Let us explore such salient topic further.


The definition for packaging used mostly in the industry is usually very broad and ambiguous. In fact, such definition could be used to describe any combination of the ingredients of production such as: combining a star and a director TO combining a writer and a line producer.

REALLYPackaging means combining necessary elements to induce a financier to invest in production. Hence, packaging should be subdivided into TWO categories: Development Packaging and Pre-Production Packaging.


Development packaging encompasses the acquisition of a motion picture idea either:

  • PREEXISTING UNDERLYING RIGHTS: Through obtaining the rights to pre-existing underlying rights. This might include acquiring rights to a pre-existing novel, life story, play, etc. Or,
  • CREATING ORIGINAL WORK: Through creating an original idea, and then converting that idea into a compelling screenplay. This is extremely important to note creation of a compelling financially viable screenplay is the sine qua non for engagement of worthy talent, which usually occurs during the pre-production packaging stage.


Preproduction packaging is somehow similar to the definition of packaging. Nonetheless, this definition encompasses the assembly of all the elements necessary to induce a financier to commit to the ACTUAL production of the motion picture rather than just the production.

  • Preproduction Packaging Variations: Preproduction packaging often varies based on a single creative bankable element to a PACKAGE encompassing all of the key elements of script, director and stars.


Although preproduction packaging USUALLY follows development stage, in which the initial screenplay is written, financiers and talents COULD commit to a project based solely on the strength of the pre-existing underlying property. In this case, the pre-existing underlying property could encompass:

  • Reputation of a Screenwriter or Director (Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg or Woody Allen)
  • Best-Selling Novel

This definitional analysis provides ONLY some of the rudimentary knowledge of production and the complexity and sophistication in packaging of motion pictures.

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