NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College


Fall 2010

Instructor Details

Malin, Amir


By appointment only



Matt Kidd


By appointment only



Course Meetings

M, 6:30pm to 7:45pm

Tisch T-UC24

Final Exam:

Schedule exceptions
    Class will not meet on:
    Class will meet on:


Course Description and Learning Goals

This course is designed to provide both business and films students with a systematic overview of the modern day filmed entertainment business.   The analysis will not only cover the traditional “Hollywood System” operating out of Los Angeles but will examine the independent film model as well.

The course will take a critical look at the financing, production, marketing and distribution of filmed entertainment.  Particular attention will be focused on the various revenue streams inherent in the exploitation of such product both in the domestic marketplace and in the international arena. 

The primary objective of the course is to provide students with real life experiences, the practical realities, and a keen understanding of how things actually work in the film business.  The course will hopefully provide students with a requisite background and orientation that can lead to an entry level position with a film production or distribution company, an international sales organization, or related support organizations.


Required Course Materials

Required reading for the course will include text from the following:  “The Biz” by Schuyler Moore (3rd Edition), and “The Business of Media Distribution” by Jeffrey Ulin (2010 Edition).  In addition, students will be provided with handouts and directed to various periodicals, journals, and websites.


Assessment Components

The class meets only once a week.  Attendance and class participation are critically important.  Reading assignments for each week will be posted in advance.  Students are expected to be well prepared.  In part, the class will be conducted in a Socratic style of teaching.  This means that students may be called upon at random by the professor.    The purpose is not to make the student nervous.  It is meant to create a natural dialogue, encourages preparation, and gets the entire class to participate.  The dialogue will be between student and professor and students talking to each other and debating the merits of each issue. 

There will be a midterm examination.  There will be no final exam.  At the initial class session, students will be divided into groups of 5.  Each group will be a representative of an investment fund.  Each week the professor will give the groups additional fact patterns as they investigate a potential investment in the filmed entertainment space.  At the end of the term, each group will give a class presentation explaining their investment thesis and conclusions.



20% - Class Participation

30% - Midterm Examination (In class/ closed book)

50% - Team Project / Class Presentation


Group Projects

Guidelines for Group Projects

Business activities involve group effort. Consequently, learning how to work effectively in a group is a critical part of your business education.

Every member is expected to carry an equal share of the group’s workload. As such, it is in your interest to be involved in all aspects of the project. Even if you divide the work rather than work on each piece together, you are still responsible for each part. The group project will be graded as a whole:   its different components will not be graded separately. Your exams may contain questions that are based on aspects of your group projects.

It is recommended that each group establish ground rules early in the process to facilitate your joint work including a problem-solving process for handling conflicts. In the infrequent case where you believe that a group member is not carrying out his or her fair share of work, you are urged not to permit problems to develop to a point where they become serious. If you cannot resolve conflicts internally after your best efforts, they should be brought to my attention and I will work with you to find a resolution.

You will be asked to complete a peer evaluation form to evaluate the contribution of each of your group members (including your own contribution) at the conclusion of each project. If there is consensus that a group member did not contribute a fair share of work to the project, I will consider this feedback during grading.



The process of assigning grades is intended to be one of unbiased evaluation. Students are encouraged to respect the integrity and authority of the professor’s grading system and are discouraged from pursuing arbitrary challenges to it.

If you believe an inadvertent error has been made in the grading of an individual assignment or in assessing an overall course grade, a request to have the grade re-evaluated may be submitted. You must submit such requests in writing to me within 7 days of receiving the grade, including a brief written statement of why you believe that an error in grading has been made.


Professional Responsibilities For This Course

Attendance / Lateness:  Students are expected to attend each class and actively participate in all discussions.  Being absent or showing up late will adversely affect the student’s grade.  Given the limited class time students will be required to arrive promptly and in no event later than 6:30pm.  Attendance will be taken by the teaching assistant.  Class disturbance will not be tolerated – talking, arriving late, checking email messages, watching internet tv, manicures, pedicures,  or leaving early, etc.

Cheating / Plagiarism:  Students are expected to adhere to the Stern School’s Honor Code, “I will not lie, cheat or steal to gain an academic advantage, or tolerate those who do.”

Students with Disabilities:  If a student needs special accommodations, make sure that these are documented with the University so that we can properly assist you.


Stern Policies

General Behavior
The School expects that students will conduct themselves with respect and professionalism toward faculty, students, and others present in class and will follow the rules laid down by the instructor for classroom behavior.  Students who fail to do so may be asked to leave the classroom. 


Collaboration on Graded Assignments
Students may not work together on graded assignment unless the instructor gives express permission. 


Course Evaluations
Course evaluations are important to us and to students who come after you.  Please complete them thoughtfully.


Academic Integrity

Integrity is critical to the learning process and to all that we do here at NYU Stern. As members of our community, all students agree to abide by the NYU Stern Student Code of Conduct, which includes a commitment to:

The entire Stern Student Code of Conduct applies to all students enrolled in Stern courses and can be found here:

Undergraduate College: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/uc/codeofconduct
Graduate Programs: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/studentactivities/involved.cfm?doc_id=102505

To help ensure the integrity of our learning community, prose assignments you submit to Blackboard will be submitted to Turnitin.  Turnitin will compare your submission to a database of prior submissions to Turnitin, current and archived Web pages, periodicals, journals, and publications.  Additionally, your document will become part of the Turnitin database.


Course Outline

Week #1 (September 13th) - Introduction

General review of the course syllabus

Expectations (attendance, classroom participation, grading, etc)

Testing and group project assignment

Review required reading assignment

Week#2(September 20th) –Motion Pictures / production and acquisition

The development process

Spec scripts

The agencies and management firms

Producer’s reps

Festivals and markets

Week#3 (September 27th)-Motion Pictures/ financing

The studio model

The independent model

The hybrid model

Week#4 (October 4th) – Movie Screening

Week #5 (October 18th) –The Marketing of Motion Pictures, part 1

Week #6 (October 25th) – The Marketing of Motion Pictures, part 2

Week #7 (November 1st) – MIDTERM EXAM

Week#8 (November 8th)– Distribution Strategy

Domestic marketplace

International marketplace

Week#9 (November 15th) – Revenue Streams

Home entertainment

Week#10 (November 22nd) – Revenue Streams

Pay TV

Free/Basic cable TV


Ancillary markets

Week#11 (November 29th) -  GUEST SPEAKER

Week#12 (December 6th) – Slate Financings

Week#13 (December 13th) – Class Presentations

Week #14 (December 15th) – Class Presentations


Recording of Classes

Your class may be recorded for educational purposes


Students with Disabilities

If you have a qualified disability and will require academic accommodation of any kind during this course, you must notify me at the beginning of the course and provide a letter from the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD, 998-4980, www.nyu.edu/csd) verifying your registration and outlining the accommodations they recommend.  If you will need to take an exam at the CSD, you must submit a completed Exam Accommodations Form to them at least one week prior to the scheduled exam time to be guaranteed accommodation.


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