You Handle Hollywood!
just been made the head of your own Movie Studio! You’ve
got 1 billion dollars and 10 years to be the best Studio
you’ve named your Studio you will reach the main screen.
It shows part of your Studio and has some panels around
panel on the left shows you the current film that you are
working on – at the start it’s blank, as you have not got
any films in production yet. As you can have several films
in production at the same time left and right arrows are
present to allow you to change between your films.
New Film button is there – press this when you want to start
a new film.
hardly stands still for a busy Executive like you. In this
panel you have a clock which fills red as time progresses.
When it’s full the week is over.
top panel you are shown the year and week plus how much
money you have. Note: b is for billion, m is for million
and k for thousand.
six buttons numbered 1 to 6 are short cut keys, which move
you around your Studio.
have completed all your instructions for the week and do
not want to wait for the clock to go round, you can click
brings up a screen that allows you to save the game, set
the game options, edit the game, restart the game and return
back to Windows.
Studio is divided into 6 zones.
a top level plan of the Studio:
around the Studio using the Mouse:
Left click on Building
You will walk to and
enter the building
Right click on Building
You will ‘jump’ to just
outside the building and then enter it (Note as MSB
is played against the clock, extra time units are
used up when using the right click. Otherwise players
just using left would be at a disadvantage as they
would visit less buildings in a week.)
Position Mouse at Edge
Screen will scroll
the following keyboard commands are available:
Scroll screen in that
Move camera to you current
Minus (on keypad)
Lower Viewing Angle
Plus (on keyboard)
Raise Viewing Angle
Toggle Shadows on and
Toggle Film School
Toggle Studio Map
you keep track of what’s going on financially with your
company. There are several buildings - just click on them
to access the information.
a new film
a New Film
New Film on the top left panel. A clipboard appears with
a series of forms, fill in the forms describing what type
of film you intend to make. Items that you must complete
are shown in italic in the table below:
Type in the title of
the film you are making. Note: for speed the form
starts in typing mode on pressing Return you are switched
back to normal mouse control.
You can amend the film’s
title layer by clicking on it. This will put you back
into typing mode.
Your first decision -
where is the film set? This helps to describe the
film to the audience. Choices are:
Day (In theory the safest and cheapest option)
(Need to spend money to do this well)
(Audience will expect a ‘cast of 1,000s’)
(Not quite as expensive as an Epic)
Sea (Fraught with potential delays)
Here you complete the
description of the film by setting the film’s intended
content, there are 7 genres:
Each genre is rated from
none to 5. So a Comedy rating of 5 means that you
intend to make an out and out laugh a second comedy.
A 1 would mean the film has a few funny quips in it.
Nothing would mean no intended laughs at all.
Having described your
film you had better get the personnel experienced
in that field otherwise you could fail miserably at
the box office.
The higher the content
levels the greater the film’s box office potential.
Note: A film must have
some content before the Go button appears.
(the top level, the public would expect to see some
strong talent in this one)
(low budget – TV Movie quality)
Length of Shoot
You can increase the
standard length of shoot (set by the intended quality)
to give your Director more time to make that masterpiece.
You can start a New Film in any zone as long as you have
some money in the bank.
started a film, you need to get a script together (although
in Hollywood that this is not always the case – but this
is only a game) by hiring a Scriptwriter.
the Scriptwriters’ Hut in Zone 2. You’ll see who’s available.
You’ll see their rating in each of the genres. Try and match
up a Scriptwriter experienced in the type of film you are
trying to make.
(Movie Studio Boss) Scriptwriters are a pretty happy bunch
and as long as you are happy to pay their fee, they’ll take
the assignment. So select the one you want and press offer.
The symbol next to their fee shows their personality (easy-going,
normal and difficult). Make note of this as very soon they’ll
be working with the Director and progress can be hampered
if those two do not get along.
the Directors’ Villa. You’ll see who is available and their
rating. Try and hire a Director experienced in the film’s
expect control of the picture and are far fussier about
taking on a project than Scriptwriters. Things to look out
them when the scripts been developed
miss-match – great Directors demand great writers
miss-match – great Directors want to work on ambitious
that you made enemies of
week passes you’ll see the progress being made on the script
– on the progress board above the In-development office.
How quick progress is depends on how good your writing team
is. Red bars on the progress board indicate that the script
is not perfect in that genre. Green bars, the script is
you feel that the script is as good as it’s going to get,
enter the office and a clipboard will appear. Here you can
do the following:
script development, you should now proceed to the next
the script (if you want them to start again)
the Director or the Scriptwriter (if you feel you are
not getting the right result) – Note: this will effect
Script (this costs more money but allows you to fine tune
a successful film involves getting many things right, however
one of the most important things is getting a good script
so be prepared to scrap the script time and time again until
you get it as good as you can.
you’ve got your script so now is the time to sort out:
of Photography (D of P) and what film stock you intend
supporting cast and extras
hire each person they will go and sit in their chair next
to the status board. When you’ve hired everyone click on
the status board and a clipboard will appear. Here you can
see a summary of what you’ve done and also press the finished
zone button to move the film into production.
of Photography (D of P)
things to do here, engage a D of P and decide on what film
stock you’ll be shooting the film on.
D of P is more concerned with the film’s setting than the
content. So on entering the D of P’s hut – the one with
the camera outside – you’ll see a list of available D of
Ps, how much it costs to engage them (this cost includes
their crew) and their ability.
and get the best D of P for the film’s setting, things to
look out for:
of Ps have a hard enough time without personality issues
with Directors so you’ll find that easy going D of Ps
do not like hassle
interference (they are hired now and have a say as to
who works with them)
D of Ps want to shoot great films
engaging a D of P it’s time to choose your film stock, choices
Digital Video format
for use in ultra-low budget projects
Student films, documentaries
and low budget (plus hand held grainy scenes)
Standard film format
For the mega-budget movie
the Director and the D of P will ratify your choice and
they will certainly let you know if you’re making the wrong
cost, listed underneath each film stock, is paid for every
week you are in the production phase (actually filming the
the Pink trailer for the Actress or the blue one for the
Actor and begin negotiations. Select whom you want to hire
and offer them the role. You will get their immediate feedback.
Things to watch out for are:
they are good enough for the job
they think of you, the script and the Director
past that hurdle you’ll get involved in cutting the deal.
How much they get paid up front and what their cut will
be of the film’s box office. Big stars demand big salaries
and also expect a cut in the take.
run-down cabin is where you can find the rest of cast. Decide
on how many Supporting Actors and Extras you need. The fee
shown is for the duration of the shoot.
Director will guide you to the numbers he thinks are suitable
– note the better the Director the more accurate the prediction.
Things to keep in mind:
films tend to have the largest casts numbering in the
the numbers wrong will effect box office
intended quality of the film is what sets the Supporting
Actors & Extras fees
the cast numbers faster use the RMB (right mouse button)
on the icons.
the costume shop to set the quality of the costumes.
rate shown is charged every week that the film is in production.
the Makeup shop and set the quality of Makeup Artist and
the number that you need. Horror and Sci-fi productions
must ensure that they have good personnel in this area.
rate shown is charged every week that the film is in production
for each Makeup Artist engaged.
finished your heads of each department should be sitting
in their chairs next to the status board. Click on the status
board and press Finished Zone to move the film into the
film is shot in the large building/sound stage in front
of you. Each week a situation may arise, sometimes good
and sometimes bad. The green enter sign will come on and
you should enter the building.
situation is described and the three actions that you can
take are displayed. Select one and live with the consequences.
are over 25 situations that can arise. Many of the situations
occur because of the decisions that you made earlier. Here
are some situations that you may come across:
with the script
fail to turn up
gets damaged by the operator
is laughed off the set
gives a brilliant performance
If you fail to enter the building and handle the situation
your Director will try and handle it the best he can.
continues until the shoot is finished. If you’ve had some
problems with the production this could be longer than the
time originally allotted. You’ll know when the Director’s
finished as a ‘Production Complete’ sign gets hung outside
the building. You should now head off to Post-production.
than one film is being shot at the studio at the same time,
the green enter sign will appear if any of the films in
production have a problem. On entering the sound stage the
currently selected film will switch to the one in trouble.
If you have more than one film with problems a right arrow
button will appear allowing you to go to the next problem.
are six more things to do before the film is ready for release.
You need to hire:
Composer to score the film
Unit (for those computer graphics)
Editor works with the director to create the final cut of
the film. Some Editors are faster than others, those with
the symbol ‘>’ work the fastest and those marked ‘<’
are the slowest. Some Editors will refuse your offer to
work on the picture.
best results either give the Editor lots of time in the
editing room or hire someone who’s experienced in the type
of film they will be cutting.
Composer works with the Director to score the picture. Strong
composition can really make the difference at the box office
so try and hire the best you can. Composers can be a bit
‘arty’ and refuse to work on second rate pictures. Some
Composers can work really fast – check out the speed indicators.
best results either give the Composer lots of time or hire
someone who’s experienced in the type of film they will
unit is responsible for creating the sound effects that
will be added to the soundtrack. How important to the film
their work is depends on the genre of the picture. Sci-fi,
horror and action need more effort than the other genres.
fee you see is a one-off charge. The longer you can give
them the better the end result.
team is responsible for mixing the soundtrack. With all
the high quality sound systems found in many of today’s
cinemas a good sound mix is essential.
fee you see is a one-off charge. The longer you can give
them the better the end result.
unit is responsible for creating the computer-generated
special effects that appear in nearly all films nowadays.
Some films such as current day romances can get away with
a low CGI budget, but try doing a Sci-fi action blockbuster
at low cost and you may find yourself with a straight to
fee you see is a one off charge. The longer you can give
them the better the end result.
team is responsible for creating those physical effects
such as car crashes and miniature model work. Like CGI,
films in the action genre will need higher quality work
to achieve box office success compared to a romantic picture.
fee you see is a one off charge. The more time you can give
them the better the end result.
give them time to do their job. The progress board will
show what standard they have reached. When you feel they’ve
progressed enough enter the Post-production office and click
on ‘Finish Zone’. You can now head off to the final zone
– On Release.
made your film, now you need to start marketing and when
you feel the time is right, release your epic on the world.
normal release pattern for motion pictures is to release
first in the US with an international release following
shortly. After 6 months the title is then made for sale
direct to the public in either DVD and/or video format.
the US part of the warehouse. First thing to notice is the
awareness rating. This is set by how big the film is (big
films get lots of ‘free’ press coverage) and the marketing
spend. Don’t just release the film, spend some marketing
dollars, then when awareness is at a suitable level decide
on how many screens your film should be shown at – hopefully
you will then start to see the money roll in.
the weekly marketing spend for this film. This money is
spent each week to raise the awareness rating. Note: you
should spend the marketing dollars before the film is put
in the cinema and remember to reduce this figure when you
have released the film – otherwise you’ll still be spending
this amount forever.
you are ready set the number of screens you want the film
to be shown on. The warehouse will automatically get enough
prints of the film made and sent to the cinemas.
you there are several release patterns you can click on
to set the number of screens the film is being shown on:
(over 3,000 screens)
(the film is no longer being shown)
are charged for every print made and a small charge for
every screen the film is shown at (this covers local advertising).
So if the film is not pulling in the dollars you should
take it out of the cinemas.
the film is released in the US you can pay for a test screening.
Your film will be shown to a specially selected group of
cinema-goers that will then tell you what they think.
well they enjoyed the film.
the story appealed to them or not.
they understand the film?
the acting up to scratch?
the visual effects any good?
the sound okay?
then get the opportunity to spend some more money on the
picture in the hope that it will improve.
film is re-cut, this could improve the comprehension, ‘hide’
bad acting and increase the overall film rating.
ending is re-filmed, this could improve the comprehension
and greatly increase the overall film rating.
film is shot, this could improve the comprehension, ‘hide’
bad acting and dramatically increase the overall film rating.
This is not a cheap option but could save the film.
film is re-scored and the soundtrack re-mixed, this could
improve the sound and increase the overall film rating.
friendly Web based film reviewer is always happy to review
pre-release films and let you (and his pals) know whether
the film is any good or not. Note: Only Movie Moguls who
have thick-skins should visit this site.
works much the same as US release and gives you the opportunity
to double your money – many films can earn half their box
office outside the US.
you have to work out how many units you need to manufacture
rather than screens. But otherwise it works pretty much
the same as US Release.
get $25 for every unit you sell – however after a while
retailers will only give you half that. Eventually they
will only take it at clearance prices.
stage you can sell the TV rights. You can either take what
the TV companies are offering or wait and see what happens
at the box office. If the film does strong box office you’ll
get a better offer however should the film "stiff"
you’ll be worse off. So if you have faith in your film then
waiting is the best policy.
progress board above the On Release building you get a chance
to see how your current film is doing. If you enter the
building you can see how all your films are doing in the
three markets: US, International and DVD/Video.
much money you take depends on so many factors, here’s a
list of some of them:
ambitious the film was in the first place (it is possible
for low budget films to strike it big, but it is less
you’ve got any top stars in roles that are ‘perfect’ for
you’ve got the wrong actors in the wrong parts
Script failing to match your original intentions
long the film’s been on release
time of the year it is
you’ve got it on enough screens or you have enough stock
good the Director is (at making your film)
you have enough supporting actors or rest of cast
the costumes good enough
(for certain genre, i.e. horror, Sci-fi, quality makeup
the musical score any good
you let the post-production teams (FX, Sound etc.) have
you get the right post-production teams for the level
of film you made
you sold the DVD too early (harms cinema release)
the production schedule tight or did you allow the Director
time to get it right
you properly resolve any problems that occurred during
you just made a film that is in an over crowded genre
the film won any awards
competition is there in the marketplace – if there are
lots of new releases in the week you open you’ll have
a harder time
factors, but nearly all of them controlled by decisions
you make as the Boss. So if your film flops it’s probably
because of decisions you made!
the cinema owners take half of the box office each week,
so if your film does $100 Million at the box office, you’ll
lose $50 Million to the cinema owners.
are up against seven other movie moguls (all computer controlled).
Your task is to beat them and at the end of your ten years
in charge be top of either one, but ideally all three of
the following categories.
(how much money you take in)
(how much money you’ve made)
(total number of awards your films have won)
you have some idea as to what Movie Studio Boss is all about,
let’s go over the buildings in the finance zone.
tables showing the eight Movie Companies ranked by turnover,
profitability and awards. As this is how you are finally
ranked, a most useful group of tables.
each Company you can see how many films they have made and
how many more they have in the pipeline. You can use this
to gauge how many films are coming out next week.
can see which film has taken the most at the Box Office
plus lots of other good information. Note: you click on
the column headings to rank the table by that property plus
right clicking moves through the report a page at a time.
news stories from the movie world are presented on the first
page with charts on the next three pages.
Weekly Box Office
week’s US box office.
Weekly Box Office
week’s international box office.
week’s DVD/Video sales chart.
about week 14 of each year, the movie industry gathers to
see who has won the coveted Movie Studio Boss Awards. There
are several categories, all of which can help boost the
film’s income and improve the prestige (‘salary’) of the
company’s profit and loss account for the year.
you play quicker:
1 to 6
Move to that zone
Space or N
Changes the currently
selected film (that appears in the panel in the top
left) to your next film
As page up but goes in
the other direction
Like page up but only
moves to films that are currently in this zone
As Home but moves in
the other direction
a plan of the Studio and what takes place in each part:
(Marketing, US & International Release, DVD Sales,
Test Screenings, Web Reviews), TV Rights, Status
Music, Special Effects, Sound, CGI, Sound Effects,
Position, News (Film News, Weekly Box Office), Awards,
Profit & Loss
New Film, Scriptwriter, Director, Script Progress
of Photography (Film Stock), Actor, Actress, Rest
of Cast, Costumes, Makeup
go about your movie making you may see some carts driving
around. If you click on them you may meet just the right
person who can give you some help – but beware not all of
these leads are good, some will cost you money!
game visuals are running a bit slow, here are a few suggestions:
shadows off (accessed via System then Options)
‘Stop 3D on Panel’ on (accessed via System then Options)
running MSB change your desktop down to 16 bit color (this
will give your video card more RAM to play with)
end of every week the game is automatically saved. You can
turn this off by accessing the options screen. The Auto
Save game is in addition to the 10 save game slots available.
want your name to appear in lights it is possible to edit
some of the text that appears in the game. In the folder
you’ll see lots of text files which you can edit in Notepad.
make a backup copy – just in case your change fails
not add a name at the end
not delete a name
overtype the name you wish to change
make the new name longer than the longest name you can
see in the file
your name is one of the actors – but you want him to be
a great Horror star, it’s possible:
MSB and immediately go to the Edit screen (System button,
can now change between the various personnel
edit their important attributes
finished then exit and then immediately go and save the
game – this saved game can then be used whenever you want
to play a game where you are the star
Editing the game may cause the AI problems, for instance
if you made everyone a superstar, the AI (and yourself)
will be unable to make low budget films. So please edit
away but try and keep some balance.
"cheating" this facility is only available during
the first week of the first year.
plays the same as the full version except that the game
ends after the first year.
it’s up to you, you’ve got that billion dollars, you are
head of that new studio you’ve always wanted, so go out
there and make us some classics.
Studio Boss Development Team