A company name communicates your corporate culture, what you do, and how you see yourself. However, with over 12,000 production companies in the U.S. filled with creative people, it can be a daunting prospect to come up with a creative name for your production company.

How to Name a Production Company

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How to Name a Production Company

A step-by-step guide to coming up with an interesting, informative, and unique production company name.

1. 

Start a list.

1.1 

Write down any ideas you already have.

Write down any ideas you already have.

You may already have some ideas for a production company name. If so, go ahead and write them down.

1.2 

Highlight or star your favorites as you go.

Highlight or star your favorites as you go.

This will make it easy to narrow down the list later, while letting you jot down all ideas that may spark something later on.

The words you add to the list don’t have to be fully formed production company names. They can be words or concepts related to the business that help you get to the final name.

2. 

Perform essential research before you name a production company.

2.1 

Review your business plan.

Review your business plan.

If you’ve got a business plan for your production company, the research there should give you ideas for words, phrases, and concepts that fit your brand.

2.2 

Talk to likely clients.

Talk to likely clients.

This is something you’ll want to do, no matter what, to learn more about the people you’ll be catering to. While you’re meeting with them, be sure to write down words, phrases, and concepts that they associate with production companies.

3. 

Review ideas specific to the production business.

3.1 

Use your own name.

Use your own name.

There are many production companies that have used the owner's name, like Walt Disney Pictures and LucasFilms. However, using your own name comes with the risk of others thinking your company is unimaginative.

Try using a pseudonym, as Will Ferrell and Adam McKay did with their company, Gary Sanchez Productions, or name your company after a family member or friend.

Engage in a little wordplay on your name, like "Brett Ratner's Rat Entertainment."

Try spelling your name backwards as Oprah Winfrey did with Harpo Studios.

Reference other people who share your name, like Chris Columbus did with his 1492 Pictures company.

If your name is too long, try using an acronym, like TSG Entertainment, which stands for "The Seelig Group" (the company belongs to Chip Seelig).

3.2 

Go corporate.

Go corporate.

It's currently fashionable in the movie industry to complain about things becoming "too corporate." Brainstorm corporate sounding names that will communicate your importance to the world while subtly mocking the corporate culture. For example, David Letterman's "Worldwide Pants".

3.3 

Use superlatives.

Use superlatives.

Confidence is key in the movie industry, so try brainstorming keywords that shout out that you are ready to take on the world. For example, look at Thomas Tull's "Legendary Pictures," Stan Lee's "POW! Entertainment", and Nick Cassavetes's "Darn Good Films."

3.4 

Show your modesty.

Show your modesty.

On the other hand, Hollywood enjoys self-deprecating humor and often finds modesty to be endearing. Brainstorm ideas such as "Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment" or "Pascal Caucheteux's Why Not Productions."

3.5 

Consider your genre.

Consider your genre.

If you are planning on producing films in a particular genre, you can reference these in your name, like Zach Snyder's "Cruel and Unusual Films." You can also use the movie business's technical jargon in your name, like Chris and Paul Weitz's "Depth of Field."

3.6 

Think of metaphors.

Think of metaphors.

Brainstorm words that can act as a metaphor for a larger, universal sphere that will give people the idea that your company reaches for the bigger picture. Think of Dreamworks, Imagine Entertainment, and Icon Entertainment.

3.7 

Delve into the past and mythology.

Delve into the past and mythology.

Antiquity can be a great inspiration for a production company name with a more weighty tone to it. For example, Wesley Snipes's "Amen-Ra" (of Egyptian origin), Alexander Payne's "Ad Hominem" (from Latin), and Leonardo DiCaprio's "Appian Way" (a road in Rome).

4. 

Brainstorm region-specific vocabulary.

4.1 

Use the idea of a "production house."

Use the idea of a "production house."

Production companies are often known as production houses, and you can use this idea in your company name to invoke a sense of home, like "Picturehouse." Alternatively, you can go in the opposite direction with something a little more unnerving, like Robert Tapert and Sam Raimi's "Ghost House Pictures."

4.2 

Consider your street name if you’ve got a location.

Consider your street name if you’ve got a location.

A street name can help people find your production company, make naming easy, and connect it to a neighborhood or sense of place. For example, Tyler Perry's "34th Street Films" or Kevin Spacey's "Trigger Street Productions."

You'll want to be sure you'll be at this location for a long time. You don't want to call yourself "2nd St. Productions" if you have to move to 3rd St. a few years later.

You can also make up a street name for a more creative, less urban feel, like "Thunder Road," a company owned by Basil Iwanyk.

4.3 

Try neighborhood, city, and state names and nicknames.

Try neighborhood, city, and state names and nicknames.

Neighborhood, city, and state nicknames, whether real or imagined, can sometimes work well for a local production company. Examples include Will Smith and James Lassister's "Overbrook Entertainment," as well as Ivan Reitman and Tom Pollock's "The Montecito Picture Company."

5. 

Create more name ideas from your list.

5.1 

Combine words from the list.

Combine words from the list.

Try combining various words from your list to see if they form any interesting names. Also, try using the following words to create production-inspired names:

  • Video.
  • Media.
  • LLC.
  • Short Films.
  • Films.
  • Production.
  • Entertainment.
  • Studios.
5.2 

Use a name generator.

Use a name generator.

NameSnack can help combine your ideas and make associations that you wouldn't have thought of.

NameSnack's AI will prompt you to add different words. You can try adding them all, or go with smaller groups.

Write down any production company names you like.

NameSnack will also tell you if the domains are available. Check the ones that have domains off on your list.

5.3 

Intermix words.

Intermix words.

Mixing up words, misspelling them, or simply creating new words can generate really unique and creative ideas. For example, Pixar is a combination of radar and "pixer," a made-up word that Alvy Ray Smith thought sounded like a possible Spanish word for making pictures.

5.4 

Try translations.

Try translations.

Translating English words into a foreign language can be a creative way of giving a production company name a sense of personality, like Salma Hayek's "Ventanarosa Productions." Just be sure to check that the word doesn't have any negative connotations in the language you are using.

6. 

Review and reflect.

6.1 

Read through your list again.

Read through your list again.

See if there are any others that stand out, and mark them. As you are going through your list, keep in mind why you're starting this company. Articulating your purpose can result in interesting, unique, and informative names.

6.2 

Set the list aside for a day or two.

Set the list aside for a day or two.

Come back with fresh eyes and see which names stand out. Also, see which names you still remember. This may give you a clue as to which ones are most memorable.

7. 

Get feedback on your top production company names.

7.1 

Test the names on friends and colleagues.

Test the names on friends and colleagues.

Read your names to friends and colleagues, and get their take on your production company names. Come back a day or two later and see which ones they still remember.

7.2 

Test the names online.

Test the names online.

Use online surveys to test out your name ideas with the general population.

7.3 

Ask for advice.

Ask for advice.

You can ask for advice on your name ideas from other production company owners who have more experience in the industry.

8. 

Check availability.

8.1 

See if the web domain name is available.

See if the web domain name is available.

Use a site like Namecheap to see which of your top business name ideas has a related URL available.

8.2 

See if the name is already in use in your state.

See if the name is already in use in your state.

If the business name is already in use for a similar business in your state, it's likely you won't be able to use it.

8.3 

Check the names on Google.

Check the names on Google.

Google your favorite name ideas to see if there are any other well-known production companies with the same name, or if there are some associations you hadn’t thought of.

9. 

Get the name.

9.1 

Buy the domain name.

Buy the domain name.

You can do this through sites like Namecheap.

9.2 

Register the business name with the state.

Register the business name with the state.

You'll need to register the name in your state once you've chosen it. In most states this is fast and easy, and can be done online.

9.3 

Trademark the name.

Trademark the name.

This offers additional protection from other businesses using your production company name.

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FAQs:

How do I create a production company name?

  • Start a list.
  • Perform essential research before you name a production company.
  • Review ideas specific to the production business.
  • Brainstorm region-specific vocabulary.
  • Create more name ideas from your list.
  • Review and reflect.
  • Get feedback on your top production company names.
  • Check availability.
  • Get the name.

How do you name a video production company?

  • Start a list.
  • Perform essential research.
  • Review ideas specific to the video production business.
  • Brainstorm region-specific vocabulary.
  • Create more name ideas from your list.
  • Review and reflect.
  • Get feedback on your top video production company names.
  • Check availability.
  • Get the name.

Where can I find ideas for my production company's name?

You can find ideas for production company names virtual anywhere, including your own name, metaphors, superlatives, your location, your chosen movie genre, the past, mythology, and even just anything around you. For example, Drew Barrymore named her company Flower Films.

Try running any vocabulary you come up with through a business name generator like Namesnack.

How can I see if my production company's name is taken?

Check with your state business name lookup and search for the name and close variants online. You can also search for trademarks on the USPTO website.

How can I see if my production company's URL is available?

Check Namecheap for the URL, or domain name, for your production company. Consider close variations as well.

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