Friday, July 6, 2007

Local Film and TV Drama

There certainly had been a big step-up in the production of local films and tv dramas in recent years. but I was amazed to read that India produces 900 films a year. Wtih a population of about 1.12 billion that gives us a film per cap of 1.24 mil. 11 million go to the movie everyday (See Johan Jafar,NST July 7, p23).

How many filems do we produce per year with a population of 24 million? And how many TV dramas or mftv films? Quantity is one thing but what about the quality, or - more importantly - that quality which makes a film quite immortal and people want to see it again and again. In many cases, you see it once & that's more than enough. Better go for a Hollywood blockbuster or even a Hindi biggie.

The producers have said many things why we can't produce even 10 films a year. Though box office collections have climbed to RM7 mil ( Cicakman), who goes to the cinema for a local fare? Kids and Teens. Why? Films made for kids cannot be enjoyed by the grown-up and more mature audience while serous filems ( such as those directed by Rahim Razali) cannot be appreciated by kids and teenagers. There's a failure to bridge the generation gap here. But Walt Disney's films are enjoyed by both! Can we say the same for Kluang Man, Cicakman, and other attempts at TV cartoons already aired on the local network?

The tv drama series we see now again beg the question of acceptibility by both the young and old. They are more "soaps" in the stye of Hollywood's rich and ugly, full of corporate intrigues and manouvres. Some of the rich and wealthy characters are not convincing at all and the intrigues very shallow. Can they really attract the mature Tv viewers or would they rather turn to HBO, Cinemax or Starmovie?

We certainly need more thinking on these matters if the public is not going to be forced to swallow cinematic thrash from our local producers and TV stations or otherwise turn to the Hollywood channels.

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