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Filmmaking - is it an art or a business?

Going by the current trend, a shelf life of a movie is hardly 2 weeks, which means, a creator conceives an idea, puts all his sweat and blood to make a product for 1.5 years or more which barely runs in theatre for 15 days. Though it may recover the cost in the stipulated time, how would a creator feel to see his child lose its shine in such a quick time. New directors might have been used to this trend but what about some of silver jubilee directors of 80’s and 90’s? A director who might have made many 200 days film might be disheartened to see his film being mercilessly removed from theatres in 20 days.

Film has become more of a business than an art now. The makers are more interested in polishing an average product with various marketing strategies and make it saleable rather than trying to push the bar up with some creative content. I’m not generalizing here; there are many good producers who aim at giving nothing but quality stuff too.

So coming to the point, a film’s pre-release marketing is as critical as much as the response it gets from the audience at the theatre, because you recover most of your revenue from a film’s initial run. The concept of waiting till Monday to assess a product’s outcome is gone now. The first three days collection is all it takes for a film’s fortune to be decided, four or five days in the case of long holiday weekend. Again this is not applicable for all films.

I personally feel that the charm of films is gone because of this mad rush of films and excessive marketing strategy concept for a mediocre film. We are just crossing 50 days of 2016 and already we have over 30 film releases in Tamil alone. Eating into one another’s business is one thing but do we get attached to a film like we used to? Even before we are consuming a product, we are offered another dish to taste.

My memories are filled with more of 90’s films, very little of post 2k films despite the fact that last 6 years produced more films than the 90’s. Not that 90’s had better films than what we are being offered now but things were different back then. Movies were meant to be experienced in theatres in 90’s. The intervention of pirated DVD’s was not there, you wait for months to catch a film in theatres. Today, we have the technology but where is the fun? Back then, a film released in 5 - 10 theatres and ran for 300 to 400 days and now it is just the opposite, a film  runs for just 5 - 10 days in 400 odd screens.

I go by director Vetri Maaran’s theory. In an recent interview the Visaranai director claimed that cinema is first a science, followed by commerce and only then an art. So it is important for every film makers to understand the market before making one.

So now it is a different ball game altogether and with the advancement of technology, the concept of theatre hall itself could get extinct in the future. So it is important that the directors and film buffs like me adapt to the ever-changing trend.

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Tags : Ajith, Vijay



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