Saturday, October 16, 2010

Extending Nandini Ramnath's column: Animated Discussion

Nandini Ramnath is always entertaining and most of the time she echoes questions about the movie world that comes to mind when you normally think about the layers that infect movies / entertainment / television in India.

In her latest column Stall Order in Mint Lounge titled Animated Discussion she asks why Indians do not make great animated movies like Wall-e or even the Disney Fare.

Why do we recycle the same 2/3 mythological stories over and over again and at that in a shoddy manner that even my four and half year old knows that My Friend Ganesha is 'so ugly' while her latest BenTen fascination extends beyond her regulated 2 hours of TV time.

I have often wondered why we do not have any sitcoms that go beyond the old school of tried and tested. Are we to believe that the Friends / Off Centre / Two and Half Men / How I met you mother kind of people do not exist in this part of the world? I think the real answer lies in the way the industry functions - cartel like with crony centric thinking. You want to see the thinking sessions / ideation rounds you are welcome to play voyeur at one of the coffee shops near Samarth Vaibhav building in Lokhadwala Andheri West, or at the new Costa at Seven Bungalows, in Andheri West. I know this because I have spent 5 years in these coffee shops working while around me 'story ka twist' or 'hatke treatments' are discussed by grown men and women who live in this world but believe that their version of India is actually correct. I have seen young men and women start off with great concepts and within 3 - 4 months fall back to the tried and tested. Have heard some well known names in content take the mickey out of these guys by telling them that if you stick your head out you will never get work. And that is true.

So while we lament that Japs have better ideas we swat anyone with a better idea in our backyards. I assume it is because we fear that the guy with the new ideas might actually succeed.

There is tremendous potential in creating concepts and themes that are about India and which can be identified by most people like me who now depend on VOD to get their fix of 'entertainment'

Or maybe there is the need for these people with interesting ideas to look beyond broadcast. Its time for content creators to look at handheld devices, alternate screens as distinct distribution vehicles and create channel, promote channels like TV is promoted. Coming soon on your Ipad may not be such a bad thing afterall.

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