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‘Television shows have to be planned more carefully than the films for family viewing’- Ekta Kapoor


Indian TV and film producer, Ekta Kapoor highlighted that television shows have to be planned more carefully than the films. Besides Ekta, Indian film director, producer, and screenwriter, Karan Johar; film producer and founder of Roy Kapur Films, Siddharth Roy Kapur; and CEO for Fox Star Studio, Vijay Singh were also present at a panel discussion at IFFI 2017.

Speaking about the wider target audience of television Ekta said: “Television is family viewing. It is unlike films that are flexible to have a target audience. I may watch a television series with my juniors and my seniors. I may be watching television with my grandmother or my five-year-old, it shouldn’t be shocking. Hence, you should plan it in such a way that everyone can watch it and not just a few people. In a film, however, through a promo you can reveal the type of content it is based on, and audience can choose whether they should watch it or not.”

Ekta believes that television and films have the ability to connect to the audience in their own ways. However, form of consumption and content matters. At the panel discussion she compared the digitally viewed series to films in theatres. Mentioning the similarity in both she said: “The story needs to be interesting in both. In digital, it is an individual journey where each one can connect to the film personally while in theatres, movies are not personal. There are hundreds of people around in theatre who sneeze, cough, eat and the activity continues.”

The panel discussion was held on the topic ‘How to make your next film – For young producers and writers’. It was moderated by Indian author, journalist, film critic and director of the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, Anupama Chopra.

Based on his experience, Karan said that he has to read scripts every two days. After around 30 pages a producer can judge the type of content the writer has submitted. “Sometimes you just feel like grabbing the opportunity to produce a film, while sometimes you take time to think over a script, and sometimes it is just a matter of chance. One incident that happened with me was when I went through the script of Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya. I found it weird and interesting at once, but as I began reading it I could get the touch of Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge in the script of that movie,” he said.

The film producers mentioned that they have a process of going through the film and producing it. Karan mentioned that producers have development teams and aspiring writers can contact them through certain websites which is followed by a process. “As a filmmaker I have to read the whole script, the dialogues, scenes etc,” he said.

Siddharth said that the production of a film begins from a script. He said: “It is a bizarre answer that one can expect a producer to say, but it is a fact that production of a film begins with a script. If the script excites the producer, they become keen to produce the film. However, it is a huge process.”

Vijay on the other hand spoke about studios and how they function: “Studios keep a goal for producing around eight to ten films a year. We have large developmental teams too, and it depends on the directors, actors we are working with. Business is all about relationships, different creative production houses have different abilities. We actually have interesting alliances with production houses. Working with different production houses helps giving different creative sensibilities, and due to this we are able to produce wider variety of films than just limited ones.”

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