Television

How to get your story on screen?

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MUMBAI: The key to survival in the cut-throat world of television programming is creativity and conviction. At a time when writers and good ones at that, are available nineteen to a dozen, television channels are picky-choosy about the scripts and scriptwriting talent that they hire. In such a scenario, many a scriptwriters with fire in their belly and the desire to be successful are left with no choice but to taken the route of becoming a producer by roping in investors.

With a focus on how new age writers also have to don the hat of a producer not out of choice but out of compulsion, The Content Hub 2016’s session ‘The Age of Creative Producers’ set the ball rolling by focussing on issues of show-runners, C driving creativity as well as writers and directors turning producers.

The session was attended by writers, producers, directors and broadcasters alike from the television industry. The session was chaired by Bodhi Tree Multimedia co-owner Sukesh Motwani and the panellists included Neela Telefilms owner Asit Modi, The House of Originals director Nivedita Basu, Sony SAB programming head Saeed Akhtar and Swastik Pictures founder Siddharth Tewary.

Shedding light on the issue of writers and directors becoming producers, Tewary said, “Writers have no other option than to become producers because many a times, production houses don’t agree to produce their stories. So writers are left with no choice but to manage their funds and produce it on their own.”

Basu opined, “The concept of writers and directors collaborating with production houses is nothing new. It already existed in the industry. Moreover, the collaboration between writer and production house as well as between the production house and channel has become a key factor.”

For the smooth shooting for any television show, a ‘show-runner’ is a must. The show-runner is responsible for the show’s creative and financial aspects and also looks after the overall creative authority and management responsibility for television programs. Emphasising the importance of having an able ‘show-runner’ to helm the television show, Basu added, “Nowadays having a good concept is nothing. It’s all about how you build the characters. It is good to have a very experienced person as a show-runner by a channel.”

Elaborating on the concept of show-runner, Modi opined, “It is important to have somebody who has knowledge about all aspects of creation rather than writing. Thus it is important to have a show-runner who has a better idea, vision and understanding about what the audience wants.”

Broadcasters play a pivotal role in getting the content out on television and highlighting the criteria that broadcasters look for while choosing a show, Sony SAB programming head Saeed Akhtar opined, “An individual should have a vision on what they are creating. Today, a lot of shows on television are infinite, and thus it is very important to have a vision about the show as for broadcasters, the show is a product, which they need to sell to advertisers as well as the viewers. One should choose the right person internally to drive a particular kind of brand and maintain brand hygiene. If the channel identifies a person who has the capability to drive a particular idea into a good show and everyone’s conviction is on that show, then broadcasters helps in creating an ecosystem so that the essence of the core idea always stays.”

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