I have been working as a Director and Writer for many years and will be joining the film industry in 2018. My Film Rehbra will be releasing in 2018.
I feel a bit of nervousness and anxiety, as I enter 2018, mainly as I have been observing a trend in our Television industry regarding the acting talent that grows, flourishes and then withers away. It seems that the TV industry never bothers to prune, recognize or care for it. We being a part of this industry, carry out its responsibility, only when a talent favors us. We have not been able to channelize our talent in the last 17 years.
Usually the two ways by which a director takes in an actor includes the first one being their social accounts, which are flooded with requests of young girls, and boys who wish to become actors. If these requests are left unanswered then he is abused and considered inhumane, but if he answers, they would quickly opt to take an important role in the drama, because they think they are talented enough. Secondly, a few institutions in Pakistan that are in action to provide acting classes, which mostly give them theatrical exercises.
When a particular actor comes on TV, after his acting sessions provided by the channels/production houses, they lack on-screen acting techniques and fail to perform accordingly. Instead of striving to learn the art, they head up to the strong and sturdy trees of egos, where they cannot nourish under any condition.
In 2017, some private sectors and TV channels took challenges to hunt a new talent. However, to channelize them the mechanism lacked. Whoever introduced an actor, wished to take maximum advantage out of them, for this reason; there were fights, as they felt insecure before the actor became a vital product of the TV industry.
Regardless of all the situations, few people have fought the circumstances to achieve success. In our society the only factor that pushes you up is the craze to do something. I have some real examples like Faisal Qureshi, Ahsan Khan, Saba Qamar, Sohail Sameer and Sara Lorane (Mona Lisa). In 2017, we almost produced 625-drama serials/soaps, with an expected growth in 2018. Dramas in 2017 could not find a special place among people, its basic reason being the directors, who do not spend enough time on the set to mold the actor into a character and use their perfect creative skills. Its main reason is that there is a shortage of actors, but the work is plenteous instead.
An aspect of the actors who are appreciated only for their outer appearance, start to think of it as their acting skill, that creates a hurdle with their growth. They do not grow and generally, the industry suffers badly.
Another reason of the chaos in the TV industry is the fee structure of successful actors. The dramas that were made in 2001 for 7 million PKR, the same dramas are difficult to produce in 20.5 million PKR these days. I remember very well after Sarmad Khoosat’s well renowned serial ‘Humsafar’, when I wanted to cast Fawad Khan in one of my serial, he demanded 1.3 million for it. Whereas in those days paying pay seven lac was considered a huge amount. I thought that the Humsafar actor must have gone crazy, but I was astonished that after a few days he signed another serial in 1.8 Million. Now our successful actors are taking huge fees, which appears to me that drama production is going to have a tough time in the coming days. Due to this reason, the production houses are trying to manage the time of actors instead of quality production.
Unfortunately, we failed to produce quality dramas in 2017 for the above-mentioned reasons. Under the given circumstances, it is very easy for the Pakistani channels to purchase the international content without paying attention to the fact that the Pakistani TV industry is being treated unjustly.
If we do not join our heads together in order to make a mechanism of how the new actors should join the Television industry, in which the method of their education and nurturing is devised. To control the production cost UPA must devise a policy to take care of the rates of the actors. If this collective endeavor is not made, then by the end of 2018 Pakistani TV industry would surely face terrible crisis.
Amin Iqbal is a writer and director with a portfolio of multiple production and columns. He is an optimist who will be stepping in the film industry next year with his film Rehbra.
He tweets at @aminiofficial
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