In the last five to six years, a quiet revolution has been sweeping the film industry. The journey to corporatisation began post-2000, when industry status was given to Bollywood. Following this, funding from financial institutions like IDBI and banks began to trickle into the showbiz kitty in 2001-02.
"The film industry is witnessing a boom in the form of mushrooming multiplex complexes; production houses going public; distributors getting into production; digital theatres and large scale film formats like Imax making its presence. However, this industry is still at a very nascent stage and a lot of concerns haven't been taken up," said Siddhartha Dasgupta, Additional Director, FICCI. Dasgupta said that FICCI Frames 2005 beginning next month will be addressing these concerns.
So how do we go up the ladder? Interestingly, the film industry is a powerhouse of creativity but hasn't really got the marketing trick to sell their product (read film) well. "How to get a good opening is an art in itself. It is critical to have a good opening for a film or else you are out of the market in just one week. So selling films should also be a strategy and with windows of release available, it is essential to look at opportunities like satellite, DVDs and theatricals that haven't been exploited," he said.
Moreover, the single film theatre concept has almost faded out and given way to multiplex theatre. In fact the films have become like any other FMCG product, which has to be constantly innovated so that it stands out. "The attention span of people is getting limited and you cannot get 1,200 people in one go which is the reason why single screen theatres are dying. This is simply because it is getting dictated by the business forces and hence there is a need for a film to be a hit in the very first week," he said.
Yet another interesting aspect that has evolved out of the corporatisation of the Indian film industry is contract mechanism. Good contracts that leave no loopholes are a vital part of the success of the motion picture. "Previously, films were made in good faith without any written document or contract. If you look at Hollywood, their contracts with distributors, exhibitors, technicians and actors that are far more organized and formal," he said. Dasgupta pointed out that there is a need for producers and distributors to consider streamlining their business through solid contracts.
He also added that film piracy is something that needs to be checked. Nearly 42 per cent of Bollywood's revenues get leaked because of the piracy of films.