If you have an insatiable passion for telling a story that will enthrall an audience, go for this medium
FILM, television and radio are powerful media as they reach people regardless of age, sex, income, or educational level. “Television and films offer sight and sound, and make dramatic and life-like representations of people and products whereas radio creates impact with the help of sound effects,” says Prof. Ashok Ogra, Director, Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication, who has worked with Doordarshan for 15 years.
With the advent of liberalisation, both film and TV have exploded in their reach and growth. India currently produces the world’s largest number of films and at the last count has over 800 TV channels offering news and entertainment. Same is the case with FM radio after the sector was opened to the private sector. A recent report by KPMG says the employment potential of the sector is going to treble in the coming five years.
So what goes behind creating this ‘reel-life’ experience? Every programme (film, TV serial, and radio) has one common stage in the order - concept, story, script, production, post-production, release and display. Irrespective of the medium, concept stage is very important. Based on it a story line is made which is further made live in the form of a script. Once the script is ready, it is the production team’s responsibility to give it a real shape. Then further editing and polishing is done in order to make it more presentable before finally releasing it to reach the public.
Aparna, a dialogue writer, shares her experience on the job. She says that a dialogue writer creates the conversation and builds moments while working on each scene and character in the screenplay. He or she is also responsible for creating characters’ accent or dialect. “Making each scene interesting by adding emotions, one liners, some quirk, some comedy, romance or even anger is interesting,” she says. Aparna has worked on at least eight feature films including Aisha, Chance pe Dance, LSD and Yeh Saali Zindagi and has also been independently writing for TV shows.
She adds, “I love my profession because it does not feel like a ‘job’. There is lot of creativity and liberty in what I do. You would usually see writers working through the night, preparing scripts for the next day’s shoot. So this field is definitely not time-bound. I love talking, communicating, meeting various kinds of people. This helps me in developing characters and creating moments.”
A plethora of job opportunities are on offer such as producer, director, script writer, reporter, anchor, sound recordist, editor, cameraman etc as each film or a TV programme would employ a number of people at different stages.
The best part of choosing this area is that one can opt for working with a production house or broadcasting organisation. A person can also work on a freelance basis. Apart from this, there are jobs in the advertising agencies, Personal Relations and Event Management firms and in academia.
Prof. Ogra shares, as per the KPMG-FICCI 2011 report, the Media & Entertainment industry is expected to be of the staggering size of over Rs.127,5000 crores by 2015, up from the level of Rs. 73,800 crores in 2010. “This growth is bound to give a further fillip to this field. So, I have a very positive recommendation to all the aspiring professionals,” he says.
Develop a skill-set
To start with, there are a lot of colleges which offer training in all the options mentioned, including both short-term and long-term courses. Most of them can be pursued after graduation. But apart from regular studies, a person should have a passion for it. He should be an avid observer of nature, human emotions and different cultures. Besides having the knowledge of the domain, the person should have good knowledge of different art forms, which not only helps the person to perform well but helps him or her to interact with other team members. Also, the person should have an attitude to welcome the critics, good interpersonal relationship, imagination, creativity, and above all patience. The industry offers not only jobs but career growth in all related areas; depending on determination and area of work.
“Actor, a statue of hope!”
Meet Deepesh Bhan, a struggling actor who believes that a performer is ‘ummed ka putla’ (statue of hope) who must keep his or her will power intact to succeed. Starting his career through a comedy show ‘Comedy ka King kaun’ of Balaji Telefilms and acting in many advertisements, he is now working in a couple of popular TV soaps including FIR.
Q: Your journey till now?
A: Struggle is at every stage while glamour takes long to come. After being in theatre world for four years, I came to Mumbai seven years ago. Though it is tough, but now I am sailing through.
Q: Is the first break tough?
A: Audition is not the beginning. You are tested for the way you talk, walk, stand etc. Even when people say “Wow! That was good”, it’s not sure that you’ll hit the chord.
Q: Why shift from theatre to TV?
A: You can’t earn your living from theatre. There are many examples in our film industry who made this shift, though the passion remains.
Q: Is language important?
A: Yes, viewers relate to a character through the language he speaks. So, one has to be perfect. Being from north India, I worked well in roles as of a boy from Haryana, Punjab or UP, but I faced problem when I was given a role of a Gujarati boy.