There was a time when our movies were a big source of entertainment and our cinemas used to make silver and golden jubilees. The decades of 50s, 60s, and 70s were the most successful ones the history of Pakistani Cinema has ever recorded. Even the 80s, wasn’t that bad, especially the former half of it.
Our cinema then moved from a rather social and romantic image to the nexus of Punjabi Gundasa action and to my understanding, the famous Maula Jatt of 1979 was the inceptive point to all of this. More or less, the same formula is being used over and over again and the exceptions are rarely findable. However, it is not just the industry at fault, instead there are quite a few other reasons complementing this downfall. I have spotted five of them and its time I bring them on some platform.
- Transferable Image (Word of Mouth):
Everyone knows what image our films and artists hold. Artists especially after the ever-increasing influence of stage on our films or even because of the role we usually see them in. All this makes up the common Image that our film industry currently breathes with, making it a usual laughing-stock as the conversion comes to such a ‘low’ point. “Haha! Look at our heroes and villains; they survive even with hundreds of bullet injuries. Oh! Our films are unrealistic to the extent of stupidity and ridiculousness,” are the usual comments we hear with Pakistani films being the centre of conversation.
This can only change with the production of quality work at regular intervals. Moreover, our industry has got to promote the soft image of it, for which, a professional approach is the real need of the hour. People of our industry have to prove with their attitude and selective working nature; that they are equally respectable as those in our drama and/or fashion industry.
- Lack of promotion:
Many of our good quality movies having unique scripts and non-conventional approach in past have gone unnoticed just because they lacked heavily in their promotional aspects. Pehla Pehla Piyar by Mubashir Luqman, Kabhi Piyar Na Karna by director Javaid Raza, Qarz by the veteran Usman Peerzada and many others have been the victim of the same non-serious attitude towards the marketing aspect of the films, resulting in a pretty mediocre business despite some decent efforts.
On the other hand, the pre-release period in successful industries holds a pretty vital role in the probable success of the films. Promotional campaigns, music launch, trailer release, private screenings, press conferences and what not. They are all taken as the part and parcel of the whole release process. It all educates a common person regarding the release dates and the movies as whole. Films like Khuda kay leay, Bol, Mohabbatan Sachiyaan, and others that are produced by the giant media houses just do the same and at the end produce big numbers at box office.
But what should the other directors do? They must also make efforts to promote their movies to every possible extent. Now they even have the power of social media to propagate their message. Just a few sensible brains and the fate can be turned around.
- Unregulated Competition:
Competition urges one to do better. At least this is what its role has been outside the sphere of Pakistan film Industry, not excluding the cinema business of the country. With all foreign films at display and no space being given to the local ones, competition seems wrongly studied by the management gurus at the local cinemas.
That negative competition is acting as tumor to our industry rather than becoming an aid to its improvement. But our irrational theatre owners are unable to understand the delicacy of the matter. They just have concern with minting money, even at the cost of their own industry and thousands of workers attached to it.
I, for a solution to this plead for government’s immediate interference into the matter and advice them to regulate the import of foreign content and keep a strict check on the matter.
- High production cost and required budgets:
It seems like the modern era has some personal rage with local film industry. Film making has become a science outside Pakistan with high-tech equipment and different softwares. Chroma screens are an essential part of the film studios, different types of lenses and filters are used and the editing techniques have improved many folds.
Financially sound directors go abroad for post-production which obviously needs a hefty amount, while the rest are left with the same conventional techniques to shape their films with. Resulting in a divide of exceptional and conventional. Production and post production as per the changing requirements need millions of rupees, and the investment scenario is pretty poor at the moment. The solution to this on immediate basis and even in the long-term is the involvement of corporate sector in the film making business.
- Stumpy condition of our cinemas and studios
Several old theatres that served the industry in its golden era are in their ruins. Just in Lahore, the theatres at the Abbot road, McLeod road, and Garhi Shahoo area are in worst of their conditions. But it just not ends there; instead, an unhealthy neighbourhood has been keeping the families away from the cheap entertainment for a long time. The state of film studios is far worse than the cinemas. Bari and Shahnoor studios are largely converted into storage houses. The adjoining roads and streets are also left unmaintained and are the victims of several encroachments. Evernew studio however, is comparatively in better condition, inviting many Films and dramas to be shot there.
But the overall circumstances regarding film industry’s infrastructure is not sound at all. We’ve to develop the very basic facilities before moving to the bigger things. Our production houses and directors need to work on these lines with their utmost priority. It must be remembered that only a solid base is what will build a solid structure.
Note: The opinion(s) and view(s) presented by the writer in this article do not necessarily depict the views and policies of Galaxy Lollywood as an independent site/blog. The article was written by the writer in order to present her own view-point.