Sunday, September 2, 2007

If you make it, will they come?

I had a heated discussion with a close friend of mine (Ya) a few nights ago... the point of contention was "If you make a genre breaking Maldivian (Dhivehi) Film, would you be able to make a profit - even break even?".

My response was a resounding 'NO'.

Ya had a different opinion though.

According to Ya, IF the film had a decent story, decent acting and was put together by (even) a half decent director, then it would gain an audience and could even stand the chance to become a 'blockbuster'... a runaway hit! This could be done with just ONE such film Ya argued.

Wouldn't that be something?

Are we ever likely to see a (figurative) Maldivian 'Trainspotting'? If so, would it be popular? A Box Office hit?

I disagreed with Ya - I think that, while current films are popular-ish (arguably), if you break the mold, then you're making a film for a different audience altogether.

THAT audience has been let down SO many times - it'll take much more than one decent film to get them back in theaters... it's going to take a lot more more-than-decent, alternate genre films with consistently improving quality, AND a conducive/comfortable/high-quality environment to enjoy the said films in, to build their faith and bring then (back?!?!?) in to cinemas.

That's my opinion...

13 comments:

aindhy said...

Or, we might never be able to get them back... but as the ol Bond movie title goes (does it really?!?!?)... Never say never...

AzMyst said...

I have to agree with Aindhy on this one. I doubt the current Maldivian audience (that is to say the ones that watch local movies) are not interested in anything different. No matter how groundbreaking or genre-breaking it is.

Consider the kind of movies that most Maldivians watch: Hollywood blockbusters and Bollywood er... masala superduper hits. Most Maldivians wouldn't even give a second glance if a movie had been labeled an 'art' movie.

But I would really like to see Ya's vision come true if THE Great Dhivehi Movie ever got made. But, as I said before, with the current audience I very very much doubt it.

aindhy said...

I'd like to see his vision come true too... but looks to me it's a LOOOoooooooooooooooooooong way off.

Hilath said...

Who posted this post?
Anyway, what I've noticed is that if you make art films they still get cult status in the progressive society. For instance, though "30 Days" and "Heylaa" haven't been much of a box office hit, those who watched it say these films are at the top of their favorite all time Dhivehi films (not that there is much!). The same goes for "Thoshigandu" as well though it is freely distributed (I have it if anyone wants to see it) because it reflects the social life that has now come to pass due to 30 years of Maumoonian neglect.

aindhy said...

Ya said, box office success... and I do agree about cult/mildly-or-hugely-popular-on-video-and-online status. In fact... I did say to Ya that THAT was a possibility but I did not see 'box office' success.

As for 'Who posted' - in the words of the rib-tickling Mr Carrey 'IT WAS MEEEE!'. I didn't bother writing my name cos the time stamp had it... 'Posted by aindhy at 12:48 PM'

Al said...

it would be very sad filmmakers let pessimism stop them from making the film that they want to make..some of the best films made have only been possible because of their makers belief in their own project and that it would strike a chord in in the people..examples that spring to mind include "no budget" features like el mariachi, clerks,and the living end..

nowhereman said...

I feel that there are a lot of reasons for the audience to sit the new films out. There are new challenges facing film houses; the internet and cable being two of them. Perhaps the film makers should go to them instead of waiting around. release short works over the net or mini series for the tv. I think we can still earn their trust if we really try to.....al has a point there.

aindhy said...

We have to go to the audience... or rather make it more accessible... meet them half way... rather than them come to us?

I think we're on to something there.

Anonymous said...

would you guys concider Kiss Jasbaath an art film or a ground breaking film. in my opinion it deserves a place in this conversation.

Anonymous said...

I THINK FOR THE TRUE FILMMAKER ITS NOT ABOUT "IF YOU MAKE IT, WILL THEY COME". GREAT FILMS ARE MADE COS THEY HAVE TO BE MADE LIKE ANY OTHER ART. OUT OF PERSONAL NECESSITY. LIKE TAKING A SHIT.

shaari said...

a thorough audience research is essential to determine what get them into cinemas or, more appropriately, what get them baiskoafing. A fine, original film will definitely be appreciated though not as much as we'd like. For that matter a new wave is needed just like in france to change the face of maldivian cinema, and yes, it'll take time. anywayz the important thing is to get the films made. Box office hit or not, fine, it'd still be an excellent edition to your portfolio. plus there's always international film festivals which i believe is what art filmmakers should really be targeting at.

Anonymous said...

wanna be art house or new wave filmmakers are much hung on the superficiality of the process then telling the story. this blog is a good example of it.

Hilath said...

1) The above comment is true. Even I have been planning a short film which was supposed to be shot in January but now the momentum is lost.
2) You guys are right that we should go ahead and make films for the passion of it. Whether it will be popular or a box office hit doesn't matter.