Indian Film Industry waiting for a capital efficiency shift - A New Model emerges (2/2)

Nitin Narkhede

20-Jan-2021 - India

What will a capital efficient framework look like in the film Industry?

In a country that produces nearly 3500 films annually, we can fairly assume a little less than a hundred thousand filmmakers in India across all the corners of the country. If we go beyond this definition and include amateur ones whose films are only released on Youtube, Vimeo or Facebook today, the actual number would be around a million filmmakers. Since their films don’t make the box-office collections and their names are not on IMDB, we cut them out of film industry’s actual base.

What are we supposed to achieve through this short exercise? The target is to find as to how films can be made for market like India every year. Let us assume a re-design of film creation and distribution model.

  • Assume if a filmmaker can distribute or crowd-fund a movie with a variable price of a movie ticket based on the market demand (An exchange, than a box office window). This kind of scenario would eliminate dependence on any kind of film producer-distributor coterie that controls access not only to single screen theatres or multiplex but also to the pricing of the films.
  • As far as the issue of film censoring is concerned, its job is to certify a film and not stop a film from being viewed. Instead of a bureaucratic model, if a community-approved certification model is achieved at scale, this will create a potentially infinite scalability of creative base of film ventures in the country. It will delete all kinds of blockages or non-availability of space issues for film distribution.
  • Freedom of distribution will give a choice of selecting physical & digital screens and will only enhance the revenue generating capability of the film. American markets have proved that with Troll- The world Tour, Mulan and now Wonder Woman. RGV has proved that in India. (Refer Streaming isn’t killing theatres - it’s making them better)

Are we talking of large community managed space instead of bureaucratic and oligopolistic film distribution model? Yes, that is precisely what should be.

The expected value that gets unlocked

India has a pretty large story-loving community. It is a country where millions of stories are being told both by traditional methods as well as 21-century millennial-led model. One method revolves around local stage plays, rasleela (Krishna bhakti recitals), ramleela (Public enactment of Ramayana, an Indian epic), Vyaspeetha (Storytelling by monks, bards, godmen and godwomen). The other method uses Youtube, Vimeo, Facebook and many new concepts such as The-Ally for distribution. Both these methods have a great digital future. Only a post-industrial and post-morality model can enable their true potential from getting unleashed.

The need of the hour is to establish a platform that enables both distribution and decentralization. Let a filmmaker become the master of her film destiny by owning all the rights & business control. Let the risk of film production be diversified by crowd-sourcing of funds and equipments. Let the revenue of film be distributed fairly in proportion to the entrepreneurial contribution of all those who participated in its success. The-Ally is precisely bringing that differentiation.

Once such a model is established, we need to ask again how many filmmakers are there and how many films are made every year in India. The answer might be 10x or even 100x. If a billion Indians spend 2 hours of screen-time on films per week, it would total over 100 billion hours of screen-time dedicated to films only. An arithmetic average of 10 million hours per film would mean 10,000 films per year. Some films might be profitable with only 10,000 views and some with a million views could be a blockbuster. The true economics of this future may not be visible today but that is what can definitely be realized in future. That demands a new model & new hope for all content makers and The-Ally will be unleashing that very soon.

Resources

Request