Content plays a crucial role in Indian films and character plays a pivotal role. A screenplay or content carries more weight in films. These screenplays can be original works or adaptations from existing pieces of writing. In them, the movement, actions, expression, and dialogues of the characters are also narrated. Films are an expression of creativity and money has nothing to do with them. Cinematic history is strife with stories where many low budget films have created a shift in the market trends while many big budget films have bombed.
While the industry churns out close to 1,000 films every year, their differentiation is not significant, and the last few years have been a period of slow growth with the declining quality of content and increased competition from cable and satellite television and international films. While the industry has progressed from hand painted posters and hoardings to Internet marketing and targeted promotions, filmmakers are also faced with more competition, not just from other films, but also other forms of entertainment and spending options for the consumer.
So, just as in any other business, an understanding of the consumer, his spending habits and demands of the product are critical to targeting the right consumer base with the right product and the right pitch. Technology will help deliver content in several forms, and that will change the kind of films people go out to see and stay at home to watch. But the draw of the big screen will not go away. The story is constructed to take advantage of the considerable power of cinema. The visual experience happens to us. It can be grand, perhaps in the films from South have more technicalities, the movies from Bollywood have melodious songs and Bhojpuri films are entertainers and we as cine goers look for content in the quality of the films.
Some examples of low budget films that did well include Mr. and Mrs. Iyer and Hyderabad Blues in the past succeeded well at the Box office. Some big banner films that flopped include Kites and Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag. In fact, Bollywood itself is a brand, as it has a culture and a system that is unlike any other film industries. The most successful projects are family films: be it a Rajshri Films or a Disney, so this is an area that can still be developed in a big way. All of the above-mentioned films, in fact, had a great star cast, with crores of rupees being pumped into them, but they failed to make a mark. The reason for this is a mental shift in the thinking of the audience. Gone are the days when audiences would fill up cinema halls just because a movie had been filmed in a good location.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)