Screenings: Quality time but where’s the quality progs?
Screenings have been a regular part of Media Prima’s year-end schedule for several years now. It’s a great idea: bring all clients and important partners and show them what’s in store for the coming year. Tell them what great packages you have in store, wow them with humour and some entertainment and make sure there’s plenty of booze and food afterwards (it’s about the only time alcohol is served at a MP event too). In short, we want those attending as clients to have a really splendid time.
I reckon it works. MP’s programming is becoming tighter and more focused each year and if I was a media planner at the recent screenings I would have been well-informed and impressed.
I guess, the only downer is the fact that our drama series that were previewed seemed to be a little stagnant in production values. Same old story. KRU’s series Bio-Nik, a rip-off of 6 Million Dollar Man, had good CGI (from what I saw) but substandard lighting. I don’t know about the directing but I’ll watch it to find out. My suspicion is that we only have one good director working in the country and that is Kabir Bhatia. And he’s not even Malaysian!
Compelling TV gets even more compelling (and perhaps more foreign sales) if we can step into the stage of international standards. We don’t have to beat the standards. Just maintain some semblance of equality. Bad lighting makes our work stand out for all the wrong reasons.
I’m glad that I’ve been able to maintain good standards on my own dramas (a couple of the directors were either ex DOPs or trained as DOPs so they should know) and I’ll definitely try to improve on that. But I think more of my peers still have to make their dramas improve in this highly obvious area. It could be mentioned in contracts but the most important area is really communicating with the production company and the director beforehand.
My other disappointment was the noticeable absence of Dunia Baru from the line-up. This drama rated in the top 5 of dramas earlier this year and even spawned a film. Scriptwriter/Creator Wan Hasliza would be rightfully disappointed that her colourful characters and truly funny dialogue won’t be reprised.
Anyway, I hope we maintain our ratings advantage going into 2009. We should. But perhaps we’ll find the time to also build the quality advantage that we should be building.