Television Drama Scriptwriters Must Be Creative To Captivate Viewers - Finas

Last update: 08/04/2014

CANNES, April 8 (Bernama) -- Television drama scriptwriters must be creative to captivate viewers, according to a key player in the Malaysian entertainment industry.

National Film Development Corporation (Finas) chairman Datuk Md Afendi Hamdan said creativity in churning out drama scripts was the key to keeping viewers glued to the television screen.

He cited the South Korean dramas such as Winter Sonata, Full House, My Love From the Star, and The Heirs, with their good looking actors and actresses but particularly their scripts, which have become a "must watch programme" for a large number of Malaysians to the point of obsession for some who would not hesitate to splurge on VCDs on the series.

He said Malaysia's pool of colourful, beautiful and talented ethnicity should have been an advantage for its television dramas yet the latter failed to score with local viewers as hoped.

"What went wrong? It is because of the lack of creativity in the dramas. So in this regard, scriptwriters must reach that level where their imagination can translate into what the viewers want," he told reporters in conjunction with the annual international media market, 'Marche International de Programmes de Television' (MIPTV) 2014, here which began on Monday.

Md Afendi further cited national legend Tan Sri P. Ramlee who had utilised his creativity so remarkably that his films had captivated Malaysians of all ages and remain in their memory.

"For instance, in his film, Tiga Abdul, he used a line, "gohead...gostan" (go ahead go astern) and linked it to a country, 'tan' even though at the time he did not know 'tan' existed.

"In the story also, there was the scene about people being 'auctioned', and we now see there is such a thing as human trafficking and human smuggling.

"The scriptwriters of old did not learn the trade through going for classes yet they succeeded in drawing the people, old and young," he noted.

Md Afendi said South Korea reaped profits to the tune of US$1.2 billion annually through its film industry with much of it being attributed to creative scripts.

"In the past the Koreans rejected local films to the extent that the government had to introduce a scheme where 25 per cent of the movies in theaters must be local productions.

"But the situation has changed, very glaringly. The scheme is no longer necessary because about 75 per cent of the movies being screened are local films. In fact, seven of the 'Top 10' films in Korea now are local productions, as against three Hollywood films," he said.

Around 10,000 participants from 90 countries are expected at the MIPTV 2014 held at Palaes de Festival, French Riveria from April 7 until April 10.

Nineteen Malaysian companies taking part in the media market are targeting a a total sale of RM25 million from various business networks between Malaysia and foreign countries, in content, production collaboration, licensing and distribution.

Finas' participation in the MIPTV 2014 was made possible by the strategic cooperation between the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission and Malaysian Multimedia Development Corporation, with the support of the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation and Creative Content Association Malaysia.