Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tamil entertainment to learn more..

Twenty-20 (T20) matches were created to give maximum entertainment to fans of the cricket game. They have the glamour and glitz of a big budget Indian mass masala entertainer, with glam girls and flamboyant ex-cricketers taking over the live commentary, and a wide range of high-tech analysis tools put to use. But, it wasn't always like this. In 1987, just four cameras on either end of the wicket were used to cover the matches. The number went up to 14 cameras in 1995 and today as many as 40 cameras are being used for live coverage. All this comes with high-end online editing and recording machines to make it racy and entertaining. But, the same cannot be said of the live coverage of entertainment shows. Tamil entertainment channels struggle when it comes to telecasting live film-based content like an awards night, audio launch or premiere of a big budget star-spangled movie.

Last week, leading director Selva Raghavan and his producer R Ravendran decided at the last minute not to have a live telecast of the audio launch of their eagerly-awaited magnum opus Aayirathil Oruvan. And the reason ? Says Selva Raghavan, "The logistics involved for producing a live entertainment programme, such as an audio launch of a film, is an uphill task. So, we requested the television channel to telecast it after canning and editing the programme." Recently, a leading Tamil TV channel showed a film-based programme live, but had to cut off a speech by one of the speakers, who suddenly took the mike and waxed eloquent. The programme ended abruptly, as the speakers had used up all the air time the channel had allotted.

Says a top television cameraman, who has covered both live cricket and film programmes, "In cricket, there is a commercial break after every over or fall of wicket, to adjust the errors one might have made. In case of live audio launches or award functions, one can't afford to goof up because it is a continuous show and errors will be blatantly visible." According to a report, there are no takers for advertising spots for live film programmes in Tamil at the channel's rate. At the same time, if it is a canned and crisply edited show, it attracts advertisers. The organisers shall also learn from the Oscars better known in television parlance as Academy Awards Night - Live. On this show, every speaker is told the exact seconds he can speak. The special performances are rehearsed well in advance so that everything works with clockwork precision on the night of the show. But, here in Kollywood, can anyone dare to inform the Kollywood biggies to restrict their speech to their stipulated time ?

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