TV serials vying for primetime

Private film studios are increasing in numbers as more opportunities open for broadcasting movies on State-owned television channels, but instead of focusing on producing movies of artistic value, they have flocked into making TV serials which gain instant profits.

A scene from “Long Thanh cam gia ca”, a highly viewed historical film

The State-owned Ho Chi Minh City Television Station was the first to create conditions for private film studios to broadcast their programs on the network channel in a new concept called ‘Golden time for Vietnamese movies’.
 
This concept allowed Vietnamese movies to be broadcast on TV channels at around 8pm primetime when more people watched TV.
 
TV stations have little or no investment in this new concept as they merely have to plan schedules for broadcasting movies produced by private studios and collect fees from various sponsors.
 
The private studios on the other hand avail of the opportunity to advertise on TV and make profits from TV advertisements.
 
This profitable venture has seen a surge in private studios in the country. Some PR companies like Dat Viet, BHD and Cat Tien Sa have also expanded their business field to produce movies.
 
Studios are competing with each other to make TV serials, which is starting a trend of having lengthier serials which are not necessarily interesting but often quite boring.
 
The State-owned TV stations are rumored to have sold TV rights to private film studios. Whether the rumor is true or not, movies broadcast at ‘Golden time’ have yet to show their ‘golden’ quality.

Studios are continuing to pay little heed to the quality of cinema. TV viewers too have been slow to react because besides game shows, there are not many interesting programs to watch.
 
If a Chinese, South Korean or Vietnamese movie is telecast at the same time, audiences would prefer to watch a Chinese or South Korean movie.
 
Never before have screenwriters been so sought after or pampered. TV stations and studios have raised royalties for screenwriters to lure them.
 
Film producers do not expect a sufficient body of work in the local scenario and are searching scripts and material from foreign lands like USA and South Korea.
 
The catch lies in the reality that Vietnamese directors are not talented enough to handle foreign scenarios and Vietnamese actors are not creative enough to portray emotions to audiences.
 
Both state-owned and private film producers must seriously produce creative and artistic films. Scripts must be gripping with content that relates to a cross section of audiences other than seek to gain only profits.
 
This seems to be the only way to reach out to viewers in future. 

By Tuy Hoa – Translated by Hoang Yen

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