By Vidya Deshpande
Bennett UniversityThe Times School of Media has broken new ground once again. Realizing the change in the way audiences consume entertainment content, the University has launched two innovative programs: a Bachelor’s program in (Film, TV and Web Series) for undergraduate students and a Postgraduate Diploma in Film, TV and Web Series. for graduates.
The programs are the first of their kind in India and have been launched to meet the requirements of the entertainment industry that urgently needs a skilled workforce to create TV and OTT content.
According to FICCI & EY’s 2021 Media and Entertainment Report, 28 million Indians purchased online subscriptions in 2020, resulting in a 49% increase in digital revenue. In recent years, more than 40 video-on-demand channels have been installed in India with Disney + Hotstar at the helm.
International platforms like Netflix and Amazon are investing heavily in Indian content, especially regional language products. Telecommunications companies like Jio & Airtel, realizing the change in audience tastes, offer free subscriptions to streaming channels as an incentive for broadband subscribers.
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There is also an explosion in regional languages. Viewers opt for content dubbed in the language of their choice or often prefer subtitles in their language when the original sound is preserved. According to a YouTube estimate, of all video content consumed in India in 2020, 7% was in English, 56% in Hindi, and 37% in regional languages.
By 2025, this percentage is projected to shift in favor of regional content, with more than 50% of the content coming from regional production houses; Hindi fell 11 percentile points to 45% and English fell to 5%. This means that content production in regional languages will get a big boost.
The genres are also expanding. Market players continue to redefine genres to add more and more themes to their repertoire to keep viewers interested. In a world hungry for content, where will these entertainment production companies find the talents to produce new content?
Existing film and television schools have yet to change gears. There is a huge gap between what the industry wants and what Film and TV courses teach, and this gap is only growing.
The common complaint from industry recruiters is that mass communication students are unprepared for the industry. This is an important point, and all new and existing show creators should keep it in mind. Film, television, and OTT courses should equip students to produce quality content from storyboard to post-production aspects, without the need for additional on-the-job training.
The effort should be to develop a curriculum that is curated by the industry. This is where Bennett UniversityThe two programs, the three-year Bachelor of Arts (Film, Television and Web Series) and the one-year Graduate Diploma in Film, Television and Web Series, are a breath of fresh air.
Both shows have been curated by Junglee Pictures, the Mumbai-based film production company that has seen such hits as Raazi, Bareilly Ki Barfi and Badhai Ho. The programs promise to engage filmmakers, directors, actors, film marketers, and OTT professionals in teaching the craft of film and series making.
Students who pass these courses will be eligible for a variety of jobs. These include screenwriter, video editor, cinematographer, audio editor, assistant producer, casting assistant, line producer, production assistant, location assistant, floor runner, assistant director, props teacher, apprentice art department, video assistant trainee, sound mixer, lighting intern, post-production intern, archivist, editorial intern, marketing assistant, etc.
These are programs for all those young people who dream of entering the world of cinema, television and web series.
(Vidya Deshpande is Associate Professor, Times School of Media, Bennett University.)