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Chinmay Chakravarty | chinchak

How To Make An Indian Television Serial

Jul 2nd 2010 at 11:22 AM

The fundamental mantra for making an Indian television serial is that it must be never ending. It has to go on till scrapped by the channel producers.


Based on observations over the years the following guidelines have been listed as most essential.


The Storyline: As we have already mentioned the must mantra above the storyline should ideally have maximum elasticity. Means the storyline has to be structured in such a way that it can go on endlessly taking in new angles or triangles or developments or shock treatment or altruistic twists or directorial wish and that it should never get caught with a dead end. You just cannot afford to aim at a most logical end, because you must aim at earning the maximum revenues possible—both for you and the TV channel. If revenues are found to be dipping the channel producers will automatically and abruptly end it. This does not mean that the storyline ends there.


The Characters: Following as a corollary from the above the characters of your serial should be immense in numbers and stupendous in characterization. Mostly huge joint families are preferred with distant relatives thrown in as and when necessary. Please do not set any limits on the varied couple you can create ranging from the granddad-grandma one to the great grand son or daughter vs. great grand in-law couples, if possible. You must also have a rich reserve of dormant characters just to make them alive and kicking as per the twist-wish necessity. And, also for the dreadful eventuality of the serial inevitably heading for a most logical end you can just withdraw from the reserve and manhandle it on to the never ending track again. Say no to the frowns and scowls of the channel producers. Always.


The Location: You have no choice here thanks to the above conditions. You must always have a huge posh bungalow with a gigantic hall and inner staircases leading to the galleries and rooms above. This requirement is irrespective of whether your serial is urban or rural based and whether the protagonist is a software billionaire or a down to earth cultivator. You must understand, you need the space to maneuver your abundant quantity of characters around and showcase their emotions. You need the demonic hall, because during a dramatic moment you have to line up all your characters there and go on taking their reaction close ups endlessly with the cameras doing go-rounds or vertical assaults.


Before we move on to other crucial guidelines let us take a break. We do so in sympathetic acknowledgement of the nut breaking importance of breaks for a serial.



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