Rehearsal or run-through for teleplays, once considered an essential part of a television production, is now being largely ignored, said several noted actors and directors.
There was a time when the actors and actresses would rehearse for days before a production went on the floors, and the directors would treat rehearsal as a precondition of quality works.
But the emergence of a commercial culture – which underlined a policy of reduction both in time and budget to maximise the profitability of productions – represented a break with that tradition, along with several other time-honoured practices.
These days, actors come to the set mostly unprepared, take a quick look at the script, take the director’s opinion and start shooting, with no real motivation to understand their character and the storyline in general.
Experts say this practice has become the symbol of an industry fast headed for degradation.
‘A combination of several factors including over-commercialisation, lack of rehearsal and a healthy competition in general, and low budget are holding back the progress of our industry,’ said Nawazish Ali Khan, advisor of programme at ATN Bangla.
Noted teleplay maker Animesh Aich thinks a script is the foundation of a production and all parties involved – directors, cast and crew members – should have a clear understanding of its content if a quality work is to be produced.
‘Teleplay making is an art and it cannot be done in haste,’ he said, adding that personally he makes sure his actors/actresses have rehearsals for a play before shooting begins.
Low budget is the main reason behind lack of rehearsals, according to seasoned actor Enamul Haq.
‘The budget is generally too low for the directors to bear the cost of additional time spent in rehearsal. The budget that they get requires them to get their shooting done in 2/3 days, which is not enough at all,’ he added.
‘Still the directors and the actors/actresses are doing the best that they can.’
Eminent actor Mamunur Rashid also thinks budget is the main problem. ‘If budget is increased, the directors will get the freedom to save a few days for rehearsal but the average amount that they are given is simply not enough,’ he said.
But Gazi Rakayat, noted director and also president of the Directors’ Guild, said budget is only part of the problem.
‘The total system has taken a turn for the worse. We need to get rid of this over-commercial mentality first. Everything else will fall back into place then,’ he said, adding that the Guild is trying hard to resolve the situation.
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