It’s a fact that the number of Ghanaian movie releases has dwindled in the last couple of years. You want proof? In 2009, Sparrow Productions, one of the leading productions houses released four movies, in 2015, it released just one, ‘Grey Dawn, and thus far in 2016, it has one, ‘Rebeca’. Venus Films used to produce three to four movies in a year but in 2016, it has released just one; just 2 examples of the current trend in film-making in Ghana.
Flip the coin and you’d realize that, Ghanaian-produced TV drama/series have seen an upsurge in the last couple of years.
It is interesting to note that, while movie actors flounder for roles due to the various factors, those in the television space are just fine, especially when you consider relevance and to an extent, revenue.
It is no wonder that, some popular actors like Jocelyn Dumas, John Dumelo as well as producers/directors like Shirley and Leila Djansi are finding solace in television
Phenomenon Not New:
In Hollywood, there’s what many term the ‘golden age of television’ where top film studios, movie executives, agents and top actors are all moving to television.
It is interesting to note that, in the past few years, the television arena has become extremely vibrant, it is drawing top-notch Academy Award laureates to its cathode flame, and now – almost every seasoned and recognized actor is joining the fray.
The likes of Kevin Spacey (House of Cards), Meryl Streep, Jon Voight (Ray Donovan), Matthew McConaughey (True Detectives), Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder), Hally Berry (Extant), Laurence Fishburne (Hannibal) amongst many others –plus award winning directors like Martin Scorsese are all taking advantage of what television presents.
In Ghana, Shirley F. Manso has been engaged in the shooting of TV Drama since 2011 with ‘Peep’ followed by the likes of ‘Adams Apples’ and ‘Tenant’.
The drastic fall in the release of movie productions has put many actors out of jobs. Some have not had roles in years; others are falling to ‘Kumawood’ while some female actors have found a way of soliciting for funds to produce and star in their own movies.
Why languish in financial difficulties and irrelevance while waiting for a movie script when you can make a move for recurring roles in one or two TV drama.
With almost a dowdy activity in the movie industry, audiences have fallen in love with television and in ways difficult to sustain in film. You can easily the insatiable affinity to TV to the telenovelas but that can be altered to our benefit.
Roles For Aging Actors:
Industry folks and some avid movie critics have groused about the lack of roles for the aging actors – a situation that has made them redundant and financially unstable.
Television drama/series offers another opportunity for our aging actors to remain active, relevant and rake in some revenue.
Thus far, the likes of Kofi Bucknor, Fred Amugi and co. are being used in the new TV drama; ‘Shampaign’ produced by Sparrow Productions, the Yvonne Nelson-produced ‘Heels & Sneakers’ features the likes of Doris Sackitey and ‘Cocoa Brown’ by Delay also features Dzifa Glikpoe.
The bus doesn’t stop with actors; it goes to aging directors and script writers who are active and could still contribute immensely to TV.
Improved Quality On TV:
The proposed move of seasoned directors, producers and acclaimed actors to television comes with such enormous advantage – quality!
The participation of good actors, directors, writers and cinematographers from the film world will only increase the quality and variety of television content. The use of popular actors and directors in television drama would draw massive appeal and generate interest – ingredients required by corporate firms to lend support for productions.
Quality productions with quality actors could also be a possible panacea to the industry’s long-standing wish of finding an antidote to the telenovela frenzy.