By Our Insights Desk
A good story is, almost always, the foundation of any successful media property, be it mainstream blockbuster, a compelling documentary, an art-house classic, or a gripping series. While there is lot of debate on the quality of writing itself, not much is known about what the people behind these stories think and feel about the state of their profession, and their role in the industry, in the Indian market. In Hollywood, the last few weeks have been marked by the still-ongoing strike by the Writers Guild of America (WGA), an event that has brought to the forefront the disconnect writers have with how the industry functions, or plans to function in the future.
To understand perceptions of screenwriters in India, on a wide array of topics, Ormax Media partnered with Tulsea, to release the first edition of our report titled The Right Draft: 2023. The report is based on a first-of-its-kind survey conducted among 217 film & series writers in India, to gauge their perceptions about various aspects of the writing profession, and about the entertainment industry in India in general. Writers working across Hindi, English and the four South Indian languages were interviewed between January and March 2023. The report is based on the findings of this survey.
The report, which is the first published research on the writers’ community in India, is divided into six sections, titled The Right Pay, The Right Credit, The Right Feedback, The Right Value, The Right Nurturing, and The Right Environment. Each section has survey findings related to how writers feel about a particular aspect of their work, as suggested by the title of the section.
Some important highlights of the report:
1. Though a sizeable section (65%) believes that pay levels have improved in recent years, 63% still believe they are not being paid fairly. Timeliness of payments is also a significant concern, impacting 47% writers directly.
2. A dominant majority of writers (91%) believe that a hybrid pay model, comprising of a mix of fixed pay and incentive/ bonus, will motivate them to do better work, and lead to higher ownership. However, only 31% have ever been offered a contract of this nature so far.
3. 53% writers are dissatisfied with the credit they receive for their work. The dissatisfaction with credit in marketing & promotions is even higher, touching 65-80% of different types of marketing activities.
4. In writers’ opinion, there is a marked difference in the importance scripts carry over stars in the theatrical and OTT industries. 90% writers believe theatrical business values stars over scripts, while the view is a lot more balanced for the OTT industry, though still titled away from scripts and towards stars.
You can download the full report here.
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