Point of Reference: A Weed that Needs to Go!

 
Point of Reference: A Weed that Needs to Go!

When you watch a scene in a Bollywood movie do you sometimes get a haunting feeling of having seen something similar elsewhere? Well you probably did! The reason is that most filmmakers' rely on a process called 'Referencing'. What is that you may or may not wonder, so that's what we are going to discuss today.


When a film is in the stage of pre production a team of assistant directors and members of the crew are toiling away on the Internet. This holds true for television commercials and serials too. They are downloading numerous images and scenes at a frantic rate. These are then put together in a presentation for the director, producer or agency. The presentation contains the images and scenes from various films across the globe, which will be the point of reference for all the technicians on the project. These include the cinematographer, the costume designer, editor etc. who are to recreate what they have seen. This is what is referencing.


Let's look at some of the recent examples. The trailer of Expose seems to be greatly inspired from 'The Great Gatsby'. The trailer of Samrat and company reminds you of the series Sherlock. The characters in these two movies are spinoffs of the characters in the respective Hollywood projects. The grandeur of the 60's as seen in the great Gatsby is recreated in Expose and Rajiv Khandelwal seems to be India's answer to Benedict Cumberbatch! Expose not only borrows Leo's character but the sets and certain shots look uncannily alike. Samrat is as cocky as Sherlock about his intelligence and seems to have his own mind palace too where we see clues appearing on screen as it happens in the series. No matter how much the film-makers deny borrowing from the mentioned Hollywood projects we can clearly spot way too many similarities.


samrat-sherlock

Apart from these two there are innumerable films, which have copied certain aspects as they are from other Hollywood projects like Main Hoon Na from various films, the recent 'Ek Villain' poster, 1920 from Exorcism of Emily Rose, the Baby Doll video from lady gaga and Jennifer Lopez etc. the list is a long one.


Ek-Villain-Step-Up

Not taking away from the creativity of the original content that is being produced the copies really irk you at times. They highlight the dependency on creativity elsewhere that can be hawked of as their own. Is it the absence of creativity or the lack of inclination to think of something new is a pertinent question?


The world of cinema is going through a huge change right now with myriad subjects being tackled. We as an audience are getting more receptive and experimental with the kind of cinema that we watch. Accessibility to global cinema is ever increasing and with it the awareness of what is happening. Spotting copies and spin-offs is becoming easier and the number of people doing it is growing rapidly. The irritation caused by it is imminent leading to publishing of same on the internet. This can become quite harmful for the filmmakers involved as it questions their understanding of the audience.


xpose-great-gatsby

Although a lot of filmmakers are trying to move away from it this trend of referencing is here to stay for a while. When will it be completely weeded out is but a matter of time.


 
 

 
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