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4 Things Some Ghanaian Production Houses Would Need to Stop Before Cinemas/Theaters Reopen

One of the most affected industries as far as corona is concerned is the movie and theater industry. Being an industry that runs on the wheels of public gatherings, it goes without saying that revenues have dropped significantly now that events have been restricted and people are afraid to be in the midst of a crowd.

Since March 2020 when there was a national lockdown, Ghanaian cinemas and theaters have not tasted any audience. Owners of such spaces are still struggling to pay workers for doing nothing. They are, however, not alone. Production houses are bearing their own measure of the brunt, too. It doesn’t look like work is going to resume any soon and that means no salaries for cast and crew until corona takes a bow.

While we all wait for covid-19 to take leave of us, we have to prepare to put our houses in order. This recess is a period to assess how far we have come as an industry and how far we are willing to go. Especially for production houses, this is the opportune time to evaluate how best we can give our audience a run for their money.

Corona should leave the movie and, particularly, theatre industry better. Before the cinemas and theaters resume, we should have reflected well enough on our content and delivery to know if we are on the right path after all. Before the theaters resume, the following should have been a thing of the past;  

Time unconsciousness

It is sad how our lack of respect for time shows up in everything we do. You turn up for a 10am church service and it starts 30minutes later without an iota of apology. A national ceremony won’t start until the invited guest shows up about an hour later. You attend a 4pm stage play or movie premiere and it starts hours later and the organizers pretend it doesn’t even matter much. Such gross disrespect!

Mediocrity begins with the value we place on time. If Ghanaian production houses would want to be at par with great production houses elsewhere, it should begin with our time consciousness. Every advertized time is a promise to our audience. Immediately it is not adhered to, we unconsciously communicate to them that we are not serious about what we do after all.

When we respect time, we inadvertently respect our audience. If people have had to travel from far to come see a production only for it to start hours later, that will be the last time they may 

show up for our events. Sometimes, the only devil hampering our progress is our lack of respect for time!

Ill quality content

One sometimes watches a production and wonder if it was really worth their time and money — poor and repetitive story line, boring dialogue, bad directing, foul language, little or no suspense and what have you. Of a truth, what our industry needs to progress is quality content — well-written/directed stories that will blow our minds— and not numerous productions that drive no story home.

It is a chore going to the theater to watch a comedy that has neither head nor tail of a plot. We just laugh and it ends. It is such a pain in the butt if one has to pay to see a play or movie with their family only to realize that it is unfortunately rich in insults and unclean language.

Our audience deserve better. If we want a loyal audience, quality must never be compromised. It is better to take months to prepare a quality production than take a few days to produce junk. Before theaters and cinemas resume, production houses would need to come to terms with the fact that the quality of their content is a channel to turn away their audience or make them stay and recommend them to others.

Poor customer service

Every Ghanaian production house would need to understand that they are a business entity. From marketing of their product to sale of tickets and even to admission of patrons into venues of event, customers should feel they are at the center of every decision. They ought to feel a sense of importance per every interaction the production house has with them.

Production houses would need to focus on their customers a bit more as we gear up to reopen theaters and cinemas. Like every other business, excellent customer service should be a priority. We can’t treat our audience shabbily and expect theaters and cinemas to be filled time after time. A disrespected client soon becomes a former client.

As a business, production houses would need to invest more into keeping their customers. It is not just about the product (movies or plays). After all, there is no movie or stage play if there are no audience.     

Abymsal branding

It is amazing how proper branding effortlessly increases sales. No one takes any business seriously until there is proper investment into branding. We can’t expect our audience to take us seriously if our titles are not catchy. No one takes a production house seriously when their posters, flyers, etc. are poorly designed. If seeing is believing, then obviously people can only have belief in a brand by what they see. 

It behooves some Ghanaian production houses to spend a little more on their branding to change the perception people have about the movie and theater industry. If our theaters and cinemas will be filled with audience, it begins with how appealing we will present what we sell. No one spends on what they don’t value — a movie or stage play is not an exception.   

 

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