I blow this drama!
I haven't seen such a high-quality domestic drama for a long time.
The above content comes from the audience's comments on the TV series "The Silent Truth". On Douban, 260,000 people rated it, and the final score was 9.1. During the period, the score fluctuated many times, but all were around 9 points.
Previously, "The Hidden Corner," which belonged to the Misty Theater, also aroused discussions across the Internet, and the lines in the play have also been extended to one after another-"Climbing the mountain together?"
The emergence of a number of good word-of-mouth dramas has helped the Fog Theater to establish its reputation, and Youku also has a similar suspense theater model. With the investment of big platforms, the dawn of domestic high-quality dramas seems to have come. Is this really the case?
Why are there so many bad domestic dramas
Corresponding to well-known dramas such as "The Silent Truth" are more water-injection dramas and bad dramas. This year’s new dramas such as "An Jia" and "Thirty Only" were considered novel themes before the broadcast, but they were not broadcast. After the episode was out of reality or too bloody, the ratings dropped, "An Jia" Douban scored 6.3 points, and "Thirty Only" Douban scored 6.8 points.
There are fewer and fewer TV series that can really enter the Douban 9-point level. Previously, we had 9.7-point "Da Ming Dynasty 1566", 9.3-point "Da Zhai Men" and other high-quality drama series, and they are all works around 2000.
Why is this happening?
First of all, let’s talk about water injection dramas. According to statistics from NetEase Digital Reading , from 2000 to the beginning of 2019, TV dramas with 41 episodes to 60 episodes or more doubled almost every five years. The skyrocketing number of episodes, plot water injection and industry models are inseparable.
Since the implementation of the separation system between filming and broadcasting in China, most film and television agencies shoot episodes and then resell them to TV stations or video websites. The price is settled according to the number of episodes. Film and television production companies will naturally find ways to increase the number of TV episodes, just like this 3 Minutes of content, through reminiscences, reviewing the plot of the previous episode, etc., filmed 10 minutes, which is the "water injection drama."
According to media reports in your circle, at the beginning of 2018, one more episode can get an extra 12 million. Driven by profits, the blowout of the water injection drama is inevitable.
In addition, the rise of the Internet has changed the ways and channels of information dissemination. Fans and celebrities can communicate directly through social media, chase stars on video platforms, and even pay real money for idol works.
Today, when video platforms occupy the public’s attention, the home of domestic TV dramas has also shifted from TV stations to video platforms. The film and television industry is an industry with large investment and long return periods, with greater uncertainty and high risks.
In order to reduce risks and increase profitability, video platforms that are well versed in Internet traffic thinking have chosen traffic stars with their own traffic or cooperated with IP to launch series of works in batches, and the huge fan base is also happy to pay for idols.
Big platforms + big IPs + traffic stars together form the "channel is king" model of domestic dramas. Although it can attract fans, traffic stars are different from traditional TV drama actors and movie actors. Because they have not received relevant training and performance accumulation, their performance ability is relatively weak, and the quality of the drama cannot be guaranteed.
Wang Hailin, who used to be the scriptwriter of the classic series "Iron Teeth Bronze Teeth Ji Xiaolan 3" and "Legend of Chu Han", once complained:
We haven't written more than two lines of lines in many years. What he can't memorize, we are very conscious now, it is the male sentence and the female sentence.
As one of the branches of the content industry, TV dramas don’t pay attention to the quality of the content of the dramas. Instead, they pay attention to how many fans can be driven by the stars participating in the performance, and how many audiences the adapted IP can have. It sounds against common sense. The “channel is king” model makes the industry fall into The dilemma of abnormal development.
It is impossible for the audience to accept bad dramas and water-injection dramas for a long time. Their proliferation has promoted the audience to watch episodes faster or even abandon the drama. The relationship between the length of the episode and the rate of abandonment has been shared by iQiyi:
For dramas with more than 45 episodes, the audience abandonment rate in 2016, 2017, and 2018 increased year by year, which were 47%, 50%, and 56%, respectively.
In the past, viewers resisted paying to watch in advance. In addition to their dissatisfaction with the VIP members of the video site's strategy of paying in advance, they also disapproved of the quality of the episodes. "The quality is good enough, of course, they are willing to pay. Comments on social platforms such as Weibo can be seen everywhere.
The malformed industry environment cannot last forever. It not only harms the audience’s experience, but also hinders the sustained and stable development of the industry.
The resistance of the audience, coupled with the crackdown on water injection dramas by the regulators, etc., the film and television industry is bound to change. Good reputation such as "The Silent Truth" is one of the manifestations of industry reform and healthy development.
Content is king of domestic dramas
"The Silent Truth" is the final work of iQiyi's Misty Theater. The previous hit "The Hidden Corner" also belongs to the theater series. Nearly 800,000 people scored 8.9 points for it on Douban. The line in the play "I Do you still have a chance?" "Let's go hiking together?" became a popular stalk and became popular on the Internet.
What's more noteworthy is that the operating mode of the series in the Fog Theater is very different from the previous mode of relying on traffic stars and channels.
For film and television series, the most easily perceivable by ordinary audiences are actors. Neither "The Silent Truth" or "The Hidden Corner" uses traffic stars as the leading role, attracting fans to watch and pay. Most of the leading actors in the play are already in An actor who has been recognized by the audience or industry in his acting career.
Like Qin Hao, the starring actor in "The Hidden Corner", he was a frequent guest of art films before, and the actor Wang Jingchun won the Silver Bear Award for Best Actor at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival for his "Long Forever". The interpretation is the guarantee of the quality of the drama.
▲ "Earth is Everlasting", Wang Jingchun plays the father who lost his son
The length of the 12 episodes of the Misty Theater also prompted the production team to carefully arrange the content arrangement to reduce procrastination and content unrelated to the development of the main plot, avoid water injection, so that the audience can immerse in it, and not accelerate the playback to finish the play.
Moreover, iQiyi is not the only company in the industry to abandon the streaming production model and try high-quality TV series. Youku has also launched a short drama suspense theater in the same form as the Misty Theater. Its previous series "Changan Twelve Hours" It has also been recognized by users and the market.
The traffic model does not always work in today’s market environment. According to the data report released by Maoyan, the most popular and out-of-the-loop drama last year was "Chen Qingling" with two traffic stars, Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo. And this year it has become a series such as "The Hidden Corner" and "The Twelve Hours of Chang'an".
Regarding water injection dramas, the Maoyan report also mentioned that under the influence of policy regulation and the market environment, the number of TV series filings from January to October 2019 decreased by 24% year-on-year, and the total number of TV series episodes decreased by 27%. The average number of episodes has decreased from last year. The 40 episodes dropped to 38 episodes.
The performance of word-of-mouth and market popularity has also gradually converged. Compared with 2018, the word-of-mouth of the top ten dramas in 2019 has increased significantly, and only one of the ten Douban scores is below 6.0.
From last year to this year, the pursuit of boutique drama integration was the common pursuit of the film and television industry. According to a report from Global.net, Wang Xiaohui, chief content officer and president of professional content business group (PCG) of iQiyi, said after the financial report meeting:
Both the broadcast effect and the input-output ratio, short episodes have achieved very good results. In the future, iQiyi will also comprehensively consider projects suitable for strong plot, strong plot, and strong performance, and strengthen the investment and creation of short drama series.
Coincidentally, in the 2021 large-screen ecological value sharing meeting held by Hunan TV Station, it also stated that it will launch the "Monsoon Plan", which is the same short drama mode as the Fog Theater, and also launched the slogan: subvert the long drama water injection, subvert the floating expression, Subvert the flow dependence and bring a new atmosphere.
▲ Picture from: @ Sina TV
Domestic TV dramas have entered an era where content is king.
The future of domestic dramas is the blooming of multi-genre dramas
Relying on "The Silent Truth" is certainly not enough to call the future of domestic dramas, but from the short drama model behind it, we can still see the possibility of its sustainable development and the future trend of domestic dramas.
The Misty Theater is actually an episode mode of standard American dramas. In addition to the 12-episode fixed mode, its single episode duration is also different from traditional TV. The duration of each episode is not fixed. We mentioned in the previous article:
The different duration of each episode makes it easier to arrange the plot. Similar to the American TV series, each episode is set according to the key points of the plot. While leaving enough suspense, it also inherits the previous episode, which continues to arouse the audience’s curiosity. After watching one episode after another, the rate of abandoning the drama It is greatly reduced, and it is not accelerated by the water injection of the plot. Xin Shuang, the director of "The Hidden Corner," also expressed similar views in an interview.
When broadcasting on the video platform, you can also adjust the content duration of a single episode of the drama without having to adjust to the fixed schedule of the TV station.
As for the sustainability of the short drama, it depends on the platform and the audience's statement. According to Sina TV, the vice president of iQiyi Dai Ying responded to the "Silent Truth" ad placement controversy during the event, saying that the ad position has been optimized. The Fog Theater as a whole did not make any money, and it was not until "The Silent Truth" that it really sold its ads.
However, in an interview with the media, Dai Ying also said that the profit of the short drama model is not a problem. Coupled with the short drama model of Hunan TV Station mentioned above, this innovative drama model is expected to continue to develop in China.
Under the market-oriented operation system, if you want to see more "The Silent Truth" and "The Hidden Corner", you and I as the audience still have to vote more for the boutique, or even pay for it, in order to make the platform sustainable Innovation.
Another feature of the skit theater is that multiple episodes are sent out in succession, with similar styles. Both iQiyi’s Fog Theater and Youku’s Suspense Theater are both suspenseful and crime-based drama series. Explosive dramas in this model will attract the audience to pay attention to the theater, and the theater can also drive traffic attention for subsequent episodes, so as to achieve the effect of promoting the drama.
Verticalization and categorization are one of the main characteristics of the industrial operation of TV dramas, and it is also considered the future of China's film and television market.
In the film market that is the same as TV series and emphasizes user payment, Hollywood has been the head of the global film market for a long time. The key is that Hollywood has achieved the type of film and industrialized mass production.
Suspense, police, love, family comedy, etc. are all types of dramas. Hollywood’s strong production ability is reflected in the fact that they can still attract audiences through content variations, and audiences can also choose related types according to their personal preferences. Film and television works.
Professor Dai Jinhua, a professor in the Chinese Department of Peking University, once told such a story in an open class. The movie "Independence Day" is a typical American science fiction genre. It tells the story of an earthling against aliens. The turning point is that humans use computer viruses. Infect alien ships and other equipment to achieve victory.
Before "Independence Day", there was a science fiction movie of the same type. The turning point was that aliens could not resist the flu virus. The earth people relied on the flu to win. From the flu virus to the computer virus, the movie completed the storytelling in the same genre. Variations, attract the audience to continue watching the same type.
The same is true for the Fog Theater. After watching the trailer or introduction, the audience can understand that the ending is that the righteous side defeated the evil side, but how to defeat it is still the interesting part of the whole episode.
Under the premise that audiences have their own love for carrots and vegetables, and the market-oriented operation of the film and television industry is irreversible, the film and television market will continue to develop in a healthy and sustainable manner, and it is bound to move on to the road of high-quality industrialization. The blooming of multiple types and themes is the future of domestic drama. The skit mode is also one of them.
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