Friday, March 24, 2006

 

The purist in me - A true story

The story so far: We are planning a film festival of mega-movies at a particular time slot, every day in the month of April. To promote it, our on-air promos team was briefed to make a generic promo, without mentioning any film names or telecast dates, to inform viewers about the festival, and attract them enough for them to come and sample our movies during April. The promo got ready yesterday, and I and my boss checked it.

The conversation:
Me: Don't you think this promo is 'cheating'?
Boss: Why? What's wrong with it?
Me: We are showing footage of even those movies in the promo that we are not showing during this festival,in fact,not even during this month. Isn't this misleading the viewers?
Boss: Noooooooo, because we are not telling them that this specific movie is being shown at this time. We are just telling them that movies of this scale are being shown in this slot, throughout this month.
Me: But that IS cheating.
Boss: No, we're not specifying a telecast date and time.
Me: That is just a technicality, ethically we are misleading the public.
Boss (slightly irritated now): You can't look at everything from a purist point of view. It doesn't work this way, especially in marketing, and in this industry.

End of conversation.

The conversation ended but I wasn't convinced. I'm still not convinced. This was the 2nd such incident yesterday. The first one was regarding a promo that I checked and found that in one of the 'supers' (the text that appears on the screen during an ad/promo), the word 'hook-ups' was spelt as 'hook-up's'. I wanted to stop the promo from being despatched with what in my eyes was a horrible mistake. But I was over-ruled, and told that though I was right (of course), it was too minor an error and most people would not even notice it. Anyways, we needed to put it on-air asap, so it HAD to be despatched, and we could despatch a corrected version by Monday. But for 2 days, the 0.01% of our viewers who will notice it, will laugh at us, and think of us as incompetent jokers. At least that is what I do when I see such errors on screen! But then, maybe that is just the point of view of a purist!

I've always been like this. All my regular readers know about my OCD when it comes to grammar. Till some time ago, I even used to type complete grammatical sentences on SMS. It was so painful that I've now moved on to using shorter versions of words, but I've somehow managed not to compromise on the grammar part :-)

It affects me in other fields also. Whenever I listen to a remixed version of an old classic, I cringe. Its almost like a physical shock. How can someone mess around with someone else's creative product? Who has given him/her that right? If there are laws against murdering a human being, why is there no law against murdering a song?

The same is true in the case of movies. I was apalled when I saw 'The Bourne Identity' 3-4 years ago. I'd obviously read Robert Ludlum's original work, and it remains one of my all-time favorite thrillers. But here was a movie, which was supposedly based on that book, and even borrowed its name, but massacred the original story so badly that it became totally unrecognizable, especially towards the end. I was so scandalized that I couldn't gather the courage to watch 'The Bourne Supremacy' when it was released last year.

Its all the fault of the purist in me. He wants everything to be correct, and ideal. He wants people to behave as they SHOULD, to use the language that is 'proper', to show respect for other people's intellectual rights. Maybe I'm unrealistic, but that's not my fault. It's the purist in me!

May the Force be with you.

Comments:
About that conversation, it sounds like a legitimate advertising gimmick.I don't know much of either,I mean adverts or gimmicks but isn't that how they always are.Promised some thing deliverd some thing else?Hmm,I've got a raw deal from some one I know well always pointing my typos.While I think its being stuck up when it comes to me, I do agree callous mistakes on national TV, are blunders you don't want to commit.
Btw, there was an advert of channel Filmy in a cinema, where I watched a Hindi film yesterday...:D
 
Not correct or ideal but you have to do your best. Grin and bear it till you get to a place where you can get people to understand the difference between lose and loose grrrrrr
 
hmmm...
media and advertising r both same.
may the force be with us.
 
May the force be with the Purist! I hope no amount of jargon can shake the purist in you. Here's to the day when the Obi-Wan channel takes off :-) (Am serious)
 
hmmm...the Force is strong here..... long live the purist!
 
EU: Unfortunately, that has become the general perception of people, but misleading the public can never be considered 'legitimate'. And btw, the movie that you saw would have been Malamaal Weekly, there was a promo of ours in the print of the movie, hence its journey to London, where we are not available :-)

tcp: I know, but still have to keep fighting till we can!

adi: Yup, I feel sick sometimes of the whole charade, I am sure you would understand, being from advertising! But lets keep doing our bit to make it better! btw, welcome to JDMHC :-)

cloudy: Thanks :-) Though the next move might not involve a channel I feel. Want to do something different now. Keep watching this space for more. And welcome to JDMHC :-)

lazy leo: Thanks a tonne. It helps when you know that at least some people understand.
 
I thought purists didn't exist anymore :-)I'm so happy to know there's at least one - alive and kicking.
 
it's irritating when perfection goes unappreciated!
 
I know Obi Wan. You correct my corrected comments. So pay back time! hehe. Check last para, the line: Its all the fault of the purist in me. It should be "it's" not "its."

It's the purist in me that's talking! :)
 
sunshine: You bet. I'll go down fighting, kicking and screaming :-) Welcome!

Parul: Hence the post, to let out steam! Welcome to you too :-)

AFJ: Touche'! But actually, that's open to debate. A learned authority once corrected me when I wrote 'it's', since 'it's' would mean 'of it', and not 'it is'! Will need to consult M/s Wren and Martin now :-)
 
welcome to delhidreams;)
 
Its not just your work.. The problem exists everywhere... I can't call myself a purist but there are some basic things that need to be correct when you deliver something to the client.. and when ever i have pointed out.. was always told that "Nobody will check it out in that detail"... Well I did....

I seriously think that we need that force.
 
Obi Wan, what you learned is wrong! The jury is not out on that one. Oh poor you! Whoever taught you this?? Now, look what you have done! You have got me going.

"It's" is a short form for "it is."
Eg: It's a hot day.

"Its" means belonging to it.
Eg: The dog wagged its tail.

When you are unsure where to use "its" and "it's", try to replace its/it's with "it is" and see if the sentence makes sense. If it does, you need "it's." If it doesn't, "its" is what you want.

Eg: Its all the fault of the purist in me.
"Its" doesn't make sense here because who does "its" belong to here? Now try "It is." The sentence reads: "It is all the fault of the purist in me." Which makes sense.

Sorry for the grammar lesson, but I have taught grammar also among my many other jobs so I have to clear such misconceptions. Also, if you dont trust me, google for it. :)
 
And oh, you are right! Misleading advertising is "cheating." On this, I am with you! :)
 
yeah!
thanks afj for the morale boosting thoughts ;)
 
I like the way AFJ explained this bit.Not patronizing anyone here.But I strongly believe if one learns it the right way the first time then one is sorted for life.Such clarity and so well explained.Loved it.
 
apy: absolutely correct! And welcome to JDMHC :-)

AFJ: By this logic, what happens when I say "AFJ's grammar is good"? Here, the apostrophe denotes 'of AFJ/belonging to AFJ'. If I do not use the apostrophe, it not not only becomes a grammatically incorrect sentence, but also denotes multiple AFJs :-)
Leaving all the kidding aside, thanks for the grammar lesson, I really appreciate the effort!

AFJ again: Thank you, much obliged :-)

adi: :-)

EU: The jury is still out on that one, despite whatever AFJ might say :-)
 
O YES!!! That is in caps beacuse I want to tell you how much I agree with you. It is not meant to sound rude. And yes, I agree with the boss part of your post! ;)
and remixes also. They are #$^&$**@
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
bhai mere.... my sympathies... i just saw that promo today.. a) i was happy coz of the fantastic usage of the footage from the srk-ash hot number, b) very depressed..thinking you're gonna be showing that shit movie it is from (for all srk fans like me, this movie had him and ash, in a guest appearance only, for an item number). so maybe next time it'll be better if you give the names of the movies - coz 'some' may feel you gain some, but you may just lose a lot more!
regarding the sms - just how many times will i have to push you to use predictive text - it is for people who can't bear to use shortcuts, even if it be just an sms! whatddya think?! ;)
 
several issues being talked about here....
1.. misleading advertisements or minor mistakes....strict no no coz it does make a huge difference to the audience client whatever...it may not even be noticable but THAT makes all the difference in the world....
a small mistake can get a whole thing crashing down....the 0.02 percentile is much more than that believe me....people have a nack of pointing out the smallest of mistakes...

2.all of us do have a purist tendency in us ..just that some address the issue and some dont...lets not categorise...

3.about murdering a song ....well no one gives any right to anybody to even create ...but we still do....wen i listen to a song i sometimes feel what if i gave this beat to a song ...or changed a tune ever so slightly.....a creation doesnt belong to one person...it belongs to the one who is gathering it...or should i say to the people who receive it...be it a song a book a poem ...anything...its you who decides how u wanna perceive it ....a person who remixes a song has not only wanted to pu in his creative input to songs he likes btu also understood the demand of he market and probably added market value to the songs long forgotten.tell me when was the last time you heard "saiyya dil me aana re" or "sajna hai mujhe "?
the original before the remix released....its what the masses want...he is not catering to me and you (as far as listening to them is concerned ...i dont either...not oo fond of them)

4. movies from books...ahem.... its strange how every person visualises a book differently...i just said that...i avoid the movies coz i hate my visualisaion to spoil...and eeeww i made a huge mistake by going and watching harry potter after reading it (ok ok dont laugh i love HP)
and well like u i felt this A** mutiliated the movie totally..he left out so many details that were so important... unfotunately i also realised that if he does put all those things in the movie...the movie would not end in 1 whole day .... its the same with LOTR or frankly any other book and a movie based on it....also tell me something is i neccessary that people should make the movie exactly as u like it....(oh this one is long) also maybe the movie maker thought it is important enough to give a story out to people (scores of them) who dont read ...its important that they atleast hear the story...however crooked the potrayal....
5. this one questions.....

who decides the ideal?who decides what is right what is wrong? what is SHOULD AND SHOULD NOT?what is PROPER AND INPROPER(was that pelt right?)how do u define a purist?

sorry for an irritatingly long read(well it was a verywell written piece and i just put my views...pls dont be hurt)
 
Rita: Thanks for understanding :-)

Just Me: You know who to blame for the promo, don't you? Tell him directly na??? And btw, SRK had a proper, important role in Shakti-The Power, not a guest appearance, though the role was short. Ash was in a guest apearance. And as for it being a 'shit' movie, you will be pleased to know that it always gets a very high rating whenever we telecast it on TV. Let us not make the mistake of deciding what the masses will like or not like by extrapolating our own likes and dislikes :-)

shadows: First of all, bhelcome to JDMHC :-) Now for your points...
1)Totally agree, hence my frustration.
2)I agree, and I choose to be open and non-apologetic about it.
3)A song, a book, a film... are all creative products of a mind. The copyright over that product, ethically, rests with the creator, and no one else. The right to your creative work is as strong as the right to say, property, or freedom of expression. Just like no one has a right over my house, or my body, similarly, no one can have a right over what my mind comes out with. You take away this right, and you will see the quality of creative output dropping drastically.
4)I will never laugh at someone who admits to loving HP. You are a newcomer to this blog, hence you felt the need to say this. Regulars know how much I love fantasy fiction. As for the movies, somehow wasn't too disappointed with the HP movies, and definitely not at all wth LOTR, mainly due to Peter Jackson I think!
5)I decide for myself, and you for yourself, based on what your conscience tells you! No right or wrong answers of course!It's 'Improper' btw :-)
Finally, no need at all to apologize for writing a long comment on a blog which celebrates 'the telling of the tale, and not the tale'. :-)
May the Force be with you.
 
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