Why is Thai media so outdated and how can it be improved? | This is Thailand
Have you ever watched Thai series, dramas or movies? Have you ever wondered why it is so unique? Especially Thai drama? you will find quite often repeated situations such as combat scenes between the main men, then war between women for the main male character. the main actor or actress will always be rich or the main antagonist will always end up bringing a gun to kill the main characters in the end. I will talk about the Thai film and television industry. Today I have a wonderful opportunity to interview the most respected drama teacher, Kru Lukkeaw Kru Lukkeaw is a drama teacher at The Drama Academy in Kru Ngor who is one of the best drama teachers in Thailand. Kru Lukkeaw is also an interim coach. She has coached many actors in many famous films on TV and cinema, such as The Promises (a Thai film), The Stranded or Kweng (Thai series on Netflix), and more. She also gives knowledge about acting, how to be a good actor/actress or how to succeed in film as a profession on her social media. She has around 258 followers on Tiktok and 25,500,000 followers on Instagram and nearly 10,000 followers on her FB page. It is therefore an excellent opportunity to interview him on the subject concerning the Thai film and television industry!
Q.1: Foreigners always ask “why are all Thai dramas about love, do they involve fights or slaps, and are they melodramatic?”. The female antagonist always wears revealing clothes and is rude while the lead actress should be calm, neat, and well-mannered. What is your opinion on this? And what do you think of this problem?
I understand why they think like that. Do these types of Thai dramas still exist? Yes there is. It could be from Thai culture which slowly developed “Thai drama”. In the past, we developed from “Li-ke”. “LaMekLaKon” Their storylines were about “Romance” and “Melodrama”. This drama first aired on radio and then on television. and the plot was always the same even in “the novels”. Other countries also have “Melodrama”. However, Hollywood has grown and there is more research behind the stories to produce better movies. In Thailand, has it developed from the past? I think for the past 10 years I have worked in this industry. He has a lot of good plots, a lot more than before. But the old storylines, involving slapping, still remain. Major Thai channels have been airing the same plot for a long time. Changing Culture Turns to new storylines immediately, if they do something new it might scare viewers, will their viewers watch it?. On the other hand, they play it safe, maintaining the same style of storylines that there is already an audience. I think our industry is now at a crossroads… “should we abandon tradition or should we create something new?” Due to new online platforms such as Netflix, Viu, HBO Go (coming soon in Thailand), Disney+ Hotstar is now available in Thailand. More creativity is taking place in our film industry.
Q.2: Do you think Thai dramas or series can be made in more diverse genres, such as investigative series or educate people in very specific fields, such as medicine, agriculture, and more like the media of other countries?
Now it’s getting started, but the research isn’t as deep or detailed as international films. The reason behind this is “Budget”. It’s a lack of funds. Everyone must find the fund for the cost of production. Which leads to less research. For example, 1 production cost of a Korean series can make 10 Thai series. Foreign countries may have a specific research team and the cost to pay for them. It makes movies more realistic. Whereas in Thailand our production is rushed and cheap. So the quality goes down. Everyone dreams that it will be better and there is funding from abroad, Netflix supports us. We hope we can do something stimulating. One part is “budget” but the other part is “knowledge” of the topic or series. In Thailand, some screenwriters only study “plot writing”, but do not understand human psychology or do not do enough research. So it needs development. “writing skills” as well as the “budget”.
Q.3: As you are part of the Thai entertainment industry, do you think it can develop further? how does it work, and what dream do you have for the industry?
I really believe he can grow even more. Because many Thais have the ability. Many Thai commercials are successful and have won many global awards. Foreigners hire a lot of Thais to advertise! But why don’t Thai dramas or series follow them? Because extremely talented people don’t make films for little money. We have the resources. But we need more “time” for production. “support” in terms of skills and budget. Now budgets have increased from overseas platforms that have paid for us. If Thai politics or the government starts to support us, it will accelerate the growth of the industry. Ok!… If we did a series where the Thai government supported us, we could use “government offices”. Easy or free to use contact, or one could shoot the palace or temple, it would be good and it would be the Thai “soft power”. [For example] or If there was a “SomTum” (papaya salad) scene and the Thai government supported us. When funding increases, the film industry will move forward.
Q.4: What do you think of Thais who say “they don’t watch Thai series or series”?
I understand, For me there are certain points that I choose to watch foreign movies. Because I know we will get…, we watch for entertainment, we will get more quality from their film. Is it real or there are more beautiful scenes. If there is more funding in the production, it will increase the filming and editing time to make the plan. In One Day in the Thai series, there are 12 to 20 scenes while in the Korean series, I heard there are only 6 scenes. The question is, how will the quality be the same? Sometimes a scene hasn’t worked yet but you have to move on to the next scene because you have to control the production cost. So Thai people watch foreign series, they learn something new and find great things in foreign movies. When they return to watch Thai series, they may wonder “why the quality of Thai films is not the same as that of foreign films. So I understand that it can happen. Are there quality Thai series? much more than before. The comedy and horror genres in Thailand are so cool!! because Thailand has many beliefs. Horror beliefs. If you’ve ever seen Thai horror movies, you’ll know they’re awesome.
Q.5: What do you think of some people who say “Thai drama” supports “rape culture” in Thailand?
I agree, I was a kid watching Thai dramas on TV and there was a “rape” scene. At that time, I had no idea “having sex”, but I recognized this scene and played the part with my cousin. I played the role of a male actor in this film. I just did some necking that I learned from a movie. For my part, I used to follow the “Rape” action of the Thai drama and I realized while growing up that it was a “rape” scene. I think the media influences “humans” a lot. and I work in the media industry. “Media” is so important in defining the mindset of people in a country. (In Thailand) The rape scene is between the roles of lead actor and actress. The lead actor raped the lead actress but she fell in love with him. “Rape” in the film is not wrong. But the lead actor raping the lead actress with a happy ending is wrong. Thai people watch it and I even imitated it. However, I think more people are now aware of ‘rape culture’. Finally, I am currently part of a Thai series where the original plot is “Y-series” (man-man series). When the main characters first meet, the plot resembles a rape situation. The online platform, where the series will be broadcast, has decided to modify this plot. Because the platform thought it shouldn’t have a rape culture at this time. I think this is moving in the right direction for Thailand.
Q.6: What message would you like to convey to members of society or to the Thai government?
First, my message for the Thai government, I want them to look back and pay attention to the entertainment industry in Thailand. If they fully support it, it will go a long way and bring huge benefits to the country. Because it will make tourists want to travel to Thailand, our country has a lot of good things. The culture is exceptional and there are many wonderful tourist attractions. If you really support the entertainment industry, it will go further. Our Thai actors are of high quality. They are beautiful and so exotic. They have developed their acting skills and they could develop further if supported. I want the government to really understand that it really missed an opportunity to make money. They should realize that now. In the part of messages for people in society, I want you to encourage “Thailand”. If you are a foreigner, Thai movies will actually be better soon. If you are Thai, you may not watch Thai movies. But if some movies, when people think it’s good, try watching it. If you still don’t watch them, please just hope for us. Thai film industry workers are doing their best, but everything we do really needs everyone’s support and encouragement. Thus, it will go further with your support. Please support our entertainment business a little.
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