At last, the greenlight for my new magazine, my first attempt at publishing, Skrip2Skrin, has been received. InsyaAllah, the inaugural issue will appear at selected newsstands come this December.
Many are asking why go into publications? Adex figures are coming down. The magazine market is already flooded with thousands of magazines. So why do it?
Well, for one, I have always wondered why there isn't a full fledge local magazine in any language that covers the local film, television, broadcasting, visual media and content industry in a serious manner? Having been part of a filmmaking family all my life, I always feel that, even today, there are many who think that the industry is a peripheral industry, one that is not serious, where revenues are not consistent and that it does not merit any serious discussion or to be afforded much time.
Well, maybe the Malaysian feature film industry can be considered 'unimportant' and 'insignificant' about twenty thirty years ago. But today, it is part of a billlion Ringgit content industry that is burgeoning. At least 40 feature film titles are being produced annually. Thousands of hours of television content are being produced yearly for RTM, STMB and Astro. Billions are spent and made in content creation and advertising revenue yearly through these mediums. Yet, surprisingly no local magazine or journal has ever been published for the creative content industry.
Heck, even the advertising fraternity has one...Adoi! So why not the content industry? One that is published in Bahasa Malaysia and English so that everyone in the industry, and foreign observers of the local film industry, can read and update their knowledge about what is going on in the Malaysian creative content industry.
Having said that, the domestic entertainment magazine industry is flourishing. In BM there many titles of which URTV, Media, Hai! and Mangga lead the way. All are gossip rags and offer nothing much in terms of serious industry information. Skrip2Skrin hopes to fill that vacuum. It will touch upon issues, delve upon industry matters that local entertainment magazines deem fit to be left out. It will cover technology, personalities, career discussions, industry outlooks, current production statuses and many more. I hope to make Skrip2Skrin the de facto Malaysian film industry magazine, more so than Finas's Sinema Malaysia magazine, which has improved in content and design in the last few issues.
However, Skrip2Skrin will be an independent magazine - not the voice of any particular body.
Yes, Finas will have space in the magazine to promote and inform the public and the citizens of the film industry about its various projects, objectives and activities, but it does not control Skrip2Skrin's content. I do.
It will also be bi-lingual. No, that doesn't mean that each article in the magazine will be in English and Bahasa Malaysia. Articles in the magazine will be published in the language that the contributors submit in. Only certain articles that I feel needs to be published in both language will be 'translated' and published in English and Bahasa Malaysia. I hope that with this bi-lingual approach, the magazine will be read by Singaporeans, Thais, Filipinos, Japanese, Koreans, Americans and Europeans, and finally they will now be kept abreast of what is happening in Malaysia.
Nevertheless, at the end of the day, publishing a magazine is still a big risk. I still have to survive on advertisements and not on circulation. I hope that my marketing team will be able to sell space for this 'niche' magazine. I hope Sony, Panasonic, Samsung and Canon will place ads in this magazines. I hope equipment suppliers, post production outfits, film production companies, cinema chain operators will also support the magazine. The people who read the magazine are their clients, their end users and their partners in the industry, and therefore I hope they see the benefits of advertising in this magazine.
Finally, I hope my peers, my friends and colleagues will support this magazine by buying it and or reading it, and spreading the word around that Skrip2Skrin is the first bonafide local film industry magazine. And for those who are itching to find a proper platform to meluahkan perasaan, to question authority or any parties may it be TV stations or government agencies, this is it. Do send in queries, articles, write ups, even production update reports to Skrip2Skrin. Email queries and submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.