Hyderabad: Filmmaker-actor Tharun Bhascker believes the OTT revolution is a welcome change for the Telugu entertainment industry.
He has been a fixture in the Telugu film industry since he directed Pelli Choopulu and more recently Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi. While being active in the traditional feature film industry, he has also forayed into online OTT content. He has directed BTech, a web series for Zee5, and is currently working on producing content for another major player.
In a chat with Deccan Chronicle, Mr Bhascker said OTT is a welcome change for the Telugu entertainment industry. When asked whether OTT could reach tier-1 and tier-2 centres of the state, and not be restricted to the urban populace, he said, “Five years ago, nobody imagined OTT content would take over the world like this. Today, filmmakers are being funded left, right and centre. And Telugu people consume content on a mass level; everyone has a smartphone and a broadband connection at home. It is only a matter of time before we reach people in the B and C centres of the state.”
Bhascker said one of the best things for creators working with OTT platforms is the data related to consumption.
“When a series is released on a platform, you get the exact data of how many people are watching it at any given moment, what part they start watching it from, what they repeatedly watch and so on. This data is amazing for a creator to study and learn from. However, unfortunately a lot of OTT platforms are also very secretive about this data,” he said.
The Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi director said digital content is also less risky when compared to feature films. “When a feature film is bad, it creates a bad reputation for everyone involved with it. But when some digital content is bad, nobody really cares about it. It is simply forgotten. Of course, while the risk is low, so are the rewards,” he said.
Bhascker also admitted that while creating digital content, he too was struggling to think outside the traditional feature film mindset. “There are a lot of inhibitions in feature films in terms of dialect, usage of language, characterisation. There are a lot of restrictions there,” he said.
He added that very absence of these restrictions are what makes digital content a great launch-pad for people wanting to get into the film industry on their own....