BOL­LY­WOOD GOES DIG­I­TAL

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Monika Rawal Kukreja

While work­ing on this web series, I met a whole new school of ac­tors. If I hadn’t done this [series], I wouldn’t have met them SAIF ALI KHAN, AC­TOR It’s an op­por­tu­nity to do con­tent that’s risqué. It’s an ex­per­i­ment and it could go wrong but it’s def­i­nitely a global trend and it’s worth a try RICHA CHADHA, AC­TOR Top names in main­stream en­ter­tain­ment are tak­ing the plunge into web series and other web­driven con­tent

The buzz in the West is that web series are poised to be the cho­sen en­ter­tain­ment medium of the dig­i­tal gen­er­a­tion. In­dia is catch­ing up fast, too. And Bol­ly­wood A-lis­ters are en­ter­ing the game in force.

Last year saw a bunch of web series made in In­dia.

This year, sev­eral more have — or will — come out. What’s in­ter­est­ing is how

The cast names are get­ting big­ger. Ear­lier, they used be mostly TV ac­tors or not very busy Bol­ly­wood ac­tors; of late, sev­eral sought-af­ter names from main­stream cin­ema have come into this space.

Ac­tors such as Saif Ali Khan, Rana Dag­gu­bati, Ra­jkum­mar Rao, and Richa Chadha are among those who’re work­ing in this medium. The rea­son is both reach and cre­ative nov­elty.

Rana, the Tel­ugu su­per­star who shot to na­tional fame with Baahubali, will be seen in a grey shade in a web thriller, ti­tled So­cial. On what got him in­trigued, he says, “The dig­i­tal plat­form is a fas­ci­nat­ing plat­form. This self-cen­sored space is in­creas­ingly gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity. It gives us im­mense cre­ative free­dom and of­fers view­ers a va­ri­ety of ex­per­i­men­tal nar­ra­tives.”

Some find the medium in­ter­est­ing be­cause they get to col­lab­o­rate with ac­tors from dif­fer­ent streams. Saif, who’ll make his de­but with an orig­i­nal web TV series, ti­tled Sa­cred Games, says, “While work­ing on this series, I met a whole new school of ac­tors. If I hadn’t done this, I wouldn’t have met them, as they’re not main­stream ac­tors. They’re bet­ter ac­tors be­cause of their mod­est ap­proach; my mind has broad­ened [now].”

Con­tent on the web has no “com­pul­sions of first day open­ing and un­nec­es­sary item songs and fight scenes”, says Richa Chadha, who starred in a VOD (video on de­mand), ti­tled Inside Edge. She adds, “It’s an op­por­tu­nity to do con­tent that’s risqué. It’s an ex­per­i­ment and it could go wrong but it’s def­i­nitely a global trend and it’s worth a try. You also get a chance to tell sto­ries that need maybe eight to ten hours, as op­posed to two-three hours.”

Her Inside Edge co-star An­gad Bedi be­lieves that web series work be­cause they have great con­tent, and they can go to the au­di­ence’s home rather than wait for them to buy a movie ticket. “Since the au­di­ences have be­come picky [about con­tent], you have to cater to their needs,” he says. “Also, it’s about reach­ing out to view­ers who’re not com­ing to the the­atres. Peo­ple aged 15-25 years aren’t re­ally into watch­ing films; they pre­fer shows like Game of Thrones or Break­ing Bad. Hence these plat­forms are a great way to con­nect with them.”

PHOTO: AMAL KS/HT

Anushka Sharma (be­low left), Rana Dag­gu­bati (be­low) and Ra­jkum­mar Rao (right) are all in­volved in web series in some ca­pac­ity, as ac­tors or pro­duc­ers

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