Test­ing New Wa­ters

The Brand Reporter - - NEWS - sh­weta.mulki@afaqs.com

I don’t know when the last time was that I made an erotic thriller. I have made many hor­ror films, yes. But on the app, we have var­ied con­tent.

Web con­tent is not reg­u­lated to­day, but one day it might be. How could that im­pact con­tent?

There’s al­ready a lot of self-cen­sor­ship on the web. On dig­i­tal, peo­ple come for a ‘par­tic­u­lar sen­sa­tion’. They don’t want a story mixed with sex. It could be an erotic story, but it has to be a story. Thanks to Jio, most of In­dia has data. If they want to watch porn they can. I’m not go­ing to watch a film or web se­ries with half-clad women when I can see every­thing online for the same data, on the same phone. Ear­lier, in films, it was dif­fer­ent be­cause you couldn’t see it any­where else; you bought the ‘half clad’. To­day if some­body comes to my chan­nel, it’s not for porn (un­less I’m specif­i­cally sell­ing that), they come to watch drama, sus­pense or su­per­nat­u­ral thrillers. A real con­tent maker would not fear online cen­sor­ship.

Will Vikram Bhatt ever make a light­hearted com­edy for dig­i­tal?

There’s too much com­edy on the web. There are whole chan­nels do­ing rom-coms, hus­band-wife sit­u­a­tions and there’s no point be­ing an­other one like that. We are all sell­ing dif­fer­ent wares. Also, on ‘VB on the Web’, there’s hardly any hor­ror there. There’s Twisted Maya, Hadh and Spot­light, these are out-of-the-box. We’re go­ing to have drama, su­per­nat­u­ral and Sci-fi on the app. Un­touch­ables is an emo­tional court­room drama. We’ll also have Break­ing News which is about cor­rup­tion in me­dia.

Is it all your own money? Tell us about the dig­i­tal team.

Right now it’s all my own in­vest­ment. I’m not di­rect­ing any, but I’m in­volved in the creative and scripts, a bit on the cast­ing and I, of course, see the fi­nal prod­uct. We have E-Creed who have de­vel­oped the app, they are my CTOs too. And I have a creative team of six direc­tors, writ­ers, music direc­tors, and edi­tors all ded­i­cated to this.

You pro­duce con­tent for Viu too, won’t there be any con­flict?

I’m only one of the pro­duc­ers there. Also, I’m not a sub­scrip­tion model, so whether I show­case it in my app and charge or give it to them, it’s all the same.

Any mar­ket­ing plans? Will you pro­mote the app in your movie trail­ers?

I don’t think you can mar­ket an app. The con­tent mar­kets the app. Aware­ness doesn’t trans­late to in­trigue. It may not want me to down­load the app. It needs con­tent spe­cific pro­mos (which will be sam­pled on dig­i­tal).

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