Testing New Waters
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).