The telly box just got bigger
Grander sets, nuanced storytelling, and top-class video effects (VFX) have taken over television. With a string of mythological shows, period dramas and supernatural serials being made on a large scale, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the quality of production and the costs involved are at par with a Bollywood film. Makers feel that the timelessness of these stories is what makes them click with the audience.
“We have grown up on these stories and they can be told again and again to every generation,” says Nissar Parvez, co-producer of Aladdin — Naam Toh Suna Hoga. “The sets are huge, a lot of VFX is involved and the costumes are made for the set period, so a lot of money goes into it,” he adds.
Giving an estimate about the budget these shows can go up to, Ravindra Gautam, producer-director, of Kaal Bhairav Rahasya 2, says, “The budget of such shows can be anywhere between ₹50 lakh to a crore per episode. And the cost of maintaining such sets is between ₹2-₹7 crore.”
With Vfx-heavy shows, the producers prefer to have an inhouse team. “VFX can be anything, from rivers to animals. For example, we build a set for a palace, but everything else is graphics. VFX can cost anywhere between ₹5 lakh to ₹10 lakh per episode,” explains Gautam. With such steep investments, how are the costs recovered? “Ad revenues are the major source of recovering costs. And ad sales are proportional to TRPS,” states Gautam.
Another aspect that plays an important role in the making of such shows is safety. Rigorous training, on-set medical help and specialised equipment are the demand of the day. “We ensure that the actors are welltrained. We try and give a basic athletic grip to the body. On-set safety measures are also ensured. We have a fight master on the set, and we use body doubles, too. Medical help is available on the set 24x7,” says Prateek Sharma, producer of the show Manmohini.
These shows have proven to be successes as far as audiences are concerned. And with more shows in the pipeline, the future is clear. “There is a certain freshness in the content and we pray that these shows work because they will open doors for new genres to come on Indian TV,” says Parvez.
A still from Aladdin-naam Toh Suna Hoga
A still from Kaal Bhairav Rahasya 2
A still from Manmohini
A still from Dastaan-emohabbat Salim Anarkali