The telly box just got big­ger

Hindustan Times (Ranchi) - Live - - Front Page - Etti Bali ■ [email protected]

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 Kaal Bhairav Ra­hasya 2 A still from Aladdin-Naam Toh Suna Hoga

A still from Man­mo­hini

A still from Das­taan-E-Mo­hab­bat Salim Anarkali

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