Sujoy Ghosh on future of cinema post COVID-19: Cinema halls and OTT platforms can co exist
Film producers, directors and experts from across media and entertainment industry shared their views live on “Exploring New Avenues – OTT The Game Changer” on Naik Naik & Company’s Facebook page
Living up to the promise of providing an interesting and informative take on post COVIC 19 and its impact on the Media & Entertainment (M&E) industry, Naik Naik & Company’s second web series with the theme “Exploring New Avenues – OTT The Game Changer” turned out to be a huge success.
Film producers, directors and cine gurus from across the M&E industry including Mukesh Bhatt, Nikhil Advani, Raj Nayak, Sameer Nair, Sujoy Ghosh, Allu Arvind, Krishna DK, Karan Bedi, Vikram Malhotra and Madhu Mantena joined the highly-anticipated episode held live on 16th May, 2020 on Naik Naik & Company’s Facebook page.
Stressing on the current scenario of people sitting at home, filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh said, “I don’t think Covid has anything to do with films or OTT. I remember during my growing up years, we used to have libraries in the neighbourhood which had lot of books. You need to get subscription and read a book of your choice. But it never stopped you from buying a book.”
“I personally believe in cinema and have grown up watching cinema. I would love to go a theatre and as community people, we would always enjoy going out there and watching cinema. We have to support them to a certain extent. Having said that, I also don’t know how easy it’s for me to say wait and hold on to your film and what is the cost of the film. I watch my daughter and son and they are very used to watching their things on their laptops. I don’t know where it is heading but it can co-exist. OTT will get a certain amount of loyalty,” he added.
Veteran filmmaker Mukesh Bhatt put forward an equally interesting take. He said, “Challenging times are the best times. You are put in a situation like this which is far beyond your own capacity to control. I feel this is a great time for all of us to come out of this with something more innovative or creative and this is going to be fodder for years to come. Nothing stops me from making whatever I want to make and it will be lapped up because there’s great audience who wants to see stories which are different and path breaking and create a stir in the human heart but pitches to so-called non-viable theatre audience where people want to enjoy. It’s like an IPL match – just enjoy the ambience, clap and whistle. There are two different audience coming for two different purpose of entertainment.”
Shedding some light on the movie theatre scenario, Raj Nayak added, “I personally think, cinema halls are not going to open before October. It’s my view, looking at the scenario in major cities – Mumbai and Delhi in particular. The other way of looking at it is also that it’s a good time for content creators because OTT has democratized distribution. So, anybody who actually has got a good story, gets a platform which probably in the earlier days one wasn’t able to get. You cannot blame somebody to go directly to OTT. Big movies with big stars will have a challenge because only going to OTT or satellite will not help them to recover the money. So that’s going to be a challenge.”
Naik Naik and Company in the association has conducted Live sessions on Facebook. The three-day initiative (15-17 May, 2020) aimed at bringing together celebrities and influencers from across the Media and Entertainment industry to share their thoughts on how to plan the future post COVID 19.