Pitch CMO Summit: ‘OTT presents flexibility, width and breadth to expand on stories’

The cast of SonyLIV’s first Tamil web-series ‘Aivar’ - Sanjjanaa Galrani and Ashwin Kakumanu - and director Harsha V spoke about OTT's penetration and challenges at the session

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: May 31, 2019 8:29 AM

The Pitch CMO Summit, Bangalore, saw many brands coming together to talk about ‘Demystifying Brand Building Experience’. 

The cast of SonyLIV’s first Tamil web-series ‘Aivar’ was also at the event and spoke about what OTT brought to the table for the audience.

Present for the chat were the web-series’ cast, Sanjjanaa Galrani and Ashwin Kakumanu, and director of the show, Harsha V. Speaking about the penetration of good content through OTT, Harsha said, “We can have a wild mix of theatre and actors. This can make people stars. You are on phones and the level of penetration is crazy.” 

He further added, “Good story is a good story. But OTT presents a kind of flexibility, width and breadth to expand on stories. In that sense, if it's 8 or 15 episodes, for a platform like this, it is exciting for the audience to watch. This allows to tell stories in a format which is not too long or short.”

Ashwin explained how it was a double-edged sword as well. “It has to be gripping. Movies have diversions and distractions. But on the phone, you can switch it off.” He also said, “The web platform is different from movies. There are many considerations when it comes to cinema. Budgets, romantic portions, comedy for the sake of it, etc. But in digital, you can let the story unfold.”

Sanjjanaa said OTT kept it real and interesting. “OTT keeps it realistic, minimalistic and yet to the point. We have freedom regarding the length of the show. The director has the freedom to explain the script in depth.” She mentioned how this phenomenon has introduced her to the term called binge-watching and she is hooked on to it. Asked about what would be the roadmap for regional language content on OTT, she said the scripting needs to get better. “Once we start doing something better than ‘Sacred Games’, we will be on the map.”

Harsha had an interesting comment to make when asked about the roadmap and the Hindi content. “Bombay is the gateway of India. Whatever content comes, it has to come to Hindi first and then to the rest. But that doesn't mean that there is a dearth of talent in the regional space. It’s just that Bombay saw OTT first.”

Ashwin also mentioned that when it comes to content on phone, one has to work that much harder to make it cinematic. In a theatre, it automatically looks bigger.

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