Television will continue,digital will play an important role too: Abhimanyu Singh, Contiloe Pictures
Abhimanyu Singh spoke to exchange4media about producing engaging TV content in an era dominated by social media platforms and more.
Television industry is betting heavily on mythological and historical shows and producers are spending big budgets to woo audiences with such genres. Huge sets, lavish costumes and advanced visual effects are synonymous with these shows which often witness marathon runs too. Abhimanyu Singh, CEO of Contiloe Pictures has been part of some of the popular shows in this genre like Jhansi ki Rani, Maharana Pratap, Ashoka Samrat, and recently Vighnaharta Ganesh. Singh spoke to exchange4media about producing engaging TV content in an era dominated by social media platforms and more.
How difficult it is to produce and run mythological shows as compared to normal TV soaps?
Mythological or historical shows are both quite different genres, it requires lot of efforts to produce the shows. There are multiple reasons, any such shows requires research and time. Research plays an important role otherwise it can impact you in another way. Therefore, right research and right kind of sensitivity can actually run a show in an acceptable way. Doing research is not easy, as it demands time and efforts.Secondly, in mythological shows you will see lavish sets, heavy costumes, graphic designs and real effects elements, which are not presented in normal daily soaps. Right from the pre-production to production and then post-production, all three departments need time, energy and most important money.
How challenging is it to keep viewers engaged in a particular show especially when they have such a vast choice of shows in front of them?
True, there are many options available these days, which becomes challenging too. We are not only competing with traditional shows being on different channels and networks but also with people spending more time on digital platforms like Facebook and Whatsapp etc. Also, people are consuming content on internet too. No doubt, there’s been huge amount of content for audience and within this cluttered environment it becomes extremely difficult. You have to be on your toes. We have also realized audience attention spans are dwindling and one need to constantly come up with twists and turns in a story, otherwise you will not be able to engage the audience. They will move on.
Do you plan to produce web series around this genre too?
Yes, we will be launching the battle of Saragarhi on a new channel ‘Discovery Jeet’. The battle happened in North India in 1897 where 21 british Indian Army Sikh soldiers stopped 13,000 Arab Shahi’s/Afghans from entering India. All the 21 Sikh soldiers were martyred and were given honour of merit from the queen of England. The show will be of limited series. It is a fantastic story and we hope audience will like it.
How has the TV industry shaped up over the years and especially with the coming of newer entertainment platforms?
It is at a constant process of evolution. Something that neither we can stop or reverse. I definitely feel that speed of evolution has become better and faster. What is new today becomes old very quickly. The modification is happening at a very rapid pace. When television came there was a selective audience, as TV was not an affordable commodity. But as the TV sets became cheaper, people demands changed accordingly. Doordarshan was the only player in that era; no private channels existed in the mid 80’s. There used to be fixed set of shows but in Late 2000 we saw reality and music shows coming in.
The evolution continues and I believe India is going to have a pioneer economy as far as traditional television industry is concerned because it still continues to be the cheapest form of entertainment. The kind of entertainment TV gives at a price point, I don’t think so it is available anywhere. Television will continue, though digital will play an important role too.
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