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EXCLUSIVE: Sameer Nair, CEO of Applause Entertainment, on digital revolution, declining TV viewership, adaptations, and censorship- “The best part about storytelling is not the story, it’s how you tell it” : Bollywood News

Over twenty years in the past, on the flip of the century, the quiz present Kaun Banega Crorepati hosted by Amitabh Bachchan proved to be a recreation changer for prime time Indian tv. On the identical time, exhibits like Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki, Koffee With Karan, The Nice Indian Comedy Present, and Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, amongst others gave a brand new definition to prime time TV and made it the first supply of leisure in majority households. And the person accountable for the above-mentioned exhibits is – Sameer Nair.

EXCLUSIVE: Sameer Nair, CEO Applause Entertainment, on digital revolution, declining TV viewership, adaptations, and censorship- "The best part about storytelling is not the story, it's how you tell it"

EXCLUSIVE: Sameer Nair, CEO of Applause Leisure, on digital revolution, declining TV viewership, variations, and censorship- “One of the best half about storytelling isn’t the story, it’s the way you inform it”

Sameer, who began his journey with Star Community in 1994 went on to deal with a number of portfolios. At the moment, he’s the CEO of Applause Leisure, a manufacturing home that’s behind profitable exhibits like Rip-off 1992, Undekhi, Legal Justice amongst others. In an unique dialog with Bollywood Hungama, Nair mirrored upon the success of Rip-off 1992, adapting worldwide exhibits for the Indian audiences, declining TV viewership, the digital revolution, censorship, and altering tendencies.

THE RESOUNDING SUCCESS OF SCAM: 1992 –

All of the exhibits we’ve got executed earlier than and after Rip-off is identical kind of premium drama sequence on OTT. It’s high-quality storytelling. It is referred to as cinematic tv if you’ll, and it takes a solid of very gifted actors, administrators, and writing and cinematography, and to inform compelling tales. Rip-off was one of many first exhibits that I began work on once we began Applause. So Rip-off has been within the works since 2017. It simply occurred to be our twentieth launch or one thing. However the actuality was, it was one of many first exhibits we began engaged on. However it’s one thing that got here collectively rather well. It took us three years however the writing, the casting, Pratik Gandhi himself, Hansal Mehta, and the music from Achint, all these little issues, all of them got here collectively rather well. I believe the story was this entire cautionary story about rags to riches and , a colourful character like Harshad Mehta whom you’ve got heard of however do not know sufficient about I believe a lot of these issues got here collectively properly so I imply it is success it is not that we put any extra or any much less effort in it , we do the identical for all of the exhibits.

WHY APPLAUSE CHOSE TO ADAPT INTERNATIONAL SHOWS FOR THE INDIAN AUDIENCE:

Once you have a look at our full listing of 30-32 odd exhibits which were launched, it divides up about evenly between variations, books, and originals. The unique purpose why we did variations was simply to get a speed-to-market in place. We had been a brand new firm and we needed to get issues going shortly. Once you do variations, we’re trying on the good, common tales that we imagine can get reimagined in an Indian context. That is why we did Legal Justice. That is why we did The Workplace, Your Honor, the upcoming present Rudra. We’re additionally doing the Indian adaptation of Fauda. We imagine these tales will be reimagined in an Indian context, and reimagined properly, that is why we choose them. Then, it is actually a operate of, staying true to the unique thought and plot whereas making a complete vary of little tweaks and adjustments. There are additionally completely different procedures. Once you do a present like Your Honor, the authorized course of in India is completely different from the method within the US, or in Israel, for that matter. The characters, setting, dialogues, the best way individuals converse, all change. American exhibits, shouldn’t have home assist, proper? It is exhausting to think about an Indian situation with out home assist, simply easy issues like that, which as an viewers, you do not discover. As a result of it is to not be seen, it is only a factor. So we deal with all that. However from our scheme of issues, it is not an adaptation, it is an Indian present.

IS THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION LEADING TO A DECLINE IN TV VIEWERSHIP:

I do not know whether or not you possibly can say that you’ll not have any viewers. However the TV viewership has been declining over the past 5 to seven years. However that can also be a operate of know-how, and never simply content material. As a result of even Hotstar exhibits you all of the TV channels, and loads of viewers are consuming TV content material on the streaming app. So it is not essentially to say that they stopped watching Star Plus, they only watch Star Plus on Hotstar. The medium has modified and that may proceed to vary. In that context, as this new medium grows, this can discover its personal kind of leverage. There shall be, after all, the premium, ultra-premium drama that we’re at present doing. However I believe there can even be a center floor after which there would be the saas bahus and comparable exhibits. Over a time period, our consumption methodology is not going to change into primarily pushed by streaming and OTT, although as audiences, we are going to proceed to observe all types of issues.

I believe what streaming has executed is that it has revolutionized the best way we devour content material. And that isn’t going to return. Now, whether or not you select to devour Rudra or whether or not you select to devour Anupama, they’re each obtainable on Hotstar. And I believe that is the kind of revolutionary factor that is taking place now.

CENSORSHIP, BOYCOTTS AND RESISTANCE ON OTT PLATFORMS:

Once you say you can’t anticipate what may offend individuals, the factor is that something can offend anybody. It is determined by what your place to begin is. In case your place to begin is an agenda, and in case your place to begin is to make a political level, or to create one thing which is offensive, then principally it finally ends up like that. In case your place to begin is to inform a narrative, and in equal half displays society and an equal half holds a mirror to society with none vested curiosity. Storytelling shouldn’t be activism. Storytelling is storytelling. We’re within the enterprise of leisure. Within the means of leisure, if you’re to be taught one thing, and if I will let you know one thing that makes you assume, then that is an final result. It will probably’t be the place to begin. I believe that is the kind of mistake individuals make. So so far as we’re involved, we’re telling tales, we’re considering telling tales of all kinds- tales that make you uncomfortable, tales that make you snicker or cry. Have a look at Legal Justice S2; with a lot dialogue happening about marital rape, we did a complete sequence on that subject. It is to not say we’re not. However I do not assume we step out to do it like an activist place. That is not our intent. We’re entertainers who wish to entertain and enlighten and inform.

CHANGING TRENDS, AND QUALITY CONTENT ON DIGITAL PLATFORMS: 

I believe it is a actually good factor as a result of it makes content material creators work tougher. I believe what it requires all of us to do now could be to repeatedly enhance the standard of our personal storytelling. Beforehand, I believe perhaps the Hindi business lived in its personal bubble and the south business lived in its personal bubble, and other people lived in their very own little echo chambers. Now, these echo chambers are being destroyed. I believe it is a good factor that we have gotten a world village lastly. And that we’re in a position to see content material, anybody is ready to see content material from anyplace. I believe it is good. I believe it is good for the world, most likely it should make us slightly calmer.

COMPARISONS WITH THE WEST:

We bought to be reasonable to your personal market within the price range that we will afford. So clearly, it pushes everybody to make higher high quality. That’s true. However then the market it’s popping out of can also be outlined by its personal financial state. The US is outlined by the US market, Korea is outlined by the Korean market, it is a query of that. So it is to not say that all the pieces is simply cash, however it is a crucial issue. So when will we make a film as dramatically, with visible results like Spiderman, I believe it’s going to take us some extra time. As a result of perhaps our market cannot afford that form of expenditure. The US has a particularly sturdy home market, it permits them to make a $200 million film, after which they’ll go and present it to the entire world and now proceed to earn bonuses and royalties on that $200 million {dollars}. It roughly interprets to Rs. 1500 crores. So for us to make a film that prices Rs. 1500 crores is a unique factor.

Nair additional additionally spoke about how Hindi cinema can also be making very rooted tales which individuals discover relatable. “You need to make tales which can be rooted. However what they are saying about leisure, is that it is not all the time one factor. Any person makes a complete bunch of tales which can be rooted and sincere and gritty, after which anyone comes and makes an entire whacked-out comedy, you must do this. It will probably’t be such that all the pieces needs to be rooted. The better part about storytelling is that it is not the story, it is the way you inform it. I can let you know a totally loopy story that isn’t rooted in any respect. But when I could make you snicker and maintain your consideration, I am nonetheless successful,” Nair concluded.

ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: “In some ways, Ajay Devgn was our solely selection”- Sameer Nair, CEO Applause Leisure, on working with the famous person in Rudra- The Fringe of Darkness

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