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Original content is way forward for OTT platforms: Abhimanyu Singh of Contiloe Pictures

In a conversation with, the Founder and CEO of Contiloe Pictures explains how consumption has changed and the difference between making content for television and digital platforms

Abhimanyu Singh

Contiloe Pictures, which has a long legacy of producing shows for television, recently ventured in the digital space with 'State of Siege: 26/11', on Zee5.

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Talking about the sudden wave of OTT platforms coming up with original content, Abhimanyu Singh, Founder and CEO, Contiloe Pictures, said it is the only way the platforms can grow. “I think every platform will need to have their set of originals and that is the way forward,” he said. “Ultimately if the story is strong, people will watch and get more subscribers and viewers on the platform.”

Asked if it was late for them to venture into the digital space, Singh said they wanted to understand the space before diving into it. “It’s never too late, we wanted to take our time and understand the space. The big difference between us and the west is that they were always telling stories that were like 20 episodes and we were telling stories running into 700-800 episodes. This new space changed the narrative, the grammar and the language of storytelling. We wanted to study and understand the space before we took any plunge into it. I think when you make something for any medium, as a storyteller, we need to know what we want to make,” he said.

Singh said the digital platform has provided them with a perfect balance between television and films. “We thought that this is a story that I could never make. On TV, it was too short of a story to be made, so digital gave us space,” he said. Explaining further, he said the digital space has adopted methods similar to films when it comes to post-production.

When asked if the television industry has faced a challenge due to the emergence of digital platforms, Singh said, “All storytellers are going to be challenged by a new format and no matter how good of a storyteller you are, if it’s a new platform or a new format, it is going to pose new challenges. It is about how you understand challenges and how well you are able to adapt and work within those limitations.”

“A large part of the digital space rightly or wrongly is looking at a lot of solutions coming from the makers of cinema. I don’t know whether that’s right or wrong and they will have to try and test. I believe that every storyteller will have his or her challenges that they will have to overcome,” Singh added.

Explaining the experience of creating a digital show, Singh said it was completely different. “Both formats require different kinds of prepping and different kind of competence. In the digital space, there is a lot of emphasis on the writing, on the prepping and how you think through the whole thing and that’s what you really need to invest in,” he said.

On their future plans, Singh said they are looking to explore the digital space along with television. “We are keenly looking at the premium digital space to create content. ‘State of siege 26/11’ being the first, we are also looking at growth in animation and visual effects. A state-of-the-art facility for animation and VFX has been put for the growth in demand. We have also hired some good talent to deliver high-quality visual effects and animation,” he added.

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