With the growing demand for good content on OTT platforms, in our industry, there is a need to put more emphasis on strong writing. Anything which is well written and well produced has a chance to find an audience anywhere in the world, said Sunder Aaron, Co-founder, and Managing Partner, Locomotive Global Inc., in interaction with BestMediaInfo.com.
According to Aaron, Korean content has gained a lot of attention lately but it is basically because it is well-written and produced.
“Anything which is well written and well produced has a chance to find an audience anywhere in the world. That’s what we are hoping with Rana Naidu. We have worked hard to make sure it is a well-written and produced show. Just like RRR has made a big impact around the world and in the west so hopefully, some emerging TV shows will do that as well,” he added.
Furthermore, he went on to say, “In our industry, we need to put more emphasis on the writing and OTT has helped us do that so you have seen more and more screenwriters in the last five to six years become popular because they are the true stars in this medium of premium scripted drama. Whereas film is a director’s medium, long-form television belongs to the showrunners and writers.
Aaron added, “Our industry is only a few years old compared to the UK and US where there has been an emphasis on writing for 50 years. In India, in the last five years, I feel, TV writing and writing for streaming has opened the floodgates when it comes to opportunities for writers, and as a result, Indian television writing has improved rapidly.”
Speaking about the latest project produced by Aaron, Rana Naidu, which is scheduled to be released on March 10 by Netflix India, he said that people have seen a lot of South Indian films doing well in North India and he is hoping that as a project featuring massive South Indian stars, that Rana Naidu will have a similar effect.
“The idea was to get big South Indian stars into a massive show and hopefully we can achieve a truly pan-Indian show with nationwide appeal. India has so many different languages and regions, so it’s tough to get a show or a film that crosses all boundaries,” he added.
Throwing some light on the platform’s content line-up for this year, Aaron said, “We have got a lot of stuff that we are developing and on the verge of setting up with a platform. We have an Untitled Project by Hansal Mehta as the showrunner, and we have a project called TV Town which tells the story of the TV industry and how it boomed in the 90s. It’s really a story about India and our nation’s coming of age, and how TV helped that journey. We also have an adaptation of Kipling’s The Jungle Book. Then we have a project lined up with Prashant Nair, showrunner of Trial By Fire, the outstanding series recently released by Netflix India. We are working on quite a few different things.”
In India, the crime thriller genre is the dominant trend as everybody already consumes it. However, more genres, like horror and Sci-fi, need to be explored more, Aaron said.
“What we are not seeing are trends like the horror genre which is a very popular genre around the world. We have not seen enough of that in India because our horror tends to be silly horror or more horror comedy. That’s a trend I believe will come along with other genres like Science fiction and good sharply written, nuanced (and not slapstick) comedies,” he added.
Furthermore, he said that another ongoing trend is fewer episodes in a particular series and the rise of regional content.
“Regional content has started making a mark. Shows from the South, particularly well-written ones are getting traction as well.”
While he believes that the overall technical production capability of India is exceptional, the Indian sets could be a little more efficient. “There are just too many people on sets and that’s something that needs to change slowly. We are also changing the conventions of how we produced content in the past. You never saw anybody doing synchronised sound, which is becoming a common trend now, certainly in Hindi cinema and television,” he added.
“This is a trend happening around the world. Various mid-level films like mid-level comedies or even romantic comedies are not finding their way into the theatres. So, OTT platforms are stepping into the studio's position and taking them directly onto their platforms and that is because of the uncertainty in the theatrical distribution market around the world,” Aaron stated.
Speaking about Locomotive Global Media’s overall business, Aaron said that they are also getting into the segment of the film.