After ‘Vighnaharta Ganesh’, 6 new shows lined up on Sony: Danish Khan

Coinciding with the Ganesh Mahotsav this year, Sony Entertainment Television is all set to premiere its mythological series ‘Vighnaharta Ganesh’ on August 22. Sony and Contiloe Picture have come together to redefine the experience of mythological shows with this new series. ‘Vighnaharta Ganesh’ will air Monday to Friday at 8.00 pm and replace popular mythological show ‘Sankat Mochan Hanuman’. 

Showcasing the journey of Lord Ganesha, the makers have brought in top notch Motion Capture technology and animatronics which will be used for the first time on Indian television, after being extensively used in Hollywood. This technology will replace the age old depiction of Lord Ganesha with an inert mask and bring alive the detailed life-like movements and facial expressions to the fore giving the viewers a delightful visual treat. 

This technology will make the emotional journey of how Ganesha from being an ostracized child to ‘Prathamesh’ amongst Gods more endearing and realistic experience. 

According to a statement, Contiloe Pictures has joined hands with American Company called Faceware Technology as the technology provider for motion capture effects in the show.

‘Vighnaharta Ganesh’ features a stellar star-cast that includes Uzair Basar playing Ganesha, Akanksha Puri as Parvati, Malkhan Singh as Shiv, Basant Bhatt as Kartikeya and Anand Garodia as Narada Muni. 

Speaking on the new show, Danish Khan, EVP and Business Head Sony Entertainment Television, said, “Story of Lord Ganesh was, is and will always be relevant to our viewers across the globe. The only challenge was to present it in a never seen before avatar. We are delighted with the way our creative partner Contiloe has imagined this show visually. We are sure our viewers will enjoy both, the editorial authenticity as well as visual delight.” 

Abhimanyu Singh, CEO, Contiloe Pictures, added here, “At Contiloe, we have always believed in using technology to enhance the visual experience for our audiences. This is the first time that Motion Capture technology has been used on Indian television. ‘Vighnaharta Ganesh’ promises to be a milestone in use of visual effects in the Indian television industry.” 

In conversation with Adgully, Danish Khan and Abhimanyu Singh share more on ‘Vighnaharta Ganesh’, the making of the show, use of motion capture as well as the forthcoming content line-up on Sony.  

There have been quite a few TV series on Ganesha, including ‘Shree Ganesha’ on Sony TV in the year 2000. What new elements and stories are you planning to introduce in ‘VighnahartaGanesha’?

Abhimanyu Singh
Abhimanyu Singh
Abhimanyu Singh: When we started discussing the idea of ‘Vighnaharta Ganesha’ with Sony, the biggest challenge that we came across was how we can tell this story in a unique way, since Ganpati has been already made by everyone. Basically, for this new show there are two main focus areas – one is the editorial take and the other part is the technology. Till now, everyone has used artificial makeup to frame the whole character of Ganpati, but after doing a lot of research we came across a great technology called ‘Motion Capture’ for ‘Vighnaharta Ganesha’, which is vastly used in the Hollywood films like ‘Avatar’, ‘Life of Pi’ and many more. Motion capture is a technology which captures a person’s emotion and reflects that into a 3D character and the same thing we have done in our new show. The journey throughout the show will be refreshing and never-seen-before story. 

Where did the whole idea of this motion capture come from? Do you think live action is something which getting embedded in television as well?

Danish Khan
Danish Khan
Danish Khan: Television keeps on evolving and the last 3-4 years have seen some remarkable technological innovations on television, which are playing a really big role now. For us, the biggest challenge was to present Ganpati in an altogether different way, and with motion capture we have succeeded in doing that. We are very excited and happy for our new product. 

Abhimanyu Singh: We wanted to tell the story in a whole new format that could help us narrate the story in a unique way. This prompted us to look outside and that is when we came across motion capture technology. You will see this for the first time on Indian television. 

‘Vighnaharta Ganesha’ is replacing another popular mythological series, ‘Sankat Mochan Hanuman’. Are you planning to create a mythology block in that time band?
Danish Khan: For now, we have not planned a mythological block. Our show, ‘Sankat Mochan Mahabali Hanuman’ was a very popular show and going forward. the same bond will be continued by ‘Vighnaharta Ganesha’. Very soon ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ will come on air, which will replace ‘Beyhadh’. 

What is the promotion and marketing strategy for the new series, given that Ganesh Mahotsav is round the corner?
Danish Khan: ‘Vighnaharta Ganesha’ is a very exciting show for all of us because this time we have brought in really good technology due to which we will be presenting Lord Ganesha in a never seen before avatar. There is so much in the content, we just need to push the content to get people into it. On the other hand, it is coming in a fertile slot where there is already a set of audiences for ‘Sankat Mochan Mahabali Hanuman’, which was a very popular show, and hopefully with ‘Vighnaharta Ganesha’ the bond with audiences will continue. 

Apart from all this, our job is to reach maximum masses and Sony itself is a fertile channel for promoting shows. We have been promoting this show for the last two months. Besides all this, we have used all typical mediums like outdoor and print to promote the show. Since in today’s time the audience wants to know more about making of the show, we have created videos of making of the show and about the technology that we have used and the commendable work done by both the editorial and production teams. We have put these videos on digital media because this medium has its own ability to strengthen the programming strategy; if the content is good it will automatically get viral. We are quite confident about the product and I am sure more and more audiences will watch it. 

‘Sankat Mochan Hanuman’ crossed the 500-episode mark. Will ‘Vighnaharta Ganesha’ be a finite series?
Danish Khan: Although it is a finite series, we have not yet decided on the number of episodes. Most probably, it could run up to 180 to 220 episodes of 30-minute duration. 

Who are the advertisers on board for the new show?
Danish Khan: Dollar Big Boss, India Gate Basmati Rice and Kent RO are the advertisers already on board for the show. 

What is Sony’s programming strategy for the upcoming festive season?
Danish Khan: You will be seeing several new programmes on Sony very soon. ‘Porus’ is a very big project for us. There is another show which we are doing with Siddharth Malhotra, called ‘Haasil’. We are doing show with producer Prateek Sharma, titled ‘Ek Deewana Tha’. We are also doing show with Shashi Suman, called ‘Yeh Un Dino Ki Baat Hai’. We also have ‘KBC’ and next edition of ‘Super Dancer’ coming very soon on Sony Television. Thus, the next two months are fully packed with some new launches on Sony Television.


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