OTT – A Paradiso or a disruptor for the Cinema industry?

The post pandemic period has seen a significant shift in the way entertainment content is consumed. The rapid rise of the OTT space has disrupted the world of entertainment. While the transition to digital entertainment has been monumental, it is too early to write off the traditional pillar of India’s entertainment industry.

There are several headwinds and tailwinds driving this industry. Entertainment, News, Sports, Cinema – the consumers’ expectations are evolving and those that fail to meet these expectations can soon become obsolete.

The panel discussion on ‘OTT – A Paradiso or A Disruptor for the Cinema Industry?’ focused on the changing dynamics of the movie industry with the arrival of OTT. The panel discussion was a part of Day 2 of the 4th edition of SCREENXX Summit & Awards 2022. Namitaa Sachdeva, Showhost and Content Creator was the Session Chair, while the panelists included:

Harshita Shekhar Gaur, Actor

Karan Anshuman, Filmmaker

Mukul Chadda, Actor

Commencing the discussions, Namita Sachdeva asked the panellists, “As we see OTT platforms are giving a chance to the newcomers to showcase their talent, do you feel it is more democratic than the film industry?”

To this, Harshita Shekhar Gaur replied, “Yes, in a way, of course, because I think there is less risk involved, maybe that’s why they are more open to taking in new actors and new faces. There will always by competition. What we are seeing now is that there are more opportunities. Amid the competition, you need to keep going and just be your best.”

When asked what satisfied him the most – working in films or in the OTT space, Mukul Chadda responded by saying, “I don’t think it makes any difference in terms of how you perform or what you do, the only difference I would say is because of technology disruption, films typically have a certain screen length like 100 minutes or 150 minutes, whereas on OTT you can have stories of five episodes of 10 minutes each, you can have eight seasons of a show, which leads to very different kinds of stories being told. Given the possibilities of different stories being told, from an actor’s perspective it gives rise to very interesting narrative arcs for many characters in a show, which do make a difference. I think that has been the big change.”

Speaking on the changing dynamics of the cinema industry, Karan Anshuman remarked, “I think the pandemic has just sort of hastened what was going to happen anyway – I have always thought that OTT is going to completely overtake Cinemas. This is a feeling I had way back maybe 10 years ago, which is why I have always sort of looked ahead and was prepping for this day where OTT is going to come to India, which is why I had a big first mover advantage. I had already written out things for OTT even before OTT was around and then they luckily got made. The idea of going to a movie theater is becoming quite cumbersome these days, compared to the kind of technology that has entered our lives and the pandemic just sort of proved that.”

These are edited excerpts. For the complete discussion, watch below:


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