The web series medium has caught the imagination of filmmakers who aren’t just innovating in storytelling but getting the freedom to be more creative and going out of the way to tell stories which might not have seen the light of the day in Bollywood due to censorship.
After tasting success of the recent web series like Maaya, Gehraiyaan and Spotlight, filmmaker Vikram Bhatt has recently launched another thriller Twisted which is a murder mystery, starring Nia Sharma and Namit Khanna.
“I was exposed to the world of web series when somebody told me about The Viral Fever and I just got hooked to watching Permanent Roommates, Pitchers and many others. I realised that web series is the future and as it was mostly comedy, there was space for other genres. So I thought of my own entertainment channel for the youth. Then Viu came along and pitched for a collaboration with their app. That’s where Gehraiyaa and Spotlight were born,” Bhatt tells you.
It was in 2015 when he got into writing short stories on Facebook which he is now turning into web series. Writing has also opened the way to be a novelist with his first book titled A Handful of Sunshine already out.
“My journey with stories started innocuously. I started writing short stories on Facebook. Everyday, I wrote one story. I wrote 204 stories on the trot. There are a lot of stories inside me but there is also a kind of self censorship that makes me think that this or that story if made into a movie would not get accepted by the people or would get censored by the Board or it would have go through a fight for getting to the theatres. But the web platform, is from such issues. You can reach out to the entire world. That made me venture into web series,” Bhatt says.
He finds himself in the most comfortable and creative zone. “It is the best time of my life to see stories which I always wanted to make films. It is lovely to work with fiercely determined and talented people. It is much better to do web series. It is a fair medium. The viewers are generous and critical at the same time. In movies, from producers, exhibitors to distributors, everyone has an agenda. But in web series, there is no agenda. There is a filmmaker, actors and the audience. And there is no body in between,” Bhatt says.
Talking about piracy concern on web platform, he says: “There is a difference between YouTube and Viu. Viu is an app like Netflix. The content is embedded in it so there is no chance of piracy. Whatever you will download, it will get stored in your app. You will have to watch it within the app. On YouTube, when I get to see it for free on my computer or phone, why would I download and watch it separately. YouTube anyways offers you an offline watch. There is no piracy possible,” Bhatt explains.
Apart from the web series, Bhatt is planning his next movie 1921 which is scheduled to hit the floors in May.
“When I made 1920, it brought in a new horror setting in cinema. But my next movie 1921 will be about a love story with supernatural or horror being a villain. I want to romanticise horror like the old movie Woh Kaun Thi,” he says.
(The article also got published in Pioneer Newspaper – http://www.dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/sunday-pioneer/backpack/love-to-romanticise-horror-bhatt.html).