Anurag Basu: There is a transparency of money with OTTs but not with theatres
Despite theatre owners vehemently opposing the direct-to-OTT release for movies, many filmmakers seem keen on getting their finished projects out o the streaming platforms for the audience to see. And with his latest film Ludo headed the web way, director Anurag Basu, too, feels that this is the time to adapt and go for the best available option.
“In such times, you can’t call people to the theatres and filmmakers can’t wait for too long on their ready films, because it’s costing them money. There are a lot of things involved with a release of a film. On OTT platforms and even on satellite releases, there’s a transparency of money. In theatres, we don’t know. You’re never sure,” he says.
Elaborating on his views, Basu adds that everyone wants to release their films “safely” but that safe word “doesn’t come” with theatres. “When the theatre owners say that picture ne itna business kiya hai, we have to take their word for it,” he points.
However, the director notes that there are both advantages and disadvantages in releasing a film — meant for theatres — on an OTT platform.
“When you make a film for the theatre, the language of cinema is different. The way you’re shooting and telling the story, that changes. When you write for theatres, you write with an interval in mind. So there’s a beginning, middle and end in the first part, and same process is there for the second half. If a filmmaker knows beforehand that his films will release on the web, he can do a better job about it,” he explains, while adding that the pros of a digital release include a wider reach.
“All that an entertainer in performing arts wants is that their work reaches maximum people. That is only possible today with OTTs,” he shares.
Currently busy with the post production of Ludo, which was slated to release in April, the filmmaker says he’s stepping out, but with caution. “We’ve to go out, we can’t help it. The work cannot be done from home, we’ve to go to the studios. But thankfully, most of the work was done because it was supposed to come out earlier. I’m excited and looking forward,” he ends.
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