Kunal Kemmu on whether OTTs are more democratic than films: It’s too early to pass a judgment, add a ‘so far’ to it
A lot of actors, of late, have claimed that the online space is much more liberating, and gives an equal chance to makers and artistes. And indeed, with everything served on the same platter, it is an equaliser. However, Kunal Kemmu wants to add a ‘so far’ to the fact that OTTs are more democratic than films.
“It’s too early to just pass a judgement on the fact that everything is great. It’s definitely more democratic and in a way, content driven space. The business model is not box office, but subscription driven,” he reasons.
The actor adds that the platforms keep a close tab on the viewing habits of the audience, but don’t reveal it.
“They don’t just keep a track of who started watching something, but who finished it too. They are able to track what was the attention to every single episode, though these numbers are not shared. People making them have that. The most important, democratic way of functioning on OTT is you have an equal window when you open an app, be it a big star’s show or film right next to a smaller star’s show. People can decide on the basis of what they want to watch after 10-15 minutes,” explains Kemmu who film Lootcase was released directly on an OTT platform due to shutdown of theatres.
The fact that people have the power to skip and leave a show/ film midway is of course liberating for viewers, but doesn’t it also mean that since the attention span is so small, the plethora of options at hand will lead to each project not getting it’s due?
Kemmu says that’s the ‘nature of the beast’. “We earlier said ‘we can’t make three hour films’ and brought it down to two, songs running into seven-eight minutes now last for two minutes. As we are evolving, our TV screens have come down to 5.5 inches, a lot of content is consumed on phone,” says the actor, who garnered a lot of praise for his web series Abhay, whose season 2 released this year.
He says that to any purist of cinema, that is ‘unacceptable’. “I used to think ‘how will you watch a film, when the whole experience of watching one is about going to a theatre, and watching it with surround sound and on a 70mm screen?’ All that is changing. At the end of the day, everything is being done to deliver to audiences, supply and demand works this way. There will always be a market for each and everything, genres,” concludes the actor.
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