#NewsBytesExclusive: Director Aadish Keluskar on how COVID-19 is changing cinema
Cinema changes with the world. And now that the world has changed, there will be unprecedented shifts in the dynamics concerning films and entertainment business. To get answers to some of the burning questions regarding the fate of films, we caught up with filmmaker Aadish Keluskar, the director of Kaul - A Calling (Prime Video) and Jaoon Kahan Bata Ae Dil (Netflix).
We all have been largely disconnected from the outside world for the past two months. Needless to say, it could affect one's creativity. We asked Aadish about it, who believes it depends from person to person. "For some, it may flourish. For some, it may deteriorate," he noted. Aadish added that personally, he does not feel much change.
"Before, I used to think about movies in a general setup...Now, I've developed a couple of scripts that can be done in a special setup that can work in a partial lockdown. My creativity has manifested itself into something as per the circumstances," Aadish said.
The pandemic is forcing more and more producers to release their films directly on streaming services. When asked how this new norm changes the game for writers and directors, Aadish said it depends upon where one finds themselves positioned in the market hierarchy. He said that the bigger players will have to rethink their scale and make films with a smaller crew than usual.
Aadish said that middle-end players would not have to make a lot of changes in the way they make movies, adding that players who generate alternate cinema at low-budget might die out if they do not reinvent their content. "It seems that the future of theatrical revenue will be bleak for the next two years... Considering that, OTT remains the best option for producers."
It's out in the open that theater/multiplex owners are not happy with producers' decision to go digital. Commenting on this, Aadish said that the future of theaters is pretty uncertain and producers must find a way to recover their costs in order to survive in the industry. "Producers will have to keep making projects to stay afloat and rotate money for the next projects."
However, Aadish believes that whenever the situation improves, "there will be a patch-up between multiplex owners and movie producers. There will be different kinds of marketing campaigns that will assert the importance of community viewing experiences that cinema halls can offer."
"We will make the same content only with cheaper cost and a faster pace," Aadish noted. "What we will have to see is if there will be a change in the socio-political mindset of our country due to recession. If that happens then it will affect what the audience wants to see with their changed psyche," he added.
For obvious reasons, budding filmmakers are perplexed about how they should tread in the post-COVID world. For them, Aadish has some advice to spare. He suggests them to speed up their process of making and selling movies. "Make movies fast. Once made, show it to the OTT platforms and go on making the next one. Try to make enough and sell enough," he asserted.
"I have been developing some movies that can be made in the mid to low end budgets with a minimal crew. One is already in the pre-production phase. For others, I am looking for producers/financiers," Aadish said, signing off.