In conversation with Chhavi Mittal

The beautiful and talented Chhavi Mittal, who was one of the early movers in the web space with her YouTube channel, Shitty Ideas Trending, has big plans for 2018. We spoke to her on the same.

Actor and singer Chhavi, has done several TV shows, such as Teen Bahuraaniyaan, Tumhari Disha, Ghar Ki Lakshmi Betiyann, etc. Chhavi and director husband, Mohit Hussian have together floated SIT.

We asked her what was in the SIT bucket list for 2018, and she replied, “Apart from our regular presentation (The Better Half), we plan to have Season 2 of Bin Bulaye Mehmaan, a show that had done quite well for us. This time, we have upped the production values, and have taken well-known actors as well. Since everything is locked, we hope to go on the floors very soon. We are also planning Season 2 of Dolly Ki Shaadi later this year, around the wedding season.”

She continues,“We don’t just have a YouTube channel, but also our website, which has lots of interesting content and contests. Our Facebook and Instagram posts are also exclusive.”

When informed that her Men:The Real Victim co-star Karan Veer Mehra was starting his own web series, she averred, “Yes,he had invited me for the launch,but we could not go. I have not yet seen it, so can’t comment.”

With a concept similar to Chhavi’s show, we asked her views on whether Karan should have credited her for his series. She declares, “No, everybody has a right to make shows on any and every theme. Many people even before him have tried to make similar type of content; some have worked,while others have not. So, I hope he does a good job.”

On being asked whether she plans to return to TV, she answered, “Regular stuff is not possible, because creating content every week and putting it out is very time-consuming. But yes, I have just started shooting for an episodic series. I liked the story, and above all, it required just 3 days.”

Did she regret doing Krishnadasi, which she quit midway? “It was important for me to make a comeback to TV with Krishnadasi after doing SIT, as it showed the importance of both mediums for me. But, for the moment,the satisfaction of web is much more. As anactor, I was stagnating, while here,apart from doing different roles, the creative output also gives me a high. I enjoyed whatever time I was there, so no regrets,” she clarified.

When asked whether she will try serious drama on SIT as well, she stated, “Since people tune into SIT for light-hearted entertainment, we don’t want to dabble in serious themes. But yes, we do occasionally do it. E.g. our Children’s Day theme short film,‘The Right Time’, with Manasi Parekh and Namit Das.

We asked her take on the free vs subscription-based model, to which she replied, “The biggest challenge in the latter is that you need to have enough original premium content to make it worth the subscriber’s money for the duration of the subscription (one month or one year). We, at SIT, can’t upload daily content. But if you have the required bandwidth, why not? Also,the amounts asked by desi OTT platforms are not much.”

We asked her views on the evolving of the digital-brand integration market. She responded, “Exclusive online brands are easier to tap, for they understand the eco-system better. The conventional ones, which mainly depend on TVCs, are tougher to convince. But eventually, everyone is coming on board, for web-based returns on investment (ROI) are more transparent.”

When asked whether the web audience predominantly comprised youth, she rejoined, “That depends on platform to platform; our TG is mainly the corporate crowd in the age group of 18-45.”

On the run length of SIT, which is only 10-12 minutes, she asserted,“Again depends on maker to maker. While other players, like ALTBalaji, have longer formats, we still stick to our old norm, for it works for our viewers’ needs.Anything longer or shorter will be jarring.”

We quizzed her on the topic of web responses, which are generally very quick, and she said,“Within a few minutes, you come to know if the content has worked or not, while the value of the product starts dipping in two days.”

And web editing? “It has to be very fast. The moment your pace dips, the fickle audience will dump you for something else.”

Well, that was very interesting information, for sure! Let’s see what Chhavi comes up with, in the future, for her keen audience multitude.

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