In conversation with Rohit Roy

Bengali entertainment industry is always known for niche content: Rohit Roy

Talented film and TV actor, Rohit Roy, had been waiting for years to work with Vikram Bhatt. His wish has been granted, and how! He is playing the main lead in Vikram’s upcoming web series, Memories, along with Priyal Gor.

“I can’t say much about my news-anchor character, except that he comes back from the dead, gifted with a special power. He then becomes a detective, helping cops bust crime. It is a very interesting show and I have never played something like this.”

Talking about the web format, Rohit, who has also done a Bengali web series, Bouma Detective, says, “It is the future. Your phone has become your personal TV, allowing you to watch what you want, when you want.”

“The biggest issue facing the web, though, is that the revenue model is unclear. Everything is still in a nascent stage. The ideal way forward would be some kind of revenue-sharing between the makers and the platform. You just can’t give a maker, say, 1 crore for an episode, and then go on to mint 100 crores and still not share the royalty.”

Talking about his Bengali web series, he says, “Producer Venkatesh Films are big names out there. It was fun but challenging, because my Bengali is not as good as the locals. Plus, they shoot at break-neck speed. Working with a superb set of co-actors (known names in Bengal) always raises the bar.”

Here, he accepts that regional web content will have the going more tough, as most web audiences are still hooked on to English (Amazon and Netflix), and now slowly Hindi. “Having said that, the Bengali entertainment industry is always known for niche content, be it modern or rooted in Indian culture. My show did quite well on the app.”

Besides web, Rohit will soon be part of a finite TV series. “Creative actors and directors always crave for limited shows but producers want more and more regressive, long-haul ones, as it earns them more.  But, I guess things will change, for today, there are growing cross sections of audiences who don’t have time for long-running formats. Now, only two classes of audiences want never-ending sagas– mothers and the help. My mom’s day is not complete without her fix. Eventually, we will have to come around to western norms, where all dailies shift to the afternoon, and prime time stuff will be limited. We will also need to make prime time shows weekly, giving us time to work on the scripts. This is already happening on the web, where makers take their time, shooting ten-odd-episode series and then airing them,” he ends.

Point taken, Rohit.

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