There are certain personalities which are magnetic. Open the doors of conversation and you will experience multiple hues of affinity and amiability. On a sunny Mumbai afternoon, we felt similar vibes when we walked into a coffee shop, conversing with Gaurav Gera. We have known Gaurav since quite some time now. Gregarious as a performer, he is an evolved individual, introvertish in demeanour, calculative in thought and expression.
Well read, suave communicator and a man of ‘finesse’, Gaurav’s acting bouquet over the years is both impressive and impeccable.
Pop his name and his Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin stint immediately switches from sub-conscious to conscious. His character of Nandu has left an indelible mark in the history of Indian television.
That he is a talent par excellence is common knowledge. However, he hit Aonian heights of popularity with his creative genius, Chutki, a social media caricature or avatar, which redefined content creation in the digital space.
In a freewheeling chat with Indianwikimedia, Gaurav talks about creative art, creation of Chutki, television and digital as medium and more: Excerpts:
Thanks a lot for your time…how have you been?
You are welcome. I have been good and doing well. Thank you for asking.
Your Chutki avatar has struck all the right chords. How did the idea pop up?
Well, Chutki is my passion and it caught fire when I started sharing the videos on Facebook. I was present on Youtube for few years but did not see much engagement and jump in audience interest. Now, I am not platform centric, I reach out to anywhere where there is audience.
Fair enough…so Facebook did give flight to your ambition?
Few years back the digital universe was still at a nascent stage. Awareness and know-how was less. When I switched to Facebook, suddenly there was an explosion, thanks to their focus on video model. It did benefit…yes. Having said that, we, individual creators are still dependent on Youtube to make money. I am hopeful and positive that soon other platforms too will create their own revenue structures which will give a definite boost to creators like us.
Chutki for me is passion. I wake up every day and look forward to writing and shooting something new. Compared to television, digital earning is less, unless you go for tie ups and brand associations, which is a good model and I too have worked with many brands in recent times.
Beh**c**d boldiya to video viral ho gaya, which is not my style
What about television? Any projects and plans for the medium?
Of course television is always a good medium (and it pays well). But I cannot take a project which would require me to drag on for days and years. In television there are many heads involved which sometimes becomes a tad stifling. On digital, specially as individual creators, you can have freedom and express freely as per your interest.
Having said that, digital content majorly has contours in sex, taboo subjects and usage of profanity. You believe in clickbait or eye grabbing techniques?
Well, to each his own. It’s true that abuses, sex, taboo topics sell on the internet. Even mediocre content with such content rakes in huge views. Beh**c**d boldiya to video viral ho gaya. But I have to stick to my personality. I don’t abuse in real life, I cannot force feed a style which doesn’t come naturally. Personally, I would never abuse to gain eyeballs.
Do you feel that given the vastness of the space and the opportunity to experiment, the thought process is still caged?
Absolutely. There is ample space to experiment and invent. Big players have also come in the market, like VOOT, Amazon Prime etc. I do follow Netflix as I love watching different content. I did see few episodes of recently launched ALT Balaji and got hooked. I would also like to mention TVF’s Permanent Roommates, which was fresh and beautiful. We need more such content.
So would you like to associate with any OTT players in the future?
By all means, but the concept has to be creative and seasonal. If something excites me, then why not.
Any final message for the readers of Indianwikimedia…
I congratulate team Indianwikimedia. It’s a superb initiative and there is a need to focus on the digital domain. Hope you grow and conquer new heights.