Independent filmmaker and writer Srivinay Salian, who has written for all mediums, be it films, TV serials and web, finds the latter more challenging.
Says Srivinay, “In films, the audience has no other option for the next 3 hours. TV on the other hand becomes compulsive watching. But in web, you have to keep striving to hold the constant attention of the viewer, right from the first frame to the last; if you falter even once, the bored viewer will go elsewhere for his/her entertainment fix.”
Srivinay has penned Twisted 2, Maaya 2 and Zindaabad, all for Vikram Bhatt.
“No wonder, there is a lot more brainstorming among web writers. Normally, I close my film script after 2 readings, but in web, we go up to five.”
He has written two films for Vikram, which will release soon.
“Also, here since we shoot the entire show before going on air, we have to be sure of its efficacy. No wonder there is a lot more research and target group screenings before the final copy is locked.”
On the overdose of sex and abuse on web, he says, “At first when Vikram asked me to write for him, I too had the same fear, but then realized that he handles the edgy parts with sensuality rather than with sleaze.”
“Certain players like ULLU App are totally going down the route you mentioned. It is my personal opinion that sex alone will not sell, for if you only want that, there are several avenues for it, apart from web series. For the moment, this is more a marketing gimmick than any creative call.”
Point out that sequels of Maaya and Twisted did not really set the views matrix ablaze, and he says, “Unlike the hit originals, which were solely Vikram’s ideas, I think we had too many writers, including me, involved in the sequel. Also, too many boxes were ticked in an attempt to avoid going wrong. Such play-safe endeavours tend to bring down the creativity sometimes.”
Shifting gears to the tube, Srivinay, who has written a couple of episodes of Fear Files and Off Road with Gul Panag (an infotainment adventure documentary hosted by Gul Panag), says, “TV has a different funda. The biggest challenge is to get your show approved. Once that happens, you go on auto mode. TRP pressure forces you to put in elements like kidnappings, police and other crime stuff in genres that don’t even need them.” He has also written TV animation series.
In closing, Srivinay is looking forward to his upcoming directorial venture, Rakkaosh. “Our Point of View film, featuring Sanjay Mishra, is very dark and raw. Such treatment is required, for the concept of mental illness and asylum has to be very real. For the moment, we are doing rounds of festivals, and once done, it will release theatrically. The producer is in talks with OTT providers for digital release, as the concept is not satellite friendly.”
Best of luck, Srivinay!!