Sony Entertainment Television’s new historical show Porus marks a major departure in the way Indian TV is made. It’s made the apt marketing buzz and rights of the show are co owned by the channel (Sony TV) and the makers (Swastik Productions), a first of its kind phenomenon.
Siddharth Kumar Tewary, owner at Swastik, is a visionary, who pushes his limits to write and re write history in the space of television programming. After his clutter breaking execution of Mahabharat on Star Plus, the master creative has high hopes with Porus as well. Here, we get into a candid chat with Siddharth.
What do you feel about owning IPR?
This is the first time, so great learning curve and we are happy and excited. Finally, what matters is good content, if you don’t have that owning the rights means nothing. The content also needs to have a shelf life for this model is all about gradually recovering of costs over time, this is not a overnight profit game or commission model, where what you save is what you make. We, Indians, have lots of interesting stories which I always wanted to tell to the world and this new mode of production helps me on my way.
What is the response in the international market to Porus so far?
We have showcased it at MIPCOM and Cannes. They were pleasantly surprised at the level of Indian content.
What was the biggest challenge in designing Porus?
There are lots of references to the Greek and Macedonian worlds. We recreated Ajanta Ellora era which matches the time period. We have also worked on the costumes, murals and jewelry. My entire team including brother Rahul has worked very hard.
Since you are past master of the mytho genre, what are the differences between mytho and historical ?.
I have just made four mytho shows (Mahabharat, Suryaputra Karna and Shani etc) and not 100, so the sky is the limit. But yes I am happy if my work is appreciated. Coming to differences, mytho is supposed to be more older than historical, hence we have to present the latter in the more authentic zone, while the former is all about the visualization process. The writing style is also different, when we talk about Gods, we have to present them differently, there are dos and don’ts . Historical characters on the other hand are more real and rooted.
What do you feel about Sony?
Understanding how the entertainment world works, visionary NP Singh (CEO) and Danish Khan (Executive Vice President and Business Head) agreed to sharing IPR as that makes us equal partners which in turns facilitates creation of great content. It is not always about how much money you are saving .
What do you feel about the show’s casting ?
Rati Pandey was the first actor to be cast. Having worked on her Queen Anusuya character for the past one year, she has completely transformed herself. Laksh Lalwani, who plays Porus, is also a very young, energetic passionate boy. He has really worked on his acting, diction and physique.