The Advertising Club Bangalore hosted a webinar titled Creativity in OTT times as part of the ongoing web series. The 12th installment in the series had Hardik Mehta and Gurmmeet Singh, masterminds behind acclaimed TV series-Pataal Lok and Mirzapur as panelists. Kishan Kumar, VP Wavemaker, moderated the panel discussion.
The discussions began with the panelist’s narrating their journey by far. Gurmmeet recounted his 21-year-old career and his journey as a short film director to Assistant Director to film direction, and OTT platform. Hardik narrated his journey from a Food & Technology student to a script and continuity supervisor to film direction.
Gurmmeet said, “A lot of colloquialism and flavors of Mirzapur come from Puneet Krishna, the creator of the show, speaking on Mirzapur web series and its success. He is the reason why Mirzapur stands apart from other OTT series. Puneet is the person who has grown up in various parts of Uttar Pradesh, and that bought a lot of authenticity to the show. He has a whacky sense of humor is the driving force of Mirzapur. The writing stood out in papers, and Mirzapur had a strong life to it already. We tried to underplay the original version. Puneet’s version was much more colorful than what we see on the screen.
Speaking on the casting of the series, Gurmmeet said, “On paper, we were going to take the harder route in casting, but we decided not to do that as a lot of people would be alienated because of that. We tried to cast enduring people, which is why Divyenndu was cast as Munna. He brings a fondness to such a dark character. Similarly, Ali Fazal and Vikrant Massey, I don’t think it would have been the first choice for a lot of people when they would have gone down that route.”
He added, “We wanted to make the show as guilty, dark, and violent as possible, which we did. We constantly wanted to keep it accessible and wanted people to like these characters. This panned out well for us, and it gave Mirzapur the legs to travel, which other shows/films haven’t been able to. These actors brought in a lot of hope to the otherwise dark world.”
When quizzed about the factors kept in mind for a perfect audience, Gurmmeet said, “The good part for the Mirzapur team was because we’re off the block and there were no norms, expectations, and audience to cater to. I think things will start happening now, there will be certain equations, and expectations the platforms would have learned, and they might start pushing filmmakers into that corner. As far as Mirzapur was concerned, we wanted to make it more accessible and likable. Thankfully, there wasn’t any pressure from producers or platforms to temper it down or target any specific audience.”
Recounting his journey behind the creation of PaatalLok, Hardik said, “Ours was a different journey. The base material of PaatalLok was Tarun Tejpal’s 2010 novel The Story of My Assassins. Earlier, Navneet Singh was supposed to direct the series. Navneet and Sudeep had the idea of putting it as an investigative neo-noir series. If we wanted to get into neo-noir kind of zone, we would have to go the inspector’s route. Then we created the whole world of Hathiram, were we wanted a cop to get into a professional and personal rut. As we started developing the plot, we made changes in the character’s age and features. We started watching British crime dramas. When we watch those series, we know that different arcs come together.”
He continued, “We decided three arcs for PaatalLok, the first arc is going to be Hathiram and his investigation, which is the primary story. The second one about the very idealistic journalist and the changes he adapts over time, the third arc is the personal story of Hathiram and his relationship with his family.”
“Scriptwriting for series needs craft of Film Writing, but it also requires a great end that will hook the viewers to the series. Through the investigation in the series, we wanted to take the viewers into a journey of India in current times,“ added Hardik.
The panel further discussed why the crime and dark world themes are a massive success on OTT platforms and why the mainstream movie industry is not adopting them.
Gurmmeet said, “Many factors contribute to this, OTT is a personal viewing space and films are communal viewing space. It is very easy to watch hasher content when alone and not applicable in a community. A Market research done before Mirzapur release said that only people who will be viewing the series would be North Indian men aged between 20-35 years old. That was not the case when the series was released. A section of the audience is comfortable exploring it in a personal space. Another reason is censorship. We are very nascent in this nad ten years down the lane, and it will evolve.”
The panelists further narrated their views on binge-watching. Gurmmmet and Hardik spoke about their future projects and gave hints about the release of second parts for PaatalLok and Mirzapur.
Kishan Kumar said,” The webinar proved that just like PataalLok and Mirzapur, there’s more than what meets the eye when it comes to the process of creation. Years of hardwork goes behind what gets binge-watched in a matter of few hours.
However, at the core, it is about recreating a world (that could be known or heard of yet distant) using a narrative that’s most real and authentic. For eg: the atmosphere need to be immersed in the narrative and not painstakingly created to stand-out.
There we some absolute gems when it came to insights — the correlation of personal viewing with the acceptance to the kind of edgy content, the balancing of what’s right for the society and what’s right for the narrative, and the need for advertising to be authentic and less dependent on brand ambassadors. When PataalLok meets Mirzapur, its limitless fun!”
Like the previous installments, the webinar was a success with over 200 participants on Zoom. The webinar was hosted with the support of Ad Club’s Managing Committee and Online partners Medianews4u and AdGully.
Arvind Kumar, Executive Director of The Ad Club said, “ We are trying out new subjects and avenues thanks to a highly versatile Managing Committee that we have. You will see our efforts towards making more such discussions happen on the Adclub Platform”.
Industry folks who have missed this wonderful session can see the video any time on our Facebook page or YouTube channel:
Creativity in OTT times. Meet the Masterminds behind acclaimed TV series-Pataal Lok and Mirzapur, who are defining a new wave of entertainment. Hardik Mehta and Gurmmeet Singh stand out as two dominant creative individuals who continue to transform the image of Indian OTT content. Don't miss out on what promises to be an interesting exchange of ideas. Tune in to learn about the dynamics and prime elements that go behind creating such thrilling series!
The Advertising Club Bangalore ಅವರಿಂದ ಈ ದಿನದಂದು ಪೋಸ್ಟ್ ಮಾಡಲಾಗಿದೆ ಗುರುವಾರ, ಜುಲೈ 16, 2020