Contiloe Pictures has been in the business for more than two decades, has a strong pulse of understanding the audience, and has created content varying from mega-budget Historical, Mythological to some of the longest-running horror, courtroom drama, thriller, and comedy shows. Contiloe Picture believes in bringing quality content and delighting its viewers with exciting new ways of storytelling.
Contiloe Pictures has carved a niche for itself, developing and producing multi-genre, quality content that is showcased over a range of prime-time networks in India as well as abroad. They are a fully integrated, premium broad-based entertainment content Production Company that has produced over 7500+ hours of content.
With an aim of becoming the one-stop destination for all VFX needs, the in-house vertical, solely focussing on VFX and animation, they recently rebranded their VFX division, which is called Illusion Reality Studioz. An extension to the brand, Illusion Reality Studioz will continue the Contiloe ethos of merging storytelling and art with science
Recently they brought their expertise to the digital world and recently ventured into the streaming space with their big-ticket show ‘State of Siege: 26/11’, a show on the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai which launched on Zee5 in March 2020. The production house recently released the sequel film in the franchise – State of Siege: Temple Attack that received a phenomenal curtain call from the critics and audiences, alike.
Abhimanyu Singh, Founder, and CEO, Contiloe Pictures in an exclusive chat with mediaNews4U talks about the growth of the company, their entry into the OTT world, and launching a VFX studio, and much more…
Contiloe, known for its iconic TV serials, last year you ventured into OTT productions, how has your journey been from then to now?
Our journey began much before the production of our first series, State of Siege: 26/11. This would be about 3 years prior to that during which we spent a great deal of time on understanding the grammar and production design of limited storytelling and series. Based on this study and understanding, we made our headway into this space, last year. We realized there is a lot of reinvention that one has to do for the digital space. That being said, these have been exciting times with a lot of new stuff to learn and lots of new things to do.
You are now entering the VFX business, your thoughts?
Visual effects are a very important part or tool for storytelling in the current times. They are utilized for pre and post-production – all three spaces need a lot of visual effects, prevising, and use of technology to enable makers to create the content that they desire. It is a pain point that I had to live through and to help other creators overcome this, we have launched Illusion Reality Studioz that can be an effective catalyst helping us as well as others to tell their stories in a better and more organized fashion.
With an aim of becoming the one-stop destination for all VFX needs, the in-house vertical, solely focusing on VFX and animation, will continue the Contiloe ethos of merging storytelling and art with science. This will help us amalgamate quality with storytelling which we will further apply to Indian content.
You have produced some iconic mythological & period dramas for TV, what was your strategy on producing that genre?
History has always intrigued me as a genre. In this genre, you are usually recreating something that’s happened in the past, so there’s a lot to learn. I’ve been a History student and that is also one of the reasons why I have told historical stories. As far as mythology is concerned, I think Indian mythology is possibly the greatest philosophy that exists and there’s so much learning in it. Apart from great storytelling, it is also a lot of layering and understanding of who you are, where one is coming from, why things exist, and this layered storytelling is what interests me as a maker.
OTT has /is seeing a huge surge, it has become a part of our lives, how has storytelling changed?
Storytelling has become more personalized. Audiences are watching immersive global content that has seeded deeper expectations when it comes to entertainment. You cannot compromise on any aspect of storytelling in the OTT space and that has got its own set of challenges. This is because it is limited – the financial model works differently, the amount of time to produce it and the price points are different. As storytellers, it excites us more because it is something that gives us more latitude to tell stories through more genres and distinct formats.
Do you think GEC needs to up its game and come out with out-of-the-box content to keep viewers entertained and hooked on to daily soaps?
I think there will be coexistence because the OTT space is more about personalized experiences. It’s about the discerning audience that doesn’t want to see daily dramas and an audience that is willing to pay for content. Television is a larger audience which is, in a way, content funded by advertising and therefore the consumption pattern differs and the expectations are different. This is primarily why I think both are going to coexist however, OTT is future technology and thus more growth is going to be seen in that segment.
Is regional content seeing an uptake thanks to digital?
I think the content in OTT is going to go beyond boundaries and languages. This is something that we have also observed with the State of Siege: Temple Attack. It has done extremely well in southern languages – Telugu and Tamil and this is for the first time that you’re seeing Hindi content doing well in regional markets as dubbed content simultaneously. So, you are going to see content that works better if made properly with the correct sensibilities. This is going to create a great opportunity for the audience.
As a content provider, what are the trends you are seeing in the OTT sphere?
The digital space has made content consumption more personalized. We’re seeing new formats, genres and languages coming into play which increases options for audiences. Most audiences today are watching global stories and expect local stories to be told with global sensibilities so the storytelling, packaging, production treatment is all going to have to undergo change to accommodate all this.
Way forward for Contiloe and your vision
This new digital space has really opened up boundaries for storytelling and our vision is to be able to carry our stories across. We want to be able to tell our stories to our audiences in a way that is bound to suit the palate of the global audience who would equally enjoy watching our stories.