The last two years have been a roller coaster ride due to the global pandemic. For the animated content firm Cosmos Maya, these last two years had been prolific. Cosmo-Maya marked their 10th year of original Indian IP creation with the Dabangg series. Salman Khan’s iconic character Chulbul Pandey is making an exciting return in a brand-new avatar with Dabangg – The Animated Series on Disney+ Hotstar VIP. Cosmos-Maya had acquired more IPs from the library of Lotpot Group, the owner of Lotpot Comics and Mayapuri magazine, the oldest and largest circulated Hindi film weekly magazine of India. Cosmos-Maya’s production of Lotpot Comics’ creation Motu Patlu has been airing on Indian television for nearly a decade and over 1000 episodes.
In conversation with Medianews4u, Dheeraj Berry, CCO, Cosmos Maya spoke about the brand’s ride through the pandemic, success factors of their shows, expectations out of soon to be released show- Selfie with Bajrangi, and more.
Speaking about the journey for Cosmos Maya in terms of creativity, production, and release of new shows during the pandemic, Dheeraj said, “This pandemic has changed a lot of things for every industry, and even we were not untouched with the effect. Initially, it was tough to manage things as this is the first time we had been experiencing such a situation and were working from home. Initially, it was quite difficult for us to coordinate virtually and convey the right message to the artists creatively, which was much easier earlier with face-to-face interactions. Creative meetings that were much effective at the office became difficult for us as no one was used to it. However, I’m grateful to my entire team for adopting this new normal so fast, which helped us accelerate the workforce like before and pace up the production in our usual pipeline.”
The post-production of Cosmos Maya’s Titoo mainly happened from home. Elaborating on the challenges faced in terms of coordinating with the team and technology, he said, “Titoo’s production has been a learning experience for all of us as a production house as managing and executing a show from concept to post-production while working virtually was not that easy. We had to design a completely new setup for the show to smoothen the post-production process at the technical and creative level, which took a lot of time, affecting the entire post-production timeline until we escalated the pace. External factors like network availability, COVID 19, internet issues too were problems at time which were uncertain.”
Titoo: Har Jawab Ka Sawaal was one of the successful shows in the kids’ genre during the pandemic period. Dheeraj attributes the show’s success to the closeness it has with the day-to-day life of kids.
“While conceptualising Titoo, we had an idea that “there is a little bit of Titoo in every kid,” hence we knew that the character itself is quite relatable with kids. The stories of Titoo are more related to day to day life of kids, with an interesting plot that keeps the audience hooked to the show. Moreover, in addition to the content, Titoo’s had a strategic launch that included nationwide promotional campaigns with reference to digital promotions. On-air activations helped the show create much awareness about the show. The show also grabbed much media attention during the launch, which was an added advantage.”
The brand’s new show Selfie with Bajrangi is soon to be released.
Speaking about the expectations out of the show, Dheeraj said, “After three successful seasons and 300 episodes of Selfie with Bajrangi, we are all set to launch the fourth season of the show with a new touch to the stories. With time, Bajrangi and Ankush have become household names, and we are quite confident that the audience will like this season. Moreover, we recently launched the all-new title track of the show sung by Shaan and composed and penned by Raju Singh and Sameer Anjaan, respectively. The song was released by Disney as well as digitally on our digital platform WowKidz. “
“Just like all other industries, the animation industry has also been hit by the lockdown for obvious reasons. With the integration of a completely new working system, it was surely challenging for us to adapt to the new normal. However, the consumption of Kids cartoons increased terrifically with kids being stuck at their homes during this period. So, if we talk about the creative part, it was quite a task for us to meet the increasing demand without compromising on the quality of the content. A new digital creative process started during the lockdown, which should be looked quite positively,” observes Dheeraj.
Speaking about the significant challenges faced by kids’ show production currently, he said, “One of the major challenges creating kids show is keeping the kids engaged for a longer period while watching the shows. If a kid doesn’t like the story in the first minute of the episode, they might lose interest and would never come back, so that’s a major creative challenge. Another thing that needs to be addressed precisely is the animation should look visually appealing, or you can never do justice to the story and can’t engage the kids. The stories should be relatable and exciting simultaneously without being preachy then. Only you can emotionally connect the kids with the show or a character.”
Cosmos Maya has collaborated with Disney India to launch a brand-new animated IP, Dr Tenali Rama HMKD.
“The show dedicated to medical professionals was announced last year in the wake of the pandemic and is slated to air on pay-TV later this year. In addition to that, we have few other shows lined up which will be revealed soon at the right time,” concluded Dheeraj.