Categories
Industry

Creative First associates with Ormax Media to disseminate their industry reports

We are happy to announce our association with Ormax Media to share their reports with our community. With a constant focus on sharing insights related to the media and entertainment industry, we are thankful to Ormax Media to allow us permission to share their insights through reports on our website and social media platforms. To start with, we have shared three of their most recent reports on our website:

 

1. Nine Types of OTT audience in India

2. Box Office Report 2019

3. Back To The Theatre

 

Ormax Media was founded in  2008 by Vispy Doctor and Shailesh Kapoor as India’s first specialised media consulting firm. Their work spans across categories such as television, films, radio, print and branded entertainment. Since inception, Ormax has built industry products in the areas of testing, tracking and forecasting key business variables, such as viewership and box office, among others. These products enable media & entertainment firms to take critical business decisions related to investment, strategy, branding, marketing and content. While a significant portion of our work entails primary consumer research, we see research as means, not the end in itself. You can learn more about Ormax media at their website.

Categories
Interview

With Her Amazon Directing Gig on Hold, Indian Filmmaker Tannishtha Chatterjee Embraces Other Creative Pursuits

It’s often two-thirty in the afternoon before actor, writer, and director Tannishtha Chatterjee finds time to turn her attention to creative pursuits. “Till lunchtime…I’m cooking, cutting vegetables, cleaning, dusting and bathing Radhika.”

Radhika is Chatterjee’s four-and-a-half-year-old daughter. For the last six weeks, it’s been just the two of them tucked away in her Mumbai apartment. “She’s actually become quite independent in the last one and a half months. She’s learned many new things. Because she has to. Which is a good thing! I’ve been spending a lot of time with her and she’s very happy.”

Tannishtha Chatterjee and her daughter Radhika

 

Authorities took strict measures in March, requesting people to stay put and not to leave home — for any reason. When we spoke to cinematographer Priyanka Singh, the order had just been given. Six weeks later, Chatterjee explains why social distancing measures and a little flexibility of movement like you see here in some parts of the world don’t really work in  Mumbai. “Mumbai is so crowded that the government decided that if you allow people to step out at all…social distancing will just not work.”

Once lunch is finished, mother and daughter embark on their creative pursuits. “My daughter has her piano, she has her drawing… and that’s when I’ll sit in my room and start reading and then writing. Then from around 7pm I have to do a little bit of cooking, like — what are we going to eat? I’m thinking, if this lockdown extends, I’m going to reduce our meals from three to two per day!”

Chatterjee was all set to direct all ten episodes of the third season of Amazon’s incredibly popular television series Four More Shots Pleasefeaturing four female friends from different walks of life who deal with romance, work-life conflict, ambitions, and anxieties in modern-day India. Think Sex and the City for the 2020s Mumbai set. “We were due to shoot from March 15… so four or five days before we were about to begin, we anticipated that there would be an announcement of a lockdown. Everything was prepared. Our locations were done. Our casting complete. Rehearsals were done. Contracts signed. Advances settled. We were ready.”

 

“Four More Shots Please” on Amazon.

 

A well-respected actor (Lion, Brick Lane, Anna Karenina, Parched), Chatterjee took on the mammoth task of writing, directing, and acting in her own feature Roam Rome Mein, touring it to much acclaim around festivals in 2019. Four More Shots Please was the opportunity to hone her directing craft. “I have a  lovely relationship with all of the actors whom I’ve previously worked with on various productions,” she says.

A quick look at the trailer of the R18-rated show will tell you just how difficult it might be to shoot these characters getting hot and heavy with various companions in our current climate of social distancing. “We were talking about protocols,” Chatterjee says. “How is this going to play out? How will actors maintain the one-meter distancing rule?”

 

Health precautions for productions in Mumbai present a huge headache for the producers. Plus, the crew can number 300 or more. Lighting and sound crews may be taking public transport to and from set every day. Then there are the locations. “We were due to take the show to various destinations, but that is all up in the air now.”

Back at home, Chatterjee has turned to her third passion, writing. “The first few weeks, I couldn’t find any inspiration to write at all. I am an actress, so I need to go out…be inspired by something that hits me from the outside. Now there are ideas coming back to me about something that happened in the past. I am starting to write, but I still need to get out for fresh ideas.”

Like many others yearning for connection, Chatterjee joined a Zoom party with 34 friends across the world – from Australia, the U.S., Singapore, Switzerland, and India, hosted by a friend who runs a big Indian film festival in England. A friend joining the party had stayed on in a small Indian village after wrapping up a production shoot. “He’s got a little house near the village where the electricity only comes on for four hours per day,” she says. “He was conferencing in with us but had to use his 4G. He warned us that as soon as his phone dies, he’s out! It was interesting. He said, ‘I have no rush to go back to civilization. I want to be here for the rest of my life.’”

On May 5, the Producers Guild of India announced a set of production guidelines for getting back onto set with the necessary health and safety protocols, although they were quick to clarify that production would not start up before discussions with government authorities were concluded. Chatterjee says that she and her team will watch with intense interest as productions gear up both in India and abroad, in anticipation of adopting best practices for Four More Shots Please. Until then, she’ll sit at her writing desk allowing her imagination to take flight.

Tannishtha Chatterjee is an independent actor, writer, and director. She joined the Motion Picture Association’s APSA Academy Film Fund jury in 2017.

Featured image: CANNES, FRANCE – MAY 18: Actress Tannishtha Chatterjee attends the ‘Monsoon Shootout’ Premiere during the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals on May 18, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

This article was originally published in The Credits.

Categories
Piracy

Scary Stories Rebel in the Dark: A Tale of Piracy on Reddit and the Writers Who Fought Back

It was a dark and stormy night when the online forum r/nosleep closed its doors to the general public.

The horror story-themed Reddit forum (known as a “subreddit”) had built a massive following by curating some of the scariest tales on the internet. Its authors had a gift for the spine-tingling detail you just can’t shake – they were so good, in fact, they would never dream of starting a story with a cliché like, “It was a dark and stormy night.”

Yes, with nothing more than words on a screen, these authors could summon scares like magicians do rabbits, and yet they themselves were haunted… by a fiend that torments all creatives on the internet.

We speak, with dread in our hearts, of PIRACY!

Online piracy is a monster looking to devour all creative content, even when posted for free. Contributors to r/nosleep willingly offered their gut-wrenching works without expectation of payment, but that didn’t stop a faction of the forum’s subscriber base from taking many of the stories and using them without permission anyway. On many occasions, these thieves would profit from the stolen tales, narrating them in videos posted to YouTube, and collecting advertising revenue.

Understandably concerned by the rampant pilfering of their work, r/nosleep moderators fought back. They established another subreddit, r/NoSleepWritersGuild, devoted to helping their authors license and sell their stories, and educating them about their legal rights when stories were being stolen.

“There is a HUGE misunderstanding about free-to-read content,” states the introductory post on r/NoSleepWritersGuild, which reads like a very satisfying pro-copyright blog in its own right. “You are the legal owner of your content from the moment it’s published… and that includes publishing to an online site like Reddit. That means no one has the legal right to use, adapt, reproduce, or host your content—for free, or commercial use—without your permission. Yes, even non-monetized uses require your permission… Yes, even on Reddit.”

But that was only the beginning of r/nosleep’s pro-copyright vengeance.

They established another subreddit, r/SleeplessWatchdogs, which features a blacklist of all Reddit users known to have purloined writings from r/nosleep and other Reddit author forums and used them elsewhere without permission.

And then, in March, realizing that they were dealing with a “culture of free” that would lead to continued abuses by the pirates (a culture nurtured by the world’s biggest internet companies and their advocates, by the way) – r/nosleep took their most drastic step yet.

They went dark.

“In a move to support our authors, r/nosleep has been set to private to protest content theft and unfair crediting and compensation practices by those who share/narrate the stories found here,” the forum’s moderators wrote. “This is being done… to make a very important point: if the authors are not treated fairly and their work is continuously used in ways that break copyright laws, they will stop posting here.”

The closure was short-lived. The forum has since returned and is public again, but the actions by its moderators to protect their authors taught some important lessons. In an era of rampant piracy enabled by internet platforms that fail to be accountable for it, these moderators had only one recourse: to band together and resist on their own terms..

But they shouldn’t have had to do any of it.

The creatives of r/nosleep should not have to waste time chasing after infringement of content they are offering for free. That task should have fallen solely on Reddit. r/nosleep pulls in nearly 14 million users to the site, and the writers who post on the forum do not make a dime. But guess who does? You’re right, Reddit does – by slipping ads into the mix just like YouTube and other free-to-use platforms.

But unlike YouTube, Reddit does not allow their users to monetize subreddits and share in the proceeds. All the money goes right to Reddit. Which begs the question: If your platform is profiting, why aren’t you responsible?

Since they won’t provide compensation to their creatives, isn’t protecting one of their most popular, and lucrative, forums from piracy the least that Reddit could do?

Maybe Reddit had a strategic reason to let the creatives of r/nosleep fend for themselves. Maybe Reddit decided that to acknowledge one forum where piracy is rampant would be to acknowledge all of them. r/nosleep is only the tip of the iceberg of piracy that has been made possible by Reddit users, from rampant illegal live sports streamingto file-sharing via applications such as Plex. Then again, this look-the-other-way strategy is par for the course for internet companies who have no incentive, legal or otherwise, to be accountable.

Maybe the real, bottom-line reason Reddit won’t help is because they don’t have to.

In any case, as inspiring as the actions of the r/nosleep “anti-piracy taskforce” have been, they may be addressing their concerns to the wrong audience.

“We hope that, during our time away, our community will do their best to learn and understand our authors’ rights and what they have gone through to exercise and protect them,” r/nosleep wrote during their temporary blackout.

To put it bluntly, r/nosleep, they will not. So long as the internet platforms do nothing to fix the stealing on their platforms, certain members of the user community will continue to steal. It is simply human nature.

The people who need to “learn and understand” are not Reddit’s readers, but Reddit’s owners. The next time r/nosleep moderators have an inkling to encourage their authors to “stop posting here,” they should follow through with it.

Great horror content will play anywhere. If r/nosleep really wants to scare someone, they should start with Reddit – by taking their revenue-generating content back into the darkness… and keeping it there.

This article was first published on CreativeFuture.

Categories
Bollywood

In memory of Rishi Kapoor and Irrfan Khan

Dear Reader,

It has been a very tough week for all of us. The Indian Film Industry has lost two of its most respected talents, Irrfan and Rishi Kapoor, on consecutive days. It has been extremely heartbreaking to face this news on top of the tough times of we are all experiencing during the pandemic. The great outpouring of love expressed for these men is the proof of the profound impact they had on our lives. Who can forget Irrfan in The Namesake telling his son to remember the love always, or Rishi Kapoor enthralling us as Ravi Varma in Karz, while singing Om Shanti Om. They lived and entertained us to the fullest till their last days. They gave until they could give no more.

Here at Creative First, we’d like to help celebrate their lives, by compiling your favourite moments from films, television or songs. Please email us at creativefirst16(at)gmail(dot)com sharing one such favourite moment of yours.

View our users’ comments on the post below or click through to the post to share your own.

 

Categories
Bollywood

Remembering Irrfan Khan : A Eulogy by His Wife, Sutapa Sikdar

“How can I write this as a family statement when the whole world is taking it as a personal loss? How can I begin to feel alone when millions are grieving with us at the moment? I want to assure everyone that this is not a loss, it is a gain. It’s a gain of the things he taught us, and now we shall finally begin to truly implement it and evolve. Yet I want to try to fill in the things that people don’t already know.

It’s unbelievable for us but I would put it in Irrfan’s words, “it’s magical” whether he is there or not there, and that’s what he loved, he never loved one dimensional reality. The only thing I have a grudge against him is; he has spoiled me for life. His strive for perfection doesn’t let me settle for ordinary in any thing. There was a rhythm which he always saw in everything, even in cacophony and chaos, so I have learnt to sing and dance to the music of that rhythm, even with my tone-deaf voice and two left feet. Funnily, our life was a masterclass in acting, so when the dramatic entry of the “uninvited guests” happened, I had by then learnt, to see a harmony in the cacophony. The doctor’s reports were like scripts which I wanted to perfect, so I never miss any detail that he sought for in his performance.

We met some amazing people in this journey and the list is endless, but there are some whom I have to mention, our oncologist Dr Nitesh Rohtogi (Max Hospital, Saket) who held our hand in the beginning, Dr Dan Krell (UK), Dr Shidravi (UK), my heartbeat and my lantern in the dark Dr Sevanti Limaye (Kokilaben Hospital). It’s difficult to explain what a wondrous, beautiful, overwhelming, painful and exciting this journey has been. I find this two-and-a-half years to have been an interlude, which had it’s own beginning, middle and culmination with Irrfan helming the role of the orchestra conductor, separate from the 35 years of our companionship. Ours was not a marriage, it was a union.

I see my little family, in a boat, with both my sons Babil and Ayaan, paddling it forward, with Irrfan guiding them “wahan nahi, yahan se modo” but since life is not cinema and there are no retakes, I sincerely wish my children sail this boat safely with their father’s guidance in mind and rockabye through the storm.

I asked my children, if possible, they could sum up a lesson taught by their father that has been important to them;

Babil: ‘Learn to surrender to the dance of uncertainty and trust your faith in the universe”

Ayaan: “Learn to control your mind and to not let it control you.”

Tears will flow as we will plant a raat ki rani tree, his favourite, to the place where you have put him to rest after a victorious journey. It takes time but it will bloom and the fragrance will spread and touch all the souls whom I won’t call them fans but family for years to come.”