In this Industry Spotlight with Creative First, VivekKrishnani, President & Chief Executive Officer, MovieVerse Studios joined Lohita Sujith, Sr. Director, Copyright & Digital Economy, Motion Picture Association and shared his rich and diverse industry experiences across the fields of advertising, production, and distribution.
The conversation started with Vivek explaining the opportunity within India to create regional content. He pointed out that South is a huge percentage of the overall film market in India. He said his company MovieVerse is interested in audience-focussed mainstream cinema, and in order to do that you have to understand what the audience wants, which is always changing.
He agreed with the opinion that VFX-heavy movies will be the biggest driver to the theatres, but he also contested that people will be willing to go to the cinema to see content that is different from anything they’ve seen before, such as with Mrs. Chatterjee vs Norway or the Tamil-language film, Love Today.
When it comes to regional content, theatrical releases Vivek believes that these are still the primary way to connect with an audience and that direct to digital releases are still few and far between. He also mentioned that direct to digital will support many up and coming writers and directors who have great stories to tell.
The subject of the idea of tax incentives was next brought up. Vivek made the point that we need to acknowledge India’s huge visual landscape that needs to be taken advantage of by filmmakers. For this to happen, he said the states need to support filmmakers with incentives, no matter what language the film is being shot in. He acknowledged that some states are doing a great job already, but that more dialogue can help.
Lohita appreciated that Vivek was one of the first people she knew in the industry who really relied on market research. Vivek agreed that while filmmaking relies a lot on gut instinct, there are useful tools to measure what an audience needs, wants, and understands from a film or series. Even with a completed film, the data gives the filmmaker the chance to change edits and make the film better. He advocated that research needs to be a part of the entire lifecycle of making a film.
Vivek then told the audience about the future projects MovieVerse is working on, and said that viewers will be able to experience their projects at the theatre and on OTT platforms. He added that at the moment, he is focussed primarily on the audience. From this, he said as content creators, they have to be mindful of acknowledging there are two Indias: metros and tier-two/tier-three cities. In order to be audience-focussed, filmmakers need to reach both of these, not just the metros.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vivek Krishnani, President & Chief Executive Officer, MovieVerse Studios - An IN10 Media Network Company co-promoted by Aditya Pittie & Anand Mahindra. Vivek has over 25 years of experience in building companies and teams across films, television, radio, and advertising. At IN10 Media Network, he is in charge of building the motion pictures business by creating movies for theatrical and streaming platforms. Before joining IN10 Media Network, he served as the Managing Director of Sony Pictures Films India. Under his leadership, the SPEI studio released many blockbusters including Akshay Kumar’s Pad Man, Amitabh Bachchan-Rishi Kapoor starrer 102 Not Out and Shoojit Sircar's Piku. His earlier stints include working in leadership positions in organizations like Fox Star Studios, Turner Entertainment Networks, Radio City, Star Plus, and Lowe Lintas. He is a film enthusiast with a Masters in Management Studies