In this Industry Spotlight with Creative First, Aashish Singh, CEO – LYCA Productions, joined Lohita Sujith, Sr. Director, Copyright & Digital Economy, Motion Picture Association to discuss the creative process, shooting locations, and government incentives, to name a few.
Aashish explained how things have evolved and gotten easier, drawing on his significant experience scouting regional and global places. Over the decade, the industry has become much more efficient thanks to the power and ability to explore and interact with the click of a button.
In order to increase foreign production in India, Aashish insisted that the rebates need to be a lot higher than they currently stand. On citing the model in Austria, where rebates are given at a state and town level in addition to a central rebate. A similar structure in India would definitely attract more international productions. He emphasized the need for discoverability and creating awareness in other countries about the ease of shooting in India.
The subject about using Indian content to attain worldwide momentum was then discussed. Aashish contends that while certain content should be created with the Indian market in mind, other content should focus on appealing to a wider audience while retaining a genuinely Indian feel. For instance, he claimed that because overseas viewers are not accustomed to seeing such long movies, distributors generally request that Bollywood classics need to be trimmed to less than two hours when they are released abroad.
Since audience preferences are constantly changing, Aashish made the point that we can’t even rely on trends from the past four years. At the moment, he believes that characters are the driving force rather than content. He used the example of the international success of the cartoon, Mighty Little Bheem. A show he said was targeted at toddlers became the most watched animated content on Netflix.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aashish Singh is the CEO at Lyca Productions a leading production house producing films in Tamil, Hindi and Telugu and also is an Indian film producer. He was earlier Director, Original Film at Netflix and briefly was the CEO of Motion Pictures at Balaji Telefilms. Prior to that he was the Vice President at Yash Raj Films from March 2005 to April 2018, where he was also an executive producer for all films produced there. He holds the world record for serving as executive producer on the maximum number of Hindi movies produced. Some of the superhit films he produced include Tiger Zinda Hai, Sultan, Chak De India, Jab tak hai Jaan, Hichki, Dhoom 3 and many more. He also has successfully handled budgets, co-productions, acquisitions and international incentives for film shootings along with legal aspects related to production.