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A small step by MTV-Adlabs, a giant leap for industry?

Finally, late capital is attempting to rationalise the way films are conceptualised, produced, sold and consumed in what could be seen as the first signs of structural shift in the Indian film industry.

Variety reports that MTV and Adlabs Films have announced a slate of three films, budgeted at no more than Rs 35 mn ($800,000/Rs 3.5 crore) each. The films will be jointly produced by the two companies, with MTV bringing in their targeted reach to the high growth (and worth) 15-34 audience along with their irreverent attitude towards content, while Adlabs would bring in their film financing, production, distribution, and exhibition expertise. MTV has the Fully Faltoo series, which pokes fun at popular culture and the films will be marketed under the label. MTV has already attempted a film (Ghoom — spoof on Dhoom). Even if this were to be considered an experiment, the money is small change for the two deep-pocketed players. If successful, this should open the way for further rationalisation/segmentation of the Indian film market.

During my research trip to India and the meetings that I had with players such as Adlabs, The Factory, PNC, and a senior executive from UTV, there was clear indication that efforts were on to develop a method to the madness that is conceptualisation, production, and promotion in the Indian film industry. Perhaps RGV and PNC in a more concerted way, and Yash Raj films in a diffused way had been doing just that. Though critics have rubbished RGV and PNC and have been overawed by the success of Yash Raj’s high-concept films, the production methology at The Factory and Adlabs (which I had access to) was geared towards a rational approach to filmmaking. I found both RGV and PNC to be self-reflexive enough to understand their own strengths and failings. These players would be closely watching the developments.

For an illustration of Fully Faltoo watch video below:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/q3kjJpHkUww" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Let me make it clear that this isn’t free-market babble but the hope that such trajectories may hold hope for formats such as documentaries.


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