Pre-Covid it was an industry transitioning into the digital space in India, experimenting with content, spending outrageous sums of money, hiring the most expensive movie faces and movie crews.
Web series were being commissioned indiscriminately and monetisation was still WIP. This led to crazy, untutored, unthinking, masturbatory onslaught of ‘edgy’ and ‘wildly creative’ content which failed to inspire any audience to connect with it. It was, however, a necessary step to transition into a more strategic approach to innovation and to wean itself off the decades of tv soap writing. Gradually, data interpretation crept in. There was a more reliable database analysis of the viewers, their tastes, their attention spans and slowly content began to be shaped for this growing audience base that could be sliced and diced in any number of ways.
Then, Covid-19 struck and all creation came to a grinding halt. Today, executives are conducting zoom calls, figuring strategy for the next week, month and then months. It is like walking into a long, never-ending tunnel hoping like hell to see that pin prick of light enter your horizon. Till then, the blind groping for a way out of this nothingness will continue. Some businesses will fold. Some will become leaner. Some will halt and wait to follow the leaders. Some will begin the process of building anew within a fractured economy and a very different socio-political climate.
Where will it lead? More collaborations. Glocal content focused on building local talent and stories for global consumption. More collaborations for writers room …. using the now proven online model for communication. Online script submissions, narrations and discussions will become the norm. Less time will be spent in bureacratic processes. Increased flexibility. More independence. Working on edits, music and design via the ether will increasingly become the norm. Podcasts will find more takers ….
This period could lead the globe into a complete revitalisation of the Arts. The resurgence of good poetry, music, plays, writing, art, comic sketches … the creation of which is best from an uncluttered mind. Fresh talent will emerge from the most surprising quarters. Quarantines, lockdowns, isolation, political unrest, social inequities, death and pain … the triggers are all in place. Maybe something good will emerge from this after all, because … the times, they are a-changing.