While a lot of directors are opting for OTT releases of their movies, director Nitin Kumar Gupta’s “Sayonee” hit the theatres in December 2020, and he is happy with the response he got for his film. He said, “When most other movies are opting for OTT release, we got over 800 daily shows during the pandemic and a decent audience turnout. Even more heartwarming is the viewer response with 88 percent viewers liking the movie as per Google reviews.”
However, the “Death of an Ambassador” director accepted that the pandemic benefitted the OTT platforms the most and said, “OTT was always headed towards mass consumption, but the pandemic speeded up the process, perhaps by a couple of years. Netflix had already started producing theatrical budget films before the pandemic and other platforms would have followed suit.”
But he agrees that it can never replace the big screen experience. “The more people are habituated to OTT, the more big a theatrical viewing will seem in comparison, especially as a large amount of OTT viewing takes place on phones. Did television kill theatres when it became a household device? Then how will OTT act differently,” he said.
With the COVID-19 scare still there, Nitin feels that movies this year will be made on a small scale and low budget too. “2021 is going to bring a lot smaller scale movies set over shorter periods and a smaller range of locations because filming is still a scary experience for several cast and crew due to COVID. Also, the increasing trend of direct OTT releases will cut down theatrical revenues, and filming budgets will have to be lowered,” he asserted.
The “Hannah – Love Story of the Devil” director also highlighted that the pandemic caused the whole world to come to a pit stop, but sharing his views on the Bollywood industry being affected by it, he said, “Things will normalize in a few months and Bollywood will be back to what it always was.”
On the work front, Nitin is awaiting the release of his films “L.A.C”, “Walk”, and four other movies in various stages of production and post-production. “It may seem like a big task, but it’s a goal I have set for myself and plan to achieve it!” he concluded.