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Director’s cut: Mani Shankar explains how video-on-demand is capturing the market

Author: Kavita Mallya/Wednesday, November 29, 2017/Categories: Media & Entertainment

Director’s cut: Mani Shankar explains how video-on-demand is capturing the market

With tickets becoming costly, movie aficionados are turning to cheaper and more convenient ways of quenching their thirst on online media channels like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

The movie making business is undergoing a change in trend and video-on- demand service is giving traditional avenues a boot, says film director Mani Shankar.

“Netflix is changing the definition of movie-going today. They not only broadcast existing TV shows and movies, but Netflix has begun producing their own shows and movies, to be exclusively viewed on their portal. Other channels like Amazon Prime, Hotstar are also providing similar services,” he said.

Netflix’s third quarter revenues stood at $2.98 billion, a 30% increase over $2.29 billion recorded in the same quarter last year. In the same quarter, Netflix added 5.3 million net subscribers.

Another advantage that the online media channels have is the freedom to post original content without having to worry about the Indian Film Censor Board interfering. “Having this creative license goes a long way in improving viewership. Thus, several short films and web series have cropped up in the past couple of years,” he added.

Earlier, it was believed that filmmakers use YouTube and the like to share their films due to the lack of funds. But, such platforms have emerged as good money making channels for them.

With online medium emerging, filmmakers who make movies for the big screen are undergoing a change as well. Documentary films, although moderately popular, are still finding their feet in the industry, the director said

Meanwhile, technology like 3D holography and augmented reality are expected to enter the market and into mainstream ṁovie-making soon. It creates a more realistic movie watching experience, he added.

“3D holography will allow the audience to interact with the characters from the movie as the hero will assume almost a life-like presence. Augmented reality will allow the audience to view the movie from any perspective, and not stick to the perspective provided by the director,” Mani Shankar said.

Mani Shankar, who is working on developing these technologies, believes that they are slowly catching up. Such innovations usually start off with niche cinema before one can see them in use in the mainstream business.

“Movie-making is an evolving field. The whole format of movie-going is undergoing a change and this is just the beginning. The sand is shifting beneath our feet and we can expect to see innovation in the future,” he said.

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Kavita Giridhar Mallya

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