hi INDiA Copyright 2020
Mumbai, Feb 15 : Writer-director-producer Vikram Bhatt prefers to be called a storyteller rather than a filmmaker. Hence, the platform to tell his stories does not matter to him.
Bhatt launched his OTT (over the top) platform, VB On The Web, on Wednesday.
Asked if the change in preference to consume content on phones and on digital platform instead of theatres has affected him personally, he said: "I am not a filmmaker, I am a storyteller. There is a difference. I have done television also and I have written a book too. I like to tell stories and this journey actually started on Facebook."
"I used to write a story a day and those stories became so popular that I started getting offers from a lot of production houses to make short films on them. That’s where my interest in the digital space grew," he added.
Bhatt, who made his debut in the web space with his first web series "Maaya" last year, feels that the digital space is a storyteller’s delight.
"A storyteller needs a platform to tell a story, so it doesn’t matter to me if you watch it on a phone or a theatre. It doesn’t matter to me personally as long as I have a story to tell," he said.
"This medium is far more freedom giving than films. You can take your time to draw your story out to 15 episodes and you don’t have any restrictions. As a matter of fact, digital space is a storyteller’s delight," he added.
The "Raaz" director thinks "the selling of sex" in films is dead.
"Thanks to my partner Jio (telecom company). The thing is that there was a time when people did not have access to Internet all the time so the only sexuality that you could sell was the one they could see on the screen," he said.
"Now with data so cheap, everyone has a phone and data connection. When you can watch a woman in all her glory on this particular platform, why would they pay Rs 200 in theatres to see a woman in half her glory? So now, you have to sell stories. They have app for everything now so when they come to your app, they come for stories," he added.
Does he have any plans of releasing a feature film on the digital medium?
"I think that day is not far because it is all about numbers. We have to see how many people watch the average medium to low budget film, and then we have to decide. I started my channel about a year and a half back and already in that time, there have been so many changes.
"I think it is a matter of months, when you will see films releasing directly on the digital medium," he said.
The app went live on Bhatt’s birthday on January 27.