Filmmaker Vikram Bhatt has gone digital. In keeping with the times, he now owns his online video channel, called VB On The Web. The digital channel will be launched on his birthday, January 27.
Talking about his role in the new venture, he explains, “I have been trying something for a while and eventually, I found like-minded people in a company called Culture Machine. They are one of the biggest digital companies in India. They will take care of the marketing while I handle the content and creatives.”
He further continues, “The first product we launch is a series called Maaya. It’s on BDSM (a variety of erotic practices involving bondage, discipline, domination, submission, sadism and masochism). It’s the story of a housewife who goes in search of her sexual fantasies. BDSM is like Fifty Shades Of Grey, but it’s totally different. I just say Fifty Shades… so people understand what I am saying.”
When asked if the content on the channel will be varied. “We will also put out love stories, thrillers and historical dramas. At the launch, I also intend to reveal all the posters of the shows that I am doing,” says Vikram.
Ask him about the ongoing migration to online platforms and he replies, “Slowly but steadily, all the genres have been taken away from films and usurped by other platforms. Moreover, free or cheaper data has taken over erotica and action has been taken over by Hollywood. Look closely and you will see that it’s mostly biopics or love stories being made now.”
It’s the freedom to dabble in genres that he says is the draw. He adds, “And there is no censorship. No censorship means self-censorship. Digital is freedom from that. You are not playing to any particular kind of audience, so there is no multiplex or single screen divide.”
But the most important reason remains the youth, he says. “There is nothing on Indian television for the youth, because it plays to the heartland of India and alienates the youth. The youth is on the net!”