A Direct OTT Release Seems A Taboo Conversation In Most Circles: Gautham Vasudev Menon

Even some directors seem a little uncertain about making movies for OTT, but we have to also put out content to an audience that doesn’t come to theatres, says the director.
A Direct OTT Release Seems A Taboo Conversation In Most Circles: Gautham Vasudev Menon

Excerpts from a conversation among director Gautham Vasudev Menon, producers SR Prabhu and D Suresh Babu, and Baradwaj Rangan. 

You asked a question about pure OTT versus theatre. Do you think there's a perception loss when somebody makes a direct-to-OTT product?

Yes, I've faced that with my film. You don't speak about it in certain circles. There's an immediate 'We'll ban you' kind of a thing that floats in the air. We have a directors' group with 10-12 people and we constantly talk about it, and there are three to four people there who do not want to put out anything straight to OTT. I took the plunge almost two years ago with Queen.

I realised this content has to be put out to an audience that doesn't come to theatres. Like, in my house, people don't go to the theatre despite my being a filmmaker. I'm sorry to mention a show I worked on, but I've since then felt responsible for content that can be easily put on an OTT platform, bypassing theatres. But, it seems a taboo conversation in most circles.

A still from<em> Queen,</em> starring Ramya Krishnan
A still from Queen, starring Ramya Krishnan

Do you think this is more of a city phenomenon? Has it percolated enough into the blood stream so that the making itself would change? Would it make sense to look at OTT as a primary source for films?

I think the ideal scenario would be to have theatres and OTT co-exist, and thrive. We are all not going to listen  to everybody's scripts and meet them. So being at the right place at the right time matters, even with OTT platforms. Yes, access can be tough, but once you get it, it's about how you pitch and present.  Like, for example, how Lokesh [Kanagaraj] convinced Prabhu [producer SR Prabhu] with the script of Maanagaram.

Slowly, we have to establish our worth on OTT platforms too, just like how it takes actors three to four films to become super actors and big stars, or directors a few films to become big and command a certain remuneration. We have to establish our worth eventually, and that's a game we have to play at some point. 

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