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Bollywood has a challenge ahead but it’s not insurmountable: Strategic Consultant Prabhat Choudhary | Bollywood


One of the most influential people in backdoor operations in the Indian entertainment industry, Prabhat Choudhary is a sought-after strategic consultant for the film industry in Bollywood and the South. Founder of Spice Pr agency and Entropy digital, a key decision maker in how movies and OTT content are marketed and promoted, especially in the post-Covid era, he is touted as the go-to man industry in times of crisis. Change manager and brand strategist, Prabhat helps show business stakeholders stay ahead of the curve.

Now, in the midst of the pandemic, he believes in adapting to the new normal and has devised new strategies to achieve this. He is told about the changing landscape of showbiz in the pandemic. Except :

As one of the most sought-after strategic consultants for Bollywood and Southern stars, how do you see the future of entertainment post-pandemic? What would be the new trends?

In my view, the future is a work in progress. Most of us have never witnessed a pandemic, so it is difficult to assess how things will develop in the times to come. What seems certain is that we may never return to where we were in the pre-Covid era. We will no longer operate within these paradigms. The future will focus on new fundamentals, including new economies, new forms of marketing and new creative challenges. The future seems hazy but the past is over. Chronologically, the pre-Covid 2019 era seems so recent but indeed it is so far away. Our past practices will have to be modified if not completely abandoned. Our challenges would be new and probably more difficult than before. It won’t be any easier. Either way, change always needs to be managed and I don’t mean that change means crisis. If we manage and adapt well, change can be managed. In this change, those who cannot adapt will perish. It will be survival of the fittest.

Do you think films like Sooryavanshi, Radhe & 83, among others, were instrumental in rebuilding the theater industry? Will we see a revival of big screen viewing as before?

Today, the box office is a different algorithm. The revival of the big screen will take time to gain momentum. The theatrical experience has been redefined. This is an event film, a film that appeals to a wide audience and that’s what the theater numbers seem to say for now. What exhibitors can be happy about is that audiences are open to going to theaters, because the numbers say so. Look at Spider-Man: No Way Home worked so well. What’s amazing is that it penetrated tier 3 and 4 cities and performed incredibly well. A place like Samastipur in Bihar, which you might have to google, the film did fantastic business there. People who say theatrical entertainment is over, I want to tell them it’s not true. You need this movie to bring people to theaters. The whole numbers game, the parameters of success and failure vis-a-vis films change.

Speaking of the numbers game in Bollywood, what do you think will be the new barometer of box office success compared to the Rs.100 crore club?

It’s too early to say anything about that as we’ve been slashing the box office right now. However, new data has emerged. No one ever imagined that the Hindi dubbed version of a Telugu movie, Pushpa: The Rise Hindi, would be disgusting 90 crore starting today! It’s phenomenal. It is a miracle of another order. On what basis can we say that there will be no 100 crore movie. Today, it seems Bollywood has a challenge ahead. We have to take it positively because it is not an insurmountable challenge. Hollywood showed this penetration, as did Southern films, but it may be more pronounced. Right now, with Spider-Man: No Way Home and Pushpa: The Rise, it’s rushed to a different level. The number of Pushpas is almost equal to Bahubali 1, and kudos to Pushpa for putting them in a pandemic. Allu Arjun seems to have a different kind of fan base, especially in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Haryana where one would not expect fans to follow a southern actor. There is hysteria for him, which is quite telling and we have to pay attention to it.

Do you think OTT has now largely taken over from the movie industry during the pandemic?

It’s a great time for content creators. You have so many long and short format options, with new shapes popping up. As marketers, this is going very well. The creative ecosystem has been strengthened. Actors and writers all find work. It’s a fertile environment right now. But if you see the image of Bollywood cinematic lens, then yes, you better roll up your socks. Today, audiences reference Money Heist, Fauda, ​​and even Indian web series like Paatal Lok and Mirzpaur that set the bar high. The public has so many options.

Do you think it’s an economically viable proposition for creators to release movies directly on OTT rather than going through the cinema route?

Everything is viable, given the readjustment of the economy. If you are asking, can Bollywood just survive on OTT, then maybe not. For an industry to survive, cinema is a must.

As they say, digital is the future. How have promotional strategies, in terms of PR and marketing, changed in the age of Covid?

The future is not digital, the present is. It’s already there! The bottom of the pyramid is more numerical than the top. Digital has penetrated all economic strata, especially low-income groups. They are the most digitized because that is what they have to fall back on. While digital has just taken over in promotion, communication and public awareness. It’s a great place. There is a measurability of digital marketing and the reach is almost instantaneous. You can modify the campaigns, if necessary. As a marketer, going digital gives you an edge because you have flexibility and feedback.




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