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Filmmakers slash production costs as Covid bites

Embracing latest technology applications to cope up with falling ad spends

Filmmakers slash production costs as Covid bites

Filmmakers slash production costs as Covid bites

In their bid to cope up with the falling ad spends due to ongoing pandemic, the filmmakers in Bollywood are resorting to all possible ways so as to keep production cost in check.

Ad spends, which normally come in the form of brand sponsorship or media partnership, play a major role in the making of a film and help a lot mitigate the high cost of film production.

In the past few years, Entertainment industry saw 21.5 per cent fall in 2020, but Indian ad spends to rise 23 per cent in 2021, says a report. Advertising spends across OTT platforms in India will grow by 23.5 per cent in 2021 to Rs 80,123 crore in 2021. After a sharp 21.5 per cent decline in the pandemic-hit 2020, a media buying agency estimated.

The traction between brands and film producers has tapered. Initially, production houses used to put out commercial ads through the medium of television and satellite alone. Today, there are multiple devices the likes of phone and laptop by which ads can reach the final consumer. People are consuming content through various media and there are plenty opportunities for a film producer to reach the target audience.

The cost of technology has reduced drastically to supplement the rise in demand. Earlier, the production houses used to have a large crew on set working with very expensive cameras and negatives which took a long time to process. As opposed to that, now everything has become digital.

Today, if one wishes to make a good commercial ad, the production houses can even use their latest 4k technology mobile phone to film it. In today's day and age, creating any kind of content whether it is commercial or films there are numerous available avenues that come with cheaper technology to meet the objective. Also, there is a big pool of talent at our disposal ranging from producers, to DOP and post-production people, who can deliver a project and create quality content at a much lesser budget than it used to be five years ago and that has made a huge difference in the way the industry functions. Now, you can make 4-5 campaigns in the same budget of the cost of one campaign about half a decade ago, and it is all a combination of cheaper technology, young talent, and the availability of multiple platforms that have made the content connect with its end consumer.

"There are two facets to the types of challenges faced by the media. The positive challenges are that brands are asking for campaigns where for one particular product they are asking for 4-5 commercials to push the product out in different scenarios and forms of story-telling in a short span of time which is done very quickly," Anant Roongta, MD, Famous Studios told Bizz Buzz.

At the other end of the spectrum, there is a lot of competition between production houses that have popped up at every nook and corner due to which everyone is fighting for the same job and unfortunately the cost to get the job done has reduced significantly, he said.

One of the other challenges faced by production houses, as per Roongta, is that the thriving talent pool budding in our country wants to grow at a fast pace and if the production house doesn't collaborate or is producing breakthrough films/content then chances are, the talent will quickly move to the next best option where they see an opportunity to excel. As a studio, we understand the merits and demerits of technology, but for the production houses it is a learning curve. Education of technology is a very vital part of content creation which could sometimes pose a challenge to a production house because they might not be in tune of what's available and working for the business. Understanding the basics of technology is key for production houses in this country. They have to keep pace with technology and if they are not able to keep up with the dynamics, there is always somebody else waiting in the wings to take your place and deliver better content using technologically advanced methods.

Limited ad spends is putting pressure on filmmakers to find out innovative ways to keep their production cost in check.

Kumud Das
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