Often viewers wonder what goes into making current projects, especially with such a huge emphasis on content today. Siddharth Anand Kumar chats with us about his role as the Vice President at Yoodlee Films and what the aim is of the production company. Yoodlee Films is a movie production venture of the Music Company Saregama. They target the young and global-cinema loving audience by releasing one film every month. So here’s our chat to get the inside scoop on how everything unfolds.
Content is king today and you've certainly set the bar for choosing films based on script. What are you looking for in a script?
We are looking essentially for a realistic story that engages. Our mantra is fearless filmmaking and following that to its core. We bring cinema that is driven by strong themes and a fearless ‘no compromise’ approach to filmmaking. We take on themes and deal with stories that others may balk at, allowing a whole generation of new filmmakers to find their own authentic voice.
We often see films, although less and less now, which can have a mega star, with some good peppy numbers, make big bucks at the box office without much of a script. Is that not tempting to follow from a production standpoint sometimes?
There are enough and more people who do this kind of cinema, and do it successfully so. They are masters of that game. We are not competing or dissing that space, for it has its own audiences. For Yoodlee Films, our films are driven by powerful engaging themes, and not stars. From a production house standpoint, we want to create differentiated content, within a smartly outlined budget. Films don’t fail, budgets fail.
You have many years of experience with television series and more. What has changed today that Yoodlee Films can exist with success? Have audiences changed? Are producers more willing to take risks?
It’s important for us to know the kind of audiences we are targeting. Our audiences know who they are. They are individuals who are exposed to various forms of entertainment from across the world, of different genres. They have opinions and they are hungry for films that hold up a mirror to real life. This is whom Yoodlee Films caters to. And that’s why there is market which exists for this kind of cinema. We as producers can take this calculated risk, being very clear in our heads who we are talking to and what is the kind of economics we have to operate on.
Yoodlee Films looks for a theme to be present in a script. What does that mean?
Each film made by Yoodlee has two narrative storylines. One is an action narrative that is the surface one about characters and their wants and struggles to achieve said want. The other is a thematic narrative which is an examination of a philosophical idea or truism in a unique manner. Laying emphasis on a thematic narrative will give the film repeat viewership and greater relevance over time.
From a production vantage point, especially with the kinds of films you are involved in, how important is promotion to the kinds of scripts you are dealing with?
Promotions are really important, but what is more important is who are you promoting the film to? Which audience are you talking to and how are you reaching out to them? The traditional realm of promotion doesn’t always work for our films. You will see our films promoted extensively through the digital platform, through ground events like college contact programs which take the film to its core audiences.
Finally, what can we see in the future?
More cinema that pushes boundaries, having stories that are daringly different and not afraid to be so. We are also exploring cinema in various languages like Marathi, Tamil, Kashmiri, English other than Hindi. We will continue to produce full length feature films for our relevant audiences, and make this available to our audiences on any screen they want to view it on.