‘Viewers have stopped watching good content on TV’

Debarati Palit
Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Rajshree Ojha, who has turned television producer with Bin Kuch Kahe, says that films are much more easier to make

Director Rajshree Ojha, who has turned television producer with Bin Kuch Kahe, believes that her 157 episode-long daily soap, will make the television critics view the space more respectably. The Aisha-fame director is one of the few producers, who is trying to do something different on the small screen.

Rajshree Ojha, who has turned television producer with Bin Kuch Kahe, says that films are much more easier to make

Director Rajshree Ojha, who has turned television producer with Bin Kuch Kahe, believes that her 157 episode-long daily soap, will make the television critics view the space more respectably. The Aisha-fame director is one of the few producers, who is trying to do something different on the small screen.

Rajshree, who has also directed critically acclaimed film Chaurahen, finds her journey in teledom a learning experience. Excerpts from the conversation:

How would you describe your experience as a TV producer?
It has been a learning process. It’s a very tough job being a producer. It’s a combination of the responsibilities of a doctor, teacher, accountant and mother.

You have produced a film and now a TV series. How different are the two mediums?
Film is easier because it’s for a shorter time. But TV is way longer and everyday becomes a routine, which then turns boring. But that also makes it more challenging. As a producer, therefore, you have to rethink and stay on your toes.

As a director, do you share your inputs with the team or you prefer giving them a free hand?
Since I am director, I have a vision of the show in my mind. And, I share my thoughts on certain things. But otherwise I don’t interfere in people’s job. Why would I hire a director if I tell him everything? He needs to bring something to the table too and so does the creative team. I prefer more of a collaboration.

TV is dominated by women (producers, actors, characters), yet most of the content is regressive and stereotyped when it comes to female gender. Why so?
It’s the viewers who are responsible for this. Don’t blame the people behind the screen because the viewers want to watch regressive content and that’s why they are getting to watch it.

Although shows on Zindagi channel or American channels are popular among Indian audience, unconventional and realistic shows do not have a long run on television. Where does the problem lie?
It’s the viewers who have stopped watching good content on TV. They prefer watching it on other devices such as computers or phones. A good show on TV doesn’t give TRPs and therefore channels don’t back such shows. It’s a chain reaction. So, I think we have to lure back viewers to TV.

It’s difficult because TV viewers are not interested in anything out of the box, so you have to keep feeding them something good slowly. It’s a lot of hard work. I mean, who wants to do it? No channel or producer. Maybe there will be a change, but there’s no guarantee that we will gain viewers’ interest.

 

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