THE PRESSURE TO BE CHOSEN

Submitted by admin on Mon, 10/23/2017 - 13:20

Amritpal Bindra, Founder, Still and Still Media Collective talks about the ways in which he is dealing with the pressure to be chosen in a world that probably has more content creators than people who are actually consuming the content

 

BY AMRITPAL BINDRA
Founder, Still and Still Media Collective

“Nobody knows anything…” The famous line by William Goldman in reference to the motion picture business in Hollywood has always resonated with me. In many ways, this thought is as liberating as it is confining. Nowadays everyone is talking about the exciting future of OTT platforms, dynamic digital content and 4G broadband connections in India with such authority and certainty. It feels like there are more people making content than actually watching it.

 

After having made several web series, numerous commercials and recently after producing a feature length Bollywood film at Still and Still Media Collective, the only thing I can say with certainty is “I don’t know anything”!

But that is the precise reason I’m excited and love doing what I do. The uncertainty of life, and of the content creating business, is my biggest driving force. India is an extremely complex country with a demographic that is far more diverse than what Google analytics claims to have deciphered. For the first time in human history, the attention span of human beings has fallen below that of a goldfish to 7 seconds. I remember Professor Nelson telling us in film school, “You have 10 minutes to grab the audience by their balls and convince them to like your film!” Thereby, he was stressing the importance of writing a visceral opening sequence and creating drama and intrigue in the set-up rather than exposition. Today at SSMC, we spend hours discussing the first 10 seconds of a content piece. The first line of dialogue or simply a character introduction or the wall colour of a house is scrutinized by suspicious and dismissive young minds that represent the new- age millennial voice. Or so they claim!
 

I don’t look at content creation as a job or as a passion. I look at it as a privilege. Not just because it is a privilege to be able to do what you love, but also because the impact it can have. So the real ‘pressure to be chosen’ by brands, OTT platforms and the ever-evolving Indian audiences is a challenge we embrace with humility and dedication. So far, we have always tried to create high quality content that can reach the largest spectrum of the audience without being slaves to formulas or trends that are in fashion but by focusing on good stories and spending a lot of time writing and developing. We also feel that it is best to learn from our own mistakes than emulate others because if we fail emulating others, there is no learning. So we strive hard to create original content. There is a huge focus on high concept stories and we are genre agnostic.
 

The amount of content available to everyone is infinite. This is a challenge in order to stay relevant in today’s times as one is competing with all kinds of content across the globe. Therefore, we have an intern in the office whose only job is to watch all the content that is available on all the OTT platforms.
 

He then sits in on our writing sessions with our development team in order to share what’s going on in the world as well as help us avoid plagiarizing or borrowing from already existing content.
 

Finally and probably most importantly, the most effective way of combating the pressure of being chosen is to keep staying curious and always learning. This is easier said than done. In our daily lives, we are so caught up with executing tasks for the day or week that we often forget to step back and find time to think, question or learn. But this is imperative in order to grow professionally and personally. In order to make great and differentiated content, we must give ourselves the best chance to be the best versions of ourselves and without curiosity, that is impossible.
 

@ FEEDBACK

bindraamritpal@gmail.com

Category: 
Volume No: 
14
Issue No: 
20