'Creative freedom can't compensate for a good story'
Actor-filmmaker Farhan Akhtar, who is debuting as producer in the digital space with web series 'Inside Edge,' says though comparatively to films and TV, there is more creative freedom in the digital format, the challenge of engaging the audience still persists.
"It (digital format) gives you an extra amount of freedom. The language can be used differently. But eventually it comes back to your aesthetics and sensibilities as you don't go all out showing everything just because you have got freedom on digital platform," Farhan said.
"You represent your work so you need to feel proud and not regretful," he adds. Directed by Karan Anshuman, 'Inside Edge' is produced by Farhan's Excel Media and Entertainment, a division of Excel Entertainment and will stream on Amazon Prime Video. According to the 43-year-old filmmaker, like movies and television, the challenge in the digital format is also to bring alive a good story.
"It (challenge) mainly lies in writing as you have to engage people. It is all about entertaining and engaging the audience," he says.
There is a notion, that filmmakers are turning to the digital platform as there are no censorship issues as opposed to films. But the actor-producer insists he did not enter the medium due to Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
"...At times there are people who don't want to go to theatre to watch films or don't like watching TV shows, they are from digital generation. So, we want to reach out to those people. I won't say it's because of CBFC that the digital thing is happening." Being a filmmaker, Farhan did give his suggestions for the web series ("Inside Edge"), but did not alter the director's vision."
"Once I read the episodes, I felt it was all in the right direction so I did not step in and change the energy of the project. But I did give feedback...There is little bit of tweaking. You want to be facilitator and not someone putting a roadblock, people on board should feel motivated," he says.
India's first Amazon Original series, 'Inside Edge' follows ups and downs of a cricket team through a season of the power play league and all that comes with it - greed, ambition, corruption.
It stars Vivek Oberoi, Richa Chadha, Sanjay Suri, Sayani Gupta, Sarah Jane Dias and Tanuj Virwani. Richa plays a actor-franchise owner and there were speculations that the role is based on Preity Zinta, who owns an Indian Premier League (IPL) team. Reports also cropped up that Preity wants to see the first cut of the web series. "We will gladly show it to her. She is a friend of us. We will be more than happy to show her. And hopefully after watching it she can tweet and praise," Farhan says.
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