Tuesday, 19 May 2020

The Changing Face of Indian Cinema- Bioscope to OTT

Film Exhibition is an important part of any Cinema Industry. It is the foundation of the revenue of this business. For decades, the theatrical release window has been a valuable model for exhibitors and producers alike. It has traveled from the single theatres to the multiplex age. From the video parlors to the digital era and Satellite Releases.on your mobile phone. 

Though film production commenced in India in 1913, the progress of the film business started in 1896, the historical year when Lumiere Bros' films were exhibited at Watson Hotel in Mumbai. Harishchandra Sakharam Bhatvadekar was the first Indian to import a Cine-camera from London at a price of 21 guineas and made a topical in 1897. “Return of Wrangler Paranjapee”- first Indian Actually Film shot by Bhatvadekar. Hiralal Sen stars working in Bengal by filming extracts from stage-plays.
J.F. Madan (1856-1926) launched his bioscope show in a tent at Calcutta Maidan in 1902. Later in 1904  Manek D Sethna started exhibiting cinema regularly. He started to move from one place to another with his projector. In 1907 
the First Cinema hall in India was built by J.F. Madan in Calcutta in 1907 and it was named Elphinstone Picture Palace it was later called as Chaplin Cinema. By the time the first Talkie movie started many cinema theatres started working in many parts of India.,
With the emergence of TV, cinema finds new media to exhibit. Expansion of TV network all over India in the early eighties brought the films in our drawing rooms. This was the decade when Film piracy was at its peak. Pirated video cassettes were easily available, people stopped going to cinema halls and started to watch movies at their homes. 
By the end of the last century,. Indian cinema started a crossover from analog to digital. For distributors and exhibitors, one of the most evident benefits of this technological shift was the convenience factor. The content in the digital format does not have to be frantically shuffled between theaters but it can simply be delivered by way of satellite or hard drive. 
As digitalization has grown, so has the technology behind it. Over the decades there have been different types of digital projectors in use. With the emergence of multiplexes India, too, is taking rapid strides towards asserting this trend Soon all of India will be watching digitally transmitted movies. 
The main benefit of digitization is that there can be multiple pan-India releases.  A digital print can be sent anywhere via satellite. The first major Bollywood film Singh is Kinng was released via digital distribution. The film had released simultaneously in around 400 odd digital theatres. In 2008, Ghajini, starring Aamir Khan, released with the maximum number of prints in India – 1,200 (both digital and analog versions). In 2013, Dhoom 3 released with 4,500 prints, and almost all were digital.
Under the present circumstances of a complete lockdown in India due to Coronavirus, all the cinema halls are closed. Now the producers whose films are ready for release are now thinking to release their films directly to OTT a new platform for the young generation. Several big firms have lined up for a digital release, ditching the traditional route of a theatrical opening. This has led to a tug of war between producers and exhibitors. Direct-to-OTT could become an increasing reality in the near future. This platform bypasses cable, broadcast, and satellite television platforms, the companies that traditionally act as a controller or distributor of such content. This platform could be accessed via websites on personal computers, as well as via apps on mobile devices (such as smartphones and tablets), digital media players (including video game consoles), or televisions with integrated Smart TV. 
it`s the dawn of a new era where both patterns of release will probably find a way to co-exist. Many big films are now ready to get released on this platform in India.Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer "Gulabo Sitabo" and Vidya Balans "Shakuntala Devi" are among the first.
Here are a few OTT platforms in India. Voot, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, Sonyliv, etc.

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