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Harish Shankar on ATM: OTT platform heads are enjoying their position more than the content

The Gabbar Singh filmmaker spoke of the need for OTT platforms to be more industry-friendly in their approach at ATM’s pre-release event

Harish Shankar on ATM: OTT platform heads are enjoying their position more than the content
Harish Shankar
  • Srivathsan Nadadhur

Last Updated: 09.36 AM, Jan 19, 2023

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Harish Shankar minces no words when he’s on the stage and calls a spade a spade. Earlier this week, he lashed out at Netflix for not appointing staff who could converse in Telugu during their narrations and how its inconveniencing several filmmakers. Yesterday, at the pre-release event of his digital debut ATM for ZEE5 (for which he’s the creator, story writer), he spoke of the need for OTT platforms to change their approach.

“I recently tweeted about how OTT platform managements need to be more industry-friendly in their approach and got trolled for it too. If was scared of trolls, I or Dil Raju wouldn’t have even come to the film industry. We work under tight budgets for OTT shows. I wish to say that a few people at OTT platforms are enjoying their position more than the stories we tell,” Harish Shankar said.

“Staff at OTT platforms have been adamant about timeliness of the meetings and don’t allow space for a discussion owing to their authority. Whenever we approach a new project, we always work like newcomers and adapt as per its needs. If OTT platforms make quick decisions, like ZEE5, we, directors, are eager to tell stories earnestly for the digital medium,” he added.

He hoped people in OTTs forget their designations and engage in discussions with an open mind and allow many storytellers like him to make a mark here. “All of us are newcomers at some point in their careers and we need to encourage each other to progress ahead. More than you, me or anything, cinema is an ocean and will outlast us,” the filmmaker shared.

While talking about ATM, directed by his associate Chandramohan, Harish Shankar mentioned, “Even had I been the director, I wouldn’t have made ATM as impressively as Chandramohan. He has done a wonderful job. Despite writing the story, I went to the set for only one day. I was there with the team during the post-production stage.”

“Chandramohan has terrific comedy timing, especially with the characterisation of Subbaraju and has extracted a fine performance out of Divyavani. We make two and a half hour films in 100 days, Chandramohan and the team has made a four hour-long show in 50 days. Maybe, I would have to learn a thing or two from the unit about shooting at a quick pace. I really need to appreciate how ZEE5 as an OTT platform eased out many things during the making,” Harish Shankar averred.

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