Bodhi Tree Multimedia recently ventured into digital show productions with ‘Marzi’ and ‘The Raikar Case’ launching on Viacom18’s premium streaming platform, Voot Select. BizAsiaLive.com caught up with the CEO and Director, Mautik Tolia to get understanding of its launch plays, way forward and differentiated content.

Your two new digital shows ‘Marzi’ and ‘The Raikar Case’ have launched on Voot Select, how pleased have you been with the response?
‘Marzi’ and ‘Raikar Case’ both have helped us immensely with the learning curve on web series. Marzi is an adaptation of an international format hence it gave us great exposure on the processes. The Raikar case is an original subject which we have developed over the past couple of years. Both are very different products and we are very happy that they are receiving good reviews all around. The response to both these shows have been phenomenal. They have been critically acclaimed and have received a fantastic response from the viewers too. Considering the hard work put in, we are happy it all paid off well.

The two shows are completely different and are welcomed during these challenging times where viewers are scouting for alternative content, how do you feel about the consumption of digital shows during this lockdown period?
Content is king and in times like these streaming services are witnessing a spike. The consumption of content on OTT platforms has hit the roof and audiences who had hitherto not sampled OTT content have now started sampling it. This has led to a wider reach thereby increasing the subscription numbers for these platforms. One can equate this to what happened with digital payment services during demonetisation.

The content of both these shows lends itself more to the digital format with a wide plethora of grey characters with gripping fast paced story telling which could be narrated well in the 6-7 episode format.

When making shows like ‘Marzi’ and ‘The Raikar Case’, what’s the thought process behind doing such innovative shows and why do you feel these would work better on digital than on linear television?
At Bodhi Tree, we look at credible, nuanced and authentic storytelling when it comes to human relationship stories. We aim at exploring new insights and characters with struggling moral ambiguities, emotional perceptions and distortions, and even go beyond the boundaries of human psyche. The content of both these shows lends itself more to the digital format with a wide plethora of grey characters with gripping fast paced story telling which could be narrated well in the 6-7 episode format. The concepts for these shows were designed keeping in mind the digital audience and their tastes.

We were fortunate to have a fantastic ensemble of actors and crew who ensured that the script translated on the screen the way it was imagined.

Tell us more about ‘The Raikar Case’, which BizAsia has rated highly as a ‘must-watch’ show for its gripping story.
The Raikar Case is an exceptionally crafted whodunit set in the backdrop of a dysfunctional family in Goa- the Raikar. The screenplay of Raikar, being a complex whodunnit with a large ensemble of characters with varied motivations and intricate layering, took many drafts and a year to get right because we wanted to create a pulsating pacy thriller with layered characters having complex moralities. The challenge was to find the median between an extremely evolved story-telling but at the same time being binge-worthy. It is one of those shows which has a combination of interesting characters, dialogues and twists in each episode. We were fortunate to have a fantastic ensemble of actors and crew who ensured that the script translated on the screen the way it was imagined. It is probably one of the first ‘Whodunnit’ in the Indian digital space. The show released last week and the kind of response it has received is absolutely over-whelming in terms of viewership with over 7 million views on the promo itself.

When producing digital shows, is the planning behind it quite similar to if it was a TV show or a film?
The planning for digital shows is quite similar to a film. However, it is equivalent to making 2-3 feature films and therefore requires extremely meticulous preparation.

‘Marzi’ and ‘The Raikar Case’ are produced by Bodhi Tree Multimedia. They are available on Voot Select.

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