Bindass releases new web series Girl in the City: Aspiring youngsters will relate to it, says producer Anand Tiwari
Arjun is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who, before stepping into the glamorous world of entertainment reporting, assisted acclaimed filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, James Cameron and Christopher Nolan.
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A new web series – Girl in the City – premiered today (April 28) on Facebook and airs on the Bindass channel tomorrow. Starring Mithila Palkar as the ‘girl’ Meera from a small-town who comes to Mumbai to pursue her dreams, this first ever original web series from Bindass is produced by the same people who made last year’s hit series, Bang Baaja Baaraat.
Ahead of Girl in the City’s Facebook premiere, TubeScoop spoke with producer Anand Tiwari (also the director for Bang Baaja) about this new series and the general boom in the whole ‘web series space’ in India.
Girl in the City is your company’s next big web series after Bang Baaja Baaraat. Tell us a little bit about it.
It’s very different from Bang Baaja, in the sense, here we are talking to a much younger audience – to boys and girls of probably 13+ to about 25. Aspiring youngsters who leave their ‘nests’ with big hopes and dreams, will relate to the show and our lead character – Meera.
It’s basically about how a girl, who’s grown up in a very protected childhood, comes to a big bad city like Bombay and how she aligns herself into this city – that’s what’s really the beauty of this show.
How did the series come about?
Saurabh (Saurabh Bhowal, Head – Brand Solutions Group at Disney India) from Disney Branding got in touch with us…and they already had this rough idea that they were toying with for about 8-9 months, about it being centered around this girl who comes from a small town, what her life in Mumbai will be, who the set characters are, etc. And they knew it had to do something with fashion and the girl’s aspirations of making it in that field.
They wanted us to develop it further so Amrit (co-producer Amritpal Bindra) and I were involved in the development right from that stage – we did what producers do best – destroying the idea from thereon (laughing).
We worked with a very close friend of ours and wonderful writer called Sanyukta Chawla (Neerja, Bobby Jasoos). She, along with another writer who works with us – Anisha, wrote the entire bit.
The trend of having the lead character on a web series interact with fans on social media is relatively new and catching on. Your views on it?
This is a completely Disney call. When they came up with the idea, they already had a very solid marketing plan in place for it and this was one of the ancillary things that we were going to do, which we are in the middle of executing and you will see that happening right across all 13 episodes till the time the show is on air and hopefully if it’s a big hit, maybe after that – Meera will be a character that will exist online as if it’s a real character.
The merits on how good it is or not is not my place to comment on. For us, of course, it’s a huge deal because it’s a brand like Disney promoting the show and our association with them is very special to us and we, as a very young, upcoming content creating company, are learning from them.
In terms of scale and production, how does Girl in the City compare to Bang Baaja Baaraat?
See, Amrit and I come from cinematic backgrounds – me as an actor/ writer now directing and Amrit from his film school learnings and then being part of a production company and then directing, and of course writing. We are not people who’ve come from television, so we approach our web series also in a very cinematic way – in terms of how we shoot, what the coverage is going to be, how a story is going to be told, character development etc. – all of it comes from a very cinematic school of grammar.
Also, if you see the kind of people we are working with, be it on Bang Baaja or Girl in the City – they are all people from cinema and I think that’s the kind of USP we are bringing to our shows.
The whole web series space in India is growing at a rapid rate, what are your thoughts on this, will it replace TV content?
Honestly speaking, the advent of internet content will not overtake something or undertake something or whatever. it’s going to exist in its own way. it has a very specific, very different way of viewing.
Internet is a very individualistic approach to entertainment. it will find its place, it will not overtake television because TV, at the end of the day, you sit around with your family and watch. Till the time, we are restricted to mobile screens and laptops and iPads, internet will remain an individual viewing system and that’s good. Like the Netflix model, which created binge watching as a thing and that became their USP – which is based on individuals taking out time and watching everything at one go.
New episodes of Girl in the City will release on the Bindass Facebook page every Thursday and on the Bindass channel every Friday. Check out the first episode below.