Confessions – It’s Complicated: FremantleMedia India’s Business Head talks about the new web series in an exclusive interview
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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Confessions – It’s Complicated, premiered on Facebook just two weeks back and with five episodes out now, it has managed to build quite an impressive fan base. The web series has used social media, more specifically Facebook Live, in a very innovative way to connect with its audience.
Vidyuth Bhandary, Business Head at FremantleMedia India – the company behind Confessions – spoke to TubeScoop in an exclusive interview about the show, its novel concept, what fans can expect to see in upcoming episodes and also the overall web content boom in India.
How did the idea for a show like Confessions – Its Complicated originate?
This is our second web series (the first was India’s Digital Superstar). While we were laying down the blueprint for this show, and trying to find different ways to sort of promote it, we went and spoke with the people at Facebook to partner with them. The idea was that we cast 3 completely unknown girls in the series and have them completely disable themselves from all social media. For the next 3 months, till the show is on air, they will only be known by their screen names – Raka, Nupur and Sameera.
Now, if you see, they have created their own Facebook pages of their respective characters. So, for viewers of the show, the characters are who these girls are in real life – which is a very novel concept. I’m not saying this has not been done before. it was done 15 years ago with Jassi Jaisi Koi Nehi. But with Confessions, we have taken this concept to a new dimension.
Tell us about the role of Facebook Live in the series?
Facebook Live is a new feature which our girls are going to continuously use. If you’ve befriended the girls on FB and you’re part of the Confessions – Its Complicated page and you’ve liked it, then what happens is that every time the girls come live on the Facebook Live app, you’ll automatically be notified and you can actually come online, watch and interact with them. So it’s something which is new, we are also experimenting with it, so is Facebook. All of us are learning, growing and enjoying.
What can you tell us about the overall storyline/ plot of the show?
See, I’m not gonna say things like ‘the show is very different’ and all that. It’s essentially about these 3 girls and their escapades in Mumbai. Obviously we need little time to establish characters and storylines, before the real action starts.
Can you elaborate on that? Any dark, serious moments ahead?
There are dark moments. If you noticed, the opening scene [of episode 1] shows the 3 girls in certain moments – one of them is contemplating suicide, second one has a gun on her head and the third is pretty much going into someone’s room, it almost looks like a ‘casting couch’ scenario.
See, I believe that a lot of people can identify with this show because even though it’s light-hearted and entertaining, it’ also very relevant because a lot of young girls come to Mumbai and have different experiences. You know, things like their relationship with their bosses etc. So, there will be a couple of love interests which will play out… and all of that is something which is very real and true. The show is a slice of life with a message that just flows through the narrative.
How many total episodes will the show have?
There are 30 episodes in total.
Why is each episode just 8-10 minutes long?
See, digital is still a growing field and from what we gathered during our research was that 8-10 minutes is something that really works with today’s digital viewer. They love to snack in and snack out. I’m not gonna say that 20-23 minutes doesn’t work, at the end of it, it’s how strong your content is.
What are your thoughts on the future of digital content and web series in India?
The potential is tremendous and digital is growing exponentially. Honestly we’re waiting for the entire 4G launch – you know the impending 4G launch. I know it’s already launched but it’s still not sort of come out as we are expecting it to come out. If the 4G launch actually happens like we are imagining it to be, then we’re in for a huge surprise.
Will digital content make television obsolete?
Being an industry person, I’m gonna say that TV will continue to be your main screen but what’s happening is that, if for example, there are X number of shows being made for TV, the total number of shows (TV + digital) will increase to almost 5X.
Nowadays, everyone wants a personal TV viewing experience and that’s what they get with their mobile phones, laptops and tablets. And with the kind of reach that different platforms and devices offer, it will lead to generation of more content – and that too good quality content mainly because digital allows you to experiment with stuff which you cannot on television.
Any more web series in the works?
Yes, there are more in the pipeline. We want to do it slowly. We believe more in quality than quantity so whatever little we do, we want to do it well. And the intention is that as we go from our 2nd web series to the 3rd and 4th, we keep getting better.
You can connect with the Confessions – It’s Complicated cast and watch the episodes via the show’s Facebook page here. You can also check out the latest episode in the series below.