‘If TV dramas continue the same way, it will suffer the fate of cinemas’: Chanchal Chowdhury
We must first understand that good content requires a lot of effort. Should we watch it for free?
New web series Taqdeer starring Chanchal Chowdhury has been released on OTT platform Hoichoi on December 18. The trailer of the web series, which was released a few days ago, created a wave of interest among the viewers.
In an interview with The Business Standard, Chanchal Chowdhury talked about the web series and various other issues, including the situation of contemporary television drama.
How was the experience of the shooting of Taqdeer?
It was a very good experience. The arrangements for the shooting of this web series were similar to that of a movie. From production meetings to pre-production, production and post-production have all been done professionally. You do not usually see this in our country. All in all, it was a very professional job that I worked after many days.
Tell us about the story of Taqdeer?
I will not tell the whole story. The trailer revealed the story in some ways. It is a story of a freezer van driver. Audiences have to watch the full story in Hoichoi.
Are you leaning more towards OTT nowadays?
Leaning towards OTT is not the point. I have always emphasised working on good projects. Now the condition of the television medium is very bad. Most of the people there are non-professional. The budget has also been reduced. There is no way to work properly there. I can now shoot thirty days a month if I want. It will bring me a lot of money. But I do not want it. I have always looked for good works. I am ready to wait for months for that. That is my mentality.
Is that why you do not appear in traditional movies?
That's right. Suppose I get 100 screenplays a month. I can choose 50 works from there if I want. But I do not want it. I wait year after year for a good film. I think if I do quality works, everyone will like it and I will be benefitted financially. This can be understood by looking at all the films of my career.
The OTT platforms that you are working on are mostly Indian.
It is not important where I'm working. How I work is important. The country of the origin of the OTT platforms does not matter. But whether people watch it or not matters. It is not that only Indian audiences will be able to see that series. People from all over the world can see it sitting anywhere. It is also very easy to subscribe it from Bangladesh.
You have to think about this too. If I do a good work and people cannot see it, it worth nothing. The problem is people now want to watch everything for free. If anything new appears they try to find it on YouTube or hope to download it from the internet. You have to remember that you cannot get anything good for free whether it is a drama, movie or a web series.
We must first understand that good content requires a lot of effort. Should we watch it for free? Our viewers also need to be a little more responsible. Give up the hope of seeing anything for free.
You have been acting for a long time. How do you perceive the present and future of TV dramas in the country?
If the current state of television drama continues in the next 2-3 years, it will suffer the fate of the cinema industry of the country. The country's film industry has been surviving like a dying patient. To avoid that fate television owners need to increase their budgets and focus on better content. They have to fight with the OTT platforms. If the content is good, people do not care about medium or money. They will watch that.
But you are also a man of the film industry. Do you think that you are also responsible if the industry is destroyed?
Maybe, I also have to take on some liabilities. But it is not mine alone. But there is a lack of people who would work with responsibility to change the situation. We need responsible people to fix everything. Professional people are needed. Otherwise, the way it is going, one day it will cease to exist.
The last question, you were staying at home during the Covid-19 days. Now when the situation has changed, you are not working that much? How do you pass your time?
There are many things to do. I have watched many movies, gave time to myself. And I have spent a lot of time with my baby. Still, I am working less. I am trying to work with professional people.