Mukta Arts looking at 3 TV shows by year-end

MUMBAI: Times are busy for film production house Mukta Arts. Recently it made its foray into television by announcing the reality show Disco Star in association with Channel [V].

It is also nursing ambitious plans for the television software sector. It is looking to have at least three shows on air by the end of this year. spoke to Mukta Arts CEO Ravi Gupta today who informs that the company has initiated dialogue with four channels in this regard. Gupta however, declined to name the parties stating that the deals would go through within a couple of months.

"The key for us is creating new niches which need to be filled. If I target the mass audience in the form of soaps then my products will not be different from what is already on air. Our aim is to target different audience segments."

"The challenge we will face is that when you segment the audience the market economics becomes more difficult. The task lies in enhancing the channel's portfolio in particular time slots which could even be in the daytime. This is an ongoing process which is very dynamic."

As far as the investment into television software is concerned, Gupta noted that there would be no significant outlays as the monies are rolling in. Mukta Arts has targeted revenues of Rs 700-800 million for the year.

In terms of writing, which has been a problem for television shows in the past, Gupta states that thanks to heavy investments in the past, a strong story workshop is already in place.

Another problem for television producers is that of channel interference. It is here that Gupta's prior experience in television as B4U Worldwide CEO will come in handy. Gupta makes the point though, that channels had the right to take part in the creative process. " What is looked upon as client interference in my opinion is the client's point of view. After all they are clients and we as producers should not forget that. So it is only fair that they are involved."

"There is a cost factor involved for them as well and therefore, the most important thing is that the relationship should be mutually beneficial. What channels say should be viewed as a valuable contribution and constructive criticism should a show's TRPs not do as well as had been expected. It is to be expected that there will be disagreements and points of difference between the parties like what happens when storylines suddenly change track."

On the cinema side, Gupta states that there were two major upcoming releases. The first, Itraaz by Abbas Mastan, is scheduled for a December release. The second, Kisna by Mukta Arts chairman and MD Subhash Ghai, will be released either in December or early next year.

Gupta went on to stress that the company was constantly on the lookout for ideas that are fresh in nature like what had been seen in Joggers Park. There are three to four films like this in development. for which Gupta expects the greenlight to be given shortly.

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