With shoots being stalled owing to the coronavirus pandemic, streaming platform Hoichoi is trying to keep its audience entertained with shot-at-home web series. Shows like Case Jaundice and Pabitra Puppies have already started streaming on the platform, and they will soon launch Love and Affairs.
Hoichoi co-founder Vishnu Mohta spoke exclusively to indianexpress.com about the need for innovative content and said, “People are always looking for relevant content and this was a format we could take up, given the circumstances. We decided to switch to shooting from home with topics that are relevant in the current situation.”
Case Jaundice, a 10-episode satirical show, revolves around three primary characters — a judge and two lawyers Mr Das and Mr Sen. The show stars Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Ankush and Anirban Chakrabarti.
Talking about the making of the shows, Mohta said, “For Case Jaundice, more than the technicalities, it was important to keep it funny yet relevant. To provide the kind of entertainment our audience was craving in lockdown, to make situations less trying and bring a few laughs. We also had great actors like Parambrata and Ankush on board – an unlikely yet interesting pairing. When you are working with such an experienced crew and a stellar cast, even the homebound space becomes an artistic canvas to reflect their creativity.”
As for Love and Affairs, the series will feature popular real-life couple Indraneil Sengupta and Barkha Bisht in lead roles. The show focuses on relationships and marriages, and the challenges they bring.
Pabitra Puppies, meanwhile, is a murder mystery focusing on six friends who form a WhatsApp group during the lockdown to reconnect. When one of them is killed, several secrets unravel, with everyone under the scanner. The show stars Vikram Chatterjee, Sohini Sarkar, Saayoni Ghosh, RJ Sayan, Ankita Chakraborty, Debapriyo Bagchi and Saurav Das.
“As for #PabitraPuppies, it’s written and directed by Debaloy Bhattacharya. We actually asked a lot of our writers and directors to give us concepts that would be relevant during the lockdown and could be easily shot from home. You can stop the director but you cannot stop the storyteller. Pabitra Puppies is one of those must-watch stories which is relatable for anyone who has faced and is still facing lockdown,” Vishnu Mohta said.
While a lot of projects are being shot at home, Mohta does not believe it will become a new normal as the format doesn’t offer enough variety. “Besides shooting from home, we can do some shoots in a contained environment with a limited crew and adhering to all precautionary measures. Setting the premise indoors gives us the opportunity to explore the technicalities of indoor shootings. We are keeping a close eye on quality checks as shooting from home does not change that factor. Before that, though, we still have a few more lockdown web series planned.”
“It takes time to plan larger-than-life content, especially with the restrictions in place. There is also the safety concern for everyone – the situation is dynamic and people have issues, such as using public transport. Instead, for the time being, we want to keep our focus on planning, ideating for our future shows,” he concluded.
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