India’s first online serial coming soon
IT IS time to switch off your TV and log on to the Internet because the country’s first online serial would be launched very soon. “The serial may be launched by early next year. It will be a revolution in the online medium,” says Puneet Johar, MD, Tangerine Digital Entertainment, the brain behind the concept. What is also new about the online serial is that the cast and crew would be selected through an online talent hunt. Mr Johar adds that the winners of the talent hunt under various categories will come together to write the script, act and direct the online serial under the guidance of the Tangerine staff. “The online talent hunt itself is new. We have launched it on our social networking site Campus 18 which offers a wide choice for today’s youth to interact, make friends and showcase their talents, all in one,” says Mr Johar. Campus 18’s hunt called the Digistars: War of Videos’ for the India’s ‘Best Video Talent’ includes prizes for film making, acting, editing and more. The winner for the Best Video will get a contract to make 10 short films on Campus18 and a Cash Prize of Rs 25,000. While the winner of Best Performance will get a contract to make his/her own stand up show on campus18 & Cash Prize Rs 25000. The winners of other categories will get a chance to create online interactive serial which will be showcased on Campus18. The winners will be selected by a nationwide poll with a jury vote having equal weightage and the last date for entry is January 16. “Digistars is our first such attempt to identify and reward the talented story tellers; be it via acting, editing, writing, music or direction. Many more such initiatives will follow soon,” says Mr Johar. While critics point out that online serial is a far-fetched idea since only very few people in India have access to Internet, Mr Johar refutes such claims and adds that since social networking sites are already a hit among the youngsters of the country, the serial promoted to such a channel would also be a success. Bollywood actress Rakhi Sawant who participated in the reality show, Nach Baliye says that though new shows and ideas keep springing up on TV, the internet medium continues to be unexplored. “Television in inundated with reality shows. Orkut and other such networking sites are popular and may be the serial might just make it big provided there is a good team working behind it. It is a new concept and only time will tell whether it works or not.” Selection of winners for ‘Digistars - War of Videos’ will be undertaken by the Campus18 editorial team along with a panel of judges from entertainment field. “Social networking sites along with other sites where one can upload their own videos are popular among youngsters. Campus 18 is a combination of all and hence we are tapping into this market,” says Johar. He adds, “Though talent shows have been a regular affair on TV, we are just giving them an alternative.” Though Mr Johar refused to give out any story ideas for the serial, he said that everything from writing the script to final production would be handled by the winners. “The serial will definitely be different from what is currently available on TV and would also be in sync with what today’s youngsters want to watch on TV,” Johar adds