Why most TV stars avoid daily soaps as debut production venture

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BY NATALIA NINGTHOUJAM

New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) The last few months have seen telly stars like Aniruddh Dave, Dheeraj Dhoopar, Vikas Sethi and Paras Chhabra making their debut as producers. What was remarkable was none of these actors, who became household names thanks to television, have announced that they will be producing daily soaps.

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Aniruddh and Vikas are pumping money into web series, Dheeraj chose to produce a short film, while Paras started off with music video production.

“I have been trying my best to get into production for the last four years. I didn’t want to start with a typical cliche daily soap. Now, we have a good team of writers and people. We have about 25 to 30 scripts of different genres,” “Patiala Babes” actor Anirudh told IANS.

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“We have pitched content to OTT platforms also and getting a good response,” added the actor, who started off producing an anthology web series.

Earlier this year, “Kahiin To Hoga” actor Vikas Sethi announced that he will produce a comedy web series. He is still in the process of finalising the cast and location for the project.

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On why he didn’t begin with a daily soap, Vikas said: “I am just starting out as a producer and hence would want to establish a strong foothold before getting into daily soaps.”

“Kundali Bhagya” fame actor Dheeraj Dhoopar picked a short film for his first production venture. He feels that production is a different ball game altogether.

“There are a lot of things at stake but with a wide range of platforms (OTT) available these days, things have become comparatively safer. I don’t think there are challenges as a TV actor, in fact it gives me an opportunity to explore myself creatively,” he said.

Paras Chhabra, who has featured in telly shows like “Badho Bahu” and “Kaleerein”, gained popularity after “Bigg Boss 13”.

“Before entering the Bigg Boss house, I had plans of turning producer after the show. I wanted to make films, serials and web series. But my production house started with the production of songs. The thought came to my mind during coronavirus lockdown. I had heard from someone that a producer had said that I don’t have the caliber. And today, I can make a song, produce it and release it,” he told IANS.

While these actors got into the production game this year, actor Vijayendra Kumeria entered production last year. He produced a few episodes of a crime-based show and he knows it’s not easy to be a producer, especially if you are new.

“There is no particular reason behind starting with an episodic show. This was the first show out of all our proposals that got approved. After that, we shot a series that will air soon,” said the “Naagin” actor.

“I have had a journey as an actor and have spent a good time now in the industry and have worked on leading channels. It took time. Similarly, when you talk about being a producer, it doesn’t come easy to new producers. You need to start by taking small steps, prove that your product is promising. After all, it’s business and any leading channel is very careful while giving out shows to new producers. Having said that, it’s difficult but not impossible,” he added.

Generally, in the West, when actors star in a show for long they eventually get attached to as producers.

Asked why that doesn’t happen in India too, Vikas said: “In West, most (actors) become executive producers because they have seen how the show runs. In India with one show, every actor thinks that he or she has become a mega star, so they look down to do that job. In India, stardom is bigger than acting or just saying their lines without expressions but not everyone (is like that).”

For now, he is looking to back good quality content. “I am a believer that if there is a good story which needs to be told then I will be all for it. As someone who is exploring this domain, I am going all out across platforms and good quality content,” said Vikas.

Dheeraj wants to fulfill his creative cravings first. “Secondly I feel there are a lot of talented people out there – actors, writers, musicians, director and more. I would also someday like to provide some sort of a push to them,” he shared.

Vijayendra wants to explore all mediums, especially the digital platform. “I am very keen on producing something in the digital space in the near future because on OTT, you have the liberty to make content without a lot of restrictions. It’s a very exciting space as a content creator.”

Paras would like to go back to his roots and do a reality show like “Bigg Boss”.

“I would like to make a show like it once my production house grows. I also want to make daily doaps. I want to work on TV as you get a lot of money. So yes I want to produce a daily soap too,” he said.

–IANS

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