"OTT platforms have recently defined its audience.”
Randeep Hooda has shared his views on the ongoing OTT versus theatres debate.
Theatres have largely remained shut due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In India, just as theatres started to reopen and new films began to release, a second wave hit. This has resulted in the film industry being halted once again.
Randeep’s next film, Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai, was set to release in theatres.
Now, it will release in select theatres as well as on streaming platforms.
Simultaneous releases may be the way forward, but Randeep Hooda says OTT platforms are not a threat to the big screen.
He said: “I don’t think that the cinema watching experience in a large darkened hall with other people, and all the reactions, which is infectious, can ever be replaced.
“But OTT platforms have recently defined its audience.”
Randeep pointed out that this change has made the online space a lucrative avenue for filmmakers and is also reviving some old projects.
Drawing on his own work, Randeep continued:
“A lot of my films which suffered because of marketing or release (plan), have now found their audience on digital platforms.”
Randeep Hooda has actively explored the OTT space, both in India and internationally.
He stated that the pandemic has boosted the popularity of the medium.
“The growth which was to come in the industry in the next five years — in terms of the content we produce or the movies we make — has hastened up because of Covid-19.
“For all these months when people were in lockdown, they explored a variety of different themes and different executions.”
This is not a surprise as the audience is eager for something new and different “because maturity in the audience has come earlier than it would have otherwise”.
Although it is a big change, Randeep Hooda welcomes it.
“I try to adapt to the changing world as best as I can.”
“Like, I adapted due to the Covid-19 pandemic, lockdown and adapted to the fact that you don’t need much, that happiness is dependent on very less compared to what we think.”
He revealed that currently, he feels more adaptable than ever.
“There’s nothing, and no roles I want to avoid.
“I’m playing a full-fledged villain in Radhe for the first time. That has been a welcome change.
“I’m hoping that there will be more things that knock on my door, which I’ve not thought of.
“I hope I can do them and cope with it.”
In the online space, Randeep Hooda was in the 2020 Netflix film Extraction, which starred Chris Hemsworth.
He will soon be seen in the web series Inspector Avinash.