Digital Film Making – Exciting Career Opportunities for Students in North East India

Jayanta Chakraborti

The Covid19 Pandemic, Lockdown and Social Distancing has brought about a paradigm shift in the way viewers search for entertainment. Movies are no longer released in big theatres or multiplexes but in OTT. Low budget movies like RamprasadkiTehrvi, Pagglait and Ludo got very good responses on OTT channels. This opens up avenues of opportunity for creative newcomers as storytelling is taking precedence over big budgets, mega stars and huge promotions.

As per a report by Boston Consulting Group, the OTT market in India has reached a size of $5 billion and is growing at the rate of 30%. Over the past twelve months, spurred on by the Covid-19-induced lockdown, total domestic OTT consumption increased from 181 billion minutes to 204 billion minutes. OTT video subscriptions have reached almost 62 million in 2021, doubling from 32 million at the end of 2019.India’s over-the-top streaming (OTT) market remains one of the fastest growing markets in the world. With the rapid rise of OTT channels like Netflix, Hotstar, Prime Video, Zee5, Eros, ALTBalaji and Voot, there is a huge demand for good quality content.

Some ten years back, it was thought to be safe to study engineering and other traditional disciplines that could guarantee jobs and satisfactory career path. But today, students have the opportunity to pursue higher studies in disciplines where they can pursue their passion and also earn a livelihood and make a name for themselves. It is important to pursue courses that impart skills rather than only going for theoretical learning and earning degrees and diplomas which are of no use in the industry.

A Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Film Making is one such option for students of North East India who are keen to create content for OTT and tell stories about the mysterious legends and captivating landscapes that encompass the terrains of this region. 

North East India has bountiful nature and innumerable mysteries that can be captured with the video camera alongwith an enchanting storyline. Jatinga, a small tribal village and Assam's only hill station, is known for the mysterious suicide of birds during certain weeks of the year. There is no scientific or logical explanation why the birds commit suicide. There is a ‘Lake of No Return’ at India-Myanmar border near Arunachal Pradesh which is also called the Bermuda Triangle of South East Asia. The lake got it’s strange name from the British, American and Japanese soldiers who lost their way during World War II and perished in this mysterious region. Then, there is a place called Unakoti in Tripura which has mysterious carvings of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, which amount to one less than a Crore (hence the name Unakoti). Based on the limited studies done on Unakoti, historians date the sculptures to the 8th to 9th Century BC. But even today, very little is known about it’s origins, who commissioned the work, who carried out the work and even why it was commissioned.

A formal training in digital film making can help the students who are interested to unleash their creativity to build a career in storytelling through the digital medium. To learn digital film making, the students have to learn the art and science of storytelling and production. Then they have to learn about how to develop scripts, cinematography, audio production, casting, directing, editing, creating special effects and budgeting. There are both short term certification courses as well as comprehensive programs like BBA in Digital Film Making. It is always advised for a comprehensive three years program as students will learn all the nitty-grities of digital film making and gain the confidence to create content that will be highly desirable for the OTT Platforms.

 

Jayanta Chakraborti

Associate Professor, School of Media Management                                              

Symbiosis Skill and Professional University, Pune