The demand for Tamil web series has been booming post-pandemic and the reaction to some of the content on the ZEE5 streaming platform has been nothing short of sensational, especially the audience response to Vilangu (2022) created by Prasanth Pandiyaraj, Ayali (2023) directed by Muthukumar, and the recently-premiered Sengalam (2023) under S. R.Prabhakaran's direction. With a boom for new Tamil series already witnessed in the last couple of years, the three filmmakers sat down for an exclusive interview with National Award-winning film critic Baradwaj Rangan, the Editor-in-Chief of Galatta Plus, to discuss why there's still a big gap compared to the content in Hindi.
Analyzing the differences between web series in Tamil and Hindi, Sengalam director S. R. Prabhakaran says, "They (audience) will change. They've begun now. This is the beginning. The Hindi film industry will always be much more advanced than us. Be it the marketing or the mindset of the audience, they will be one step ahead. We will always be behind by five years. The visual taste will be five years back with our directors and our audience because their landscape, budget, and reach are completely different. The Hindi industry's marketing is throughout India. When we are inside a state and are playing within a specific budget, it'll take us time to touch their visuals. I believe that to be the first reason."
Ayali director Muthukumar chipped in saying, "It's got to do with the budget. Over there, Anurag Kashyap was the one who started it. He brought in stars. Crores are being invested for an episode, but we are limited to some extent. Their market is all over India and it is big. We are regional. When there is a good investment and stars enter the zone, audience will automatically come in. Because we mostly watch foreign movies on OTT platforms. Then, there will be familiar stars whom we know. When we make a series, we try with a certain category of people since we have budget restrictions. But, over there, when everyone starts to enter, it will be eye-catching for us. That may be the reason."
Watch Muthukumar and S. R. Prabhakaran in conversation with Baradwaj Rangan below: