Eijaz Khan: OTT has given tough competition to TV, but the bigger competition that OTT has given to is films!

Tara From Sitara actor Eijaz Khan feels that TV producers have become very adventurous and are experimenting with content.

“After Tara from Sitara, there was a big gap after the first wave. Then I was supposed to take up two projects. They were not television, but web shows. Unfortunately, I got a fatty liver issue and I was worried to travel out of town to Chambal and everywhere,” he said.

He feared about getting COVID in that situation. “That time people were fighting for their lives and the nearest hospital would be like 16 km away, so I was really worried about that,” he said.

Then Bigg Boss came his way. “It was in a safe environment, so I took that up. Then I had to shoot for City of Dreams season 2. I was waiting for the release of City of Dreams season 2 and waiting to pick up more web shows. Some happened and some didn’t,” he said.

According to him, there are a lot of interesting things happening on television. “Producers have become very adventurous. I think I would like to do something that I haven’t done till now and will excite me. I have played a lot of roles on television. I feel I shall try newer roles,” he said.

“Different kinds of roles have been offered to me by OTT platforms, not specifically by television, but I feel that I would want to do a television role. It’s been a long time since I did a full-fledged TV show. There have been a couple of offers and I am in talks. I have a couple of projects lined up along with a film. Inshallah I will have City of Dreams season 3 lined up too,” he added.

TV industry has evolved in every sense. “When KavyaAnjali was happening I really didn’t have any time to think about what content was being made and what wasn’t being made. I was too busy shooting for the show. The daily soaps and dramas that used to happen were the forte of that time and they used to work. Every television show comes down to drama, conflict and family dramas,” he said.

“I have done very different kind of TV shows but unfortunately they haven’t worked. They have got the same drama in it. A lot of new things have been tried and have been successful. I would like to test the water and do something that fulfills my creative keeda,” he added.

It is believed that OTT has given a tough competition to TV. “OTT has given tough competition to TV, but the bigger competition that OTT has given to is films. Television is like the comfort food that you can always go back to. I don’t think it will give OTT a very big competition. Some of the TV shows are smart enough as they are formatting themselves into seasons like OTT and changing the protagonist. You only want to go and see very larger than life films on screen or you wait for them to come on OTT platforms,” he said.

On TV, it is becoming difficult for established actors to get work because money offered to them is far less than what was given to them earlier. “It is difficult to work on half the payment rate that used to be couple of years back. It becomes difficult to adjust your own economics as you are giving your 20-25 days of your life and of course you will not be doing TV all your life, you will be doing 5-6 shows and you have to figure out if this is the kind of show you want to leave behind,” he said.

He has producer friends and he understands their point of view. “A big name or an established name doesn’t necessarily bring in the numbers. It can bring the eyeballs, but eventually it’s the story that matters. If people can connect they can stay with the show but unfortunately it doesn’t happen. Then the producer has contracts to deal with, so it becomes very difficult. I have seen it happening,” he added.

He feels that actors have to understand the producer’s perceptive also and take a paycut. “I am actually planning to do that if the show is to my liking. If I am am excited about the show, I don’t mind going out of town and shooting,” he said.

He has worked in TV, OTT and films over the years. “The basic difference is that TV is long running and is time bound. You have to churn out 4-5 episodes every week and that kind of curtails the creative decision as you have to put out the product everyday. OTT is a difficult platform to deal with as you are not only dealing with 2 hour-film of 50-60 scenes. You are dealing with 40 X10 scenes and you have to know each scene if you are playing the main protagonist because the character’s dynamics keep changing with every episode. It is really difficult. Film is director’s medium. You completely submit yourself to the director as you are shooting 2-4 scenes a day,” he explained.