At the recently held 10-day festival of engaging Online Experiences on Airbnb aimed at bringing India’s storied film industry to life, top talent like Farah Khan, Vicky Ratnani and Shilpa Rao were some of the insiders who spoke to guests from around the world giving them a peak behind the velvet rope of a Bollywood set.
Airbnb’s USP of presenting guests with unique and authentic experiences ensured ‘Bollywoond Insiders’ gave people the opportunity to interact with its larger-than-life personalities.
IANSlife spoke to filmmaker Farah Khan on the sidelines of her online experience to get more details:
Q: Everyone misses the big screen and while theatres have opened, the fear in the audience and filmmakers have put most big ticket films on hold?
A: As the situation is getting slightly better, we still need to adhere to the protocols and ensure we are not flouting the norms both on-set as well as off-set.
The experience of watching a movie in a theatre is absolutely unmatchable and missed. However, it is important for us as filmmakers to base our decisions on understanding the situation in the country.
Q: The two year hiatus has given an opportunity for OTT to really gain a huge piece of the pie. Viewership may never be what it used to be?
A: Undoubtedly OTT has picked up its pace because of the lockdown and restrictions. We have seen some wonderful and budding filmmakers come up with such quality and fine masterpieces. I am excited to see how the OTT trend is going to evolve going further.
Q: Many surveys show that the audience feels the quality of content on OTT is better than cinema. Small budget and unique stories have found their place in the spotlight. What is your take?
A: Content is an ever-growing landscape and keeps on evolving with audience preferences. The OTT landscape has certainly seen a significant transition over the last couple of years and it’s exciting to see budding creators come up with unique and off-beat storylines.
However, I firmly believe that in a country like India, there is room for both cinema and OTT to flourish, each with its own diverse set of audience.
Q: Your experience with Airbnb?
A: I have always been an Airbnb user, it’s one of my go to choices when I travel. I have collaborated with the brand in the past however this was the first time that I was hosting an Online Experience on the platform and I was very excited about it.
Bollywood has always been my first love ever since I was a little girl and I was thrilled to bring my experience in the industry to Airbnb guests from across the globe.
The Online Experience I hosted as part of Bollywood Insiders is called ‘Behind the Lens’. During this experience, I helped guests understand what makes an actor stand out, how to get into a character, how to deliver your lines with maximum impact for your first Bollywood audition and much more.
I helped guests to sharpen their skills, and ‘speed mentor’ them so that they are audition routine ready! Through the experience, my guests had the chance to act out some of their favorite Bollywood dialogues for me.
My mantra in life is to have fun no matter what it is that you are doing and that is the spirit I brought to my online experience on Airbnb. Throughout the experience, guests asked me as many questions as they have — whether it’s about direction, the process I follow to conceptualize characters or what I look for when holding auditions. It was a no holds barred hour of learning and fun combined!