Harnessing the “Crowd” and the Rise of “Prosumers” in Filmmaking in India

Harnessing the “Crowd” and the Rise of “Prosumers” in Filmmaking in India

Mou Mukherjee Das (Future Media School, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3511-0.ch029

Abstract

With the emergence of digital media, prosumers are providing a new direction of film funding. Enthusiastic cine-goers are ready to invest in scripts that they believe in by identifying alternative financial resources. Crowdfunding has recently emerged as a funding option for all the creative-cultural industries in general. Although the Indian market is still a novice, the creative explorers are ready to take on the chances to vent their artistic expressions. Therefore it is essential to understand what drives people to either create or fund these projects. In this context, this chapter aims to study the basic premise of crowdfunding in Indian films and analyse the concept of prosumers.
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Introduction

Present-day, Indian cinema has been through the two most important changes that have changed the perception worldwide. One is the thematic change. It is varied from the simple happy family story to experimental, bold and innovative, completely out of the box. There is no dearth of themes for the producers with gradual blurring of commercial and parallel cinema. The other is technological change. The digital media especially the social media have played an instrumental role in the emergence of a new Bollywood in terms of revenue generation, promotions, distribution, online viewership, embarking in themes that are bold and experimental, and even capital investment.

The emergence of prosumers- A new set of consumers has emerged with entrepreneurial capabilities and who are ready to invest in films. They are the prosumers. Given by Alvin Toffler (1984) in his book The third wave where he argued that with the advent of the industrial age the number of pure consumers will gradually decline giving rise to prosumers –who will produce their goods and services. However, the term prosumers has transformed from meaning “professional consumer” to meaning “product and brand advocate.” where from simple consumption of products, people are becoming the voices of those products and significantly impacting the success or failure of companies, products, and brands, particularly through their involvement on the social web. Social media has emerged as one of the most potent mediums of communication.

There are 7.7 million people in the world, with at least 3.5 billion online making social media platforms being used by one-in-three people in the world, and more than two-thirds of all internet users. –passing comments, opinions, information videos, podcasts and, photographs– each month making it official and unequivocal that social media is one of the mainstream media (Ortiz-Ospina, 2019). The digital natives have been successful in creating a platform for themselves where interaction, sharing, chatting is possible on a real-time basis. The Internet by virtue of its characteristics like instantaneousness, interactivity, openness, fictitiousness and, abruptness is hugely popular among the young generation. A free market place where ideas are placed, creating a space where opinions can be exchanged and discussed (Mukherjee Das, 2020).

Harnessing the crowd technology- the crowd which once went to the cinema halls are now actively into films- starting from ideation to production to shooting to promotion. The Crowd has been heralded as one of the most promising gen-next, with qualities like entrepreneurship, out-of-the-box thinking and an enterprising spirit to venture out into something new (Mukherjee Das, 2019). The crowd helped in the emergence of two most promising concepts that revolutionized the capital investment market in all categories with special reference to Indian cinema. They are- crowdfunding and crowdsourcing. The establishment of multiplexes- multiplexes has defined the way an audience watches a film. More than entertainment it had been an experience. The audience is invited to an experience which they live while they watch the movie.

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