Like how it did for music with Carvaan some years ago, Saregama is now changing the game of content creation with Yoodlee Films. Targeting the 18- 30 age group, the banner caters to the inherent need of the audience to watch strong thematic content
At a time when big Bollywood studios are staring at a hard road to recovery in the coming years, thanks to the damage caused by Covid-19, Saregama India is trying to redefine movie-making.
Like how it did for music with Carvaan some years ago, Saregama is now changing the game of content creation with Yoodlee Films. Targeting the 18-30 age group, the banner caters to the inherent need of the audience to watch strong thematic content.
To get an idea of Yoodle, read this description from its website: “We understand Irreverence; and swear by it. challenge the status quo, we question the old assumptions. Our audiences don’t wish to escape their life, but rather revel in it. We bring filmed entertainment that holds up a mirror to real life, distorting it sometimes, magnifying it other times. This is entertainment in the era of the selfie.”
Well, Yoodle’s films are driven by powerful stories, and not by stars. Its core commitment is: “We bring a heightened sense of realism to our films: shot in real locations, with sync sound, on the best camera technology available. All films are within 120 minutes. Our films will be made available to our audiences on any screen they wish to view them on. We present our audiences with cinema that matters.”
Living to its commitment, the production house has come out with 13 films in less than three years. Since its inception in 2017, Yoodlee Films has roped in new, independent filmmakers and licensed 10 films to Netflix and three to Hotstar as originals.
Vikram Mehra, managing director of Saregama India, believes that the unique model of Saregama’s film division—Yoodlee Films—is also most amenable for these constrained circumstances. It has the potential to redefine how films are planned, produced and budgeted.
“From the start, we were clear we wanted to make films for a digital audience. Now is the best time for the company to grow,” says Mehra.
Content is king and Mehra understands it better than anyone else.”Yoodlee is a writer’s studio. The only person who gets an entry in the Saregama office as far as films are concerned is the writer with a script,” he says.
And, while the film industry is being blamed as unorganised, Yoodlee has a well-defined plan for its actions. “Calls are taken on new scripts in 90 days after evaluation by a core group of 17 script readers from diverse backgrounds. Films under the Yoodlee banner are ready in nine months. And 30 per cent of the profits are shared with the writers,” says Mehra. Yoodlee is certainly on the right, or write, path.