Put film production on hold after Sonali's illness: Goldie Behl
Filmmaker Goldie Behl says he put on hold all his big screen ventures after actor-wife Sonali Bendre was diagnosed with cancer in 2018, and now wants to focus telling stories on the digital platforms.
Behl, who made his digital debut with ZEE5's "RejctX" last year, said going to New York for Sonali's treatment for six months, was life altering for the family.
"The film slate has not been affected by COVID-19, I have put it on hold for the moment. I am focusing more of my energies, ever since 2018, after I went to New York with Sonali, it was a life altering situation for all of us.
"I have decided to focus more on the digital platform. So the film slate is on pause right now, but because of my own decision and not COVID-19," Behl told PTI.
The director said under his production house, Rose Audio Visuals, the team is focusing "completely" on the digital platforms and looking at the young-adult space and genre.
"I am enjoying the OTT world. I haven't given a thought to film direction. I'm not saying I won't ever make one, but I'm not consciously looking to make a film or seeking a film script," he added.
While several film and TV shoots came to a grinding halt due to coronavirus, Behl finished the second season of his ZEE5 show "RejctX" just in time.
The director was shooting in Thailand "right in the middle of the pandemic" but is glad everything wrapped up before the threat of Coronavirus took over.
"Season two was quite challenging because we were trying to amplify thrill, plot and pace. There were a lot of physical challenges as we were shooting. The pandemic grew as we were shooting and a lot of precautions were taken on set.
"Fortunately we were in a country that had dealt with SARS so they were very well equipped to handle even this right at the beginning, when we did start shooting," he added.
With the world coming to a standstill and the rising market of digital streaming platforms, there's a growing concern if the coronavirus pandemic stands to alter the audience's habit of viewing a movie in a cinema hall.
Behl said theatrical cinema has battled against several formats and has still emerged stronger.
"Since my childhood I've been hearing various formats coming in and destroying the cinema hall experience. But the theatrical experience hasn't really gone away and I don't think it ever will. But the kind of content which will be consumed in the cinema hall will have to change," he said.
The director, who has helmed both, films and TV shows, including "Drona" and "Aarambh", said the challenge for filmmakers now would be to come up with content which compels viewers to enjoy it on the big screen.
"The content will have to be that much better and striking that you cannot get on your TV set or mobile phones. More than the consumption habit, that's the change which will happen. The kind of content which will drive people to come out and go to the theatres," he added.