Remember the time when actors would come starry eyed to the Film Industry. The struggles would keep mounting and dreams would chip off to meet the inconsiderate standards of perfection. Well not anymore. If you’ve got the talent, you can get your share of limelight too. And all that has been changed by the advent of web series and shorts. Here is some of the extraordinary talent that surfaced amongst many others which changed our entertainment experience forever.
I did a little survey and almost 95 percent of the participants said that the first name that popped up on the mention of Indian Web series is Sumit Vyas. I couldn’t agree more.
In his own pace Mikesh wooed us. Goofy, sincere and irresistibly cute, Mikesh was to today’s generation what I daresay Amol Palekar was to the 70’s. In this turn of the century though, Sumit did not need feature films and accomplished film-makers to add credit to his endeavors. What his struggle in feature films and television couldn’t get him was served by a web series, ‘Permanent Roommates’ on bone china. Overnight Sumit became a favourite of the ladies, aside the men comprising the young Indian Digital audience.
Sumit never fails to acknowledge how ‘Permanent Roommates’ changed his life. Born in Jodhpur and growing up in Mumbai, our adorable web-star dabbled in editing, theatre, writing and more realising early in life that academics and him didn’t make the greatest of combinations. After the mounting success of Permanent Roommates, the ever so humble Sumit agrees that a lot has changed for him. People have begun to recognize him in the streets. The best thing that had happened with this web series he believed was that he got the opportunity to show his work to the young audience which lies in between the age group of 25 years to 35 years. He is aware that the youth today as access to world cinema, foreign TV shows so they cannot be taken for granted.
You are the digital media’s gift to us lovely women Sumit, hope to see more of you soon in the next season.
Ever since The Viral Fever made its revolutionary entry into the digital domain, this unconventional face did the rounds in most of its widely viewed videos.
Fed on the Bollywood diet as a kid, the Jamia pass out landed in Mumbai, eyes drooping of glorious dreams. Her face however came in the way. Round and healthy was a clear no for any lead character in the Hindi Film Industry and acting wasn’t a deciding factor to say the least. She was told that lead actors should have an oval or a heart-shaped face to be more camera-friendly and was apparently suitable only for secondary characters and elderly roles.
When TVF happened, she participated not just as an actor-writer but also a phenomenal casting director who brought actors like Sumit Vyas, Nidhi Singh, Maanvi Gagroo, Amol Parashar, Akanksha Thakur and many others to the limelight. The only female core member of The Viral Fever is all ready with her Flagship Project Bisht Please, which of course has Nidhi in the lead. The story she confides is an exaggerated version of her personal life which is as scary as exciting.
We have only the digital media to thank for its diversity in including unorthodox, unfamiliar talent in their pursuits without falling prey to stereotypes and creating content that this generation can really identify with.
Mikesh isn’t Permanent Roommates only find. In fact, Mikesh and Tanya are wouldn’t be the same without each other. While Sumit has been the ladies man, Nidhi’s brazenness, plump sensuality and confidence created a new brand of sexy which was effortless. It is almost like she came from Allahabad to Mumbai to be a part of the massive digital revolution that was to take place through short videos and web-series. Having worked in advertising, as an assistant director, and acting in “Every Delhi Girl in the World”, Nidhi’s exposure has been critical in understanding the new medium. In her earlier tryst with Nidhi Bisht in a play, it all fell in place after meeting Arunabh and the TVF team for Tanya’s character.
Nidhi feels that though she is goofy unlike Tanya, there is a bit of Tanya in her. She rather sees a lot of her mother in the character.
Nidhi knows that a lot of women in India are like her. She was briefed that she is the sanest person in the show.
Social media’s favourite child Mithila Palkar is the best example of what the digital world can do for an actor/performer today. The travel to mainstream happens efficiently as an actor can claim his/her space without waiting to be cast in feature films only. The journey that starts here can of course take off to various mediums but the role of the web stands acutely important. Mithila Palkar’s first break happened when she sang, ‘Hi Chaal Turu Turu’ in Anna Kendrick’s ‘Cups’ style, garnering over four lakh hits on YouTube. Girl in the City, Little Things and Chukiyagiri followed soon after for the cheerful head full of curly hair. What worked for Mithila possibly worked for most directors, writers and actors in the digital space. The blessing for the current generation in the form of web series and shorts is clear as Mithila explains that in the web an episode of any length of time is acceptable. That she concludes has allowed young people to experiment so much.
Though critics might grace Naveen’s work in Suleimani Keeda with compliments, what really put him on the map is TVF’s pitchers. Naveen, who worked an assistant director in the Hindi Film Industry gives the credit of the show to the Writer Biswapati Sarkar, another multifaceted gem of the web world. While working with the writer and developing a close association with him, Naveen had his heart set on the character of Naveen Bansal from Pitchers which was much akin to his in terms of his circumstances and experiences.
So he pursued the creators and made it to the casting table.
Why web series are becoming the arena of quality entertainment looks quite clear to Naveen. He agrees that the most interesting part was that everyone was so very passionate about the content they were creating that no one complained. The whole series therefore took just 6 months from paper to final video.
Speaking of Pitchers, it is unwise to not mention Jitendra Kumar, one of the noticeable actors that have sprung up from The Viral Fever.
Growing up Jeetu mimicked everyone, from Amitabh Bachchan to Nana Patekar. So for TVF’S writer-actor Biswapati Sarkar’s show Barely Speaking with Arnub, quite effortlessly he impersonated Kejriwal.
Kumar thought that Kejriwal had a peculiar pitch and mannerism so he picked it up while watching his interviews, particularly the ones with Arnab Goswami. That resulted to a spoof which crossed 5 million views.
There are many in the league which aren’t a part of the list and the good news is that the list is growing.