Ridhesh Sejpal

Founder, Good Fellas Studio

What is currently driving the way we consume online?

The digital trend is transforming media right before our eyes. Smartphones, computers, and tablets are becoming the go-to options for media consumption. The rise of digital will disrupt news, advertising and television in the coming years. Millennials are spending more time than ever watching short-form video content on their mobile devices, and players like Facebook and Snapchat are reaping the benefits. These platforms - which capture billions of video views each day - are competing to capture growing mobile audiences and challenging the historical dominance of YouTube. The ensuing bout will create a new set of opportunities for content creators and advertisers looking to cash in on the mobile video craze.

What about the future of interfaces or platforms? Do you think that deep diving interfaces like VR, will become more and more common, and will conquer various industries?

Millennials are fast becoming the most important demographic for publishers, brands, and marketers. For these digital natives, the smartphone is not only ubiquitous, but also their primary computing device. Having said that, native ads (search/scroll etc.) will continue to dominate. VR is promising but it is too early to predict. In 2015 I was at a VR filmmaking conclave in Krakow and a lot of promising things were predicted and we also worked on a couple of VR projects. But 2 years down, none of it has come into consumerism in full swing. Neither has it flopped - its still a Work in Progress and the experience still leaves a lot to be desired for. Primary reasons being - its still complicated to use, the screen resolution is a problem and the display is often nausea-inducing.

Do you think it is possible to forecast the future of the Internet? What will happen next and what recent trends will last?

Needless to say - the next big thing will still be messaging and social media applications since these will remain the heart of Mobile experience. And keeping this in mind-Mobile will be the biggest driver of digital-video ad spends over the next few years. Facebook has been an early backer of the format with the introduction of autoplay video ads in 2013, but recently other social etworks, including Twitter, have launched digital-video ad units too.

Do you focus on trends in the industry? And what trends can you foresee coming in the industry

In continuation to my above answer - statistically Video will account for 41% of total desktop display-related spending in 2020, up from a 26% share this year. We are now getting briefs from clients to shoot videos specifically for Facebook (vertical format-9 by 16) and Instagram (vertical formal - 4 by 5). As film makers - everything we learnt in film schools regarding cinemascope, wide framing etc. is going for a toss and now we need to adhere to shooting according to the medium the film will be displayed at. If this continues - we will be shooting the same video 3-4 times as per the aspect ratios of the displaying apps. Which in turn is going to be a nightmare for us film makers.

How have Big Data and Analytics platforms improved or impeded your ability to make creative decisions?

This question does not apply to our industry or scope of work.

Social media has had a tremendous impact on the creative industry...how have the roles & responsibilities of the creative function evolved in the last 2 yrs?

A major impact with the advent of social media on our industry is that now- every brand wants to make a video since there are so many platforms to show case on and the media expenditure on them is far lesser than the traditional media expenditures. With the increase in volume of work, the cost per video is taking a big hit. Brands fail to understand that the effort going into creating a Digital Video is the same that goes into creating a TVC - same crew, same technology, same man hours. A film is a film irrespective of the medium it is being shown on. There is at least a 5-6 times downsizing on a digital video budget compared to a TVC budget - And now the challenge lies in getting the optimum output in the least budget which is putting a lot of pressure on us. Due to which we need to resort to compromising on quality and are forced to give a sub standard output.

When you started your career, a piece of advice that you wish someone had given you....

Due to the rapid change in technology and mediums - a lot of youngsters are getting confused on what skill to learn and what not. For instance, I as a filmmaker learnt the art on Film Making on devices, which now are completely outdated. The digital era has completely demolished Film. There is a high possibility that the technology today will be outdated 3 years from now on.But what will remain evergreen are the fundamentals of story telling. And thats what the youth need to focus on. No matter what the technology platform is - a story will remain sacred and the quality of story telling will survive the test of time. People will watch a story, which they can relate to irrespective of the medium.

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