Think cinema and innovation today and you promptly think of Rakshit Shetty. The actor, who saw success with films such as Kirik Party is known for treading both the commercial and offbeat path with equal ease. That is not all, Rakshit has never hesitated to portray unusual roles on screen and we have seen it in films like Thuglak, Ulidavaru Khandante, Ricky,Godi Banna Sadharana Mykattu.
Now the actor is not only celebrating the success of his latest film 777 Charlie, but its release (after a successful stint in the theatres) on Voot Select today. The actor talks to MetroPlus about the film, its making and the OTT release.
Did you expect 777 Charlie to become this big?
Honestly, yes. The film was completed almost one-and-half-years ago. We wondered if we should wait for a theatrical release or go direct for an OTT release. But, once I watched the film, I was sure it had to be a theatrical release. So we waited for the right time and then released it; I was confident this theme would click with audiences.
Kiran Raj is a new director. How did you put your trust in his idea?
Kiran worked with me in Kirik Party and Ricky. He is one of the most passionate and dedicated assistant directors I have ever worked with. So when he pitched this story to me, there was no doubt for Paramvah to produce the film.
Just before 777 Charlie hit the screens, many star-driven, Kannada films were released in multiple Indian languages. Did you feel threatened by that? Especially as there was also no major publicity for 777 Charlie?
The films that made their mark in all five languages were mass-driven films. 777 Charlie is a niche film. We know there are dog lovers across the country and we wanted to tap into that market. We also knew that the usual publicity methods would not have worked for this film.
All we wanted was to let people know that this was a movie about a dog and the audiences who saw it started advertising for it through word of mouth. That is what we expected. We also did 21 premier shows across the country before the film released so people would talk about it. And because of this we got our first full house in theatres.
We heard you gave away 10% of the film’s profits to the film unit….
We had done this for Kirik Party too, before 777 Charlie. We, at Paramvah, believe that if a film makes money, then everyone who has worked for it should also make money. I believe in the kind of energy that people bring in when we work together. It also makes everyone a part of the film’s success or failure too. That was the idea behind sharing the profits amongst crew members too.
Did you know that there was an increase in pet adoption after 777 Charlie?
Pet adoption was also one of our intentions even as we got into shooting. The other aim was to encourage people to adopt Indie dogs and not buy dogs. If even 100 people adopt an Indie dog after watching 777 Charlie, the film has definitely served its purpose.
How do you feel about the film releasing on Voot Select?
I am happy about this association with Voot Select. I also believe that once a film comes on an OTT platform, its reach also increases. The OTT platform gets an increased subscription and the film reaches a wider audience. This works for both parties.