Spoof mania hits right virtual button


Sitting in front of the idiot box and surfing endless channels is passé. With easy access to internet, youngsters are gradually switching to online entertainment portals that are serving absorbing creative videos of all sorts ranging from politicking parodies to tongue-in-cheek satires, to creative spoofs of popular Bollywood videos.

While The Viral Fever (TVF), an online TV production house, is one of the most successful of online entertainment portals with over 1,50,000 subscribers, there are several other online initiatives run by youngsters such as mainduck Shorts, LongyTV, Okay Potato among others that are gaining popularity.
An IIT-Kharagpur alumnus, Arunabh Kumar is the founder and creative experiment officer of the Viral Fever. “Looking at the sad state of television content in our country, we decided to create something that youngsters living in the metros could relate to,” says Arunabh. Their videos have gone viral, especially spoofs — Gaana Wala Song, a spoof on Student of The Year’s song and their mash-ups on Gangs of Wasseypur. “For having a wider mass appeal, your videos should be content-driven and relevant. And then if it pushes the right button with youngsters, you soon realise that the video has become a prominent feature on Facebook and Twitter feeds,” explains Arunabh.
The growing popularity of these spoofs are fuelled by the growing disconnect between the urban youth and the content served on television these days. “Anyone who is bored of the saas-bahu sagas and has easy access to internet is our target audience,” says Rohit Pereira, founder, Okay Potato, which claims to have everything including parodies, music videos and mash-up videos such as the Tribute to Mamata Banerjee.
Recognising the potential of the medium, filmmakers and producers are tying up with such portals to reach out to youngsters between the age group 18-34. “After the spoof on Student of the Year’s song went viral, the film’s producer-director Karan Johar took it in a very positive manner. In fact, Dharma Productions has roped in TVF to create similar content for their upcoming films including Ungli. We recently collaborated with filmmaker Anurag Kashyap. Another Sab Q-tiyapa Hai series, titled Rowdies XXX, features Ayushmann Khurana. We are also in touch with director and producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra and director Rajkumar Hirani for some interesting tie-ups,” points out Arunabh.
A new satirical video titled It’s your fault by All India Bakchod garnered more than 1,45,128 hits within 48 hours. The video features actor Kalki Koechlin and VJ Juhi Pande. “It’s a sensitive and topical issue, which makes it hard to talk about it in a comical or satirical way. But we wanted to address it beyond our live shows,” says Tanmay Bhat, one of the members of All India Bakchod.
Hilarious yet meaningful spoofs and videos appeal to a younger audience, who are online 24x7, says Abhaey Singh whose video Talk It Out — Debater’s Rhapsody, a seven-minute rap music video extolling the virtues of civil debate went viral. “So it’s great that such online initiatives are finding a voice through the digital media,” Abhaey concludes.

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