Hoopr Buzz - Learn & Stay updated About Music Licensing

Madan Lal: From YouTube to OTT

With an experience in video editing and filmmaking business for the past 38 years, Madan Lal retired 4 years back from Doordarshan, Delhi. But this was not the end of his long career. He noticed with the rise of OTT services, people want things to be handy and consume things on the go. Cinema as a form of content is dying due to the sheer time you need to invest in it.


Madan Lal saw this as an opportunity and became one of the founder/s of Flick Media. He ventured into the field of short films through Flick Media’s YouTube Channel and to his delight, his work, Ek Andheri Raat was picked up by Disney+ Hotstar! His episodes focus on office politics and how things work in an office setting.


Further sharing his view on the creator economy, he pointed out that content creators, filmmakers, vloggers who are not from the film industry have a different creative process. He states that it’s because of differing perspectives.


Such content creators tend to portray their personal lives and share instances that they encounter in real life. They aren’t looking for fiction, this lends them a degree of honesty and relatability in their work that helps them connect to their audience directly. Madan mentions bloggers that have a huge following have honest and relatable work.


His keen observation is what fuels his creativity and enables him to sniff out content ideas from his surroundings. It’s a practice he has incorporated into his daily routine when he is not making films.


When Madan begins writing, he pours everything out on a piece of paper. He draws inspiration from real life as he feels that if we do not speak about realities of life, the content produced will look fabricated or ingenuine.


In his view, a creator doesn’t need to constantly put out work. There is a need to seek out new experiences, be familiar with your surroundings and learn new things on the way. Madan also shared that there are many things’ creators don’t want to portray or release on screen. He gave us the example of the depressing times of COVID-19, telling when a person has a bad day in office, they don’t to bring them down more. People seek refuge in content that lifts them up.


Full of such amazing insights, we had a one-on-one with Madan Lal. This is what he had to say:



What was the process of selecting tracks from Hoopr for your content?


We were looking for a very Indian yet cinematic tracks online as it is cheaper and is easier to search from thousands of tracks. This is when we found about Hoopr’s website. 


When we started listening to the tracks, it instantly clicked to us that this is exactly what we were looking for and eventually ended up selecting 5 to 6 tracks for both the episodes collectively.


After finishing the film, I got in touch with Meghna where she told me about the licensing process, tried her best to help me acquire the licence and gave me the best deal possible in the industry. As we were new in the OTT space, she made Shanaya from the Hoopr Team to be in constant touch with the production house so that we wouldn’t face any trouble until the video is not published on the platform.  Flick Media is really grateful to be associated with the Hoopr Music. Looking forward to more collaborations!!



How essential do you think music is in the creation of films and shows?


I strongly believe that music is the backbone of a film. If you have a great soundtrack half of the work is done. If you are watching content, you can notice that music can change the mood. You can make a scene look funny or emotional all based on a soundtrack. It can divert anyhow no matter what the content is. You can change the mood because of the music.



How important do you think music licensing is in a time where there’s a chance your content can be taken down because of copyright issues?


If you don’t have the licence to your music the publisher or the distributor can take your content down whenever you are putting anything on screen. There is a lot of hard work involved, and everyone deserves credit. 


People take a soundtrack, they put it somewhere despite knowing how many people have worked on it and put it on their content without acknowledging the efforts of the artists and this is why people should not be using music without licences. 


If it’s taken down ‘that would be the right thing and there’s also a Copyright Act based on this. Artists who have worked hard should be compensated fairly.



What was your initial reaction to you being approached by Hotstar?


Actually, one day I got a call from this distributor called ‘Shucae Films’ saying that they had reviewed our YouTube channel and found it very interesting and wanted to take it up to Hotstar.


At the beginning, I thought that this is some fluke thinking ‘why would someone randomly tell you that they want your content for the Hotstar?’ So, they got an MoU signed with Flick Media to process and take this further. 


After a couple of months, I again got a call from Shucae that Hotstar has liked the content and the production quality, and they want all the required materials for the publishing of the content. For a second my family and the team was left stunned that we are going to see our brand and the series on Hotstar which was a big deal for all of us!



Do you think your work getting picked up by Hotstar is a sign that individual creators are making their own space in the industry?


Absolutely, this is a great time for budding creators, filmmakers, vloggers to reach their goals. In an industry like this where a few years ago outsiders were treated like they had no say in the space- we are now able to put out our content for the world to see. It’s great to witness that we are finally in a place where content creators from all over India are able to share their work and be appreciated for it. 



Both the episodes of Ek Andheri Raat are about 5 mins long. Do you find this restricting or is that helped you express more?


When I first started making this series, I had no clue that it would be on a major OTT platform. This was something I did for myself and to pursue my passion of filmmaking. I brought out the real-life aspect of our society and during that time YouTube was a big deal and short videos were the way to go. I managed to express myself in those 5 mins by just depicting a normal person’s life. 


If I had known my work would be picked up by a platform like Hotstar someday I would have definitely made my videos longer to fully and completely express myself but at that time this was just a dream, and I was satisfied with my short videos.



Has your audience grown since your work is now on Hotstar?


Obviously. Never in a million years did I think that I would be recognized for my work on this scale. Friends and acquaintances who never bothered checking out my content were suddenly making posts and tagging me on their stories and telling me how they saw my work on Hotstar. 


When I put out my content on YouTube I never once thought that this would be a game changer for me. As soon as my work featured on Hotstar I got showered with so much love and appreciation so yes, my work being on a major platform has grown my audience as well as my vision.



What’s next for you? Are you working on any more episodes?


Yes, as the series was put on the main home screen banner for the next couple of days and was shown on the most viewed carousel, the production house has already planned a second season which is in writing phase currently and is expected to be on the floor around mid-December or the first week of January. 


Unlike the first season this will be a continuous series of almost four episodes and this time it will be bigger, better and even more hilarious with the much-elaborated cast on screen. The Production house is expecting even more love from the audience this time from the viewers.


Watch all the episodes of Ek Andheri Raat streaming on Disney+ Hotstar now!!!