TVF to venture into films, plans to make sci-fi & horror shows

NewsDrum Desk
Updated On
New Update
Shreyansh Pandey TVF

Shreyansh Pandey (File photo)

Mumbai: After delivering successful shows such as "Panchayat", "Gullak" and "Kota Factory", content creation studio The Viral Fever (TVF) plans to foray into films while also exploring genres like horror and thriller in the long format, says the company's Originals Head, Shreyansh Pandey.

TVF, which began as a YouTube channel, has become one of the most successful companies in the Indian streaming space, churning out relatable stories from different corners of India whether it is "Panchayat", a drama set in the rural space, or "Gullak", which revolves around a middle class family in small town India. The company's first show as "Permanent Roommates" in 2014.

"Kota Factory", another of their shows, explores the reality of competitive exams aspirants, trying to improve in the many coaching centres of Rajasthan's Kota city. “We will keep making shows to entertain people. The next exciting step in our journey would be to make films. There are a couple of films that TVF content studio is working on. We are doing a lot of homework. We are in the process of starting new stuff,” Pandey told PTI in an interview.

“For our shows, we'll do more genres, while dramas will remain at the core of it. The same goes with feature films, where we will have both simple stories and movies of spectacle and scale. There are sci-fi, horror and thriller (shows). We are trying to come up with next season of 'Gullak' soon, it is a family story on which people keep showering love,” he said.

Pandey also teased more seasons of “Panchayat” and “Kota Factory” as well as the sophomore chapter of sports drama “Sixer”. TVF produced 15 shows in 2023 and the company plans to produce even more in 2024, he added.

"We hope to do more shows. We've a list of 35 to 40 shows which are in different phases of development, pre-production to production, and how much of it gets executed is a factor of many things.” Pandey, who serves as a creator of “Gullak”, said the anticipation around the fourth season, which was released on SonyLIV on Friday, makes him nervous but he is also proud about the show.

He revealed the series was initially planned as a YouTube show for the channel Screen Patti but SonyLIV decided to license it for its platform.

Starring Geetanjali Kulkarni, Jameel Khan, Vaibhav Raj Gupta and Harsh Mayar, the show centers on a middle-class Mishra family as they navigate life in a nondescript town in Uttar Pradesh.

“When you are making season four of the title, then you’re always confused how much of it has to be new or how much of it has to be a return from the love for the characters and the universe that you’ve built,” said Pandey, who also makes his debut as a director with “Gullak 4”.

Writing is the most difficult job, the creator-director said, adding that the team spent close to two years to finalise the script for the new season.

“The only way to do it right is to go over your script again and again, rewrite it, and narrate it to a bunch of people. Our strength comes from the litmus test wherein we are narrating scripts to our creative forum, that’s within TVF.

"We derive our confidence and learnings from that, we take feedback, we rewrite and incorporate and narrate again (to the team).” Recalling the 14-long year journey of TVF, Pandey said it has been “very exciting, incredible and happening” and they are proud to have created at least 20 fan-favourite shows.

He also expressed gratitude to the audience for their unending love.

"The love pouring in, the subsequent seasons getting made, the memes that flow, the characters that people start loving, all these are matrix for us to believe that the story is working and the characters are being loved by people. But celebrating the journey of a protagonist is important for a storyteller, you've to believe in your story,” he said.

Pandey said initially there were people who questioned whether viewers would be willing to pay to watch their TVF's content on YouTube.

"Those constructive interference or questions helped us broaden the content pipeline. We’ve always believed in the idea of trying to push the envelope and make something new,” he said.