- Netflix has spent more than ₹100 crores on the series, the most any streaming service has spent on creating original content in India
- Previously, the highest investment on an Indian web show would be in the range of ₹3-4 crore per episode
Every binge watcher’s eyes have been waiting for the Sacred Games 2 to be aired on Netflix this Independence Day. It is being said that the second installment of the series is much bigger and better than the previous one. Industry specialists said the video streaming platform spent as much as ~100 crores on the series, most of which was spent on generating original content in India.
The crew of over 3,500 individuals shot 400 minutes of footage for more than 100 days at 112 places, including Delhi, Mumbai, Nairobi, Cape Town and Johannesburg, equivalent to three-and-a-half Hindi movies. Netflix argues that many more post-production facilities have been taken on board compared to a Hindi film to improve the final product quality. Even editor Aarti Bajaj worked with the support of the whole team.
Sacred Games 2 is certainly our most complicated produced show to date. We realized at the end of the first season that we had to create a larger, better and juicier season for our audience. For us, the audience comes first and we want to make sure they have a really great experience watching the show, “said Neha Sinha, director, Netflix India’s global originals.
Sinha said the manufacturing complexity stems from the reality that the show follows two entirely distinct narrative tracks, which in turn needed two teams led by distinct directors.
While Anurag Kashyap filmed parts with the gangster personality of Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Masaan director Neeraj Ghaywan shot a Sikh policeman with Saif Ali Khan.
It’s certainly our largest project to date, in that sense, and a really big show driven by a very complicated shooting. In this season, everything is ramped up, the cast is larger, and everything is pacy, “Sinha said. Media and entertainment sector specialists say Netflix’s enthusiasm for Sacred Games is unsurprising, as it is their big-ticket show.
“Clearly, Sacred Games is a wonderful anchor for Netflix to generate curiosity about its content and make more individuals try the service. It is certainly a chance for the overseas network to present itself and cement itself as a platform with powerful Indian content and back it up with excellent investment and manufacturing values, “said Jehil Thakkar, Deloitte India’s partner. Thakkar said that only two to four shows from the portfolio of a streaming service get this kind of pedestal every year in terms of both investment and promotion.
Recognizing the significance of convincing writing, at the end of the first season of Sacred Games, Netflix also set up a writer’s space internally.
Netflix points out that in the Indian streaming sector, the launch and achievement of last year’s Sacred Games changed stuff. In addition to rising budgets, it launched the notion of a showrunner, who is the show’s creator and lead writer, taking on significant calls to look, feel and theme. Apart from creative managers (in this case, from Netflix), the individual is also the only one to remain on the show from the start to the final delivery. Vikramaditya Motwane is the Sacred Games 2 showrunner.
There’s a lot of other big-scale shows after Sacred Games that Netflix has in manufacturing. There is a version of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight Children with Vishal Bhardwaj as showrunner, a spin-off on the Baahubali franchise titled Baahubali: Before the Beginning and Bard of Blood starring Emraan Hashmi in the lead.
Like Kaun Banega Crorepati on television in 2000, I think Sacred Games has changed the (video streaming) ecosystem, in terms of how shows are written and put together in India, and continues to add to it,” Sinha added, adding that the other major focus is now on VFX and special effects to bring a large-scale, film-quality, visual spectacle to the screen in your living room that is realistic.
“These are all shows of top-notch storytelling and quality of production, the crew of films and talent. The way shows are being produced in India they are all changing,” Sinha said.
After all, Content is the real King!