Reports are emerging online that Director Cheran’s next venture could be with Actor Vijay Sethupathi. These are still early days and the actor already has enough on his plate. More over it appears that the information prima-facie has been obtained from secondary sources and that there has been no official confirmation, to that effect.
If it is announced in a few days hopefully, The movie is more important from Cheran’s perspective as he gets back to what he does best – make good movies. But it isn’t going to be easy by any means. He will need to bury some ghosts of the past.
Cheran came to almost be single handedly associated with the C2H project, a few years ago that planned a parallel distribution network, but little came of it, because the traditional players opposed it ‘tooth and nail’ and even the potential revenue opportunities that C2H was hoping may not have been largely significant enough (DVD sales were already sinking when the C2H was announced and no one has yet cracked the ‘Online Internet market for Traditional Top-down films’) to convince them to jump ship, if things came down to an’ either-or’ situation.
Seeing no way out, Cheran bit the bullet himself and released his first film’ JK Ennum Nanbanin Vazhkai ‘on DVD using the C2H branding. The film did not exactly prove to be a trendsetter for this new kind of market. A few months later, C2H released another film’YettiThikkum Madha Yaanai’. That was that. No more films came out from the C2H stable. The internet model plans all went up in smoke. Slowly news coverage of the organization reduced.
The most recent news about the organization was hardly positive. A case was filed against Cheran owing to a cheque bounce case by a C2H distributor.
With C2H’s official twitter account not having been updated for over two years now, one can take a safe bet and say it is all over. It’s website too has not been working for quite some time now.
Even if cheran finishes this movie with Vijay Sethupathi successfully, he will have to go back to the traditional distribution mediums only.
The C2H model may have failed. But let us give this brave man some credit.
Personally, I never believed in the C2H model. It had lot of conflicting objectives, which needed deeper thought and analysis. Even if these issues were addressed, a model like C2H would not have worked in a country like India for ‘Top Down cinema’. The production costs of this kind of cinema is so huge that there is no way that C2H would have recouped the costs involved. The obvious logic in theory was that C2H would work in parallel to the traditional Distribution players. But unlike Kamalhaasan’s 1000 Rs scheme for Viswaroopam, which would have created a unique market for the new scheme , and not touched the ‘Pirate’ market because of the cost factor, C2H would not have that advantage.
The DVDs of C2H films would have been priced between 5o.or 100 Rupees which puts it invariably in the danger zone for pirates to ‘exploit’ – Same content at lower price!!!
More over the low cost involved meant that this model ( low to medium budget films which C2H was planning) would have only fragmented the users between the traditional players, C2H and ‘piracy’.
C2H as an intermediary may have benefitted possibly if it attained margins of scale, but it is extremely unlikely that the net revenues to the producer would have increased with C2H model, because of the additional fragmentation.
But all of this analysis is simply redundant, because the C2H project never even took off. Never the less, Cheran attempted to do something which no one had done before. He may have failed in his attempt, but along with his films, the legacy of C2H will proudly remain when one talks of ‘Bharathi Kannamma’, ‘DesiyaGeetham’or any of his other master pieces.
P. S – Several attempts were made by this author to contact director Cheran to discuss some of my views on the C2H project. Sadly, there has been no response until date.