Pixel Pictures have produced top shows like Super Minute and Dancing Star
Completed over 1,000 hours of content for Kannada and Malayalam television industries
Pixel Pictures, established by Prashanti Malisetti in 2013 is today one of the leading media production and content creation studio in the South Indian television industry.
In a short span of 5 years, the company has created programs that can be adapted for different languages and markets within India and
Popular for their expertise in adapting international formats for vernacular viewers, it has made their mark in the Kannada and Malayalam television industry by producing over 1000 hours of content.
Having worked with big names like Viacom18, MMTV, Sun Network and Zee TV, it is currently one the most preferred production house for non-fiction programming and televised events.
Career switch from Banker to Entrepreneur – How it all started
All these successes weren’t easy for Prashanti who began her career in the financial sector.
While her job was well organized, had career growth and opportunities were aplenty in comparison to the media Industry, monotony crept in and she decided to take a break to reinvent herself.
It was during this break, Prashanti imbibed the fascination for the media industry while having a conversation with her longtime friend, Director Sanjeev K Kumar.
“I realized how my thoughts aligned with his and volunteered to intern on a few projects,” says Prashanti Malisetti, Founder & CEO of Pixel Pictures.
“It was then I understood how fascinating the entire process is, as I watched, people create magic out of literally nothing. I also observed how passionate, driven and tireless every individual is, to make a show happen,” she further added.
This realization led to the beginning of Pixel Pictures.
Top Shows Produced by Pixel Pictures
Some of the top shows produced by Pixel include Super Minute and Dancing Star.
The company today has become synonymous with Anubandha Awards and has made the event a hallmark of the Kannada entertainment industry.
Pixel was also one of the early adopters of the ‘sante’ and has been organizing and shooting these for colors Kannada.
In 2019, Pixel expanded its reach further into Malayalam and has also begun exploring non-reality show genres.
The company will soon be producing content for Tamil and Telugu industries as well as venture into producing its first-ever fiction series for television.
In a large country like India, where dialect, language and food differ every 100 kilometers, Pixel’s expertise in the vernacular languages is a great advantage.
The nation has more than 183 million households with a television set, with only 52% penetration in rural India so far.
It is also the second-largest pay-tv market in the world in terms of subscribers after China.
The advent of corporates like Viacom18, Zee Entertainment and Star India into the regional languages, has only increased the appetite of the viewer for choice, while the daily time spent of a viewer in the HSM market is at 3.31 hours, the south viewer spends close to 4.10 hours.
Women in the Media & Entertainment industry
Today, women producers, directors and actresses are redefining and changing the landscape of the (media) industry with their work.
Prashanti, however, points out that there are not many women in powerful roles in this industry.
“The image of a producer is often clichéd for one imagines them to be a man dressed in a suit, wearing a couple of gold chains with a briefcase full of cash,” she adds.
Prashanti further states that there are people to judge you based on the clothes you wear and the way you look. “There were times when people did not know that I was a producer till the finale,” she recalls.
Prashanti rightly believes that more women in decision making roles is important.
She says, “Women are known to pick up different signals and process emotions differently, hence, in business, they will most likely see the same situation very differently.”
“Interpreting situations and taking decisions without inviting the view of women is like drawing conclusions about the moon after seeing just one side of it,” she further added.
Making a career in media production and content creation
The Showbiz (M&E Industry) has many segments – Cinema, theatre, radio, music and television. Under each of these segments, there are many verticals. In broadcasting itself there are multiple job roles.
Pointing out the requisites, she says, “Even though technical skill/education is required for a majority of these jobs, learning the technicality of content creation is fairly doable for anyone who puts their mind and heart to it.”
“The industry has never been so open to innovation. Learn, imbibe anything and everything, even if it seems useless at the moment,” she adds.
Is Nepotism in the entertainment industry overrated?
While Prashanti had a longtime friend in the industry, she found her path to success with hard work and determination. “I feel nepotism is experienced in every sector, having friends or known person isn’t just enough,” she points out.
“It’s important to seize every opportunity that comes in your way. In today’s time, the viewers are sharp and clever to understand the difference between brilliant and inadequate content. Passion is the key,” she adds.
Impact of Covid-19 on the media and entertainment industry
We know that Covid-19 has impacted all aspects of life and business. The media and entertainment industry were no exception.
Unlike some sectors where work from home was still an option, and operations could be managed remotely during the lockdown, the M&E sector was shut for recordings, shootings, etc.
The industry worth INR 1.82 trillion in 2019 (FICCI), is now staring at INR 25,000 crore loss (CRISIL).
The media and entertainment industry comprises’ of Film Production and Exhibition, Print Media and Television (TV) Broadcasting segments, besides Distribution Platform Operators (DPOs) and Over-the-top (OTT) Platforms and the overall impact of lockdown on the industry has been a mixed bag of despair, loss, hope, and opportunities.
Cinema halls remain shut even to this day in most parts of the country. Advertising spends have sharply dropped in the last quarter.
While box office and event management companies have faced a huge blow, OTT platforms are more in vogue than ever before.
“The need of the hour is safety, frugality and adapting to this change,” says Prashanti.
“As an industry, the revival process has begun but with a lot of caution, and uncertainty. The risk appetite has come down,” she adds.
Pixel’s Future Plans
On average, the company has been adding two new shows every year to their catalogue and the YOY growth has been upward of 25%.
“The current focus is on expanding geographically into other South Indian markets aggressively,” says Prashanti.
“The aim is to hire local, region-specific talent, drive them to create disruptive and relevant content in both scripted and unscripted segments, for TV and OTT platforms, while focusing on what I believe would be the next big trend – content that is designed specifically for Indian children,” she adds.
In today’s bleeding-edge, virtually dominant world, it is a necessity to create a safe and secure space for children about their viewing habits and to give them the right perspective.
Pixel Pictures will also be entering this space, creating a VoD platform focusing on kids. “Our OTT Platform is designed specially to give children under 12, an immersive experience which is both entertaining and educational as well as gives parents the comfort and security of a safe space to explore the content for their children,” concludes Prashanti.