Smith MehtaOct 15, 2023
The New Screen Ecology in India
Digital Transformation of Media
British Film Institute 2023
In The New Screen Ecology in India: Digital Transformation of Media (British Film Institute, 2023), Smith Mehta takes a deep dive into the world of social media platforms and their impact on contemporary film and television production, arguing that they have fundamentally shifted the creator dynamics of these industries. Through first-hand research with creators, platform and portal executives, and intermediaries such as talent agents and multi-channel networks, Mehta develops the concept of the 'new screen ecology'. He reveals how the Indian screen industries are affected by the social relations between these agents and how industrial practices are blurring the amateur-professional divide through creator and content interdependencies.
Mehta goes beyond theoretical analysis by interrogating the production practices of 13 different platforms and portals, including Hotstar, Netflix, YouTube, and TVFPlay. He analyses the extent to which they benefit from the lack of censorship and restrictive industrial practices that are characteristic of traditional media structures. By doing so, he provides a unique and insightful examination of the dynamics of digital transformation in the screen industries in a region-specific context.
Priyam Sinha is a doctoral candidate in the South Asian Studies Programme at the National University of Singapore. She has interdisciplinary academic interests that lie at the intersection of film studies, disability studies, production cultures, creative media industries and cultural studies. She can be reached on Twitter here.