Over the past few years we’ve really enjoyed the particular brand of drama and comedy that The Viral Fever (TVF) brings forth in their videos–especially their web series. At a recent screening of the first episode of Season 2 of their hit show Permanent Roommates we caught up with TVF boss man Arunabh Kumar and asked him a few questions about what makes TVF tick.
Most people who have a hit show will tell you that at the time they didn’t know they were working on a hit show – is that true for TVF and Permanent Roommates?
I think that’s perfectly true. None of this hit thing happens by design. Let me tell you, starting from Rowdies to Permanent Roommates Season 1 we used to say, ‘Okay if we get 100,000 views we’ll be very happy’ but then you get surprised and thankfully it has been a pleasant surprise for us. [Laughs] One of the better things is that when you aim low anything that comes next really makes you happier. Also, you can’t really predict the success of the show. It is such an intangible product. You can never really do the math and say, ‘Okay, this will work and this won’t work’. That is not possible.
Now that you’re on the other side of it, what do you think people liked about Permanent Roommates?
Of course you’re asking me when TVF has already done four years of awesome work and when we used to do every one of those we never believed that they were awesome. I think a little bit of legacy and fan loyalty has helped us because they have continuously loved our work and of course the team and all of us try to create saying ‘Okay, the next video should be better than the last one’. That desire to be able to not disappoint ourselves would be a better secret I guess. We try to keep ourselves on our toes always. That has helped us do a little bit better.
What are the criteria that an idea has to meet before it is greenlit by TVF?
I think excitement and the organic urge to tell the story. Like Pitchers was a story that I wrote way back in 2012. We made it in 2015. I think, you know, that it was always there. Permanent Roommates just happened out of the blue when Sameer [Saxena] and Biswapati [Sarkar] got together and created it. I think most of it happens again because, in a very selfish way, we try to satisfy our personal selves, we get excited and decide to make it. The creators behind a show have to consider that show the most important thing in their lives. If we see that we try to greenlight that.
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