Vidhu Vinod Chopra, the film maker and producer behind such big hits as Parinda, 1942: A Love Story, Munnabhai MBBS and 3 Idiots, is a big fan of focus groups—exposing a small audience to a film before its release and tailoring the finished product based on their reaction.
In an interview with Shekhar Gupta of the Indian Express for NDTV’s Walk the Talk programme, Chopra extends the focus-group logic to journalism; a practise that has been and is tried by some media houses in a limited sort of way in the name of giving readers and viewers “what they want”.
I believe you pioneered the idea of a focus group—you call a bunch of people, show your films to them.
Yes, Ferrari ki Sawaari (an upcoming film) has been seen by 500 people already. 3 Idiots was seen by over a thousand. I’m the only guy who shows the movie because I’m willing to listen to them.
How does it work?
I’m open to criticism. That’s the big thing. Let’s say you have written an article. You are running this newspaper. I read it and I tell you I don’t agree. There are two ways you can look at it. One is, let me listen to him, I may or may not agree with him. The other is, what does he know about newspapers?
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