Zee returns to horror genre, bets on Fear Files for beefing up weekends
MUMBAI: Zee TV has introduced a new television series, Fear Files, to revive the weekend 10.30 pm slot which had been lying vacant with repeats filling it up.
The one-hour format show will be aired on Saturdays and Sundays from 30 June. The series will run for 26 episodes.
Produced by Abhimanyu Singh of Contiloe Productions and Majid Azam of Dreamz Images, Fear Files is a horror show inspired by real life stories of individuals who have gone through paranormal experiences.
The docu-drama will also feature paranormal experts who will explain viewers about super-natural phenomenon. Mehra Shrikhande, a Doctor by profession, is one such expert on the show who will decode the para-normal events for the viewers.
“There were no shows during 10.30 pm slot in the weekend. This genre has always attracted people, so we thought the time was ripe to introduce this kind of show,” Zee TV Programming head-Fiction Sukesh Motwani said.
Why a horror kind of show? “We realised that we did not had a show on horror in our content offering. So we thought why not introduce a show that deals with horror which will also broaden our content offering,” Motwani explained.
According to Motwani, what sets Fear Files apart from other horror shows is the fact that it is based on real life instances and has been produced in a video diary format wherein survivors of paranormal incidents can talk about their experiences.
“This show is based on real life incidence of people and has been reported in the media. So it’s not a fictitious story, we are bringing it in a testimonial form so the person who has experienced it will be narrating his experience in the show. The format that we have chosen is fresh in that context,” he added.
Zee had in December of 2008 introduced a supernatural soap Shree which aired at 10.30 pm on weekdays. The show was discontinued in 2009 following a 187 episodic run. “But that was a very loud kind of horror show, while Fear Files will be less sensational,” Motwani said.
A lot of research went into the show before it went on the floors with the production duo of Abhimanyu and Majid spending almost a year on researching the incidents that are to be showcased.
“We have a research team that went about talking to paranormal experts using press coverage, using a lot of stories that we have collected from people’s incidence. We have collected the stories from a lot of sources. Many times you come across only a haunted house and then you have to create a story around it,” informs Motwani.
Motwani believes the Hindi GEC audiences have come a long.
“The audience is evolving at a very fast pace. The dialogues, performance and treatment have become very realistic. You can’t just shoot in drawing room or a bedroom. So if you look at Phir Subah Hogi, it is shot in Bundelkhand. The market has democratised a lot, the competition has also increased manifold,” Motwani explained.
Fear Files, is also being shot in various locations like Mumbai, Delhi, UP, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Goa and West Bengal to make the show more credible.
Motwani also revealed that the channel was mulling a celebrity host for the show but dropped off the plan since it would not have fit with the format.
Queried about the reason for commissioning only 26 episodes, Motwani said: “With a one-hour format, you always work in seasons. You commission only a specific number of shows and see how the format evolves over a period of time.”