Metroplus

Talent scouting made easy

Beyond networking Lakshmi Balasubramanian (left) and Praveen Koka.  

You dream of a career in acting but don’t know which serial is being shot for telly that may have a role that suits you. There is only so much “networking” you can do to land a role, and only so many agents in your city you can approach.

A very familiar situation for young, talented people, it drove Bengaluru-based couple Lakshmi Balasubramanian and Praveen Koka to launch their startup Greenroom. It is an online forum where artists, crew and content producers can connect and collaborate on projects. “There is no proper forum for recruitment in the entertainment industry,” observes Lakshmi, who has been in the TV production industry for about a decade. “Most talent agencies only cater to models. It is not a very organised sector and almost 90 per cent of agents are scamsters. It is only in the last four years that casting directors have come up for large Bollywood production houses; but only huge budgets can afford them.” She points out how otherwise it could be on Facebook or emails that such chance casting happens! “There are no HR companies as such in the entertainment industry.”

Greenroom aims to bridge the huge gap that exists between talent and opportunity, says Lakshmi.

While we would like to think there isn’t enough work, Lakshmi also explains the other side of the story she has experienced, having worked with Star Plus for over eight years. “While on one side, there is immense creative talent, be it performing artists or technical talent, they most often depend on the ‘grapevine’ and contacts to get a break. On the other side, the casting and crew process for production, has always been very tedious and chaotic and more often than not, people go with what or whoever is easily accessible to them, purely because of lack of resources to connect with a wider network.” She talks of instances where agents promise to bring in 25 people for a TV network’s audition, and only three turn up!

On the site, artists, actors, models, musicians, writers, filmmakers create profiles of themselves. The user interface allows you to upload soundclips, YouTube videos of your latest works to complete you portfolio. Content producers post their requirements depending on ongoing projects. The relevant job details go out to the relevant people and they will be able to apply. Once they apply, content producers will be able to see their contact details and take the conversation further. In the six months since they started they have had 5,000 registrations from all over India, says Lakshmi. About 250 projects have scouted for candidates on their site, she adds. “We’ve had recruiters from Zee, Star and the Radio Mirchi group looking for talent on our sites.”

Registration is free for artists as well as recruiters. “We do have a verification process to make sure the project is genuine,” she pitches in. They also work as an agency that books more popular artists for shows and public appearances.

“Our three big markets right now are Chennai and Mumbai for film and TV, and Bengaluru for ecommerce projects, print and ad-films, models, and music,” says Lakshmi.

For details see https://greenroomnow.com

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 5:28:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/talent-scouting-made-easy/article7814190.ece

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