There is something we'd like to share with you, and it is this: Pix is not like other channels. It was born in a rather unusual way.
A Man comes calling
First, we will
have to travel back to two years ago
when one bright Monday morning one
of the executives at Sony Television
received a phone call.
On the other end of the line was
a man (who till day has refused to
name himself) who wanted to discuss
the possibility of a tie-up with Sony.
"An alliance between two great
groups" was what he said. Intrigued
by his words, the executive expressed
interest and in return was treated
to the strange though rather interesting
background story of the Man's group.
The Man right off admitted to the
intrigued executive that he was part
of an ancient secret society called
the "Keepers of the Vault"
- one that since inception was dedicated
to a singular mission:
Preserving the art of storytelling
in human society and human affairs.
The exact words that the man narrated
to the stunned executive follow:
"Many years ago - over a thousand
years ago in fact - the founder of
our society, then a young man, realized
that the art of storytelling is a
fundamental and necessary aspect of
human life, as important, say, as
romance, as necessary as the scientific
spirit and as ancient as human expression
that a day would come when this art
would be threatened with extinction,
the founder had initiated the Vault
as a quasi-metaphysical library where
all the stories of the world would
be collected, chronicled and preserved.
This library vast as it was, was designed
to contain stories of every kind,
of every hue and colour, and of every
The Man didn't even take a breath,
he just kept going on, "The founder
had also rather astutely predicted
that a day would come when the art
of storytelling, the grand tradition,
would be reduced to mere spectacle
"To quote him 'Society will
suffer in a big way on such a day
and once the art of storytelling decays,
the very centre of society itself
will become fragile, weak and possibly,
even decadent. Sustenance of the spiritual
kind will become harder, and one day,
we will find ourselves standing at
the brink of utter spiritual emptiness.
Because of this, future generations
will never know the power of this
great art, human civilization would
have lost one of its greatest treasures.'"
The Man sounded bothered for a moment
"Can you imagine what a disaster
that would be?'"
"Look around you," he continued,
"Nature has turned against us.
Identities are confused. People are
unhappy, and technology has taken
over....The signs are everywhere."
And then he completed his point "The
day has come when we must step up
and do something. We must return to
society that which belongs to it."
Throughout this rather lengthy story,
the Sony executive on the other end
of the line had gone through a wide
range of emotions: from amusement
to surprise to utter incredulousness,
and finally, to interest. His cup
of coffee was empty and he waved frantically
to a passing peon to get him a fresh
one. The peon looked the other way
and dashed off before he got cornered.
The executive asked the Man on the
phone what all this had to do with
him and his company.
The Man replied "Well, in order
to save the tradition of the story
from extinction, the Society has decided
to spread some of the stories which
it has collected over the last 30
years or so, and it is in this regard
that I would like to meet you."
He added, almost as an aside "By
the way, this is not the first time
that we would be doing this. To
give you an example, about five
hundred years ago, a producer of
plays had come to the Society, expressing
the same fears - that people had
lost interest in the value of art,
truth and storytelling. He needed
story, a good story, for his next
production. His name, I think, was
William something and well, the
Society saw promise in him and in
his commitment to great tales and
helped him become who he did eventually
become. More recently we'd contacted
a film producer thinking he might
need our help. I cannot tell you
his name, but his movies have been
well appreciated by many people
and that includes certain Academies
"Fact is, the Society has stepped
in time and again, over the last thousand
years, doing what it can in the world
to help preserve and stimulate the
tradition of storytelling in our civilization...."
His voice turned to a whisper. "The
Vault is very real you know."
The executive tried getting the exact
address of the so called Vault out
of the Man, but failed. All he was
told was that it was a large space,
somewhere in another city, where vast
numbers of stories had been encrypted
as data, in order to facilitate storage
in large numbers. All the Man said
was "Why don't you content yourself
with the stories? The Vault does not
belong to you or me, it belongs to
humanity. And we cannot let it be
opened up to this or any other generation.
It exists, in a sense outside of time."
It started raining outside the Sony
office, and for some reason the rain
snapped the executive out of the Man's
hypnotic tale - he again asked him
what all this had to do with Sony
"This time we want to tie up
with a major TV network. According
to our research, Sony is the major
network that fits the bill. Would
your people be interested?"
The Sony executive knew in his heart
that the Man was telling the truth
(sometimes you just know these things).
Which probably explains why he almost
fell out of his chair on hearing of
the offer. Fortunately for him, he
managed to regain his balance quickly
enough to fix up a meeting with the
Man. By the time he hung up the phone,
his mind was racing in anticipation.
A channel is conceived
is the result of an impassioned, overheated
and very exciting meeting which took
place the next day and didn't end
until three days later. The “meeting
of all meetings" was held in
the Sony office next afternoon, and
very soon, became the big event of
It left a lasting
impact on every staffer's mind, infusing
everyone with energy and a sense of
larger purpose - energy that would
come in handy through the Financial
Quarter as the channel was launched
and all the necessary planning and
work started piling up.
But back to the
specifics of the meeting. Word had
spread the moment the Man had entered
- a strange, tall man dressed in flowing
gray robes, with long white hair,
a white flowing beard, and eyes that
seemed to be set so deep inside his
head that they were mere points on
The meeting soon
began and almost immediately people
started poking in their noses on some
pretext or the other to get a glimpse
of the Man.
The Sony executives,
at first completely awed by the Man’s
almost holy appearance, soon caught
themselves and started the dialogue.
Primarily, they needed convincing.
a channel cannot be built on a notion,"
they said. The Man replied that it
could. "But what is this Vault?"
The Man replied that he had already
told them. "And who was he anyway?"
The Man replied that he was a seer,
a keeper of traditions. "But
where did he come from?" To this
the Man simply smiled.
Words flew thick
and fast as arguments were proposed
and deposed. The Sony executives made
presentations, thrashed out numbers,
explained the logistics of running
a channel to the Man. They kept asking
he gave the simplest of explanations
as to why a channel like this would
people always want to know what happened
next. Because we are fundamentally
a curious species." The moment
he said this, without any warning,
he suddenly got up and, whipping out
a knife from his seemingly infinite
robes, dived onto the table and with
incredible agility held the gleaming
knife two inches away from the face
of the Sony executive sitting opposite
- there had been no time to react,
that's how fast his actions had been.
The Man held the knife close to the
terrified executive's face and then
pointing towards some bread lying
on the table said "Here, this
is for you. You will need it while
The knife it turned
out was no more than a butter knife.
The Man's face
broke into a broad smile and they
all laughed. The laughter lasted an
entire five minutes, after which the
is, as humans, we love drama. We love
intrigue, stories, fiction. We love
it when something strange happens
- we love the thrill. We love to be
challenged about our notions of things.
We love it, yes, when the magical
appears. And where will you find all
this if not in a good story.”
really need a better logic for a channel?"
He was surely
a mystic of some sort, as three days
of intense discussion didn't faze
him in the least. In fact he single-handedly
handled the whole of Sony's team in
a major negotiation that eventually
led to a flurry of signatures, back-patting,
and even a cake cutting ceremony.
A delivery system for the stories
was put in place, and the ancient
Vault would now help create Sony's
new TV channel.
Pix was born.
And the moment
that was decided the Keeper of the
Vault was gone.
(He would appear
later - once ‘after’ a
minor crisis, and once at the channel
launch, refusing politely to be photographed
- and after that, on and off, without
warning, over the next two years.
Somehow he seemed to know exactly
when the channel needed his help -
he would appear precisely when they
did, help them out and vanish again,
leaving no trace or contact details.
Sometimes he would send an emissary,
an equally mystical looking, though
younger man, who never spoke. The
people at Pix went nuts with curiosity,
but there was nothing they could do.
They didn't anyway want to risk angering
the Society and as long as the channel
was coming along well, what was there
to complain about?)
The day after
the meeting finally ended saw the
executives of the newly formed Pix
diving headlong into their systems
- creating business plans, budgets,
hiring plans, plans, plans, plans
and more plans. Their one goal was
to turn the mysterious and legendary
Vault into a thriving TV channel.
To take those stories from the deep,
dark recesses of the human spirit
to the television screens of India
- B&W or colour, cathode ray or
plasma, big or small, new or second
One hurdle remained
though. There were those among the
Sony TV corps who remained incredulous,
who did not believe that such a mission
"No one in
India will be interested in a movie
channel dedicated to only telling
the big films of the year? The big
budget extravaganzas? That's what
people want these days!"
have enough movie channels already?
BBO, Zip Studio, Stud Movies..."
story, where are the car chases and
of Pix knew from long experience that
these fears were best sorted out quickly
- or else they could turn from a small
spark into a raging fire. Two months
had gone by since the channel had
been conceived formally and the issues
were heating up. Many people in Sony
still felt that this channel was an
idea that wouldn’t survive the
test of reality, and their voices
were in danger of drowning out the
when the second call came and saved
One morning the
same Pix executive (who was always
picking up calls that he had no business
picking up) heard a voice on the other
end of a telephone that said “We
hear you’ve signed up with the
stopped munching on his cheese chilly
toast for long enough to realize he
had no idea what this meant.
The voice at
the other end said “We hear
signed up with the person you all
know as the Man, and we’d
like to make you a counter offer.”
This time the
executive passed the call on to the
people in charge of Pix. As they later
found out, the man who had called
was representing an organisation called
The Entertainers, an organisation
devoted exclusively to what they referred
to as "The Blockbuster".
They claimed that the Keepers of the
Vault were a bunch of crazies with
outdated notions and vague dreams.
They said the Keepers had no idea
what the masses liked, and made strong
claims about how they had their finger
on the pulse of the masses. They even
insinuated that their collection of
stories was far better.
To cut a long
story short, the Pix executives did
meet The Entertainers. It was very
hard at first for them to evaluate
the sudden option being presented
to them, all this ancient society
business was still a little strange.
But they did. And when they did it
soon became clear that this organisation
was more interested in the glitz and
glamour aspect of storytelling; it
simply didn't wield the same power
over the human psyche as the Keepers
did. They were as ancient, and in
some ways equally powerful but their
catalogue didn’t have the same
depth, neither did their words and
ideas. And they seemed far more hungry
for money and power.
And when they
asked for joint ownership of the new
channel, the Pix executives knew they
had made up their minds. Unfortunately,
The Entertainers didn't take too well
to the rejection - they left screaming
revenge and dire consequences.
the Man himself didn’t call
or show up even once during this brief
phase - clearly, he wanted the Pix
executives’ decision to be objective
and unbiased. However, on the day
they made up their minds, he turned
up at the Pix office.
on your decision. We will make a great
And he left.
of this whole incident was that the
detractors at Sony were silenced. Perhaps
it was the fact that another organisation
like the Keepers existed, something
that lent credibility to the whole 'story
outsourcing' process in the first place.
Or perhaps it was the fact that Pix
was being sought out by ancient rival
organisations, wooed so to speak. Or
perhaps it was just the fear of losing
what now suddenly felt like a great
opportunity. One way or the other no
one was incredulous anymore and no one
believed that such a mission could not
Cut to two years
of painstaking work later and Pix
is up and running, beaming its incredible
mix of stories across the vast land
that is India. Pix is the storytelling
experiment that we hope will challenge
We hope that people
will rediscover the power of film
story through the films on Pix. We
also hope it will change the way they
think and make them rediscover the
power of story.
After all haven't
we been telling stories to each other
since the dawn of mankind? Didn't
cavemen gather around fires to tell
stories of the hunt - perhaps about
how Krogg was speared in the bum by
his prankster brother Grogg? Haven't
stories been passed down from one
voice to another for tens of thousands
of years? Haven't we had the theater
as a medium of entertainment for 4
millennia, the printed book for 500
years, cinema itself for about 100
years - and broadcast television already
(believe it or not) for about 60 years.
Pix is the natural
descendant of all these great storytelling
traditions. Which is why we don't
just feature big movies, blockbusters
and hits - we feature something much
older yet more exciting - namely,
stories. These stories may or may
not date back to many years ago -
but they definitely date back to something
deeper: Our collective sub-conscious.
A few such stories
Many years ago, two men decided to perform an extremely dangerous, courageous and rather illegal act.
They decided to rob 25000 pounds worth of gold being transported by a train and to that end they schemed,
plotted, planned and then... executed. Did they succeed, did they fail, or did it all go down in history as a
classic and great train robbery?
Once, another time, also many years ago, a man passed away leaving little by way of his estate to his second wife and their three daughters.
What followed was a story of coping with two things: a lack of fortune and the difficulty of finding a good match for the
girls. What followed was also a story of sense and sensibility, of hardship and true love, and of happy endings.
We all know about the 60s in the USA - flower power, hippies, great music, and all those wild, mad things. Well, there is also a lesser known story -
it tells of a pair of young men, two easy riders, who decided to use the climate of freedom for an exploratory ride through
And there's more. Sometimes, in these stories, ogres come crashing out of the dark night, sometimes,
they are even friendly. Sometimes people are themselves, sometimes they are heroes, and sometimes they are simply troubled.
Sometimes, in these stories, people find redemption, and at other times they simply pass away.
Just tune in
In these stories
you will find a part of yourself and
your life; you will find your dreams
and your thoughts. You will find here
every human emotion that has been
recorded since the birth of time:
greed, pride, revenge, victory, hate,
fear, commitment, courage...and of
Think of Pix as
a sky on whose palette great stories
come and go like clouds. Every cloud
is different and interesting in its
own way and all you have to do is
tune in and watch.
Sure, it was all
created by a bunch of executives sitting
around a table, writing presentations,
cracking jokes and drinking endless
cups of coffee. Sure, it was created
to garner high TRPs and revenues.
But it was also
created out of those stories that
we tell each other - around campfires,
at bars, in living rooms after dinner,
in between classes, and when putting
our children to sleep.
The stories we
all love so much.
The Pix Good Story guarantee
"We at Pix
solemnly undertake that every movie
shown here features a good story well
told. Whether or not our films are
crammed with effects, stars and big
budgets, we solemnly assure you that
they will always contain a good story.
May the story take precedence above