Ad film maker Film Farm to foray into feature films post TV success

Film Farm India, a leading ad-cum-entertainment film production house, is planning to foray into the feature film business after a successful foray into the television production. The firm is already working with top ad agencies including Lowe, JWT, O&M amongst others. The feature film will be an out and out commercial film.


The Economic Times Brand Equity dated 4 June 2003 featured two of the ad film firm's commercials in a compilation of "three best commercials of the week". The two commercials that were featured in Brand Equity include "Rasna Juc- Up" directed by Pushpendra Mishra; and "Kissan Mr. Fruit" directed by Navdeep Singh, both a part of the Film Farm team of directors and both produced by Film Farm.


In a double whammy, the company also celebrated the success of the television division's successful foray into the TV production business at a party held in Mumbai on 6 June 2003. The serial Dil…Na Jaane Kyon on Zee TV - as part of it's new initiative Chausat Panne - has reached the No. 2 slot in Zee's Top 10 list just below Astitva Ek Prem Kahani.


While speaking to the team, Film Farm India's managing partner Harsh Dave says: "We are amongst two or three top companies that have adopted a different model - talent kitty within an ad film. We have a panel of young directors who have developed a core competency area of expertise and domain knowledge. The ad film industry is constantly evolving and clients/ad agencies prefer to rope in the younger generation in an attempt to get fresh ideas. The senior team within our group merely nurtures talent and guides them. Our films look much more contemporary and original."


Film Farm has a team comprising of 32 professionals. Different directors specialize in conceptualizing films related to different themes - be it fashion or food or people. "The younger lot has a lot of fire in their belly, more enthusiasm and have a broader perspective. Also, there is no one-upmanship within the team and everybody contributes in the brainstorm sessions," Dave adds.


Dave is also not in favour of creatively-oriented people running an ad production house. "We believe that production houses need managers who work out economies of scale and keep the focus on costs and schedules. There has to be a balance - since the business involves both Saraswati and Laxmi. There must be teams that focus purely on business development, others that nurture relationships and the rest who focus on creative aspects."


In less than five years since its conception Film Farm has done advertising work for companies such as Hindustan Levers, Dabur, Hero Honda, Revlon, MTV, J & J, Marico, Nerolac Paints, Jyoti Laboratories, MRF, Bombay Dyeing, Rasna, V.I.P. to name a few.


"Clients and ad agencies want value and seek a comfort level while working with any ad film maker. The focus is not on cutting costs. After all, at any point of time, an ad film maker makes a Rs 3 million film that will be part of a Rs 30-million media campaign which in turn will decide the fate of a Rs 300-million brand," adds Dave.


Along with two more in-house and some more freelance directors from advertising fraternity, Film Farm has also produced TV commercials with directors of feature film background like John Mathew Mathan (Denim soap commercial), Mansoor Khan (Nerolac commercial), Pankaj Parasher (Hercules cycles with Akshay Kumar), Kundan Shah , Govind Nihalani and Rituparno Ghosh (Ponds). "We use different directors based on their styles or personality or expertise or even areas of interest," says Dave.


Besides India, Film Farm has done work for companies in Thailand, U.A.E.,Malaysia, Australia and South Africa working with directors from the same regions. Film Farm has also collaborated in production with U.K. based Academy Films for the prestigious music videos for bands like UB 40, Basement Jaxx.


"We believe in two-way traffic. We have also done line productions and provided value added services to Europe/US firms that want to shoot in India. Through our international affiliations, we have also sourced good directors from a talent pool; got them down to India to shoot some of our campaigns."


Currently, the production house has an 80:20 mix as far as the ad business and television business is concerned. However, the mix will vary after we foray into the feature film production arena and increase our presence on TV channels," adds Dave.


Film Farm India is definitely planning to give it's close competitors Big Brother and MAD a complex!

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