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Importance of marketing and distribution of films discussed at Frames

MUMBAI: Marketing and distribution of movies has always been an integral part of the business plan for film producers.








The success of the film no longer depends on just the content, storyline and the star cast, but also on how well the film is marketed. The successes of Krissh, Don and Dhoom 2 in the Indian scenario are examples of this.
One session at the Frames convention discussed the new methods employed to get to the target audience especially in international markets. The speakers included Kaleidoscope India MD Bobby Bedi, Eros Intl group CFO Andrew Hefferman, P9 Integrated CEO Navin Shah. It was pointed out that genre is a differentiator. Stars, topicality, controversies give a film unique strengths. Also market segmentation needs to be more precise in terms of how much one can get from theatres, DVDs, TV rights. One should not take just one business model into consideration.









Film of course is the only medium where the price is uniform irrespective of the budget.

The main of promotions Be4di points out is to get audiences into cinema halls on the opening weekend.

How the film fares in the coming weeks depends on word of mouth.Marketing to the right TGB is key. If you market to the wrong TG then you might still get a string opening. However due to negative word of mouth there will be a sharp drop off in box office collections. Bedi notes that simply plastering the film’s tagline and the actor’s mug shot are not enough. The film’s name is key and must communicate what the film is about. Therefore choosing the4 name is a business decision.

For the film’s poster the images need to fit the tagline. So if it is a thriller you cannot have clean faces. Then you have to find a star that will sell the film. A theme can be the star which was the case with Bandit Queen. You also need a peg on which to hang a film. It could be a major event or a controversy.The distribution strategy is key. It is not always necessary to go straight with a wide release. For instance Mira Nair’s The Namesake was initially released in eight cinema halls in the US. It is now playing in 70 cinema halls.

Hefferman points out that the internet is growing in importance in terms of giving a film buzz. You also have cinema trailers being present on DVDs. Going to festivals like MipTV, Cannes is becoming more important for distributors as they can sell the TV rights to multiple territories. He suggests that Bollywood films push themselves towards an art house audience abroad. This of course is something that European films do in the US.

Srinivasan dwelt on films being made exclusively for the mobile platform. With UGC content growing the gap between the filmmaker and viewer is narrowing.Sundance in the US has made six films for mobile. At the Macau conference later this year 175 made for mobile films will be on display. Roamware earlier this year partnered with Hungama Mobile to distribute Dus Kahaaniya which is a series of films made for the mobile by Sanjay Gupta.

Shah says that producers should look at the possibility of creating entertainment brands around a film. He offered the example of Krrish which is now a brand. Eight brands did product placements inside the film. The film also did a co-promotion with Lifebuoys soap. Krish also tied with Singapore Tourism. That allowed the producers to cut production costs. Through merchandising the film has made Rs. 70 million so far.Now thwere is talk of the likes of Disney looking at using the character for an animation series.

 

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