The cutting edge

Upcoming big ticket ventures have created the right buzz, because of their theatrical trailers, which are released simultaneously across all platforms. Screen decodes the process that goes into editing the perfect trailer of a film

Written by Priya Adivarekar | Mumbai | Published:August 1, 2014 1:00 am
Bang Bang! Bang Bang!

Theatrical trailers and promos have come a long way over the last decade. Back in time, when YouTube wasn’t around and trailer launches weren’t considered the ‘it’ thing to promote a film, they were usually played on television. These trailers would mostly comprise of a few scenes and were an amalgamation of different songs from the film. Usually, directors and editors would sit together to cut their own trailers, but the last decade has seen a major change in the way the trailers are presented. A film cannot afford to have a lousy theatrical trailer and to make sure that it creates enough buzz, while kickstarting the promotions, trailers are now cut and edited by specialists, who are also involved in the entire campaign of promoting the film through dialogue promos, songs among others. The recently-released trailers of big ticket ventures, which are up for release in the second half of this year, are good examples. Each of these trailers are trying to outdo the other in getting the highest views on their official YouTube channel. Among the new lot, the teaser of Bang Bang touched a record two million views in less than 24 hours of its launch of YouTube, breaking the records set by Haider (30 hours) and Finding Fanny (31 hours) last month. The process of creating a trailer starts off six months before the actual launch (when the trailer is simultaneously released during the event and on YouTube), which includes the process of discussions, watching the film, editing and cutting. The specialists have extensive discussions with the director and marketing team heads of the production house. Sometimes, actors too provide their creative inputs. “Hrithik was closely involved during the creation of Bang Bang‘s trailer. He is always around to make sure that each of his movie trailers come out well,” mentioned Ravi Padda of the Padda brothers, who have edited all the trailers of Roshan’s films.
“A good trailer needs to leave a lasting impact. We watch the rough cut many times before deciding what needs to be a part of the trailer and how much of the story needs to be revealed. Extracting two-three hours of a film in a three-minute clip is extremely difficult but we have to make sure that we present a trailer that has moments which stay with the audience after they watch it,” mentioned Mukul Misra, co-founder of Trigger Happy, an agency that has trailers of more than 150 films to its credit and is currently working on P.K and Happy New Year. He further added that the secret of a successful trailer is not just the hype around the starcast, but also slick and crisp editing.
Apart from portions of the rough cut, these trailers include motion graphics, which also plays an important part in hiding flaws or mistakes, if any. With the rising demand of trailer editing specialists, the remuneration too is getting better. “But it all boils down to the budget of the film. Back in time, producers would hardly spend less than Rs.5 lakhs on the entire campaign. But today, a big budget film is willing to spend anywhere between Rs. 20-25 lakh per trailer and costs for the other requirements follow. But for small budget films, the requirements are less and the pay is adjusted accordingly,” adds Misra.

Stages of presentation

The marketing and publicity of any good film generally includes one or more theatrical trailers, which are two-three minutes long. The makers may opt for a shorter teaser, just to create some hype. Teaser trailers are considered only if the makers want to create additional curiosity. “A trailer needs to have that x-factor and can either make or break a film. Usually, a second theatrical trailer is considered if the dates of the trailer launch and release are distant. As for teasers, they generally work well for action, drama films or projects that has an A-list star doing something really different. For example: If Shah Rukh Khan works in an out-of-the-box film or dons a new avatar, then a teaser works well and is usually released 15-20 days before the theatrical trailer,” mentioned Chinni Nihalani, who has recently worked on the trailer of Khoobsurat. Trailers, theatrical or teaser, are mostly launched three-four months ahead of the film’s release. There are also five-seven different television promos, which follow next and can range anywhere between 10-30 seconds. While a longer version of the song promos might be created and launched earlier for music channels, the dialogue promos are out only 20 days closer to the release of the film.
Unless its an example like Singham Returns, where the trailer was launched a month before the release date. In this case, the dialogue promos usually go on air within a week of the trailer’s release. Agencies that work on the entire promotional campaign also create post-release promos, which reveal a little more than what was a part of the pre-release promos.
With platforms like YouTube becoming increasingly popular for viewing a film’s trailer and the subsequent campaign, Padda believes that trailers will only keep witnessing changes to become bigger and better in the next five years. “The changes have already begun in the form of motion posters and teasers. As technology develops, the process will only keep becoming smoother,” stated Padda. Misra adds, “But while we do need an impactful trailer, one needs to make sure that the entire campaign is strong enough to sustain the entire promotional period and generate the right buzz. People might forget the trailer, but the promos that follow need to hold fort in the month long (or more) gap between the trailer launch and release date. Only then can the film benefit.”

FIRST LOOK

Mardaani

Release date: August 22

Edited by: In-house editors at Yash Raj Films

The theatrical trailer presented the main plot of the film, apart from establishing the setting and a few details of Rani Mukerji’s character, Shivani Shivaji Rao.

Trailer analysis: After watching the trailer, film exhibitor Akshay Rathi stated that Mardaani caters to a niche audience, because of its dark and gritty presentation.
The film, according to him, is expected to do well in limited pockets, especially since it comes just a week after Singham Returns, which has a strong base in both multiplex and
single screen cinemas. It will have to reap in good benefits from satellite deal and how it opens in the overseas market to make profit.

Raja Natwarlal

Release date: August 29

Edited by: Trigger Happy

The trailer was designed in the form of a narrative. The thought process pitched in for the theatrical included ideas put forth by Tama gna Ghosh, marketing head – UTV, director Kunal Deshmukh and the team at Trigger Happy. The trailer, which took a month to make, shows the basic story of the film, thus underlying all the main points, since the idea was to allow the consumer to feel the texture of the film.

Trailer analysis: Rathi says the trailer has set the tone of the film perfectly and will benefit from the fact that this is Emraan Hashmi’s first film this year. “He is extremely popular with the masses and the film will definitely work in single screens as well as multiplexes in certain interior pockets. The music will also be a deciding factor,” he stated.

Daawat-E-Ishq

Release date: September 5

Edited by: In-house editors at Yash Raj Films

The main task was to establish the city (Hyderabad) in which the film was set and bring out the flavour of the basic story, without revealing too much. The title track was utilised as part of the background at important junctures.

Trailer analysis: Rathi mentioned that the first look gives a feel that Daawat-E-Ishq will do very well in tier four cities. “While the music hasn’t picked up yet, both Aditya Roy Kapur and Parineeti Chopra have got a huge fan base after the success of their respective films, which will be an advantage. Also, the film will do well among the youth in smaller towns, in both multiplexes and single screens,” he opines.

Mary Kom

Release date: September 5

Edited by: White Turtle Studios

The makers first launched the motion poster, followed by a 58 second long teaser, which was released on the occasion of Priyanka Chopra’s birthday. The theatrical trailer, launched a week later, gave a glimpse of Mary Kom’s journey. Marketing heads of Viacom 18, co-producer Sanjay Leela Bhansali and director Omung Kumar were closely involved with the making of the creative campaign, the work for which began six months in advance.

Trailer analysis: According to Rathi, the first look of Mary Kom has created a good impression and the film deserves to do well, if not for the entertainment factor, but at least to inspire people. Manoj Desai of G7 cinemas said, “Priyanka has a good fan following. Since the film is based on a well-known Olympic champion and the actress is sporting a different look, it will get a good opening.”

Creature 3D

Release date: September 12

Edited by: Vikram Bhatt

The trailer was edited by director Vikram Bhatt and while it does reveal the main plot of the film, the trailer does not reveal the title character – the creature. Producer Bhushan Kumar mentioned that details of the creature will be unveiled in stages, which will also involve promotional activities, where installations of the creature will be promoted.

Trailer analysis: Manoj Desai believes that the first few glimpses show that the film has good potential and will ensure a decent turnout. “It creates a decent curiosity and since the only good competition in that week is from Finding Fanny, which belongs to a different genre, Creature 3D might just benefit,” he said as Rathi adds that it will do decently well among the horror-loving audience.

Bang Bang

Release date: October 2

Edited by: Padda brothers

Ravi Padda of the Padda brothers mentioned, “We wanted to bring out a curtain raiser, which doesn’t reveal too many details. The strategy worked well for us, since the film is still a couple of months away from the release. Now, the theatrical trailer is in the pipeline and will certainly add more buzz,” mentioned Padda. The teaser took 45 days to make.

Trailer analysis: Rathi says, “While the action sequences in the teaser and the presence of Hritihik Roshan and Katrina Kaif plays a pivotal part, the film will have a lot of expectations to live up to. It also needs outstanding music. While the opening will be huge, it needs to be an incredible film to sustain.” He added that while most believe that the October 2 holiday will help Haider and Bang Bang to score, it might also be a disadvantage, since the pre-Diwali period is usually low and does not always guarantee a good box office opening.

Haider

Release date: October 2

Edited by: Vishal Bhardwaj’s team

While director Vishal Bhardwaj’s team refused to divulge any details about the making of the trailer, he mentioned that it was created after two months of extensive work and re-runs of the rough cut. Usually, it is Bhardwaj, the film’s editor and his assistants who edit and cut their film trailers and other campaigns.

Trailer analysis: Rathi says that while the trailer of Haider is amazing, it is not made for the mass audience and will do well only in certain metro pockets. The turnout in multiplexes will be more than single screens. “Also, the release of Bang Bang will affect the film. But having said that, the distribution strategy of UTV Motion Pictures will help the film profit and do good business,” he stated.

Khoobsurat

Release date: September 19

Edited by: Chinni Nihalani

Tamagna Ghosh, marketing head – UTV and co-producer Rhea Kapoor wanted to pitch Khoobsurat as a family film. Since it is Disney’s first Indian film, the two main areas explored in the trailer are romance and family values. The idea was to show off a new world, which is quirky and full of new textures. The trailer took three weeks to make.

Trailer analysis: Rathi stated that the USP of this film is the freshness and the film should do well among the young, college-going girls. “The task of drawing in the audience rests completely on Sonam’s shoulders and once the film releases, a lot will depend on how it has actually turned out. Music will play a vital role,” he adds.

Finding Fanny

Release date: September 12

Edited by: Trigger Happy

The idea was to present each of the five character’s POV (point of view), their quirky and unique attributes. The makers wanted to showcase the impact of the plot, beauty of the landscape and the identification of each character. Vijay Singh, CEO – Fox Star Studios stated, “We didn’t opt for a trailer launch. We opted for the online route, concentrated on social media and the results have been fantastic.”

Trailer analysis: Rathi stated that since the genres of both Finding Fanny and Creature 3D are as different as chalk and cheese, it will be safe to say that they will get an average opening. “The first look shows that the film caters to the niche audience and hard core fans of Deepika Padukone and Arjun Kapoor. There is good curiosity about the suspense behind Fanny and that should help the film,” he said.

 

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