Funny Things to Ponder

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

coming soon!! "RIP-KFI", a different movie

For some years I had left watching Kannada movies since I didn’t want to get inspired and become a another long machu seena or maada of Kalasipalya....
A few of my friends who are keen abt KFI insisted me to watch Mungaru male and Duniya.. These movies made me realize that there is still some talent left in the Industry. Also, these were movies which made me gain back my interest in Kannada films...Later ‘Aa dinagalu’ and Milana came out, I think I got a feeling that industry is bouncing back........ after these so many movies came out.. BUT ..

A film industry which has seen 75+ years of existence and still struggling shows that there is something wrong. The general perception is that quality of Kannada films is slipping day by day and the market is shrinking also. Where are the theaters in Majestic road?

We have to get innovative, not look for dvds of successful Tamil, Telugu films. ;-)

Life in Karnataka provides enough fodder for script writers, just look around.

Keeping that argument aside, let’s take a look at KFI. Lets do some self introspection.

For an average person in Karnataka, it looks like sinking boat. I feel that, KFI is not able to market itself or create a good value proposition out of content which it generates.

Why??

Bcoz

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.

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Kannada film makers are still in the era of 1940’s where they think that film boxes shipped out of the Gandhi nagar office would bring them revenue.

Look at ocean of opportunity still untapped; the film producers are chasing non-value adding things!! The best example is closing down internet sites which are promoting KFI. How can one even think of throwing the hammer on their own feet?


The viral marketing can be best seen in sites like kannadaaudio.com or videogirmit.com which links the videos uploaded on different sites and creates a fan base of its own in long run. One cannot sit in Hotel Capitol or Kanishka, have a press release and expect audience to rush to theater on next day. The idea is to bombard the public with so many images, promos, content for the movie that it becomes a "can't miss" event.

One more major problem with our industry is that they have accepted that the best we can do is “mediocracy”.

The below average competent people are not fit to run the modern age cinema nor they understand the new business structure, complex commercial framework on which it operates.

Today, majority of the profits from a motion picture release do not come from box office ticket sales. The bulk of the profits come from a myriad of other marketing (revenue generating too!) avenues.

  • VHS
  • DVD/CD/Blue-ray
  • Toys
  • Games
  • T-shirt
  • Other merchandise
  • Itunes or selling songs on internet, mobile
  • Movie sponsors,
  • Location sponsors,
  • Television programming,
  • Musical records (CD,Audio Cassette)
  • Stage shows,
  • Remake/dubbing rights,
  • Award Ceremony,
  • Trailers,
  • And the last is Theater ticket sales.

If you look at KFI and see how it has fared in each of these aspects:

VHS/DVD/CD/Blue-ray – To produce a single piece of DVD which can contain upto 4 movies; we need to wait 3 years!!

Imagine waiting for 3 years to see a movie at your comfort in home! Doesn’t it sound so foolish??

Toys/Games/T-shirt/Other Merchandise – Whats that? might be the Q if you ask can I get a toy of Jogi (Character played by Shivarajkumar) once the movie is released. I would ask these producers of such movies, ever watched Toy story movie or ate in McDonald’s?

Itunes/Mobile ringtones – Even though few of Kannada songs are listed in the major network providers of India, its still a long way to go. There is virtually no presence on Itunes and other websites which “promote” music.

Movie/Location sponsors – KFI is slow aping the Hindi cinema but has miles to go considering the limitations it has imposed on itself.

Television programming – Promotion of movie is not equal to conducting a dial in program with stars. It involves a dedicated campaign and till date, I have not seen any Kannada movie making a campaign which made me feel ‘wow’.

Stage shows: Gone are the days when stars used to feel that doing stage shows is second class and it’s similar to touring talkies. The artists, producers who are crying that there is no market should form a group and go around the world, promote their movies, stars etc. I don’t remember a single world tour conducted under the banner of KFI. Do you?

Remake/ dubbing rights: We are good in copying but we won’t let others display their content in our language. So, a person not knowing English can see Avatar movie only in Hindi Tamil or Telugu. Not in Kannada, ok?

Trailers : Movie is an art form and if its good, it can attract audience irrespective of language. Is there any rule that trailers of Kannada movies should be screened in theaters playing Kannada movie only? What about the concept of adding new audience? Did somebody forget about that?

Anyway, I have not seen trailers of upcoming Kannada movie even in theaters playing Kannada movies.

Award ceremony: This might sound crazy! But it’s true. It’s a way of promoting the industry in different parts of the world and introducing the glamorous stars to audience away from home. Have you ever seen a Kannada cinema awards function in Dubai, London or USA? If not, then you know why KFI has not been able to grow beyond the Indian ocean.

I liked the patience of average Kannada audience who is still waiting for the day when the directors would make movies of his/her choice. But I think its high time now. I am not seeing any ascending growth; lets be more open and tell them how to run the show.

Let’s not put all the blame on the punters sitting in the by-lanes of Gandhinagar. We have to wake them up from deep slumber and show them how the world has advanced. It’s not just enough if one knows the basics of movie making, one has to know the art of selling it also.

Disclaimer: My intention is not to critize the KFI or the current situation. We all want good things to happen to Kannada cinema, that’s why folks like us are putting down our time and effort on making these analyses on KFI.

Kone maathu "Namma mane chennagilla nodokke antha pakkada manege hogokke aguthha...banni namma mane ne swachha maadona...namma bhashe ulisona...namma Kannada thaayiya hesru ulisona..."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Namma metro?

People from all over the world come to Bangalore for making a mark in the IT domain. I was surprised to see people from so many different countries knowing the name Bangalore and linking it to the IT field.

Even though the people of Bangalore have accepted the people from other parts of the world, as more and more diverse people settle down here; it creates an invisible walls among the people.

Immigrants are more likely to interact with people of a particular language; some people do business with people from their people of their region etc.

Also, based on their experiences; people tend to make good or bad prejudice against other races. Ex : An immigrant recognizes the name or face of Dr. Raj kumar and links it to the riots which are considered as unfortunate by everyone in the state. They oversee the fact that he is more popular and respected in the land of Karnataka for his larger than life roles in cine field.

Bangalore is often referred as cosmopolitan city or a melting pot of cultures etc. Melting pot refers to the idea where a place/society formed from a variety of races, cultures, or individuals assimilate into a cohesive whole to produce new hybrid social and cultural forms.

Seeing such prejudices and invisible walls among the people in this city, a question rose inside me; is this melting pot theory real? What’s the best possible way to have a cultural assimilation?

In words of sociology, Bangalore is trying to preserve its culture in the face of the influx of hordes of persons from different nationalities.

Population dynamics of a place that has human inhabitants will always have two ethnic groups, a minority and a majority. Minority members can choose whether or not to assimilate into the majority.

Globalization, and the technology that is its foundation, has in a sense allowed us to see everything that we could possibly imagine. Sitting in the city of Bangalore, I can figure how the system works in different parts of the world.

Lets take the example of the Metro station which is coming up in our city.

These are the metro stations in few cities which are considered as cosmopolitan and melting pot of cultures.

Paris : Metro station website of Paris : http://www.ratp.fr/

It’s available in 5 different languages, but the primary language or default language is French.

A sign board in the city of Paris.




Budapest, one of the upcoming vibrant cities in Europe also has got its primary language of its metro operations in Hungarian language.

Metro website for Budapest : http://www.bkv.hu/

It’s available in 3 languages.




Our very capitalistic economy is based in the assumption that someone will copy someone else only to do it better in the future, hopefully.

So, cities like Paris , Budapest etc are able to maintain a high degree of diversity and still evolve without losing direction. When we see something that works, that we like, or that makes us feel good, we copy it, its in our nature.

Seeing those cities, I would have expected the officials in the Namma metro dept. to go ahead and have a system which is designed to understand the Kannada language.

But, what have they done?




The instructions are in English , which can be understood by a small section of people.




Lets see what has Namma metro done for other signage like doors, windows and other areas of the coach.


Safety instructions has omitted Kannada and has made way for English and Hindi. Public transport system in different countries have all the info in local tongue. I just hope this wont be the case with the actual or real coaches and expect the info to be in provided in Kannada along with any other language.

By doing so, it would help more than half of the Bangalore population and this would also serve as a gateway to showcase the culture and language of the State to others.