Sunday, October 07, 2007

Diwali with Retail

God flicks do it, sci-fi does it. Can love stories and dramas be far behind? Mumbai's increasingly corporatised film world has in recent years married its potboiler movies with brand promotion, resulting in special effects. Now, it is riding even bigger with the retail revolution. Consider the fact that brand promotions revenue from one movie alone will fetch more than the annual net profit of a decent small cap company.

Animated mythological movie Hanuman and science-fiction hit Krrish tasted success with merchandise based on their theme and stories. This year, two of Bollywood's most anticipated films are taking the phenomenon in movie production to the next level.

Come Diwali, the big budget movies, Farah Khan's Om Shanti Om and Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Saawariya will fight it out at the box office as they release on November 9. Industry sources say both cost more than Rs. 30 crore to make. Understandably, the producers are trying to use every avenue to pull in revenues.

While the makers of Saawariya have entered into a deal with Big Bazaar tycoon Kishore Biyani’s Future Group, for a Saawariya line of products, the producers of the rival Shah Rukh Khan starrer are introducing a Om Shanti Om clothing line through Shoppers’ Stop.

Navin Shah, CEO, P9 integrated, the marketing agency that manages brand associations with Saawariya says, “The deal is of the size of Rs 10 crore. This will mark an important episode in film-merchandising.”

Pooja Kashyap, general manager, overseas marketing, syndication and merchandising, P9 Integrated, said the Saawariya line of products will cover male apparel, home products and beauty products. "The packaging of these products and look will closely wear the template of Saawariya," she said, adding that the Future Group will get the presentation credit.

The male apparel category will feature youth-oriented oriented clothes such as jackets, cargo pants and T-shirts, in line with the movie's story.

“The hero, Ranvir Kapoor is clad in such outfits in the movie and is himself a young actor- so that make sense. Additionally, there will be Saawariya lines of bed linen, towels and pillow covers. We will also have like nail-polishes and other cosmetic products in the beauty range”,she said.

The deal between Future Group and the producer will see a certain minimum sales guarantee given by the Future Group. Officials close to the deal are tight-lipped on the details. There will also be a fixed certain percentage of the sales which will go as a royalty to the film’s producer.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Heyy Babyy

Saturday morning shoppers could be forgiven for thinking the Mardi Gras parade had come early, with a troupe of sequin- and feather-clad dancers taking over a city street yesterday. About 50 dancers went through their paces on busy Druitt Street yesterday morning, filming a pivotal scene for the Bollywood film, Heyy Babyy. Hundreds of shoppers, city workers and tourists stopped for an exclusive preview of the film which has been in production in Sydney for the past two weeks.

The well-known Bollywood producer Sajid Nadiadwala's banner, Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment Pvt Ltd (NGE), has clinched a deal with Fox Studios Australia for the pre and post -production work of Heyy Babyy being extensively shot in the exotic locales of that country. The filmmakers have used a number of Sydney landmarks as locations, including the historic St Stephen's Church in Newtown and the central business district. They will film in Martin Place today before moving to locations including Darling Harbour, Circular Quay and Hyde Park this week. While Sydney has been used before by Indian filmmakers, this is the first time the city has featured so prominently.

The story follows the fortunes of three playboy bachelors who find a baby has been anonymously left in their care. They travel to Australia where they track down their former girlfriends to identify which one might be the baby's mother.

The film has Akshay Kumar, Riteish Deshmukh, Fardeen Khan and Vidya Balan in important roles.

This makes Heyy Babyy the first Indian film to be processed in Australia and NGE the first Indian production house to have an office at Fox Studios.

The Australian government and private agencies have been actively pursuing more trade relations with Bollywood. Heyy Babyy is the result of their endeavour in that direction. Australia has more than 130 million dollars worth of India centric projects. As well as exposing the city to an international audience of more than a billion, Heyy Babyy is also expected to pump $2 million into the NSW economy over its five-week shoot. The NSW Film and Television Office, Austrade and Tourism NSW have been encouraging Indian film production in Sydney for years.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Digital Bollywood

Nvidia Corp. and several partners announced a strategic initiative, "Digital Bollywood," for the Indian Digital Content Creation (DCC) community, to help make India a DCC powerhouse.

"Nvidia's Digital Bollywood initiative will unlock the creative potential in India and accelerate its emergence onto the world stage," said Govind Nihalani, film maker and director.

Volker Engel, the Oscar and Emmy Award winning producer and visual effects supervisor, added, "Indian talent is waiting to be unlocked, and I believe that Nvidia is the only company that can play a neutral role in bringing all the Indian players together to create world class content. Nvidia's investment and commitment to Digital Bollywood is real, and I look forward to seeing its results."

"India is poised to become the center of the DCC universe, and we share India's passion and excitement for graphics and video processing," stated Dan Vivoli, senior vice president at Nvidia. "We consider ourselves fortunate that we can play a significant role in catalyzing Bollywood and view this initiative as a continuing long term investment."

Monday, September 25, 2006

VFX and DI for DON

The most eagerly awaited film of Diwali / Eid, Farhan Akhtar's DON starring Shah Rukh Khan is said to feature substantial high end VFX and DI work. While the VFX for the film is being done by Red Chillies VFX, the Digital Intermediate for the same is currently underway and in its last lap at Mumbai-based Pixion. Even before work actually kick-started on the film, the Director of Photography (Mohanan) and the colorists at Pixion conducted a lot of experiments to give a multitude of looks and styles to the film, including obtaining print-outs and previewing them on the big screen to see how it looked. Finally, they opted for a very 'filmic' (cinematic) look.

Various scenes of DON have been shot over 4-5 days with different cameras and angles. In all, the film is said to have had more than 2,500 edits, which is a huge number for any movie.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Shakira may shake a leg for Bollywood film

Latino pop singer Shakira is interested in dancing for a Bollywood film that her Indian choreographer-filmmaker friend will begin shooting this year, a newspaper reported on Monday.

The Times of India said Shakira was so impressed while working with top Bollywood choreographer Farah Khan during rehearsals for last week's MTV awards that she expressed a desire to dance in the planned film.

"Right now, it is just that we have agreed to work with each other," Khan was quoted as saying. The Indian choreographer is to direct "Om Shanti Om" later this year. Bollywood's Hindi movies are known for their elaborate song-and-dance numbers. Khan told the newspaper Shakira would visit India for a concert in March next year and the movie dance sequence could be shot at that time.

The sultry singer and her troupe performed a hip-shaking, Bollywood-inspired rendition of "Hips Don't Lie" at the MTV ceremony in New York last Friday. "She is definitely clued in to Bollywood dance and wants me to incorporate it in her next music video which she wants me to direct for her," Khan was quoted as saying.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Devgan Online

The Internet has always been dominated by several sites devoted to Hindi films. What is interesting is that stars themselves seem to have woken up to the potential that this form of marketing offers.

Not many of his fans are aware that the shy and brooding Ajay Devgan is a Net savvy guy who recently launched his official web site.

"Ajay has realised the need to have a web site to give right information about him and connect to the world in this era of the Internet. Now he replies to all the mails himself," says a friend of Ajay.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Aer U Game for it?

Sameera Reddy is the first Bollywood female actor to be featured in a mobile game.

Bollywood actor Sameera Reddy is all set to be featured in a mobile game, Lara Croft style, making her the first female Indian actor to do so. Sameera aka Sam plays a princess of a city that has been plundered by savage warriors.

Set against the backdrop of an ancient Indian city in ruins, the game will be an addictive fighting title, where players will fight as Sam. Sam's mission will be to defeat the warrior tribes invading her father's regime and drive them out of the country.

An insider reveals that the actor is extremely thrilled to be a part of this mobile game. "A gaming enthusiast herself, Sameera is very excited to feature in a mobile game. The mobile game also reflects her adventurous and sporty personality," informed sources.

Incidentally, while mobile games featuring actors is quite common in Hollywood, the trend seems to be catching up off late in Bollywood. Actor John Abraham too will soon be featured in a mobile game.