Cable Sankar



What stars do to promote their movies., borat, motion pictures


News Junket

In India, if a movie is not doing well, its actors would appear in television channels to talk pleasing things about the movie, trying to promote the movie. It is contradictory in Hollywood.  The cast would be available for any television channel only until the movie releases. Every channel, one by one would exhibit, every actor of the film, after evening 9PM. They would just talk anything. Making pranks, cracking stupid jokes and laugh themselves for them, making donations, news conferences, interviews, smiles, gestures; only until the film releases.

Bruno’s hero Cohen, before and after his previous release ‘Borat’, was repeatedly doing the comedy clip from the movie in all TV channels. He came later only to rub his butt on to Eminem.

First Look

This technique is followed to create hype before the release of the trailer. First look would comprise a few clippings from the movie along with the cast’s and technical crew’s interview. This would be telecast in theaters ahead of trailer screening. If the trailer’s duration is about 20 minutes, first look would run for 30 minutes. If you want to watch first look, you have to be reaching the theater in advance.


The marketing company would tie up with food majors like McDonalds and Burger King. It would print the movie titles, logos, hero’s images and the likes in beverage cups. This also includes miniature toys with the movie’s theme supplied along with Kid’s meals.

Video Games

Gone are the times of Barma Bazaar’s hundred rupees video games. People have gradated to XBOX, PS2, Nintendo and the likes. Marketing companies caught this trend and they also release video games on the film’s theme. These games target kids, teens and young boys. Some of these video games become super hits and they are made into movies themselves as well. Notable examples are Mortal Combat, Tomb Raider, Doom, Max Payne and Hitman.

New York’s Broadway Musical plays have been made in to films too. Examples include Chicago and more recently, Britain’s Mamma Mia. Though all films are released this way, the term marketing could not be included in a single definition. For a producer, whatever provides the publicity is a marketing technique. Again I would like to cite the example of Paranormal Activity.

The publicity complemented the film’s title. Orel Peli completed this film in 2006 with mere $11000 budget. Starting from 2007, he was struggling in film festivals to sell it off. Luck smiled at him only in the end of 2008, in the form of Steven Spielberg. Steve suggested a different climax that cost an additional $4000 and the total budget was thus $15000. Theatrical collection alone stands at $ 100 million. After that, DVD, TV rights were sold for a fortune too.

In Scream fest, the film festival dedicated for horror movies, Paranormal Activity was screened first. From the moment on, ‘Horror movies internet group’ of Facebook was keeping the expectation alive and thumping for the movie.

After buying the movie, Paramount tested the waters by releasing in only 13 theaters, then floated an advertisement in its website claiming if a million viewers want the movie to be mass released, it would do so. It also declared that one million votes were cast in favor of mass release in 24 hours (This too can be a publicity stunt, just as we claim 100+ couples have committed suicide inspired by the film). Paranormal Activity released in the same week of the sixth film from the famous ‘Saw’ series released. It is already a Hollywood history.

Television and Radio advertisements would cost a budget for another Hollywood film. Wall poster publicity, like our country, is not possible either. The only resort for Hollywood, and thus a massive medium of advertisement is internet. Cheap and best! Internet marketing is not popular in India as a snail-paced connection speed of 512 KBPS at a browsing center is considered as a privilege.

After film production, distribution and marketing, it’s time for film release! Based on the movie’s theme, it could be released by two means.

· Limited release
· Wide release

Limited release movies are confined in California and New York regions only. A bigger limited release means release in metros across Florida and Texas states. Based on the reception, the film may become wide release.

Let us review the process of getting the theaters for release.

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