06 August 2012

The Making Of The New Age Actor by Rishad John (JWT, Mumbai)

The following actors have chosen their roles and their choice of movies are very selective.

The actors in point are 

Abhay Deol (Manoranjan 6 feet under, Shanghai, Zindagi Na Mila Dobara)
Kalki  Koechlin (The girl in yellow boots, Shaitan, Zindagi Na  Mila Dobara, Shanghai)
Vidya Balan (Parineeta, Dirty Picture, Kahaani)

The new age actors have discovered that in order to order to remain relevant they have to constantly keep themselves  fresh in order to be in the consumer’s eye and consumer’s mind.

The consumer is always on search for something new and in order to catch their attention the promo has to be enticing enough for them to keep a reminder and make it a point to watch it.

The new age film need not have a star cast, it just needs to have a good story and what has now caught everyone’s fancy is the right formula  to market their films. Aamir Khan seems to have struck it right and whether it was his film Ghajini which had everyone sporting a similar haircut or his other movie Taare Zameen Par or 3 idiots which went on to Delhi Belly which had everyone hooked onto the song “DK Bose” and then his wife’s, Kiran Rao’s   movie debut Dhobi Ghat had everyone hooked and waiting to watch what is next.

The rise of Art Cinema:
A parallel cinema in the form of Art Cinema has been in evolution for many years now and has been a strong alternative to the commercial Bollywood masala and saw the rise of stars such as Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil, Nandita Das ,Rajat kapoor, and  Vinay Pathak and they have certainly given a serious change to fare we have available today, be it movies like BOL  or Ankur or strong performances from Jaya Bachchan in Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa or with Nandita Das directorial debut of Firaaq which spoke of strong themes or the recent Irrfan Khan  movie Paan Singh Tomar which told us the true story of an Olympic medallist from India and how life took a change for a different course.

Films furthering social causes have gone a long way and have brought to the front issues such as an autistic child and their dilemmas in movies such as Tare Zameen Par   or even bold films like Fire, Earth and Water which spoke of issues prevalent in India.

There can be further argument as to how can not a Bollywood actress take on another role and we saw this in the case of Rani Mukherjee and her role as a prostitute where a  Bollywood actress was  seen in a  serious role.

Laaga Chunari Mein Daag was a strong story of a woman who has strong beliefs when trying to protect her family and will go to any lengths to protect the people who matter to her the most.
From this we can see that it is not a certain formula but the storyline that needs to have a strong connect with the audience and this is what worked for a movie like Kahaani where there was an instant emotional connect  with the lead character and it beat the internal target set by Viacom 18 pictures  by three times.1

Marketing on another level
Recently, Ishaqzaade which was Arjun Kapoor’s debut film with Parineeti Chopra did an innovation on You tube where they had every viewer had to watch the song of their film before they went onto the video of their choice and they were not allowed to skip the video which was the usual option to skip the ad and go on to their chosen video.

Indian films now have their movie site where you can learn more on the movie see trailers and have more consumer interaction with the movie. Take the case of Turning30 which people interact and learn more on the characters and hence try and identify with the person they are seeing on screen.

Bejoy Nambiar said recently at an MTV Youth Marketing Forum that he promoted his film, Shaitan on the internet and through this he got 20% of his audience which he may not have got if he hadn’t reached out online.1

Setting the stage for new genres
With the stage set for new age cinema, we have progressed in certain directions, and have also developed some genres.

We deal with social issues, stories that have a relevance to current society and stories that need to be told because through the medium of cinema we reach a wide audience and our story needs to be told to make a dent or a connect with our audience that are waiting to see what role does this actor perform next or what film does a director like Ram Gopal Varma or Anurag Kashyap bring out next.
The new Age actor is branching out as we have seen in the case of Aamir Khan who has transposed himself onto the small screen with a socially relevant show and has managed to pick the right topics and get the middle class who have been affected by it , talking about it.

His show, Satyamev  Jayate has gone on to create a prime viewer ship slot and has a TVR OF 4.0 after 4 weeks which is all set to grow and become a property of its own on Sunday mornings.  2. & 3.

India is the largest maker of films worldwide and we continue to strive to make relevant social films across themes and genres in multiple languages and we have some great films coming out from various corners of India.

Our films are here to entertain us and we the discerning audience have every right to expect stellar performances from our new age actors.

1. Source: MTV Youth Marketing Forum April 2012
2. Source: afaqs.com
3. Source:  Storyboard.com

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