Film industry bets with crores of rupees for every project. Hits and misses determine the fate of every actor and technician. However, going by the latest trend in M’town, the reach of trailers and teasers has a great role in defining a film’s fate. Technicians are keen on sorting down the number of views and likes for their mini-trailers within hours to calculate if they cross the record of a previous film. Directors even appoint special teams to take care of the teaser-trailers like it’s done in B’town.
Vysakh, who wields the megaphone for Mohanlal’s magnum opus Pulimuragan, says the teaser and trailer help the director increase the reach of his product. “It is true that these are just marketing factors like posters and cut outs, but the main difference is its length. When a teaser has a duration of 10 to 30 seconds, a trailer will be comparatively lengthy,” says the director. He points out that the impact of social media among people inspires filmmakers to come out with such videos. “A teaser is made to introduce the genre or style of the film, whereas trailers help us share the basic idea of the film with the audience,” he says.
“The hits and views are calculated for marketing purposes. Even in the 90s, filmmakers were using strategies such as audio cassette sales to attract the audience to the cinemas,” he says. Vysakh also admits that trailers and teasers help the makers yield more revenue. “These videos are released through the official YouTube channel of the producer or the team assigned by the production house. They can generate some cash when the video gets more likes and views. But that cannot be compared to the total budget of the film,” he says. “However, these are just marketing tools and cannot predict the fate of the film,” he adds.
Toeing the Bollywood line, Malayalam trailers and teasers are also being edited by special teams. Editor Abhinav Sunder Nayak, who is noted for editing the trailers of Jacobinte Swargarajyam, Oru Vadakkan Selfie and Kunjiramayanam, says, “Majority of the films whose trailers I have cut were directed by my friends. So, I was very free to share ideas with them before starting the work.” Abhinav says that even a small teaser is cut after he watches the whole film.
“The directors always try to give the available edited version of the film before we start the teaser cut. That helps a lot to choose the apt shots. Sometimes, directors allow me to cut the teaser without any instructions. But, some filmmakers do insist to include certain shots in the trailer. While editing the trailer of Kunjiramayanam, director Basil Joseph had given me full freedom. During the discussion of Thira, Vineeth ettan (the director) had asked me to include the shot of a kid who narrates an incident with the dialogue ‘Boom’. But he never insisted on its position in the trailer,” says the editor, who is busy with editing the trailer and film Aanandam by Ganesh Raj.
Johny Antony, director of Thoppil Joppan, points out that the number of views of the trailer helps the filmmaker understand the reach of their project. “See, if our teaser is being shared by 10 lakh people, that means, at least those people like our project and would definitely talk about it with their friends. Along with that, we can understand their expectation about our project through the comments posted on social media,” says the director, who admits that a particular section of people who come to theatres is not necessarily active social media users. Interestingly top-grosser film Premam had hit the screens last year and ran to packed houses without any trailer or teaser....