Short, spiffy and satisfying

Filmmakers in the city find livelihood and creative fulfilment in making short films for corporates and educational institutions

Updated - March 29, 2016 02:38 pm IST

Published - August 11, 2015 04:48 pm IST - Coimbatore

Letting the visuals do the talking:  Praakrit Kala

Letting the visuals do the talking: Praakrit Kala

It is no more dreary PowerPoint presentations and dull pamphlets. Corporate houses, retailers and educational institutions are using exciting short videos to get their message across. And young filmmakers, heading nascent film productions companies in the city, are taking this opportunity to tap into a lucrative business. “Many of us harbour dreams of being feature filmmakers one day. Assignments like these help us survive financially and test our skills. It also makes us more confident,” says Dinesh Kumar of Thulir Media Entertainers. “Many of the top schools in the city are our clients. The pay is decent. And these films are made in a budget of Rs. 60,000-100,000. And, a short three-minute videos carry a far greater impact than mere words.” Dinesh also makes promotional videos for top restaurants in the city.

It also helps that corporates are full of youngsters who are well versed with the visual medium. “They are acquainted with the latest technologies. They have a good sense of cinema and come with a fixed script in mind. It is easy to work with them,” says Arun Kumar, a scriptwriter and video editor with Praakrit Kala, another film production house. A few videos that Arun worked on before joining Praakrit were released at the Brookefields Cinemas. However, the names of the technicians do not appear in the credits, complains Arun, who thinks it is unfair. “It would add so much value to our portfolio if they carried our names.”

Praakrit Kala teamed up with IFB Appliances to come up with a football documentary called Legends Of Tomorrow : IFB Boca Juniors . The brand, based out of Goa, had collaborated with Boca Juniors, an international football company that had mentored football legends such as Maradona. They were in India to spot new talents to mentor. The film documented the stories of exceptionally talented children across the country who would be mentored by the Boca Junior club. “We need to sell the story in an interesting way. Our audience were the parents, most of whom are concerned about sports, especially football, being a viable option for their children. We had to address that concern,” says Rahul Pramanik, an ex employee of IFB. They decided to skip the established media firms and instead go for younger people, says Rahul. “It is cost effective and also helps to give us a fresh perspective.”

Cost-effective filmmaking is definitely the key attraction of approaching young filmmakers. For example, Azure Film Studio has 4-5 top corporate houses as their clients, including a few BPOs. “We help them make films in a decent budget,” says Goutham, a member. Azure has also worked with Winds Valley Resorts in Anaikatti to make a short video of their services.

Prakash Chandrasekhar, the proprietor, says, “We screened it in Dubai for our launch. Even those who could not follow English found the video appealing. The best thing is, after the video is shown, you just need to brief your clients about the business part. The video would have done the rest of the talking.”

And with platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, there is a greater scope for affordable marketing, too. Thirunavukkarasu — a marketing professional with Media for Agri that collaborated with Azure to make videos for Rajashree Sugars — says, “A short film is a more effective way to do that. The video for Rajashree Sugars documented the entire process of how sugar is extracted from the sugarcane plant.”

Educational institutions are also not far behind. With a school and play centre springing up in every colony, the competition is stiff, says Karthikeyan, a public relations officer with Rajalakshmi Genguswamy MHSS, Udumalpet. He says most schools now prefer to market themselves through shorts that showcase the institutions through their activities, infrastructure and faculty. They had approached Thulir Media to make a video of their 20-year-old nature society. “We wanted to make a short film on the contributions of the club in the field of environment. It was effective and had a wider reach.”

There is great potential for this kind of filmmaking in the city, say these young filmmakers. But sometimes it is difficult to sell their idea to the traditional, family-run businesses that prefer not to experiment and stick with tried and tested methods.

However, the corporate companies are realising the importance of creative marketing, says Rahul. “There are so many brands out there to compete with you. You need to connect with your customer emotionally. We believe that the customer’s buying decision is mostly an emotional one. So when they go to a store, they are going to remember that brand with an interesting story.”

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