10:04 PM IST - Monday December 22, 2014

Marketing is not just about spending money: Farhan Akhtar (Interview)

New Delhi, Dec 8 The ‘opening weekend collection’ mindset is an unfair attitude since a film needs time to grow on the audiences, says filmmaker-actor Farhan Akhtar, who also stresses that marketing is not just about money but also about out-of-the-box ideas.

“It is very unfortunate that the era of films celebrating golden jubilee or silver jubilee is gone, considering the content that is being offered to the audience. We don’t have enough screens that can help a film sustain for a longer period of time,” Farhan, 38, told IANS in an interview on phone from Mumbai.

In the past decade, the economics of filmmaking has got a complete makeover, especially with the box-office business reducing to just the opening weekend collections.

“The first weekend has become the deciding weekend, which is unfortunate, although there were films that have done well in the second week like ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ after people went and spoke about it. It is a very trade mindset. One needs to understand that a film takes time to grow,” he added.

“Don 2″, the sequel to Farhan’s 2006 action thriller “Don – The Chase Begins”, is ready to hit the screens Dec 23 and he says he will roll out the marketing exercise from Dec 12.

“Marketing is not just about spending money. Whether they are small-budget films or big budget films, it is important to make people aware of the USP of the film. You need to bring out that potential and think out of the box on how to make people aware about the film,” Farhan said.

“It is very important to reach out to as many people as possible because so much is going on constantly. So much information is already available through television, mobile, iPads etc. It is important to break through the clutter and reach out to the audience,” he added.

The son of veteran lyricist Javed Akhtar and actress and writer Honey Irani, Farhan’s entry into Bollywood with the 2001 blockbuster “Dil Chahta Hai”, which starred Aamir Khan, Akshaye Khanna and Saif Ali Khan, reformed the filmmaking process.

He continued it with “Lakshya” and “Don”. When he decided to walk around and face the camera for “Rock On”, he earned points for his performance.

While Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra and Boman Irani reprise their roles as Don, Roma and Vardhan respectively, “Don 2″ also has some additions in the cast – Lara Dutta, Kunal Kapoor and model Sahil Shroff.

Underlining the highlights of “Don 2″, Farhan says it doesn’t have any similarity whatsoever to the part one.

“The new film is very different from the previous one. It’s a whole new story and whole new chapter of the evolution of Don as a character. I have had the chance to work with some amazing actors and had a lot of fun making it,” he said.

“Primarily the film has been shot in Berlin, Malaysia and also in Mumbai. One would get to see a lot more action sequences than the previous one. You will see more of quickpaced action in the film with a real and gritty backdrop. It was really hard because ‘Don’ is already an established franchise,” he added.

Like “Ra.One”, Farhan will release “Don 2″ in both 2D and 3D format.

“It has been a wonderful experience converting the film into 3D. Reliance MediaWorks had shown us a wonderful demo of the format after which we decided to convert the film. Everyone on board worked together and the film has worked out nicely,” said Farhan.

“However, the audience is still very selective when it comes to 3D. This format has been around, probably since 1980s; however, somehow it was not up to the mark. Now with technological advancements, the standard has reached a certain level where we can use it more appropriately. I think a lot can still be done towards this,” he added.

IANS

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