Five minutes to fame
When Avengers: Age of Ultron released in 2015, there were many who wanted to capitalise on the success of the franchise. There were merchandises and memes. And then, there was Put Chutney, a popular YouTube channel owned by Culture Machine, that wanted to ride the wave of enthusiasm that preceded the release of the Marvel movie. Their quirky video titled ‘What if The Avengers were from South India’ got 14,43,011 views.
Put Chutney has created a little Internet universe with its own recognisable characters. These videos, around five minutes long, peppered with humour, have a loyal viewer base, so when a film promo video featuring celebrities is uploaded, it invites further interest. “The first promo video for Jil Jung Juk (10 Elements of a Commercial Film) happened because of a chance meeting with actor Siddharth.
A scene from ‘First Ever Zombie Encounter’
He’s a hardcore information junkie — he’s active on social media and understands how pop culture works. That was a huge advantage; he understood the language we spoke,” says Rajiv. Siddharth called back, he adds, when they decided to trim the film based on audience response. Thirty hours later, a new video (How to edit a ‘Crispy’ Commercial Film) went up, announcing the change. Jayam Ravi happened to watch these and next came ‘First Ever Zombie Encounter’ to announce his film Miruthan. The hilarious video not only created a buzz about the film, but also showed the actor taking a dig at himself. “It’s interesting to watch an actor come into this fray. They are game to try different concepts,” says Rajiv.
There have been more promo videos — for Aviyal, Darling 2 and Ennul Aayiram. Unlike TV trailers, these offer fresh content. And, they have no censors or formats to fit into. Most importantly, they can be shared. “It is a first-of-its-kind movie promotion in the South, which directly targets opinion makers on social media.
The film industry runs on creative function. They are constantly looking for new avenues to promote films; this is just the beginning, there’s a long way to go,” says Rajiv.