When Does a Film become a Business? When it’s Got an USP!

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There definitely is a significant increase in the amount of films being produced nowadays and leave Fridays, even Thursdays are becoming the next release slot for many films! Around 2 weeks back, one friday had around 8 tamil films releasing on the same day! Well in such a case, how would audience opt for a particular film? On what basis would they eliminate their choices and circle upon the one film that they wish to watch on the silver screen? This is where an USP or the unique selling point of a film comes into play!

USP’s are a common term in the field of companies and startups. The rule is to never let down the company’s USP no matter where the company reaches. This is because, It’s the USP that would’ve laid the basic foundation for the company! So how’s this USP relevant in the field of Filmmaking? It really does play a huge role in determining the fate of the film in many cases.  Realising the USP of a film is where many filmmakers fail, Unfortunately.

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The Unique Selling point of 2.O?

The Unique selling point of 2.0 is the usage of the new 3-d technology which are shot using actual 3-d cameras. Now, the makers have realized that and are marketing it quite efficiently, accordingly. This itself is enough to pull in the viewers to watch this film! The USP of Thuruvangal Pathinaru was it’s unorthodox not so explored ( in Tamil cinema) non-linear way of narrative. If it wasn’t for that narrative, the film might have not garnered that much attention. What about Maanagaram? It was an hyperlink film which again isn’t an unexplored genre and was enough to garner the necessary attention. Similarly, if you take up many successful films, the makers would’ve mastered the USP of the particular film and played around only with it.

Why didn’t many Kamal Haasan films succeed?

Although USP has something to do with being unique from the rest, it does have a certain tolerance level. Almost most of our dark comedy films have a bit of western influences. I doubt the fact that all sections would enjoy a film like snatch (2000) being exactly made here which has a very whacky treatment that is completely alien to us.This is why there are filmmakers that have toned down more on the whacky part and yet produced films in that genre like Soodhu Kavvum  (2013).  This is why most of Kamal Haasan’s films were not able to cater all sections. They were so unique and ahead of the time that it became an hindrance for it’s success. The examples would be Aalavandhan, Uthama Villain and many more! It’s very important to know the tolerance level for the uniqueness to prevent it from going over the board. If the same Thuruvangal Pathinaaru had a non-linear narrative almost similar to that of Memento (2000), the film might have not worked with all sections.

What is the building material towards becoming a big director?

Creating unique selling points is one way of aiming big at the market. By creating USP’s, a filmmaker is creating his own style of making films.  Like Mysshkin, Whose USP or his cliched treatment has become his style of Filmmaking. Bala’s unorthodox characters and tragic incidents form the USP of his films. Now, these USP’s are the basic building materials to become a big director.  Like Christopher Nolan whose USP from his initial films was his non-linear screenplay, has made it so huge that, no matter what he does, people tend to find deeper thoughts and layers in it like what happened with Dunkirk (2017). These directors reach that point in their field like how Apple has reached in the field of mobiles. No matter what they produce, they have their loyal followers that would buy and support them!

Do all filmmakers play around with their USP’s?

Filmmakers in order to make it big do play around with their USP’s. Take ranjith (director of madras) who is just 3 films old but has made sure that his USP take over all his films! His USP is his honest take on politics on caste which is felt in his films. Take Venkat Prabhu who known for his fun filled entertainers has created his own USP. His ability to recreate an holiday or a party mood is his USP which is present in all his films! Everyone knows about Shankar’s out of the world creativity in his films!

Vijay is the only selling point in Mersal!

Many directors in the hunt for an USP for their film, concentrate on multitude of selling points for their films that would make the audience buy it. These selling points in most cases don’t seem very unique but are more than enough for them to sell it across the people. One of the most cliched examples of a selling point would be the presence of a big star! Like in Mersal, there aren’t anything unique or worthy enough in Mersal to be sold on those lines except for the presence of Ilayathalapathy Vijay.  But these are not enough to create one’s own section of audience (for the director).

USP is way more important now than ever!

There is an upcoming phenomenon of the digital market where in, it is really tough to make sure one’s work stands out. This is where the concept of unique selling point has to be given a thought to it’s maximum. With many platforms coming up with their own web series and individual films on platforms such as amazon prime and hot star, the USP has to be kindled upon a lot.

Also, the concept of short films is long lost now. Even then, it is one of the healthiest way of realising one’s potential in filmmaking. But,with the internet being flooded with short films, it really is important for the filmmakers to realise the USP of his/her film and work accordingly. This USP will be the only medium through which people would opt to watch it.  Realise your USP, let it take it’s shape and become the prominent one that’s visible to the viewers! Register for knockout where in you could use the USP to it’s fullest and reach maximum viewers!

All the best 🙂

 

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