The shift from analog means we can be instant, exciting, original
Promos are what bring the horse to water. People decide if they will watch the film or not depending on its trailer. If the promo doesn’t work, it will affect the film.
Before, briefs for trailers weren’t really given because it was all analog. We would edit and show the trailer. If there were changes then we would have to start from scratch. Edit and D-Vision and Avid, all these came later. Then everyone started experimenting, because it was digital.
With digital, we have options for trailers. The options make filmmakers hungrier to see something new. First, we make and show a trailer to them or discuss with the directors what they want. We understand their vision. Then it is pack aged, with the poster and everything.
From film to digital, it has been a long journey and there has been a lot to learn in these 27 years. But I am enjo ying it. With digital, once you shoot, you can cut and upload immedia tely. Before, we would have to wait seven days for the material to come in. Then we would start work, and the makers would be like ‘jaldi karo, yeh picture ke saath attach karna hai’. More is possible now, thanks to digital.
My eight most memorable trailers –
I started my career with a movie called Khauff. I cut the promo for that film, which starred Sanjay Dutt and Manisha Koirala. It was a long process at that time and because of the absence of digital media, theatre trailers used to be very important.
Then came Duplicate, where we actually conceived the whole thing. It was a team effort, where everyone right from the leading man Shah Rukh (Khan) was involved in cutting the trailer. Cutting the Duplicate trailer was memorable; it was quite talked-about.
Time and again, it’s been said that the promo for Kaante changed the perception of people about how to cut a trailer. It was cut keeping in mind the theme and the character sketches of all six leading men. People still talk about that trailer and it gives me immense happiness.
For me, one of my best trailers has been the one for Sanjay Gupta’s Zinda. I think it was the best I have done so far. It was difficult to cut the trailer as the movie has very few characters in it. It was a difficult task but we pulled it off.
One of my most special trailers, Golmaal Again, is out now. It also o ffers something different for the audience, which they will love and enjoy. This is a family film, and under the guidance of Rohit (Shetty) sir, we have added the Golmaal thrill to it. It has a c omedy feel.
Another trailer that really stood out for me was Hindustan Ki Kasam. At that point, it was regarded as one o f the best ones and was talked about quite a bit. R ohit Shetty was also working as an assistan t back then and we both worked on the trailer of this film.
When we cut the tr ailer for Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha, we again tried to do something very different. The teaser was actually specially shot and conceived. It was interesting because it shows the main characters walking separately, normally, but their shadows meet each other. We created that whole thing because VFX had just start ed coming in.
Shootout At Lokhandwala and Shootout At Wadala are again films that stand out, because the movies were inspired by real people and real events.
– The journey of cutting a trailer then and now, and his eight best works
(Written by Bunty Nagi, CEO & Founder at Just Right Studioz & Film editor)