Casanova comes with a perfect marketing strategy - Rosshan Andrrews
“Hey Rosshan! I would like talk to you about your next film Casanova”- that’s what I told director Rosshan Andrrews over the phone. He invited me home to have a chat; The sun was already going down the sea and Rosshan’s house at Palluruthy is a good, half an hour away from Ernakulam. My friend and I reached Rosshan’s house at around 8 pm that day. Our conversation over tea, served with dates and badam, was more of a discussion than an interview. The time flew by and before we knew it, the clock had already ticked past 10 pm.
have known Rosshan Andrrews ever since he directed his first movie, Udayanaanu Thaaram which was a blockbuster. His confidence levels impressed me, afterall it’s a rarity for a director to direct a Mohanlal-Sreenivasan starrer, in his debut film. I strongly believed that this promising director would go a long way. Subsequent developments seem to justify those expectations. Rosshan then directed Notebook and Ividam Swargamaanu. Udayanaanu Thaaram was later remade in Tamil (Vellithirai) and Hindi (Short-kut- the Con is On), although they were directed by others. And now Rosshan is on to an interesting project, a big budget film with Mohanlal and several top heroines including Shriya Saran, Lakshmi Rai and Sanjjanaa. Casanova has already completed its first schedule and will go on to sets again in February for its second schedule. His next project has Prithviraj and Tamil star Arya in lead roles. He has also signed another Malayalam film, with Chiyaan Vikram in the lead. There are some other interesting projects soon in the offing too. Here’s an excerpt from our conversation :
Casanova, the name suggests it all. A story about a Casanova kind of man, isn’t it?
Yes, it’s about a man named Casanova and about love too. The film conveys a strong message about love and says that love heals all crimes. It’s a romantic thriller.
What’s the budget of the film? And are you sure that you can market it here? The Kerala market is so small for films...
The movie has been made with a budget of around Rs 9 crores. Well, as far as marketing the film is concerned, I must point out that marketing a movie is not just about getting people to come and watch it. There are other aspects too and Casanova explores all such possibilities. As you know, Confident Group is producing the film with Dr.CJ Roy at the helm of affairs. We have planned the marketing in a two-pronged manner. On one hand we would be working on all possibilities to market the film at the box office while on the other hand it’s going to be a well coordinated and well planned branding exercise for the Confident Group. The film itself is branded and will be known as Confident Casanova. Right from the Pooja onwards Casanova has been promoted all over the world as a Confident Group branded film. This procedure has been followed throughout and as for the company, they invested Rs 4 crores and it would serve them as a long term investment on branding. This is just about one-fourths of the total investment that the company sets aside annually for advertisement and publicity. This sort of investment will give returns to the company for years. Added to the company’s investment of Rs. 4 crores, there will be funds that flow in through sales of distribution rights, audio rights, satellite rights and all such things- all of which together will make for the total budget of the movie.
So, you have it all planned out in a systematic manner. Are the producers happy about it?
They are very happy about it. They know that their money is safe. They also know that a Mohanlal movie of this kind would never go wrong at the box office. So it’s a safe bet for them.
You had announced a film with Prithviraj and Tamil star Arya coming together and another one with Vikram. So what’s the current status of these projects?
Casanova is done with its first schedule and the second schedule will begin in February, 2011. In the meantime, I will start shooting for the Prithviraj-Arya starrer. The film tells the story of three young guys and there will be another debutant actor who plays one of the three lead characters. It’s going to be a thriller.
Another film with Vikram has been finalised. I had gone to Chennai earlier and met him. He spent a lot more time with me than he had originally intended to. He listened to the story with utmost interest and agreed to do the film. He has also said that he’ll be doing it free as a token of gift to all Malayalees. He’s a great performer and so humble, I was simply bowled over by his gesture. Well, the project is in the offing. I am working on it, but dates and all are not yet finalised. The project is confirmed and will be produced by Tony’s Entertainment. I’ll reveal more details after giving a shape to the project.
Do you have any other projects in mind?
Yes, of course. I have some confirmed projects soon in the offing, besides the Prithviraj-Arya starrer and the Vikram starrer. I am teaming up once again with C Karunakaran, the producer of my debut film Udayanaanu Thaaram, to make a film with Mammootty. I am also working on an interesting project with Sreeniyettan (Sreenivasan), who’s the script writer of the film. I have been longing to team up with him once again. The cast and other details are yet to be worked out. I am also doing a children’s film.
Great! You have always been talking about your association with Sreenivasan during Udayanaanu Thaaram. He seems to have had a great influence on you. Didn’t he?