Well, this was interesting! For the first time ever, I got to experience the twitter madness of waiting for a song trailer to come out. Because usually the time zones/my interest level doesn’t allow for it. And I have to say, twitter is a cesspool of stupidity and misinformation! Who knew? Anyway, I am glad I usually stay off of it. Although this was kind of fun to experience once.
See, the thing is, SRK tweeted last night (my time) that the song would be coming out “tomorrow” (India time). I went to bed, assuming it would come out mid-afternoon (India time) and be there when I woke up. And it wasn’t!
And then things were slow at work (most offices took a 4 day weekend so I’m just sitting here twiddling my thumbs with no one calling me), so I kept checking twitter to see if it was up yet. And finally I just set up a twitter page for #BeechBeechMain. My goodness was that eye-opening!
First, it was kind of cool feeling like I was part of this international community of people going “what the heck? Why isn’t it out yet?” But second, there was a definite loss of perspective that was kind of perpetuated.
In “the real world”, there was an elaborate carefully crafted release event. At a nightclub in Bombay, so as to give that disco club song feel to match the song itself. And a nightclub named “Tamasha” as a nice little in joke referring back to an earlier Imtiaz film. And it looks like it was stacked with SRKians, which is something Shahrukh has done for a lot of his recent releases. Pulled in active fans from the twitterverse and fan clubs and places to get first look at something and meet him in person. Plus, of course, media and everyone else was there too.
And everything went basically perfect in “the real world”. The SRKians got to have a good time, and feel like their hard work was rewarded (seriously, the Indian stars essentially have a massive PR army with how they work with their fanclubs. These people deserve salaries, not just personal one on one meetings to say “thanks”!). The media got plenty of free food and drink and a nice atmosphere. And, as expected, the very active online fans who were invited were, in fact, very active online while there. Posting photos and comments about how great everything is, building excitement for the song, etc. etc.
Meanwhile, in “the twitter world”, there was this strange snowballing of resentment that the song wasn’t released yet. That no specific time had been given for the release. That somehow this was a failure of Shahrukh, the person, and the film as a whole, that it hadn’t come out yet.
But, in the real world, why???? The songs that have specific online release times, those are usually not tied with release events in the real world. Because the real world is unpredictable! In this case, Shahrukh’s plane was delayed so he was later to the venue than planned.
(Really weird when you think about it that he had to post this announcement to twitter, instead of just having some guy at the club say “Hey, Shahrukh’s running late” to the people actually there. Why should he apologize to the twitterverse for being stuck in traffic?)
But, based on what I am seeing from the venue, this caused no issues in “the real world”. It was supposed to be a late night kind of event all along so this wasn’t that far off the plan, the fans there were happy, the media all stuck around and had plenty to take photos of, in fact it was clearly planned around the possibility of him being late. Much better than, say, a press conference where everyone is just sitting there uncomfortably with nothing to do until people arrive. Here, there was music, there was food, there were drinks, it was a party.
You could also say “well, why didn’t Shahrukh get there 2 hours early or arrange his life to be sure it would all happen with clockwork precision?” Again, why should he? He has SO MUCH going on in his life! Is it really the best use of his time to obsess over getting to some random event exactly on time? To the point of flying home a day early just in case his flight is delayed? Or is it better to spend the money and time to make sure that everyone has a good time while waiting for him if he is delayed?
And then there is the option of just having an automated thing send it out online ahead of when he arrives at the “real world” event. That’s kind of the insane part. That all over the globe, there are people waiting for Shahrukh Khan to walk in the door and hit a big button, or whatever it is, and then we can see this trailer on our computers. Why do it like this?
Well, to be fair to the people in the “real world”! If I came all this way because I was going to see the trailer launch, I would be awfully disappointed if it was posted online 20 minutes before I saw it live (especially if I am an unpaid PR hack for SRK who has devoted all my free time to building his fanbase and my only thank you is supposed to be seeing this trailer first). And, vice versa, you can’t put it out at this party and then post it online at a regular schedule the next day. Because everyone here is going to be recording it on their cell phones and putting up strange blurry videos of it. It has to be simultaneous.
Meanwhile, back on twitter, things went from “excited, can’t wait!” to “this is a disaster!” within like 20 minutes! So fast! Plus, there were all of these lies going up! Ranging from “SRK is here now!” (when he clearly wasn’t) to “Exclusive photos of event” (next to photos that I had seen reposted twenty times already) to straight up “song out now!” with a link to a different song. WHY? I don’t understand these people!!!! It’s not even like good lies, it’s clearly fake ones, people are going to see through it in a moment. One moment of attention, on twitter, is enough to somehow validate them?
And the online polls, “How late will it be released?”! And the dramatic declarations that this is the worst thing ever! And the this and the that and the other thing! There’s no CONTENT!!!! It’s all just echoing back of nothingness! By the time the song came out, I was on the “finally!” wagon, but mostly just because it let me flee from the vortex of meaningless noise.
Ah, CONTENT! How I have missed you! Here is the actual song:
But, wait, THERE’S STILL NO CONTENT!!!!! This is one of those new-agey promotional song videos. We get like 40 seconds of actual dancing to the song, and the rest of it is mooshed up bits from the movie, most of which we’ve already seen in other trailers. By golly there had better be an actual song in the film! If it’s yet another “oh, we cut that for time, you can listen to it over the end credits”, I will be ANGRY! And I will be even angrier if its a “Look, we are too cool for actual dance numbers now, we are going to simulate dancing through 30 seconds of karaoke”.
Oh my lord, they’ve gotten to me! 20 minutes on twitter and I am all angry and speaking in exaggerations and stuff! NO!!!! I have become the beast!
(if you want content, the last trailer was pretty content-full)
UPDATE: Okay, I calmed down and had a cookie to recover. And also, watched the other edit which has another 40 seconds to it and is SO MUCH BETTER. The song kind of flows through it in a way that feels natural, and we get little character bits, not just fast-fast-fast edits to make sure we are paying attention.
Also, I am never going out of my little twitter bubble again. It’s horrible out there! I may need another cookie to recover. Or this: