2014 closed with the screening of Pendekar Tongkat Emas across Indonesian cinemas, one of the year’s major local releases and a long awaited movie from celebrated screenwriter/producer Mira Lesmana. Directed by award winning director Ifa Isfansyah, the $2 million movie debuted on 18 December to the public.
A couple of weeks ago we had a chat with Mira Lesmana about the movie and her approach to its marketing which has a heavy focus on social media and the digital space. She’s been known to be more open to experimenting or trying out new media than most other people in the industry in the country, so when the the movie was released, they were ready with not only social media accounts but also mobile games and applications as well.
After a couple of weeks in public release, the movie unfortunately did not perform as expected despite significant enough response on social media. At that point it had generated 56,198 mentions to its Twitter account with 807.5 million impressions on the movie’s keywords. The official trailer had been watched over 165,000 times while the teaser trailer exceeded 109,000. The video production diaries on the MiLes Films’ YouTube channel had also received significant number of views
Mira said that while people were excited, many of them seemed also cautious and skeptical because it’s been a decade since there was a movie of this kind from local filmmakers, “but the audience has been climbing… and has a tendency to grow”.
Her decision to aggressively push the movie’s promotions on digital media hinges on the idea that Indonesian audience are increasingly receiving information and paying attention to websites and social media and messaging platforms, even though print and broadcast media remain a significant part of people’s media consumption.
For Mira, digital media is something that she will definitely embrace for her future projects as it is a growing sector, “a platform that could last longer and is very interesting in the way we are getting feedback right away”.
While this was the first occasion that she has engaged the digital scene in a major way, she finds the lessons worth learning in discovering which channels are best suited for particular approaches and the sort of expectations one should have from digital consumers.
[header image from Pendekar Tongkat Emas]