US of A the big apple is in the doldrums. Europe has followed it in the same lane.people are losing jobs, have already turned over their houses to mortgages and now are queueing up for doles. Where is growth coming from? India and China. India is growing at 6%+ and is hoping to keep this pace for the next few years. So here is a country where per capita income is growing (slowly and steadily). A country where people love cricket and movies. They make around 1000 movies every year and some of them actually go out to become super hits. Recently its reported that the Aamir Khan starrer "Ghajini" had crossed gross collections of 50 crores in a couple of months. That makes it $10 million in a couple of months. This is a great model of business. make movies for an audience which pays anywhere between one dollar to two dollars for watching the movies and the sheer size of the population takes care of the economics. Did somebody say Prahalad? yes that was what the revered guru of management was talking about when he talked about the bottom of the pyramid!
Cut-to-the-present: A British film maker understands this economics and uses the same bottom of the pyramid to make a movie with little known actors to fashion out a nice Indian masala movie of a rags to riches story. Signs up musical geniuses Rehaman and Gulzar and dishes out a fast food like masala movie called "The Slumdog Millionaire". That was the commercial angle, then comes the master stroke of promoting it. As it is said "Business is Marketing" and "Promotion is Everything" or "The content is the medium itself". A deft piece of lobbying is orchestrated by making a famous fashion-magnate-dress-designer to choose the theme of "Jai Ho" for his latest fashion show. Good controversy is created in India over depiction of slums etc. this prepares the ground for the "BUZZ' that needs to be generated for an OSCAR Gambit. Next are the BAFTA and other awards which go to the movie. Since an art form is always intangible and abstract, once the "know alls" or the marketing mavens (sorry Mr. Gadwell for using your term") start endorsing it it becomes fashion to endorse the particular art form. Then perfect hammers become great actors and subtle acting becomes a dead pan expression. So once the buzz is created then its just a matter of time that the judges will be inspired to see the unseen in the movie and give it the award.
So that's what it takes to be an Oscar winner. making a good film is only half the job, marketing it is "THE JOB".
Now why did we start with the state of the economy? lets get back to economics now. Once this movie performs well in India because of the glorious awards and the great story told. we will have a beeline of more Hollywood movies releasing in India, for Hollywood will rediscover the Indian audience and the power of the 300 million English speaking people in the country. So with a movie on Indian slums and a rags to riches story of an Indian boy from the slums our friends in the Hollywood have been able to create an awareness of the Oscars to such an extent that future Oscar ceremonies and Oscar winning movies will all be lapped by the ever foreign-entertainment hungry population of the country.
This is what is called, hitting two birds with one stone. WOW there's no business like show business