India’s FilmFare Awards are a tradition more than sixty years old so we don’t expect that level of event management at the Lux Style Awards yet. However, having attended both, there are certain simple things that one has noticed and compared and realized that they could be implemented in Pakistan for a better impression and impact. Here are some simple things that the LSAs can learn from the Filmfares…
- First Impression: Red Carpet
The FF floor map was very slick. A red carpet was rolled outside the main show area of the Yash Raj Studio and no one less than a star could step on to it. When I say ‘star’ I mean the film stars and celebrities, not the bevy of journalists, stylists, and helping hands who live in a false bubble of self-imposed stardom. Cameras were assigned positions and no one (meaning guests) was allowed to hover around. Well-suited, ominous looking organisers ensured that. The guests – that would mean the mamas, chachas and phuphis that we saw taking 100 selfies per minute on the LSA red carpet – were hurriedly ushered into a hospitality lounge. Here in Karachi, Hassan Sheheryar Yasin, official Red Carpet Host at the LSAs, should ideally have had the space to host his segment without mad crowds swamping him.
- Second Impression: The Hospitality Lounge
At the LSAs we walked into an insufficiently cool lounge that played host to the hordes of guests that honestly speaking, were poorly dressed and out of place and not at all who you’d want to see as the backdrop of a show honouring style. There were enough of these (corporate, no doubt) invitees at the FF too but they were ushered into a hospitality lounge where the bubblies flowed freely and an open buffet meant anyone could tuck in, any time throughout the evening. The Kingfisher Lounge even had a dance floor for people who wanted to party. These guests had no interaction with the film stars – as should be the case – unless someone from the other end wanted to drop in and mingle with gushing fans. That would happen every half an hour.
- Where do the stars assemble?
Okay, so Bollywood is so huge that the number of celebs showing up cannot be compared to the LSAs. At the FFs a fraction of these stars would be backstage, preparing for their acts but the remainder (non performers, nominees etc) head to the VIP lounge, where they would interact with a very select group of journalists (usually media partners) and each other until the show began. The numbers at the LSAs are tiny in comparison and all the celebs are usually roped in as performers, therefore are backstage. So I would recommend making a VIP Lounge backstage, where media with AAA (All Area Access) cards would be able to get stories and soundbytes.
Starvation doesn’t leave a good taste in the mouth and yet any show that lasts a good six hours (without food and drink) is liable to leave you with just that. A bad taste in the mouth. I heard that at least two nominees were pregnant and ready to faint mid way the Lux Style Awards. It’s understandable that refreshments cannot and should not be served during the show but a buffet should be available for those who are present from 7:30pm (when the red carpet was supposed to begin) to 3:30am (when the show ended). It actually began at 10:30 or perhaps even later. Back at the Filmfares, the Lounge did offer refreshments throughout the evening.
- Let’s spare us unnecessary branding
The night is named after Lux; why shove it further in our faces by a Lux Lounge with several branded (and blah) installations like the Lux swing, the Lux perfume area and the inexplicable anti gravity corner that wasn’t branded Lux but was blah all the same. Britannia has been sponsoring the Filmfare Awards for years but there is never a biscuit stall in sight. The only place you see Britannia is as a logo on the red carpet wall or as a logo on billboards around the city. Lux’s tagline may be ‘zara sa lux’ but they’re obviously not applying that strategy to marketing.
- The program
We all know that the Lux Style Awards, just like the Filmfare Awards, are an event conceptualized for television. The ground show is just like a program where everyone, from winner to guest, has a role to play. So it’s very important to have some kind of discipline. Starting on time is one prerequisite, but shortening the length of the show is another. There were too many performances at the LSAs and while that works for a TV audience, it made the ceremony unbearably long for those at the actual event. The FFs stage only two to three live performances at the event and the rest are prerecorded. We saw Ranbir Kapoor’s opening act and one or two midway performances but that’s it. Every other performance that you saw on TV was recorded separately. It saved a lot of time while giving the public at the show enough star value to be happy.