Huge flex boards of superstar Rajinikanth's upcoming film Kabali, set-up across Tamil Nadu might tell you a story of its own. No, we are not talking about Rajinikanth's popularity, but the flex boards themselves.
Huge wooden cut-outs of popular stars have given way to digital flex boards, thanks to a court order in 2008, that marked the end of wooden cut-outs.
A report from The Hindu throws light on the transformation of cut-outs to flexes and banners.
"We were the pioneers in putting up cut-outs and hoardings. We have made them for over 1000 films. It was a status symbol for big heroes to have a cut-out on Anna Salai. Now, we are no longer making wooden cut-outs and have moved on to digitally printed flex boards," Venkateswar has told the leading daily.
Cut-outs and hoardings play a huge part in enhancing a film's hype, according to Rakesh Gowthaman, Vettri Theatres.
"Huge cut-outs and hoardings at the entrance and inside a theatre premise have always been a part of the hype of a big Tamil film release. Now, we are strict that the permissible digital hoardings are placed inside our compound. Of course, fans set the tempo by doing digital innovative hoardings and mercury lighting," he has told The Hindu.
Digitalization of flex boards have made the job of a designer easier, feels Kannan, a specialist in cut-outs in the late 80s and early 90s.
"Once, a big star visited my office with a gift to express his happiness that the cut-out I designed made him look realistic and handsome. Today's digital designers can make any actor look young and dashing," he has said.
"Online and digital facilities have made film promotions a level field. Earlier, only the big stars gained with these giant, expensive cut-outs. Today, even a newcomer can catch the attention of the audience if his film's posters and design can catch the attention of the audience," a film-maker has told the daily.