Interview with Siddharth S. Pande, Founder of Feed The Wolf
Siddharth Pande comes with an experience of over 20 years as an Editor and with more than 500+ film campaigns to his credit.
A pioneer in new age editing techniques, Siddharth revolutionised the world of Film Campaign Designing in the industry with his penchant for innovation.
He is also the man behind the promotions of 25 top box office grossers in Bollywood history. With his enthusiasm for storytelling, only matched by his total dedication to the craft of editing and a passion to grow as a professional, Siddharth founded Film Ok Please in 2018, now known as Feed The Wolf Private Limited.
Feed The Wolf is a young 360-degree creative agency with a team consisting of a mix of next-generation creative strategists.
The company works across the entertainment landscape to position and guide the marketing creative for film, TV, and streaming entertainment launches with a focus on visual promotions, post production, content creation, song and trailer edits for films and series as well as graphics and motion poster designing making it a one-stop destination for all things movie marketing!
Siddharth has previously worked with the leading production houses in the country namely – Dharma Productions, Fox Star Studios, Sony Entertainment, Red Chillies Entertainment, Zee Studios and leading streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Voot Select.
His most recent projects include Shershaah, Ray, Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein, Drishyam 2, Brahmastra, Mission Majnu, Jamtara Season 2, Class, Tu Jhooti Main Makkar among others.
In addition to creating amazing film campaigns, Siddharth has a deep understanding of music which comes with his love for playing the piano, with backing vocals by his dog and 11 cats.
Tell us a little about yourself & your entrepreneurial journey
Siddharth S. Pande: Being in the entertainment visual promotion space for the past two decades, we decided to start our own journey with the birth of Feed The Wolf (f.k.a Film Ok Please) in 2019.
I (Siddharth S. Pande) have previously worked on over 400-500 films to support their marketing promotions and Mamta (Bahirvani) being from a marketing background along with a past stint in the directorial, writing and photography space, seemed like a perfect team to begin this journey.
We both were always passionate about films and storytelling. With a collective vision to establish a creative agency with cutting edge content with its heart in innovation was something we always wanted to do.
Also, the evolution and growth of the creative ecosystem with the advent of the OTTs in the fabric of the Indian entertainment industry was an exciting time to explore the depths of this ground-breaking change which was to come. And thus, began the journey of Feed The Wolf with a computer on our dining table.
Kindly brief us about Feed The Wolf, its specialization, and the services that it offers
Siddharth S. Pande: Feed The Wolf (f.k.a Film Ok Please) is your creative advisor and content creator for all things entertainment to position and guide the marketing creative for film, TV and streaming entertainment launches.
Bringing together a culture and community of highly talented creative people who love film, music and advertising.
We offer a plethora of services which includes content creation, production, theatrical motion picture campaigns, on-air promos, in-film brand videos, motion graphics, animation, interactive digital advertising and entertainment-related marketing materials.
Established as Film Ok Please in 2019 and eventually as Feed The Wolf 2021, we are a 360-degree creative agency with of a mix of next-generation creative strategists which have already worked on some Bollywood blockbusters such as Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar, Brahmastra, Drishyam 2 and some breakthrough content in streaming which include Shershaah, Love Hostel, Gehraiyaan, Looop Lapeta, Class, Kota Factory-S2 among others.
What inspired you to start your own creative agency, and what were some of the biggest challenges you faced in the early days?
Siddharth S. Pande: This market is definitely a highly competitive market one and establishing ourselves was definitely a challenge. Every business has a learning curve and it’s important we learn from our failures and build a system and strategy to constantly evolve.
Our focus was to bring together the best technicians in the trailer industry to ensure quality work and great consumer experience and we gradually grew our team working towards this. Collaborating with the finest was a game changer for us.
The art of teamwork by understanding the recipe of peak performance and the heart of teamwork by bringing people who love what they do with purpose has been at the core of leveraging growth and moving us to the next level.
How do you stay on top of emerging trends and technologies in the creative field, and how do you ensure that your agency stays relevant in a constantly evolving landscape?
Siddharth S. Pande: Technology is ever-changing and so are the consumers. We constantly strive to make our trailers more engaging for the consumers.
Understanding consumer behaviour is important. The modern consumer today is slow to listen, and faster to flip the channel.
To garner their attention is a constant challenge and it is essential we create visual content which is intriguing from the word go.
Today, trailers are shorter than they used to be few years ago owing to the shorter attention span of the consumers who are constantly bombarded with a tsunami of trailers. To be slick, concise and gripping is essential for a great consumer experience.
Going forward, we see ourselves tapping into the international market and taking our expertise and experience in creating digital content, design, production and VFX with an aim to persistently transform and expand our reach on a global scale.
Can you walk us through your creative process when working with a new client, from initial consultation to final delivery?
Siddharth S. Pande: Typically, with every project we usually start by watching the content (Film, Series or rushes of the same).
Once we have an idea, we have a client briefing session to brainstorm on ideas and the positioning of the content.
Collectively a basic communication message is agreed upon which is then used for marketing through all mediums.
This becomes the base for us to work with. Communication is key. We agree upon how much of the story is to be revealed enough to create intrigue for the audience to watch the film or series.
We usually have internal feedback sessions and lock on a cut before showing the client. And then of course we have feedback from the client and changes are done after which we finally lock the assets and prepare them for delivery.
It is a collaborative process between us and the client since it is essential, we are all aligned on the messaging that goes out to the audience.
Since teasers and trailers are the first visual medium of communication, it’s the most crucial marketing asset which plays an important role in the audiences’ decision to watch it. Making it interesting and exciting yet being true to the story is key.
What do you consider to be the most important qualities for success in the creative industry, and how do you cultivate those qualities in yourself and your team?
Siddharth S. Pande: To begin with, I think the most important quality is to love what you do. Passion and hard work. Being in the creative industry is tough.
The work entails long hours, crazy briefs and sometimes unreasonable deadlines. And it can sometimes be exhausting.
But the drive to keep going and doing better than your last project is what helps you move forward. Time management is a skill you have to learn to balance the workload.
Another important quality and maybe a tough one for most is to be open minded and deal with criticism.
Creative people can be whimsical, because we are all so passionate about what we do, client feedback can sometimes be disheartening and demotivating.
However, it’s important to understand that the film is bigger than everyone and that we all have a common goal to make sure we do the best we can for the betterment of the film.
And patience. The quality that binds everything together. Being in the creative industry requires a lot of patience!
To create something from ideation to the final result and everything in between is time consuming and being patient is key.
I have learnt to imbibe these qualities over time. Experience helps you learn and evolve. The same goes for my team. We learn from each other’s experiences and try to do better each day.
How do you balance the creative vision of your agency with the practical considerations of running a business, such as managing finances and hiring and training employees?
Siddharth S. Pande: The eternal conundrum is; the ambition of a big vision and the reality of practical considerations such as budgets.
I’ll be honest, there are days, many of them, when we have to quell the creator in us and listen to the businessperson instead.
It is a hard pill to swallow, but necessary, as it only pushes us to be more creative and learn in an iterative cycle.
It’s a constant push and pull and to know where we need to slow down. If we learn too fast, what will be there to desire after a point? So, it is important to have these humbling moments that keep us on the path of organic growth.
What was the inspiration behind turning an entrepreneur?
Siddharth S. Pande: Passion for entertainment has driven me. Working with the film industry is a great learning curve and I felt that it was also important to break new ground, which was only possible to do while working on our own.
We can innovate more when we are working on our own and yet be guided by the learnings of others. The desire to not be in a mould was the reason to choose entrepreneurship.
In your opinion, what sets your agency apart from others in the industry, and what do you believe is the key to building a successful creative agency?
Siddharth S. Pande: Listening is key. As creative partners it is our responsibility to work closely with the problem statements of our clients and here, we believe that it has to be a collaborative process that has to start with conception and not with execution.
Clients want partners who are reliable and consistent. To prove our trustworthiness along the way has been at the core of building a long and happy relationship with our clients.
Ultimately, the Janta speaks to the success of any creative agency. If you fail in the court of public opinion, then you are only in it for the money and not for excellence. I don’t believe that we do any ‘tick mark’ activities here at Feed The Wolf.
What are your success tips for young and aspiring entrepreneurs?
Siddharth S. Pande: Great opportunities often come from taking risks. Constantly striving to do be better each day and being fearless helps you take risks.
And there may be success and failure. However, failure is not always a bad thing. It’s important to take it in your stride and learn from every experience to build a solid foundation.
Additionally, collaborating with a great team can be magical with remarkable results. A team that shares the same vision is a beautiful culmination for exploring your full potential.
There is never a wrong time to do the right thing. Small steps lead to big things. Take the first step and be the builder of the future you desire.
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