Behind the Scenes on our TVC for iSteel
Conventional wisdom awards plenty merit to the process of “unlearning”.
Not sure how to do it?
Work with a baby.
Babies couldn’t care less about call time or shoot schedules or even being professional. So, clearly this isn’t an account of a shoot that went like clockwork. Or is it? When you’re expected to work on the parameters of nap time, snack time, temper tantrum and the occasional sunny mood, the crew develops a whole new level of synchrony. Suddenly you’re expected to be inventive, flexible and really, really quiet. You’re expected to think on your feet and the rulebook goes out of the window - and so far, it’s always been a good thing.
When the film is just 30 seconds long, the set becomes the hardest working component in the entire film. One look at the lights and the production and it needs to communicate everything that you can't fit in dialogue or even grand exposition. And setting this exposition is truly an art in itself. We designed the set in a way that it looks festive but not too celebratory. We placed just a few extras in the background, and decorated the set with just the right amount of flowers and lights so as to convey a small, contained and a very private family affair. It just wouldn't make sense otherwise.
The script was straight forward. The few moments before a little girl’s naming ceremony. Before the crowds swarm in, when the family savours a little together time. This is often the time when the closest relatives choose to bestow their gifts to the little one. While gold is considered the most auspicious gift, here the grandmother makes an unusual gift of a copper bangle. Ancient wisdom prescribes copper as a means of protection. This element, pun unintended, is the highpoint of the story. Where something as non-involving as TMT bars become the part of your life that it actually is.
The underlying theme of the film is protection. The typical colour scheme of a South Indian celebration is warm with overriding tones of yellow and orange. The grandmother, mother and father were dressed in cool colours to stand out in this palette. A strain of red added the element of the brand without being too obvious. The baby was dressed in red for the same reason. The colours worked in accord and created a mood of warmth and of being protected.
Our director hates unimaginative flares. You know those where you see people place huge dorky unwanted lights adding a very digital flare at the corner of the frame. Yeah, he hates them. And so, the team went about cutting flares so that the film connected emotionally all the way through.
Wailing baby notwithstanding, shooting this film taught us a couple of things about chemistry. At the end of the day, we were creating a moment in time. All the call times and the schedules in the world wouldn’t hold any water, if the film didn’t strike a chord and make the audience feel anything. It’s a beautiful thing to experience - how one crying baby can make a 30-odd person crew come together and work like one organic creature to make one true moment.
You Can of course watch the final film here.