Mumbai based Climb Media on 23rd July 2012 released it’s very fresh and latest, Live Action- Animated Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund RSP Trek Tvc on all leading channels
Animationxpress.com’s Zeenia Boatwala caught up with Nikhil Warwadekar on the In’s and Out’s, Challenges of this TVC.
There are two different worlds shown in this tvc, how did it become possible? Whats the medium of animation used & how did the entire idea of merging animation in this tvc come up?
Yes, two worlds. As the father narrates the story, the child’s imagination takes off; he creates an entirely imaginary, surreal, comfortable & happy environment around him. The initial idea was to depict the child’s imagination in a thought bubble, but this has been done before. Kireet Khurana had an idea of seamlessly blending two different worlds. Even though this may have been spontaneous idea, it took shape after a lot of brainstorming from the creative team. After careful evaluation of each proposition, we went with the blending of live action with 2D animation for the Birla Sun life Mutual Fund -Trek TVC.
What’s the theme of this tvc?
As Deepak Agarwal, Executive Creative Director at M&C Saatchi digital puts it “The script had a simple premise of a father telling his child about the virtues of monetary savings through a fable. We have all grown up listening to fables and learnt valuable life lessons about right & wrong from their morals. But as adults we have forgotten that these morals also hold the answers to an adult dilemma – how to approach savings. The story of the crow & the pitcher of water reveal how doing something regularly can help someone reach their goals. Hence, the endearingly creative approach that reminds adults of this moral was used in order to open their minds to a relatively safe debt mutual fund.” The unique use of animation in the real world was the apt way to take TREK forward as the exposition of “savings” would be in a very approachable way.
What’s the story line of this tvc, how do you relate Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund and the Animated Crow in this tvc?
The story is very simple, derived from a very well-known fable, “A thirsty crow saw a pitcher of water and decided to quench his thirst. But he couldn’t reach the water. He then tried something different & smarter. He picked up some stones and started dropping them in the pitcher one by one. The water level rose, until he could reach it and quench his thirst”.This is exactly what the idea is behind Birla Sun life Mutual Fund, which is to think differently in order to reach your goals. The animated crow is smart, funny, thinks differently to reach his goal.
How many artists worked on this tvc?
The script was written by Deepak Agarwal, Executive Creative Director of M&C Saatchi Digital, Creative Head – Tehzeeb Khurana worked on the concept arduously, sifting through references, brainstorming ideas, the pre-production team headed by Prashant Shikare, colour stylist – Raviraj Kumbhar worked on a look-feel style for the film, Arnab Majumdar the animator worked his magic in the film, Arvind Shirke seamlessly blended the live action sequences and animated 2d in compositing and the live action – animation was directed by Kireet Khurana – The director of Toonpur ka Superrhero who has expertise in Live action animation genre.
There is a lovely nature scene depicted overall, why did you choose a mountain area?
The film was shot at Malshej ghat as it had perfect texture and feel required for the story. The backdrop of a long mountain range, the luscious greenery, and the breath taking views went well with the visualization of the film. Director Kireet Khurana and the D.O.P Gopal Shah jointly selected the specific locations which would blend with the animated background.
Could you elaborate more on the pre-production of this tvc and duration taken to complete?
The pre – production was a long process, a lot of efforts went into research for the film, various styles for the crow were explored, and various backgrounds were played with to get the right look and feel for the film. The Crow being the hero in the film had to be depicted across as a very smart, happy, expressive yet, humorous character. The transitions of the background from the animated world to the real world had to be precise and spot on. It was decided to do this film in 2D as it was a simplistic, one-location kind of a treatment. The reccee took a few days to get the exact location which the Director had in mind. The live shoot was done in one day.
How interesting was the production process? How much duration did it take to complete this area?
Arnab had to get into the crow’s skin to understand his perspective of being smart. Prashant then went one step ahead and added a humorous touch to the character as if he was acting the crow’s part. They worked together and beautifully managed to blend the two traits to produce a lovable animation film full of gags. The preproduction took approx 15 days to make.
The Crow seems to be very appealing and engaging, how much time did you take to achieve the look of the crow?
The crow was the star, and hence we treated him like a star. The character went through a lot of iterations and regular sequential changes to enhance its look. We took about a week to get the character perfect for the crow.
What were the major challenges on the animation front? How much time did it take to complete the entire tvc with Animation?
Getting the crow character right, making him feel appealing without going too far away from the story and getting the right look and feel for the film were the major challenges. The entire animation took just about 1? months to finish
Can we go more technical, which software’s are used to animate this tvc?
Photoshop was used to create the Character, BG and Prop designs, Colour keys and Style Exploration, Flash was brought into picture for animation and After Effects was used to composite the film. Apart from the software, traditional medium of paper, pencil and watercolors were also used during the exploration stage.
I love the shot where the crow interacts with the kid; could you elaborate more on the challenges faced while merging Live Action with CGI footage in this TVC?
The live shoot as I said was done at Malshej. The parts of the TVC where live action and CG blending was necessary, were shot against green chroma. A standee was created to replicate the crow spitting on the boy’s face. This enabled us to capture the exact emotion and expression of the child actor during the shoot.
With respect to the merging the live action with animation, there were not many challenges, as we had had the experience on a similar platform with Toonpur Ka Superrhero, but blending them together took a lot of time as it had to be done seamlessly and Arvind Shirke did a fabulous job.
Who has done the entire Animation of this tvc?
Arnab Majumdar, a National Institute of Design graduate worked his magic on the film. The animator had to get the crow’s skin to understand his perspective of being smart. To give an added dimension to the crow’s personality, the crow chucked the stone into the pitcher each time differently, and in a smarter fashion, enhancing his characterization.
Acting for Animation must have played a major part while animating the crow, isn’t it?
Yes, it did, Kireet always pushes us toward method acting, he believes in knowing the character till the last breath of its existence and he pushes us to think and react in the same direction. Prashant and Arnab spent a lot of time to get under the skin of the character to get the precise acting from the crow. The crow’s performance is the direct result of acting for animation.
What’s the USP of this TVC?
Live Action – animation combination was first time explored in the category of Mutual Funds.
What’s the main goal behind blending animation in this tvc? Who is the target audience?
A child would visualize a story taking shape in a very creative way; we wanted to directly relate to his imagination and create a surreal environment around him. The idea of merging two worlds spontaneously struck and the team right-away got to brainstorming different possibilities of depicting the same. There was no specific target audience in mind, as the message sent through the advert had to highlight the value of the product, metaphorically but in a creative representation. Anyone who thinks differently yet being smart are our audience.
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