Studio Eeksaurus’ latest Google film receives 3,00,000 hits in 3 weeks!

Mumbai based Studio Eeksaurus recently delivered an innovative ad film for Google under Google Worldwide’s ongoing global online campaign for Google Chrome -‘the web is what you make of it’. The ad film which depicts the journey of Chennai based Tanjore artist G.Rajendran of building a complete online e-commerce site and developing successful business around it in a physical way, has become a huge hit. The film has gone viral and has garnered more than 3,00,000 hits in just 3 weeks! Bartle Bogle Hegarty (ad agency) approached E Suresh (Director of the film and Founder Eeksaurus) for this spot as they were searching for various case studies of people using web and especially Google applications to their advantage for a series of ongoing commercials. Speaking to E. Suresh shared, “When BBH discussed this idea with me they wanted to do it in animation like our previous commercial for, which has Patta Chitra Katha art. So they wanted this whole story of a man whose business had gone down because there was no demand for traditional art form like Tanjore paintings anymore. He had to boost his business using some other medium. The man thought of going via Google and this complete journey of his was to be told in Tanjore Painting Style with sequins and gold foil etc.” But for Suresh the story of G.Rajendran, who is an artisan and yet thought of using the web, was a big idea. He thought it was very important to show the act of him constructing the website as this was a big change of thinking. Rather than going to a street and putting up a stall to sell his paintings he thought of this novel way of marketing. “I thought we should show a mammoth human effort as a visual metaphor to denote the big ‘web’ leap in this film and use human beings as the primary texture for the film. Like I always say, we are not restricted by the medium or style we can handle. We as a design studio always use design process as a way of finding the right means of storytelling for a story. It doesn’t matter if we have the capability within our studio or not. But we need to bring the right medium unfold the story for it to be effective in its communication.” So here’s the turning point- Suresh advocated to the agency that they should actually have people constructing a huge physical website and let it represent an online shop where people come and do their paintings and sell it there. Like a physical gallery. He says, “After we got a go ahead from the agency we sent our stop motion team to Chennai. We discovered to our surprise that it was not the younger guy but his father, who can’t even speak English who thought about this idea of going the digital way. He was also the one to think of Google Ad words. This re-affirmed my belief in having chosen live action for the film and gave our concept a huge boost, we decided to have G.Rajendran as the protagonist of the film.” The team closely followed the actual website developed by G.Rajendran to make the physical set authentic and kept it very similar to the original site with similar fonts and design. It was a big leap in terms of defining thedesign route for the studio hence the team did detailed preproduction over a month that included 6-7 iterations of storyboards and animatics. They created a miniature of the actual set, shot their own people, scaled the images and shot the entire film with those small images on the miniature set. Also in terms of design the studio has ‘Tanjorized’ all the elements including the cursor, the site design, the Google logo etc. The music for the film was composed by Shri of popular duo ‘Badmarsh & Shri’ from the UK. The actual shoot of the film involved 120 people, most of them dressed in white mundu and shirt giving a mega yagna ( mission) kind of feeling. “While planning the production we asked them (Tanjore artists in Chennai) to do the paintings in stages, so that we could shoot it as you see it in the film. Then we asked them to come down to Mumbai for the shoot. We persuaded G. Rajendran, “You are going to be the protagonist, you are going to be the man who will enact in the story, you are going to play the pivotal role of the person who is mobilizing people to build the website and tell the world about how it has become a complete community movement.” He was kind enough to agree to play the part in the film. Summing up his experience on the project Suresh says, “Process driven filmmaking will always work. And it’s not about doing what you are good at but what the story calls for. So it is challenging every time for our team to shift focus from one way of working to another, to an area which we don’t know about as it happened in the case of this commercial. Although we have done live action before, the scale of this project was bigger than anything that we have dealt with, and so was the risk- now that I think of so many people on the set perched at heights managing the lights and cameras- it worried me immensely.” It has been raining awards and nominations for Eeksaurus in 2011. For its various works, the studio has won many prestigious awards including 7 IDPA Awards, Viewers Choice Awards at TASI Anifest, Krok 2011 Award for Use of Effective Minimalism, Asifa Award, ABBY and Asia Pacific Award. Currently Eeksaurus is developing a TV Series for local market along with three short films and couple of social awareness films. Suresh feels that one needs to penetrate and feed a lot of ‘animated’ entertainment to people for them to accept animation as a form of film making that can match up with the way live action is percieved in India. Although there are budget constraints he feels people can still do quality work. “Deliver quality from other aspects like writing (story) and design ( Look & Feel, characters etc ) which is poor right now. These are some of the areas we want to contribute to enrich the animation industry of India” he concludes.