July 1, 2009
By Compiled by Christine Wong
The Skinny This campaign is a joint effort of Samsung Mobile (CDMA division) and Tata Indicom, one of the leading CDMA service providers in India. The focus of the spot addresses a prevalent crime issue in the sub-continent, the proliferation of mobile phone theft. As such, security of mobile phones from theft is a major issue in the lower strata in India. In fact, it is a concern to all. Super Hero is one of the basic CDMA phones that offers the benefits of Advance Mobile Tracker systems. The value proposition of the commercial highlights the advantages of the system and how it enables peace of mind among consumers. The aim of the campaign is to establish Advance Mobile Tracker and its benefits to consumers. The spot features a man who works hard as a labourer for over 12-14 hours a day to make his daily bread. The mobile phone is key to his livelihood and, therefore, a very important investment which he cannot afford to lose. Clients, Tata Indicom and Samsung Mobile CDMA, were brimming with enthusiasm for the storyboard. Client representatives, Dinesh Sharma of Samsung and Trivikram Thakore of Tata were filled with excitement. Little wonder that the production team was given a free hand. The Production The producers wanted a raw real feel. The stunts required an actor who could endure a certain degree of real, physical collisions and pain. The casting, therefore, was critical as the protagonist needed to act with his face and his body. The selected actor, Usman, is a pantomime artist whom the stunt director, Mehmood Khan, immediately approved. Almost overnight, a set of four costumes were quickly stitched and ready for shoot. The stunt director, Mehmood, took Usman under his wing for training and rehearsing like an Olympian. For the record, Usman actually did 90 per cent of the stunts himself – except for a sequence in which he is rolling down the steps like a log. This was considered too dangerous and the takes were done by a stunt double. One of the biggest challenges was the shooting schedule in Khareghat colony which is a Parsi enclave. People here are generally peaceful but they are also known to fiercely guard their privacy. As it turns out, the production team took an 80-foot industrial crane for wire/cable work without incident. Most commercials in India are shot on 35mm film, as such, DOP Sanjay Kapoor decided to go with Kodak 50D and 250D. The choice of stock took into account the fact that the team was going to shoot indoors as well as outdoors. The film choice was key to achieving a look that retained skin tones yet still exploited the gritty colours and smells of Mumbai city. The Post Albert Goo of Pixion suggested a Eugene Delacroix painting kind of look in telecine. It is an interesting bleach bypass appearance which resulted in a look that desaturated the overall ambience. Gan managed to enhance the reds and gave an overall look that warmed the skin tones without affecting skins. In post, the challenge was to remove the wires, especially in the shots where the camera had been moved. The team at Pixion Studios knocked it off like a walk in the park. The film was cut on Final Cut Pro by offline artist, Anand Subaiah. Online was done on Quantel EQ at Pixion Studios.