July 1, 2010
THE SKINNY The TVC introduces the Mahindra pick-up truck that transforms into a robot and makes everyday tasks easier and faster. The idea behind this is to emphasise how this Mahindra truck is more powerful in terms of the engine and more spacious compared to other competitive brands. The story begins with a shopkeeper who is waiting for someone to pick up the water containers. A giant shadow steps in and reveals that it is the Mahindra robot. Without hesitation, the robot picks up the water containers. After receiving the command from the shopkeeper, the robot starts to sprint towards the destination. It travels through all the sharp corners and uphills without showing any sign of slowing down. A competitive truck travels uphill, and the robot turns on his turbo boost and takes over the truck within a few seconds. Then it transforms into the Mahindra truck and reaches its destination. The ad was heavily inspired by the movie Transformers. After a series of conceptual developments, the team finally came up with a robot that carries its own identity and most importantly, it is designed based on all the elements from the Mahindra truck . This project was developed for the India market. THE PRODUCTION The project was shot in Lonavala, two hours from Bombay by car. According to the team, shooting on the road was dangerous, with approaching vehicles coming on and to make it worse, shooting was done on hillsides consisting of narrow and zigzag roads. Cameras used include 35mm and the Canon 5D (for plates for the robot reflection). 35mm was used because of the film quality and Canon 5D was used because it’s easy to handle in a moving car. The Canon 5D “is HD and we used it as a reflection plate, while the disadvantages are that it is 8 bits so that we can’t change much in grading but we don’t need to because we have a good DP who knows his stuff,” said VFX supervisor William Woo. The challenges of working on this TVC/project included the tight timeline, and also the challenge of transforming a truck into a robot. THE POST It took the team a total of two months for post production. Maya, Photoshop , Aftereffects , Combustion, Flint and Flame were utilised for the project. According to the team, one of the most memorable scenes was the shot where the robot was injecting the water containers into his shoulder slots. It was a challenging task to come up with a logical and at the same time coollooking concept for loading those containers onto its back. Several concepts were developed (for example slotting into the chest, directly into his back by bending his arm awkwardly, but were not accepted). The main VFX challenge include the shot where the robot transforms into the truck. That shot required a lot of heavy modeling, animation details, and realistic VFX timing in order to achieve the believable and convincing look of it. “The challenges were tackled pretty well with all the integrity and the passion from the team members by trying out countless times, the presentations that got feedback going back and forth to the agency for approval, or rendering time and time again, but without the thought of giving in,” explains the spokesperson.