A couple of months ago, we did a commercial to showcase CaratLane.com’s Nizam Collection. It wasn’t a launch or anything, just a tiny 20-second thing to make people aware the stuff they have to offer. To this end, we collaborated with ideas@work, a Mumbai-based company with Prashant Godbole as the creative director.
Now, when you hear the word ‘Nizam’, you start picturing 18th century castles in Hyderabad, decorated with art from all over Persia, and an atmosphere brimming with literary amazingness. This was a culture that introduced Urdu as a language of court and administration, and had played patron to poets like Daagh Dehlvi and Fani Badayuni.
Keeping that space in mind, Vanshaj went recceing to Hyderabad. It didn’t really take long for us to find what we were looking for. What better to reference in our video for the Nizam collection, than the official residence of the Nizams themselves?
The darbar of the palace had all the elements we were looking for. Decorated walls, arched panels, huge pillars, upholstered sofas, big chandeliers, everything. We weren’t going to get actual royalty to do the shoot, let alone be able to “rent” the palace for the shoot. So what we did was click photographs of the intricate floral designs on the panels, the grand golden curvy furniture and the pointed archways and so on. We went down to the tiniest detail of even what designs on the carpets. Apart from that, we also culled the internet to reference the kind of mood we were going for. Here’s a sample mood board that we drew:
After the research, recceing and the photographs, the treatment of the film was written with a storyboard drawn out. You can find them attached here, and here respectively. These are some snippets from the storyboard:
Like we said before, we neither have actual shots, nor models, nor props used in the commercial. Everything you see in the video was drawn out and modeled to bring a realistic touch to it. The statues, flowers, the light rays, everything. Mayur Patel, the magic man from Magic Box (another agency based in Mumbai), headed the post-production.
Once all that was done, we took off the colours. Well, we de-saturated it; more along the lines of black and white. The reason for doing that was to put the viewer in the same space we talked about earlier. The space where you believe there still exist palaces with romanticized royalty, and sprawling gardens riddled with poets.
The ring was the only object that fell in full colour and saturation. The whole point behind it transforming from a design in the stonework to the Aliya Ring, was to underline the magic of the Nizam collection visually. To showcase the fact that this is something that comes straight from that time period.
For the music, Rajeev Bhalla drew inspiration from the old gharaanas. Slightly flirtatious with all those pauses and beats that fall in just the right places. And the lovely voice you hear belongs to Shehnaz Patel.
All in all, it took us 6 days to render the whole film; at the rate of 4 hours for a single frame.
It was an amazing experience. And easily one of the creatives that we are so very proud of.
Here’s the final version,
Also, a HUGE shoutout to Kaushal Thakkar, he’s our Films Producer and literally none of this would have happened without him.