Ad production house Chrome Pictures has produced 42 commercials with leading brands and agencies during the lockdown and after it was lifted. Their first campaign during the lockdown was for Lifebuoy, which gave the production company a ground to prepare themselves for more commercials.
Working for clients and agencies were challenging for production houses during the lockdown period and in the initial months of unlock because of reduced budgets.
From May-end onwards, as slowly and steadily, businesses started for clients, agencies and ad production houses, everyone started working remotely and figured out a way of doing it.
According to Hemant Bhandari, Director, Producer and Co-Founder of Chrome Pictures, everybody was scared from March to May because of the uncertain lockdown. The biggest challenge was the drastic reduction of clientsâ budgets due to the pandemic, he said.
Bhandari said their producers pushed them to work in the given budgets as the team was ready to work as before or more for a lesser price. âIt was great to have team members who were eager to work during the lockdown and were up for a new challenge to showcase their skills.â
The production house started executing jobs from home with the budgets offered.
Bhandari said work is growing now; thereâs extra pressure on everyone and the work hours have increased.
In the next 10 years, Bhandari wants Chrome Pictures to have the tag of âa great advertising production house to work withâ.
âOur main priority over the years will always be to put the best foot forward and deliver beyond a clientâs expectations. In the next 10 years, we want to maintain âa great advertising production house to work withâ tag and at the same time we want to deliver some great long format creative work to be remembered for a lifetime by the people of this country and across the world,â Bhandari said.
The production house has opened a small space in digital advertising named Minikin DGWorks, where they have done some great work for brands such as ICICI Bank, MMT, Google, etc. Bhandari said the division is growing at its own pace and they are happy with it. âWe have great young directors who can work on any budget.â
Speaking on IPL ads that were criticised because of lack in creativity and production quality, Bhandari said, âI feel the involvement of production houses at a much later stage in these circumstances are one of the main reasons. If the clients, agencies and production houses work hand in hand from the initial stage, then I am sure they will have a more successful project.â
According to Bhandari, the effort, passion, input and creativity of an independent production house is much higher than agency-owned production houses as the onus of any next job for an independent production house depends on very last job delivered by them. Every job done is with much passion and every great job is celebrated, he said.
Talking about social media trolling brand campaigns and storylines that shows cultural diversity, democracy, and personal choices, Bhandari said, âI completely agree and approve of the thought that we need to show different storylines via ad films.Â Especially in these times, itâs the need of the hour to show such diverse content. At the same time, creatives should have a modern take, as todayâs India needs to be much more matured and advanced in terms of thinking than 10, 20 or 30 years ago.â
2019 was a great year for Chrome Pictures: the ad production house started its digital space, got its very own post-production studio, and hired new talents.
With the pandemic still around, the focus of the ad production house remains on delivering quality work and ensuring the safety of all the team members. The focus is also on longer formats of filmmaking.
âThe journey of 14 long years has been great. I am grateful to my amazing partners Amit Sharma and Aleya Sen. It had its own ups and downs. We have travelled so far because we understand each other POVs and at the same time are very critical about each otherâs work, which keeps us moving forward in the right direction,â Bhandari said.
Bhandari said advertising is a highly competitive market where almost every day a new director or production house is trying to establish themselves. In such a market, his brief to new talent is you can pick either of the two in the initial stages of your career: âworkâ or âmoneyâ.Â âWe believe that choosing âworkâ in the initial stage will always be challenging in terms of cost, timelines and expectations, but thatâs where the opportunity lies. As every new job gives you an equal opportunity to showcase your talent and build a relationship.â
âIf one chooses âmoneyâ over the kind of âworkâ offered, then they need to wait for the right opportunity. Brief to the team is clear. Everybody is given the liberty to pick and choose their priorities with an opportunity of delivering quality work.â