I just said ‘Heya People!’ in alien. Bet you didn’t know that.
I couldn’t speak alienese either until Xeno came by to our studio. Yep, I’m talking about this swole triangular alien-guy-person.
Pankaj and Chandra are earth-borns who were looking to skyrocket their website/app Almamapper. The duo contacted Vibin and what do you know, they instantly connected.
Being Bro’s from Pune and all.
Shareef co-ordinated a call with the friendly folks, and we got to know that they were scouring outer space for video makers who can give them an offbeat video.
Heyyyy that’s us!!
we’re itching to add weird-ity to our work
AND we’re great video-makers (their words, not ours).
Udhaya, Vimida, Vibin and I sat down for brainstorming. We didn’t have to think for long, because Vimida pitched an idea – an alien who wants to study on earth – and it stuck.
While writing the script, I was fully engrossed in telling the story of Xeno, the quirky, tech-savvy alien. Vimida suggested that I use a repetitive (anaphoric) rhythm with the words ‘Enter…’. And as you can see, that created a nice tippy-tappy pattern in the script. After a while, even you’ll start guessing where the narrative will say the next “Enter…”
Yep, that was rad.
Doing the visuals was great fun. We were given COMPLETE creative freedom from Pankaj (I’m still stumped. Full freedom? Does it taste better than Dum Biryani?!) We imagined intergalactical worlds and how everything would be shaped differently, even the characters!
Ganesan and Mahesh took it up from there and came up with the entire storybo….
OMG – brain flash – I think this is the first time we got THIS excited about shapes after kindergarten!!
…with the entire storyboard in a couple of hours.
Ganesan withdrew into his artist’s corner – an unofficial corner at the office where he goes to get inspiration ( btw it only works for him. I checked) – and brought out the four main characters – fully formed and ready-to-rock.
Xeno, Prof.Bree, Peter and Inya were born out of the sweet marriage of geometry and art.
His illustrations also brought crazy-amounts of details to the frame with only the basic shapes and minimalist characters.
Mahesh and Dinesh drowned the video in a full 2D render, although parts of it were composed of 3D elements. Dinesh spent hours pouring over “particles simulation” in After Effects for the first few seconds of the video – woaaahhh…the galaxy scene blows you away right from the start, doesn’t it?
When Mahesh was handed Almamapper and a tight deadline, of course he came up with stunning animations that left us in awe. Pankaj loved the style frames and the demo we sent him and told us he was excited for the full video. Let me tell you, it’s not easy animating sooo… many characters ( nearly 4 full-length characters and several other bust-length characters ) especially when Mahesh was hard-pressed for time. Besides, the quality of the video could get affected if we hastened production.
We were petrified; like seriously, nail-biting, hair-pulling kinda scared about the deadline. That’s when Shareef jumped in and spoke to Pankaj, explaining our need for extra time. His assertiveness convinced Pankaj and Chandra and they extend our timeline.
Bahhhh….now you know our secret weapon
Prasad killed it in the music segment. His use of sci-fi sounds in the scene where Xeno is comparing colleges is bang on! Chelsea was our first and only choice this time, because duh, voice acting is the main spaceship that carries this narrative. And she did a splendid job.
Now for the solo rant:
It has been a while since we added to our list of zany productions ( FunMango, Wizzki, Vizdesk ). Almamapper proved a worthy challenge, because we had only 10 days – 10 FRIGGING DAYS – to do a full on CREATIVE project.
I mean no disrespect, but Creativity is a Bi..ahhh…BIG RESPONSIBILITY, yeah, ahem, that’s what I meant.
So trying to rope in Creativity in such a short time is next to impossible – but we pulled it off with style! Can I get an Amen? Thank you.
*drops mike hard on the floor*
Overall, Almamapper is the kind of video that you have to watch twice – once for understanding the content and the second time to discover all the bonus easter eggs Needless to say, we are extremely happy for the opportunity to make an avant-garde branding video for Pankaj and Chandra.
P.S. And to answer your question, yes. Full freedom does taste better than Dum biryani – by a very small margin.