Neha Kalra

Imagine it’s real: Samsung Mobile

The latest Samsung Mobile TVC which features Aamir Khan is a great example of how technology can push the boundary. afaqs! finds out more about the technology and special effects used for this film

Samsung Mobile has recently appointed Aamir Khan as its brand ambassador. In July, its first corporate film with Khan also went on air. The film has some great work of special effects and technology, a similar philosophy that the brand carries – how technology can push the boundary.

In this commercial, Khan is seen standing against the Imax Tomb at the Arts and Science Museum in Valencia, Spain. He voices, “I'm tough on myself; tougher on what I represent."

Next, he takes a look at himself in a mirror. He moves against various structures, takes a walk in the museum. He goes on, "I break new grounds, touch the next emotion. What is the next thing that I have got to do, to better myself?"

He walks up to a sandy area. He dives into it, only to swim into water. "I create paths where there are none. I keep challenging myself, every moment, and the moment after that. It's not the easiest thing on earth, but it's the finest," the voiceover continues.

Next, Khan talks into the camera in a close-up shot. He says," I am the Next. I am Samsung Mobile.” He runs speedily over a plank, and leaps into oblivion as the tagline, 'Next is What?' appears, with the Samsung logo.

Imagine it’s real: Samsung Mobile
The way in which the tagline appears when Khan leaps into the air and vanishes is a good depiction of what one could expect from the brand, Samsung Mobile.

While the film has been shot in Spain and shows Khan moving in and out of real and imaginary worlds, interestingly, Khan wasn’t there in Spain to shoot for the film. Rather, his shots were taken at Yash Raj Studios in Mumbai, against chroma backgrounds.

Ravi Udyawar of Ravi Udyawar Films, who is the filmmaker for this TVC, says, “The film is a great example of how technology can push the boundary.”

Imagine it’s real: Samsung Mobile
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“When the film itself talks about what to expect next in terms of technology, it had to have an edge visually. So, it needed to have such super-quality special effects,” adds Udyawar.

The film was shot with a budget of Rs 2 crore, which is quite an amount as per Indian standards. In fact, Samsung has doubled its advertising budget from Rs 15 crore to Rs 30 crore this year.

Imagine it’s real: Samsung Mobile
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Udyawar says, “Shooting this commercial was more like solving a jigsaw puzzle.” The biggest challenge was compositing shots - everything was shot in 2-D, and had to replace the chroma backgrounds. So, minute details such as the angle of the sun had to be kept in mind, as they had to be the same when Khan was shot in Mumbai. To do this, the team used track marks while shooting on chroma, and those acted as a guide to replicate shots on back plate.

Prathap Suthan, national creative director, Cheil Communications has written Khan’s dialogues. “The very fact where he says that he's tougher on what he represents delivers the thought that he wouldn't stand for something which is below a particular standard,” he says.

Imagine it’s real: Samsung Mobile
Click on the image to enlarge
The Samsung TVC is a confluence of reality and imagination. As Suthan says, “A lot of what one sees in the film is real, and a lot of it is imagination, or in literal words, created. Shots of the museum and some within it are real. The four-pillared structure and the sandy area are unreal. However, when Khan dives into the sandy area, one sees him swim into water – that's real.”

The last shot in the film shows a city – a city of tomorrow, as Udyawar says – a colourful and well-lit city. The city does not exist in real, and has been created specially for this TVC.

Imagine it’s real: Samsung Mobile
Udyawar and Suthan at the site
“That particular shot is an amalgamation of three cities – New York, Mumbai and Seoul, and it has been shot like this, because that is what we're heading for,” reveals Suthan.

The director of photography (DOP) is Alvin Lee of Kuala Lumpur, and the music has been done by Ashu of Blue Frog, Mumbai. The post production of this film took three weeks, and was undertaken at VHQ, Singapore.

For the record, Aamir Khan was roped in as the new face for Samsung Mobile in March this year. The new tagline for the brand, 'Next is What?' had also been put in place at the time. A one-year deal has been signed with the actor for promoting the brand. Prior to the corporate film, Khan has featured in the TVC for Samsung's 3D surround phone, Beat 450.

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