Sunday, October 6, 2013

Good Morning Bangladesh, but WAKE UP DHAKA!

The last few weeks have been brutal. Straight out of the great Samsung Note 3 shoot, I headed into the double header production of Good Morning Bangladesh and Prank Tank. The first shoot was a pilot for GMB, which is going to be shown to producers outside of Bangladesh. I had wanted to work with the director Ahad Bhai, but the opportunity never came up before. I previously worked with his company as an editor for Botumul and he randomly sent me a Facebook message asking me about DPs in Dhaka. Little did he know, I was one. I also had the chance to meet up with the show's producer Mohammad Miraly, Ahad's cousin. M is an "interesting" dude. Hella funny but hella serious. The star of the show was Paul Telner (, a Canadian comedian, who is genuinely one of the funniest people I'd met since Jacob Reed in USC. Another guy I had the pleasure of meeting was the brilliant writer Spencer Walker, a Cali native living in NYC.

The shoot went great. Even though it was grueling and intensive, it was the most fun I had on set in quite some time. Ahad's direction was great, M was an awesome producer (and actor!), Paul Telner made me laugh so hard that my kidneys hurt and I had to stop shoulder mounting and switch to tripods and Spencer provided us with a gem of a script to work with. Now for the bad part.

After the Protik Developers TVC, I decided to go with the Sony F3 again. Big mistake. Unlike the US, here, when you rent a camera, you rent the entire system, lenses, tripod, accessories et al. The rental house who gave us the F3 for that shoot, Media Ajantrik, did not have their camera available. So we went with the other companies. Their setups simply put, were pathetic. We used two different companies. The first one, Timeline, carried only one, yes one, lens worth using. The Zeiss 21mm CP.2, which became a 32mm on the F3. I shot 90% of everything with this lens. The other lens that came with the camera were the Sony PL mount primes (the older version). These lenses are complete shit. I'm sorry, if you've used them and think they are good, cause they really aren't. Aberrations galore. They flared even with a small candle held in front. Trash; that is what they are and where they belong. Timeline didn't even setup the camera right when I got it. The tripod plate was sticking out of the shoulder pad and left scars on my shoulder. The camera was too front heavy and since the F3 doesn't even have a proper viewfinder, I had to put my own Marshall LCD on the hand grips and carry the Anton Bauer battery in a backpack. The whole thing was a nightmare. The ACs who came with the camera weren't any better either. They were amazed when I showed them how to sync the record button on the F3 and the Nanoflash recorder, or the fact that shooting 24fps on the F3 didn't mean I had to shoot 1080i60 on the Nano. Timeline is also supposedly the "better" camera rentals out there. Too bad they are never getting a call from me again.

The next camera that came wasn't any better. This was an independently owned F3. Like the Ajantrik cam, it came with Zeiss ZF glass, thank god. They only had a few of these lenses, so I brought my own ZFs as well. But everything else was a travesty. They brought a PC monitor as the director's monitor that wouldn't work in 24p mode, so I was forced to shoot 25p. The tripod they had couldn't take the load of putting my Anton Bauer battery and the Marshall LCD monitor. You couldn't mount the mattebox and the follow focus together. The hand grips, which they didn't have and I had to bring my own, had to be taken out everytime we went from tripod to handheld. They didn't even carry HD-SDI cables that could be used to hook up monitors. The cable that the Atomos Samurai was hooked up to the F3 couldn't be touched or the signal would cut out. I didn't even dare ask for a filter, so I just brought my own. Truly, if this is what the Dhaka DPs have been working with, I'm appalled these cameras even get rented. Shocking state of affairs. I instantly realized that not having my own camera in a shoot is just a nightmare in Dhaka. My hats go off to Dhaka DPs using these monstrosities and getting great results. No wonder they keep pushing 35mm on the market since the digital camera "packages" (not the cameras themselves) are just garbage.

They are also by no means cheap rentals either. I hope these rental companies wake up and smell the crap they are serving, because they are not doing anyone any favors. The camera is the most important tool on a set. Without it, you don't have a, well, a picture. It's as simple as that. If you rent out these crap systems you're just diminishing the artists' chances of making something better, all for the sake of business. Rental peeps of Dhaka, you've made your money, now start serving your customers, properly.

Needless to say, I'm not renting anything anymore, apart from lights, which seem to be the only thing that I can get on set that works properly. Oh well, time to keep shooting with my 5D MkIII until the next big one arrives.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Turning the 5D Mk III into a Green (Screen) Monster

My hiatus from TV commercials has resulted in a very good relationship with the online AV crowd. After the first Samsung promo I did a few months ago, I recently finished up two more. The last promo I shot was based on the intro concept from the movie Juno. Ridwan Hafiz, Innovator (that's just saying cool CEO) of Analyzen, the online marketing company, called me at 1am asking for an idea. While this seems odd to some of you, this is quite normal for the both of us. After a few single malts I called him back and pitched him the idea. He and I are usually on the same wavelength, so he was immediately into it. It took him around 12 hours to get the clients to ok the project as well and when the client happens to be Samsung Mobile, promoting their new Note 3, this was no small feat.

On my side, I knew I was going to have to shoot a majority of this promo in front of a green screen. I even had some crazy ideas of using the same character passing the Note 3 to himself on a regular basis, via split screens (just like the phone itself!), so he had to move around a lot as well. The Canon 5D Mk III shoots 4:2:0 at 100mbps internally, something which would make life hell trying to key out the green screen. Since Canon recently released the 4:2:2 8-Bit HDMI out for the 5D Mk III, I thought I'd use my trusty old Convergent Design Nanoflash recording XDCAM 422 at 220Mbps I Frame so get a nice key. The camera still recorded internally, just as a backup, since I find HDMI connections very fickle.

From the shoot, the important thing I found about shooting green screens with DSLRs are as follows:
1) Try to shoot with a low ISO that gives the least amount of grain. My sweet spot was 400.
2) Shoot with a higher shutter speed to avoid motion blur. Instead of the usual 1/50th shutter speed, I stuck to 1/100th. The staccato movement from Juno helped here as well. I'll cover the more about this in the post section.
3) Adjust the white balance. Even though I was using 3200K Tungsten lights, I set the color temperature down to 2900K. This creates a nice separation from the green screen and the actor.

The shoot went smoothly. The phone was really a prototype, so it had to be handled with extreme care. We even made a Flip Wallet from chart paper, since the leather version is still on its way to the Samsung shelves. We set up the small corner stage in the old Coke factory with a large green screen and churned out the shots. After wrapping up the shoot there, we went to the Samsung Smart Cafe and wrapped up the shoot before sunset.

Post was a completely different beast. Each footage was animated and rendered out to 10fps from the original 25fps. The actor was given a "paper cut out" like Toner effect with white and black borders. Each element of the animation also had to feel like it was cut out and bordered with black. The videos used from YouTube had to have this effect as well. After 24 hours and many coffee/Red Bull breaks later, I had the finished product. You decide if it was worth it.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Mid Year updates

It's sad that I only get to update my blog when I'm running a fever of 101 and suffering from the sniffles and a sore throat. Either ways, I thought I'd update my peeps on some of the things happening lately.

Firstly, the Protik Developers ad is now online. Since I did not direct this TVC, NDAs had to be respected, so I can't put it up on my website or YouTube channel. However, unless you've been living under a rock or just shun social media, here's a Facebook link:

I really liked this commercial, although the link only shows you the Corporate version, which includes some shots and interviews not shown on the TV version. The CGI however is kinda sad. I personally would have out sourced it to my brother in law's firm 1998 Creative in Vancouver, BC. But, the director insisted on going the cheaper route of doing it here. See the previous post(s) about my experience while shooting this spot.

Then, there's the Samsung AV I shot. This was with a new client Analyzen. Quick back story: Analyzen is currently leading the charge with digital media hitting the social networking sites in Bangladesh. They got over a million hits with their Samsung REXposed shows, which is kinda like our own version of MTV's Punk'd. Needless to say, this company knows what they are doing. I think especially with the youth of Dhaka, online viewers are much more important than the TV stations. None of the 18-30 year olds I know are actually watching TV. They are however almost always logged onto their Facebook and YouTube accounts. The demand for quality online programming is therefore very important and as it turns out less hassle-some, since you aren't dealing with TV channels, which is very, very, very tedious. Also, have you seen the latest TV stuff here? Laughable. With cable and satellite TV channels, youngsters are rarely watching anything on the local channels here. Why would they? Compare something like a Glee, Person of Interest or Mad Men to some of the crap being served on local TV. The government is moaning and whining about our children losing their Bengali heritage. Well, give em something to watch then; something that would make them chose those shows over the cable channels. The movie industry is changing, why should the TV industry fall behind?

Anyways I digress. Back to the Samsung AV. I met with Analyzen while pitching another show I wanted to put on Facebook, that would be highly interactive with the audience. They loved the idea, but gave me a gig while I was there. This was the AV. Within a week, I made and aired the spot. Here it is:

Last time I checked, it had over 5000 likes. Whoa...

Finally, here's the last update. My short WonderWall finally made it to the top 10 in the Robi Film Festival competition. Not bad for something that was made within 12 hours and had a 0 budget. Big thank yous go out to the actors and the crew. Here's the short:

Lots of people loved it, some didn't, some were confused with the down beat ending (thanks Mom). Overall, I'm happy with the response. To my lead actor Tashrif: I'm sorry so many people are hating on you (the character, not the acting) after they've seen the short. But that only means you've done job absolutely brilliantly, since that's exactly what I wanted the audience to feel. You're going places and I'm sure I'm not the only one telling you that.

That wraps up the half yearly report from yours truly. Looking forward to a great year ahead, full of ass kickings, literally.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

How to make a no budget short and (hopefully) make it good

Ever since I started my own production company, I somehow stopped making shorts. Shorts were a part of my life once. It was the easiest way of doing something I loved, making imagery that would not only serve as a statement but somehow create a visual impact, at least on some people. It didn't really have to make sense, but it'd couldn't be one of those pretentious black and white movies with jump cuts involving some naked hot girl eating a raw egg either. I'm not crapping on these "art house" flicks, but they have never been my cup of tea.

I have worked on shorts after opening Damage Inc. (mostly as a DP), both here and in different places abroad, but they were produced and directed by someone else. This created somewhat of a mismatch. While some of the directors wanted something I cringed at, I still did it. I even wrote a short (and was the DP as well) and that project ended up in a total disaster. I wanted a Fight Club meets Girl Interrupted kinda flick, but thanks to the director it ended up being a Victoria's Secret TV spot meets some tourism advisory advertisement on YouTube. Ever since then I actually stopped doing shorts all together.

Recently, Robi Axiata Ltd. announced that they were hosting an online short film festival. I had seen the advert on Facebook, but my schedule prevented me from even thinking of making a short. I kept thinking though, what if I made one, where I would pretty much do everything, except act in it. I recently watched "Side by Side", a documentary about the digital revolution happening in the cinema industry (btw, I highly recommend that you watch it as well). One of the things they talked about was the Dogme 95 approach taken by Danish filmmakers Lars Von Trier and Thomas Vinternberg. Let me first say that I'm not a big fan of either of them, but I really liked the initiative they took. The Dogme 95 had a set of 10 rules that filmmakers must adhere to. So, I decided to make my own "Dogma". The Dogma 13 if you will. These rules had to be followed for my short. They were:

1. Shooting must be done on location. Props and sets must not be brought in. 
2. No ADR (i.e dubbing). If you can't get the sound on location, use something else.
3. The camera must be hand-held. Any movement or immobility attainable in the hand is permitted.
4. The film must be in colour. Special lighting is not acceptable. 
5. Optical work and filters are forbidden.
6. The film must not contain superficial action.
7. Temporal and geographical alienation are forbidden. (That is to say that the film takes place here and now).
8. No one gets paid.
9. No crazy SFX/VFX and relighting shots in grading with power windows are not permitted.
10. Down beat endings only (thank you David Fincher).

I had cooked up a few stories. One that included one about the Joker (yes, the Batman one), one that included a man who had a wild and crazy drug induced night and has to remember how he ended up being chased by Dhaka's mobsters (yes, the Hangover) and one which was an entire short done on one take. But, I decided to take things further. One of the best writers alive today is my buddy Lance Hobbie. So I thought I'd have him write the script without even knowing the Dogma 13. Whatever Lance wrote, I'd have to make but still stick to the rules. So if he wanted to show someone jumping off a roof, I'd literally have to shoot that, with practically 0 money in my budget. Thankfully, Lance's script didn't do anything crazy. It was a story about how a couple that met online "sees" each other for the first time. I know so many people who have met after dating online, yet what if when they saw each other and they ended up being someone completely different. You know you love the person inside, but do you really judge a book by its cover? I only changed a small (and yet big) detail. Lance originally had one of the couples be a paraplegic. I changed her to be a mute. It changed the dimensionality a little bit more, I think.

With my schedule being what it has been lately, I only had 24 hours to finish the 5 minutes or under movie. My friend Maleeha and I were talking about making the short and she suggested using two of her friends to act in it. They were only available for a few hours the next day. Somehow, I decided to shoot it anyway. My team was consisted of me, Maleeha and the two actors. I decided to shoot on my 5D MkIII and the Zeiss lenses (35/50/85/100 and the 21 for just one shot). We shot inside a local cafe, where we didn't even have permission, but the manager said we could do it before the owners came in for lunch. This meant around 2 hours. We paced through the entire indoor sequence within an hour. The outdoor sequence took about thirty minutes.

During post, this was the first time I didn't enter Davinci Resolve after a long time. I didn't want to change the color tone that was I had shot in, which was 5700K with a green channel shift. With the coolness from the Zeiss, this gave a me a very nice cold feel. Increased contrast, timed the exposure, saturation and brought back some skin tone using Colorista II.  I decided to use FilmConvert Pro, a new software I had just got that emulates film stock. I went with the Kodak 250D preset throughout. Originally, I also wanted some voiceover. But I find voiceovers boring. So I went with another way of getting the characters to chat to each other. Finally, I required a title. I had Ryan Adam's cover of "Wonderwall" on my head as the background song for the short. It worked so well, I decided to name the short that.

Here are some screen caps.

If you'd like to see the short in its entirety here's the link, just make sure you like it :)

(just in case the link doesn't work, lemme know and I'll look into it)

If you vote for it, I'll be your biggest fan.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Nature, animated birds and the Sony F3

While I thought I'd spend some quality time on RnR, my good friend ZoneArt aka Zonayed Mostafa gave me a call the other day. I don't believe in fate, but sometimes I can't help but change my views on it.  He just scored a new TV Commercial gig after spending 2 years out in the wild and was searching for a DP. Somehow, he heard that I was out of the country and was regretting not having his first choice around. That same day, I saw a picture of his on Facebook and clicked on the "like" button. He immediately checked my status to see that I was in fact 1Km away from him and sent me a message to call him. Within 20 minutes of that conversation he had secured my services for his next 3 shoots. Fate?

I cut my vacation short and started pre production soon after. Since I only have my 5D Mk III with me now, we made the decision to shoot on a video camera rather than a DSLR, as the shots we had planned, had a lot of VFX involved. The compressed codec from the 5D is something most VFX artists hate. So we started making decisions on getting a proper camera. 35mm was out since there wasn't a big enough budget for it. The only Alexa in town was booked. The C300 was available for 2 of the 4 days of principal photography, but the rate for that camera is set too bloody high for anyone to justify, even though it comes with a 6 lens ARRI/Zeiss Ultra Prime set. Then came the Sony F3. While most people love the F3, it's certainly not a camera that I've lusted over. Even with the SLog and 444 out, the color rendering is something Sony missed with that camera. In fact, it contributes heavily to the so called "Sony Video Look".

I have often heard that term and slowly I've grown to hate it. What is a "video look"? Most people describe it as a sterile and clinical look found in most video cameras, even high end ones. But shouldn't a "video" camera have a "video" look? Yes and no. The best digital cameras in the market right now, be it the Alexa, Red Epic or even the C500, try to emulate film emulsions. The Sony cameras have always tried to (for me at least) tried to copy the sensor patterns of their own digital cameras, something that I felt contributed to the video look. The only cameras that broke that mould were the F23 and F35 and those cams used to cost an arm and a leg when they came out. Lately, with the release of the F65 and F55, it seems that Sony have realized their mistake and are now copying the old 35mm stocks. Apparently, the F65 and F55 even have more colors than the gamut stored in film stock. I really don't know what that even means, but hopefully its not some sales gimmick. Anyways, on to the F3 and the project at hand.

i had to choose between two F3 packages. One that came with Zeiss still lenses and the other with Sony's 3 PL mount video lenses. Being the Zeiss junkie that I am I went with the first option, even though I knew I was going to have to work with a 1.5x crop factor. I drove the ADs mad, when I called out lenses for shots, since an 18mm ZF became a 27mm, I would refer to the 18mm as an 18mm and then again as a 27mm. Oh well, he's an AD, grunt. My favorite focal lengths in Super 35 happen to be the 27mm, 32mm and 40mm. So, I worked with the 18mm and 28mm ZFs provided by the rentals and my own 21mm ZF, thus getting 27mm, 31.5mm and 42mm Super 35 focal lengths. For a tighter mid shot, I'd use the 35mm (approx. 53mm) and the 50mm (75mm) for closeups. Even though the Field of View of the lens changed, the depth of field remained the same from the full frame sensor, but since I was using wide lenses mostly, the bokeh looked very similar to Super 35.

Instead of using SLog though, I used the CineGamma profile. Why? Cause, it gave me a good REC709 version of what I could see on TV when it aired. I even changed the parameters of the "Standard" color matrix to give me a slightly warmer picture without adjusting the neutral white balance. I found this useful when I used my very old Sony EX1. The Sony camera exhibit a blueish tint to them and shifting the reds can give you a great "filmic" image. The final thing I used heavily were filters. For daytime interior shots with natural light showing, I used a Black Pro Mist 1/4. This lowered the contrast as well as bloomed the highlights. Here's what that looked like:

The raw images from the F3.

F3 footage with grade applied
For the rain and storm parts I shot mostly with a polarizer and 0.6 ND combo. Here are some shots:


The 10 bit 422 capture to an Atomos Ninja recorder made my life easy as a grader. However during the last day of shooting, Canon finally released their Clean HDMI firmware update for the 5D MkIII and so I decided to take my beloved Olivia as a B cam, to see how the 8 bit 422 captured onto a Nanoflash would hold up against the F3's 10 bit 422. We rolled both cameras at the same time. Here are some results of that, you be the judge.

F3 with 50mm (75mm) Zeiss (Custom warm profile 3200K)

5D3 with 35mm Zeiss (Neutral profile 3200K)

F3 with 18mm (27mm) Zeiss (Custom warm profile 5700K)

5D3 with 21mm Zeiss (Neutral profile 5700K)

My favorite shots of the entire TVC however came from the 5D3 when I was taking shots of the newly built Hatirjheel freeways right after magic hour. The 1600 ISO shots taken with a 21mm Zeiss ZF at 2.8, internal IPB recording, looked stunning. See if you agree.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The One Man Band....and Dynamic Ranges of the 5D Mk III

Compared to last year, this year has been very relaxing. No 48 hour projects, no dealing with crazies and most importantly, no production mishaps. Perhaps it's because I decided to cut down on the number of projects I'm undertaking, or perhaps it's because I decided to direct/shoot/edit the projects coming my way. I've tried to work with the other directors out there, but even with a majority of my work getting good results from audiences, I personally was: a) exhausted b) pissed off and c) most importantly, not happy with the results.

So, starting this year, I made a promise to myself. Rather than running after the millions of takas available in the market, I was going to go solo. The true indie. Steven Soderbergh had just released some kind of statement like that. He was talking about how the big production companies were just taking over all of the creative control, leaving the "art" behind. I had pandered to the heads long enough. It was time to take some control back. Luckily, I had one client who was ok with that. He was not willing to spend millions, had a decent enough script and didn't care much apart from 2 things. Make a good commercial and have him star in it. I think I did one of those things all right.

The script was simple. A newly wed couple are on a drive down some highway when their car (running on low quality CNG Fuel) decides to conk out. A passing CNG Auto Rickshaw driver (played by Hasan Masud, one of the most famous comedians around Dhaka) pulls up next to them and tells them about the bad quality in the fuel. Blah, blah, blah. I admit the script was lacking a lot of "masala" which was required by the locals to like the ad. So, I decided to change some stuff, by including a romantic montage and quickly adding some knee jerk reactions to compensate for the dull script. The main idea was not to let the audience know what kind of ad they were seeing until the end.

I wanted to keep the shooting simple. A majority of the shots were going to be on the car mount. Since it was a daylight shoot and the car wasn't big enough to accommodate a generator to keep a fill light inside, I knew I was truly going to be pushing the Dynamic Range of Olivia, my 5D Mk III. I had rated the Mk III at 10 stops, but for this to work I required something close to 13. So, I decided to modify the "CineStyle" setting and give me more range towards the shadows. I know what you're thinking. This guy is an idiot. But here me out. If I could balance out the blown out highlights on the background with the actors faces and stop down, the shadows would only be my problem. I could then just add some light (in post) on the shadows and blur out any of the digital noise coming in. Here's what I mean

As you can see, even without any lights inside the car, I could balance out all of my shadows, mids and highlights. I even used a pro mist filter for the dude (who happens to be my client) so the blown out bokeh seemed to be under control. It was a hot and sunny day, which didn't really help the matter either. But in the end, the 5D's sensor came out a champ as always. In DaVinci Resolve, I could easily put up power windows and soften up the highlights even more and get a more acceptable image past QC.

The rest of the shoot took about 3 hours to complete. This was the first time I had directed a celebrity in Hasan Masud. He was a good sport. He literally gave 3 takes per shot and knocked it out every time. Somehow we ended up talking more about Macy's, NYC and B&H Photovideo more than the shoot itself. A big thank you goes out to H.K. Rudry Ripon who really helped me direct and put together the crew for this one.

Here's the entire ad:

Thursday, August 16, 2012

How to make a commercial in 48hrs

The Dhaka media industry is all about one thing really...who gets the TV commercials for any one of the 4 top Telecom companies. I've never been "lucky" enough to work for any of these projects. Sure there was a music video for Airtel and a little graphics work for BanglaLink, but not much apart from that. The reason these ads are so high up the chain, is because everything from their budgets to the QC are the only thing the media industry can compare to foreign counterparts. Mostly, they are shot on 35mm, rarely, do they shoot on digital, and almost never on a DSLR.

After the craziness that was the India trip with my fellow Trojan, David Milburn, I needed a few weeks to recuperate. Fat chance. Maasranga called me up as soon as I landed about a commercial for Robi, another telecom giant. As soon as I went in, I was told that they needed the product within 2 days. While I smiled and nodded and accepted, every bone in my body yelled the F word....really loud. MediaCom was providing the script, with the commercial itself being about the cheap nightly packages the carrier provides during Ramadan. It was about young boys from a colony playing "front desk" by giving wake up calls to everyone via their cell phones, since the rates were so low. The ad starts off with a static shot of a window as lights up then goes to different other windows in the same and adjacent buildings being lit up, showing people waking up to a phone call and get ready to fast. The next few shots would show the young boys of the colony doing this service to the fellow colony dwellers, in the festive spirit of Ramadan.

So we went head on. Met the CMO, who is from India and only speaks English, hence I acted as a translator for my team, explaining the shot division that was drawn up. He seemed a little skeptical and just wanted us to give him something that wasn't verbose and linear like the script. Luckily, we had MediaCom's Asif Akhbar Khan (or Asif Mama, as I call him), who's kinda the best creative directors in the land. He assured the CMO that we weren't going the way with it. Handshakes and "good luck" comments were exchanged. Oh and we were reminded that the guy who made the previous Robi Ramadan ad did a marvelous job and we were stepping on a landmine, if we couldn't provide results.

So lets get this straight. A 48hr timeframe, a script the CMO is skeptical about and someone else's unfinished project. And since this was my first telecom ad, if I messed up....deathwish.

We started the day of the shoot with hordes of models, all being screen tested. By we I should say me. I knew I didn't have enough time, so I just had them run through the entire script with the 2 already selected actors from the previous ad. I literally just graded them, Bs or above gets to be in front, C's and below, get to be at the back, when I was doing my blocking. Once I was done with that, I rushed to the shooting spot, a colony situated in Mirpur.

Olivia, my 5DMk3 was entrusted for this one. DSLRs! On a telecom campaign ad that was previously shot on 35mm!! By the time we got everything ready and started shooting it was already 8pm. After shooting nonstop, we finally finished by 4am.

While the rest of the crew went home, the director NI Razoo, me and the ADs went straight back to edit. By 10am the next day, we had a proper first cut done, with a color grade and a scratch music track. By 3pm the clients got the first preview. Even though I was passed out by that time, I heard that collective jaws were dropped at how we'd achieved such a feat within 24hrs. By 10am the next day the final cut with the final color grade the final audio track was released. I just saw the ad on TV 5 mins ago. There are also murmurs that we are getting 4 more ads now. I met Asif Mama the night before the release and he congratulated me on the DSLR (!) footage, that apparently looked just as good as the 35mm ad shot before this one, something even the Robi clients voiced. I suppose miracles do happen, not often enough though....hehe. Anyways, heres those screen grabs we love so much.

So I suppose by making a telecom ad I've finally done it, and by "it" I mean make it big...just kidding. Now I look back at the madness that was. From quitting big time jobs to starting a post production panel (by which I mean just a Mac Pro) at my mom's boutique after she was done with it, to getting Dhaka's first 444 workflow and Dhaka's first external camera recorder, to introducing DSLRs as B Cams in my shoots so clients can use them as A Cams now, to completely shunning 35mm and spreading the digital revolution, hoping everyone I've worked with embraces it as well. Yup, its been a good trailblazing life....Shane Hurlbut would be proud.