Crafting an Archival Brand Film

The Story of Bharat : From Craft to Luxury

Upasana
Upasana
May 17, 2020 · 6 min read

A brand film for a 100 year old company

Spectrum of Bharat’s Heritage

The Bharat Floorings Group (BFT) is the leader in quality cement floorings — a reputation held for over 90 years. In 1922 Bharat pioneered the cement tiles industry in India as part of the Swadeshi movement as a contribution to India’s economic independence by producing tiles of international quality to replace imports.

Over the decades Bharat has laid some of the best-known floors in India’s landmark buildings: from palaces of Maharajas and Raj Bhavans to prominent residences, hotels, hospitals, clubs, offices, factories, co-operative housing societies, educational and religious institutions, airports, railways etc.

BFT needed to create a film that would tell their story & the impact that the brand has had in the architectural and design landscape in India. While the company was well known in terms of their current projects and products — the extent of the brands impact & its heritage was lesser known.

The challenge in making the film was two fold :
a. Condensing a 100 year old history and timeline in 2 minute film
b. Creating a visual language for the film that becomes unique & identifiable with the brand.

The Story of Bharat : The BFT Brand Film

The film

The Story
We narrowed the story down to three key points that needed to be communicated

1. the Heritage & History
2. the handmade tile making process
3. the diversity of design and presence.

mapping the information into sections that flowed from one to the other
The first draft was time travel — we started with the present, went into the past came back to the present and projected the future.

By weaving a narrative that ran through these three aspects — we created a storyline that could bring out the impact that BFT as a brand has had over the years. Through interviews with the senior management & the family as well as deep dive into their archival material — we put together specific historical events that were landmark moments for the company and needed to be talked about.

The Visual Style
BFT tiles are iconic in their look and feel that stands apart distinctively from other tile brands.

It became an obvious choice for us to build on the distinctive design of the BFT tiles themselves to create the visual style for the film.

While charting the information spanning close to a century, we also had access to several rare archival material from the family — including pictures of the original tile factory & photographs of the founding members.

beautiful anecdotes and low resolution pictures created an interesting challenge and constraint that led to adapting a fresh visual language.

Blending the tile patterns and the archival material together allowed us to create a unique visual style that went beyond the film.
The tile patterns and designs — as masked patterns — brought the archival images to life and also allowed us to create an additional layer of animation.

dabbling with the textures
marrying the vintage photograph
a successful marriage
extending the language to other areas which would have been off limits — it makes a huge difference when the client trusts us.

Initial Look Tests
The initial look tests blended photography & live shoots and allowed us to start experimenting with the tile patterns and characters within the story.

initial explorations were very busy and overwhelming.

The Storyboard
The storyboard was developed to create a conversation between the various stakeholders about the various moments depicted in the film, the pace of the narrative and how we would be able to seamlessly transition between the three key aspects of the story.

The Animatic
The animatic brought in the story, timing pace and treatment of the film together. It allowed us as a team along with BFT to start seeing an early indication of what the film would feel like and what it would communicate to the audience.

The Opening Sequence
The opening sequence was built on the BFT tagline — “Every floor tells a story”. We shot the sequence in the studio and then blended illustration and animated elements to the sequence. The opening sequence also introduced the BFT tile design as an iconic floor — and set the tone for the film.

experiments that worked
crane shot without a crane.

The Process
The process was the tricky part of the film. A large part of the process that BFT uses to make its tiles is proprietary information & thus couldn’t be shot. We simulated the process and managed to find a way to depict the tile making process without revealing any trade secrets.

storyboard before shooting the intense segment of live action hands demonstrating the secret process of BFT. we designed it to be abstract yet clear.
taking the real
building the abstract

The BFT Floor Walk
The iconic properties that house BFT flooring needed an iconic showcase. To depict the impact that BFT has had over the years — the BFT walk became an important section for the film.

A Social Media friendly film
A key factor in the design of the film very early on was that the primary source of distribution for the film would on social media channels. The film was intentionally designed with key moments in stories and frames that could be used independently as shorts.

The Impact
A key factor in the design of the film very early on was that the primary source of distribution for the film would on social media channels. The film was intentionally designed with key moments in stories and frames that could be used independently as shorts.

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