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     Volume 6 Issue 40 | October 12, 2007 |

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Getting the Visual Basics Right

Elita Karim

Scenes from the Grameen Phone Smile Pre-paid ad film
directed by Gazi Shubhro of RED dot.

Gazi TN.Ahmed Shubhro is not exactly a new kid on the block, though he has impressed many with his work in a very short time. Managing Director of RED dot limited, Gazi Shubhro has introduced wonders in the field of visual media in Bangladesh.

One of his very recent works, a Grameen Phone television ad, has made an impression on many viewers. The ad film promoting the Smile Pre-paid product of Grameen Phone involves thousands of people shot on some of the most stunning locations in Bangladesh. As he speaks to SWM, he reveals some of the 'behind the shot moments' of this TVC and also talks about his future projects as a filmmaker.

“It was Razeeb Hassa Choudhury from Bottom Line Advertisement agency who showed me the script of the Grameen Phone Smile Prepaid TVC,” he says. “After going through the script I figured out immediately that I was looking at something really huge and I had to think big so as to bring in the exact idea for the viewers.”

It took Shubhro and his team months of planning and preparations before they could begin with the shooting. Thousands of men, women and children had to be organised and made ready for the shooting, not to mention locating the different shooting spots. “We shot from September 4 to September 14 in Cox's Bazaar, Ukiah, a Rakhian village (Morichcha), Himchori, Mukto Moncho in Dhanmondi, Paltan VIP road in front of Gazi Bhaban and Panam Nagori in Sonargaon village,” he says.

Shubhro worked with more than 2000 people, who were shown holding posters with the bangla alphabet written on each one. At one point, all of them come together in the film, symbolising unity and the idea of being one people under the colours of red and green. “I especially wanted to work with regular people whose emotions would be very vibrant at the same time natural as well,” Shubhro explains. “None of the people in the film were famous celebrity models.” The people Shubhro worked with in the film are ordinary and regular day to day to people who we see on the streets hurrying to work, going to school or simply hanging out with friends. These people believe strongly in the strength of being united and representing one nation, which was apparent in their body language, gestures and even in the way they were interacting with each other while making the posters in the film. The fact that they themselves were going to do something really big was apparent in their eyes. “Most of them were recruited from Ansar and VDP (Villege Development Police) from Cox's bazaar,” he explains.

Shubhro worked with more than 2000 people in the GP ad film.
It took him and his team months of planning and preparations
before they could actually begin with the shoots.

A production unit of 70 people worked hard for 10 days and nights. The highlight points of the whole TVC were the shots taken from thousands of feet above the ground to get the whole picture in frame. “A helicopter was hired for four days,” says Shubhro. “The pilot of the chopper Wing Commander (Rtrd) Mahmudur Rahman worked with us for days together and was extremely cooperative. Such a huge project could never have been done without my team and months of organised hard work.”

Gazi Shubhro and his team at RED dot came into everyone's notice with his music videos and ad films that are quite different from what we are used to in the visual art sector in this country. A passionate musician himself, Shubhro played the drums with a band called K-OZ years ago, and figured that making a good and tasteful music video back then would have cost them a fortune. That led him to thinking and later on working on several experimental ideas that he had regarding making of music videos in the country.

In fact, some of his music videos which were worked with very limited mount of funds, would look all the more sophisticated, thanks to his skills in editing, fusing colours and also directing the actors and musicians accordingly. In fact, his latest work on the Djuice Drockstars was also highly appreciated by many.

Besides music videos, Shubhro has worked on several TV Commercials, Drama Serials, Documentaries, Docu-fictions, Corporate Videos, TV series, Talk Shows, 2D and 3D Animations, Motion Graphics, secondary colour corrections and much more. Very recently, RED dot won the CJFB award for the best and the most talk about production house in Bangladesh.

Gazi Shubhro has the knack of turning something very small and insignificant into something big, beautiful and meaningful at the same time. His passion for music, visual graphics and people has led him to create a difference in the field in Bangladesh. However, he does not want to stop with ads and music videos and plans to leap further to having his own characters and stories come to life on screen. “For years now, I have wanted to make a full length Sci-fi feature film for children,” he says. “I am looking forward to starting with this project as soon as possible.”


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