Sunday, July 29, 2007

Vikku for Vande mataram

Can a percussion instrument sing? Yes it can. Listen to Ghatam maestro Vikku Vinayakram's brilliant composition. Don't miss the way it begins.The Ghatam sings 'Vande mataram'.

This is my most favourite 'Vande mataram' video. Shot in Panchatann Studio in the year 1997, I simply love the way it has been edited. Vikku-ji son Mahesh Vinayakram is the vocalist for this composition.

Friday, July 27, 2007

விளம்பர விளையாட்டு 17

  • Identify the commercials starting Rows 1, 2 and 3 left to right.
  • Every correct answer carries one point. 12 Points to be won.
  • One attempt/person/day.
  • Please email your answers to blogeswari[at]gmail[dot]com
Answers for விளம்பர விளையாட்டு 16- Celebrity special
1. Sachin - Sunfeast biscuits ; Aamir Khan - Innova ; Kajol- Alpenliebe ; Kajol -Tata Indicom ; Boskey - Vim ;
Amitabh Bachchan - Himani Fast relief

2.Prakash Raj endorses Pothy's, Gokul Santol, Kryd Rice, KITE detergent and many others.

3. The answer

That was A R Rahman's composition for World space. [ none got this right :( ]

Now for the winners: Congratulations Ambi - 8 out 10 . Hamsi and Karthik Sriram tie with 5 out of 10

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Advertising stereotypes

A lot of people ask me what I really do in advertising.. what my job profile is, what my working hours are, How 'creative' is my job is, if I get to meet 'celebrities' like Vijay Adhiraj etc etc. To tell you the truth, I really think I am a misfit in advertising. I don't call my colleagues "Babes", nor say "doood". I don't carry a stout English book for advertising shoots reading the same page on all three shoot days nor do I sit with the director under the huge umbrella sipping coconut water throughout the day, looking at his assistant directors running up and down only to go back to the ad agency and say "Uff... the day was bad.. it was a tiring shoot". I don't discuss Majidi Majidi's last film or my last trip to Goa or everything except the adfilm shoot, on a marathon pre-production meeting... I don't ask for 15 minute coffee /cigarette breaks every 1o minutes during 'Creative outpour' meetings.. And yes, my hair colour is not burgundy nor is my name Pooja, Payal, Bhakthi, Mukthi, Supreethika and the likes.

I really am a misfit in advertising.Now why this sudden crib session, you may ask [Even if you don't I will tell you..he he he]

Have a look at this video. On a normal dubbing session for a television commercial or a radio spot, I don't do anything that the people outside the dubbing console do in this video. And yes, you have to be one of them, do the things they did, act like them... to be in advertising..especially if you want to climb up the advertising creative ladder fast and be the hot shot Creative director everyone wants to work with... You really have to be one of them...else you are a misfit!

Advertising zindabad!

Ps: Before you come to the conclusion that this is yet another, one of those I-am-so-upset-nobody-wants-me kinda post on the blogosphere waiting for I-am-there-for-you-dont-worry type comments, stop.. stop it.. stop there. This post is meant to be a rouse post on advertising stereotypes.. that's all !

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Vande mataram: Venu gaanam

Shashank, the magical flautist has sung Vande mataram through his flute. This video was filmed in Gandhi Mandapam, Adyar, Chennai in 1997.

Well, if you think the flute captures the essence of Desh ragam at its best, wait for the next video. Is it going to be Vande mataram on Veena? No. On the violin, may be? No.. Is it Sitar, Sarangi, santoor, shehnai, saxaphone...? No. No. No... Wait for a week...

Saturday, July 21, 2007


I am sorry.. I am sorry.. S-O-R-R-Y.. naa konjam nallavadaan... sorry.. Anjaneya, Villian, Varalaru and now Kireedom.. My dear husband, am sorry I subjected to you to so much torture.. I promise.. I hereby promise that never will I subject you this kinda torture henceforth.. “athaaan.. ennai mannithuvidungal.. mannithuvittean endru oru vaarthai sollungal..”

Prelude - Flashback – several several years ago….

Vijay, director of this film – A high school student in 1987, from Omanakutty village in Kollam district, Kerala watches ‘Enda katthal kireedam unnoda ammayeendaa paramanantham’ – a Malayalam film by Priyadarsan a.k.a Priyan in a theatre near his school and comes out jubiliantly to say “Ende Guruvaayurappaaa.. idanneee.. idannee Bharatha deshatode… Malayalathunda firsht class picture.. Priyan valliya director-aaanu” and decides that his aim in life is to remake the film in Tamizh… only to torture the tamizh audience for reasons best known to him…

A few years later: The same Vijay with a vengeance joins Priyan as an assistant director and is seen worshipping his idol- icon Priyan Sir talking about the film “Enda kaathal….”. After assisting Priyan on the umpteenth remake version of “Enda katthal..” Priyan decides its time Vijay goes out and makes his own film..

Vijay, now an aspiring director is seen with Priyan who recommends his name to good friend Suresh Balaje a.k.a Illicha Vaai producer.. Priyan and Suresh samsaarichify in chaste Mallu –ofcourse Suresh in Tamilish Mallu and thus agreements signed, advances given to Vijay and crew for the biggest torture of all time : KIREEDAM.


You know you are in for a complete disaster the moment you see the second scene with ‘Thala’ Ajith in Constable costume, rain fight scene – saluting his father Rajkiran a.k.a ‘Artificial Arched Eyebrows Yaettu Appa’. Yabbaaa.. you say!Mr.Arched eyebrows realizes its all a dream and tells the 501 constable colleague that his aim is to make Thala, a Tarudalai.. er.. S.I.


Cut to happy household in Tirichi house – Castol oil face Sharanya as Thala’s mummy & Arched Eyebrows’ wife… One number serial-la junior artiste as thangai... Nimmadi serial senior artiste as Akka, one vettu vettu student thambi (last seen in Nandha as child actor) and ofcourse Vivek, as veetoda mappillai.. All haahaaa-heeehee-ing we are one happy family Karan jogar kinds. ‘Thala’ ofcourse is the darling of the family…(Mugavari kinds) seen Pillayar idol robbing from Trisha’s house.


Trisha’s entry scene, predictably starts from her kolusu cutting to her ears, eyes, nose, runny nose.. whatever.. finally, we see Tirisaa madam doing a boring modhal before kadhal nonsense with Thala.. Thala has one number Tarudalai as his friend – “Lollu sabha” Santhanam who is trying to be the next Vivek- failing miserably.

Cut back to Happy household- all happy, Thala getting letter to appear for kaaval turai eggjam (‘Dill’ film kinds).. Cut Cut one number inspiring song…Arched eyebrows and Thala working out in sand, drinking mineral water, laughing, exercising, push upping..… Arched eyebrows full efforts in putting success for Thala - yabbaa.. enough.. enakke taangala..

Side-la Tala’s encounter with Tirishaa continues.. and lauvvs happens in Tirichy kaapee shaap… with a wooden face-wooden voice Ajith proposing “namakku first payyan-aprom ponnu kozhandai” kinda innovative dialaaks.. (Na.Muthukumar/Vijay – both torture us, not one). One number duet happens.. the less said the better about the picturization.. it is terrible!

Eyesore: Not to miss Tirisha’s broken nail polish when there is close up of her hands on Ajith’s shoulders – lauvvss u see.

Continuity: The same scene… Tirisha writing exam.. nail paaleesh missing.. so madam removing nail paaleesh before going to eggjam hall? Me yosching..

After all the kaadhals and lauvvs, both family meetings and Tirsha and Ajith’s parisam is finalized.. only after ha ha ha.. kinda Doordarshan Podhigai Tuesday drama laughters by both families.


But tragedy, Mr. Arched Eyebrows is now transferred to some tanni illadha kaadu , away from Tirichi for slapping an MLA’s son. Thala and family go with him..not before Thalai’s 10 second scene “Naa enga poren.. paakathu oorukku daane” with Tirisha.

Thanni illada kaadu has lots of tanni potta rowdies… and one number Head Inspector who is beaten up because he is haanest raaj. But Arched Eyebrows is also Haanest raaj you see… so we see him talking to Head Inspector Haanest. So both talking haanest, talks of local rowdies.. local daadaas, tata sumos, aruvals and other never-before-seen-stuff-in-Tamizh cinema.


Somewhere here I dozed off, only to be woken up by Tottu taali kattina purushan who asks me to wake up, be alert and watch the film so that I can do social service by writing such reviews and warning people.. We are the socially-responsible-kudumbamayya!

When I woke up I saw one number Tall mallu looking (obviously!) villain beating up Mr.Arched Eyebrows screaming “DAIIIIIIIIII… “in yes, you got it a crowded market place. Suddenly I saw ‘Thala’ in formal wear beating up Tall villain. I now gather that the villain’s name is Varadu kutty or something like that. Varadu kutty heads a big gang including Bala Singh – who these days comes for exactly 1.5 minutes in a 2 ½ hour film screaming “Dai… pudingadaa avana.. theethu kaatungadaaa” .Now ‘Thala’ beats up ‘Varadu’ and the market junior artistes scream “Dada Thala vazhga” types much to the disappointment of Mr.Arched eyebrows who wants his son to be an S.I.. Sad na?


At this crucial point, they put Interval – ‘Take care of your belongings’, ‘Beware of dogs ‘kinda flash cards on screen.. and I go out to catch the much needed fresh air. All my plans of sneaking out without husband’s knowledge are foiled thanks to my purushan who followed me quietly and brought me back to the theatre as I tried to run out of the theatre complex.. paavi manusha!


Thanks to Haanest Raj Inspector, Thala is talai maraivu, ‘Varadu kutty’ in hospital and Bala Singh & gang looking for Thala. At this nail biting suspense thrilling place, Bala Singh and gang are caught and kept in Jail.. ha ha ha.. every one happy.. ‘Varadu’ giving vaaku moolam.. “I will kill Thala” kinds


We suddenly see the same girl back out here.. the girl who was romancing Thala in the initial scenes.. You realize, it is the heroine indeed.. Tirisha madam.. at Thala’s tanni-illada-kaattu veedu.. trying to act like a Mattuponnu before kannalam impressing elders.. choo chweet ya…

Here, one number much needed kaamedy track happens.. Ha ha ha, you laugh despite the slapsticky kaamedy.. what to do? Everyone laughs.. you laugh.

Tirisha back to Tirichi with Wooden face Appa and Pappadam face Amma.. Thala sad.

BALA SINGH IS .... BACK .. (Yeah Baby)

Bala Singh still has 10 more seconds to go in the film out of his 1.5 minutes.. So we see him with aruval chasing Thala who puts one fight scene atop buses, bikes etc.. Innovative, yes? But alas, Tirisha’s wooden face Appa sees this encounter and is upset… Wedding cancelled, he tells Mr.Arched Eyebrows.

A emosional Arched eyebrows asks Thala to be talamaraivu again at Lollu Sabha Santhanam’s house, back in Tirichi.. and here yagain thala puts senti after seeing Santhanam talk to his (Santhanam) Amma on the phone.. Thoughts of Pandari Bai Sharanya Amma coming to Tala and he calls home only to realize that ‘5-second-remaining-Bala singh and family have beaten up his amma, thangachee , thambee, broom stick, door mat etc. So sad.. you say!


Thala is back with a vengeance.. comes to Tanni illadha kaadu to beat up Varadu kutty and yes he does.. and yes.. yes.. kills Varadu.. bohooooooooo.. cries Mr.Arched Eyebrows.. and Thala does a ‘Nayagan….Bohooooooo”

Now .. next….






well that’s it.. You have the end title cards rolling and then Thalaiyila kai vecha audiences including adiyeen and adiyeel saying “idu ennoda THALA ezhuttu”

Cast – Main and rear

I am not going to waste precious bandwith trying to post more Mega Bytes talking about Thala and Tirisha. Mr. Arched Eyebrows Rajkiran does a ‘Tavamaai tavamirundu’ father which is repetitive and boring. Bring back the ‘Lungi madiccha-cute guy singing Azhaagana manjapura’ Raj kiran please!I yam missing him.

Vivek: You wonder what this talented man is doing here putting jinggu chaa.. poor guy.. Not to be blamed.. The kaamedy part does not gel with the film.. It is pathetic but one has to admit that his track gives the much needed respite to the entire torture


You have the kotthu-p-pattarai kinds playing Dada’s adiyaals.. ‘Patti mandram’ Raja’s Siamese twin Manobala and M S Bhaskar doing constables, head constable, tail constable kinda roles.. Sathyan doing supposedly-comic friend character and a million other familiar faces doing a zillion unfamiliar roles.


Dear Mallu directors (Fazil, Lokida das, Menon, Nair and the likes),

We do not have any problems when you guys come to Kollywood remaking your ‘Mallu classics’ in Tamizh. After all this is “Vandaarai vazha vaikkum tamizhagam”. But in the name of ‘Kalai’, if you people use Kerala vilakku, mundu set poatta tamizh paati, mallu daadi veccha villain tamizh films, we definitely have a problem.. because we don’t identify with such characters, and eventually you suffer because we do not want to look at such characters and watch such films. Similarly, when your artistes like VMC Haneefa, ‘Varadu kutty’ Villian, Haanest raj Inspector, Mallu face paati etc appear in tamizh films, please ensure that they get their Tamizh pronounciations right.. We can accept if a Shriya Saran or a Namitha say 1-2-3-4-5 mouthing their dialogues with their voices dubbed later, because nobody really cares to hear their dialogues.. People don’t really come to the theatres to see them act. But if your Mallu character actors are going to say 1-2-3-4-5 and their voices dubbed later with “Daiiiiii.. naa unna konnuduven..” kinda dialogues.. Sorry , highly unacceptable.


Cinematography : Tirru-the cinematographer disappoints big time. Is it the same Tirru who gave us Hey Ram? Sorry Sir, your work is pathetic.

Moojik : G V Prakash : Two out of your 5 odd songs are hummable.. But you have obviously been inspired by your Maama’s ‘Dil Se’ background track. Semma similarity .

Art , editing, Costumes, make-up etc etc : Okey-Okey.. but what use? Padam dubakoor


Mr. Remake mannan K.Balaje Saar : Please go back to remaking Hindi films like Don as Billa etc. Mallu films are not for Tamizh audiences… not films as Kireedam, please. Sorry, your come back after a 15 year break has been disappointing.


When Tirisha madam says “ Ennala taangamudila” to Ajith, I heard see one till-then-silent- talaiyila kai-vecha purushan next to me say “Ennalayumdaan” .. Well that says it all, about Kireedam!


Dear Blogger friend, On your high figh recommendation, I booked the ticket in advance spending money on auto, dragged Saturday-12 mani-veraikkum-toongara- purushan to theatre for mid morning show , subjected him to a two and a half hour torture, spending money on popcorn, juice, parking, petrol etc. Don’t worry, we wont sue you. But as promised.. WIRE THE MONEY I SAY!!!


Thursday, July 19, 2007

விளம்பர விளையாட்டு 16 -Celebrity special

This is a celebrity special விளம்பர விளையாட்டு. One attempt/person/day.
Please email your answers to blogeswari[at]gmail[dot]com
1. Identify the commercials endorsed by celebrities on the picture grid. Please write the name of the brand against the name of the celebrity endorsing it. One point for every correct answer.

2. This actor is increasingly becoming the tamizh version of "Farmer" Bachchan endorsing products left, right and centre.Identify any three brands endorsed by this actor. Every correct answer is awarded one point.

3. Listen to the signature tune. Identify the brand & the brand ambassador. One point for the right answer.


Please email your answers to blogeswari[at]gmail[dot]com.
Results for விளம்பர விளையாட்டு 15

1.Clockwise from top left a)Radio city -whatee fun! b)Pro-tex c)Domex d)Fevicol
2.Vittu-p-pogadha Uravugal, Inaiyila Coverage : Airtel [Thaatha.. neenga Black,naa White]
3.Bru Malabar coffee

It is a tie. me gets 1/2 point. He got Fevicol and Domex right but the latter was in the second attempt.Remember, one attempt per person per day. Hamsi , you get 1/2 point for Protex.

And the answer for the Storyboard post.. HAPPYDENT, indeed.Hamsi, kalakkitta!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Vande mataram: Carnatic singers

This is one of my favorite videos of Vande mataram. A 'Kamaas' ragam composition, this piece was the brainchild of the singers themselves. Composed and shot in less than 24 hours, this song brings back wonderful memories of the composing session at Panchathan studio and the filming at Dakshinachitra on the outskirts of Madras, in June 1997. The singers met at the studio one late evening and the jamming session went on till the wee hours. Once composed and recorded, the shoot commenced the next day at 6am and completed before noon.

Composed and sung by: Bombay Jayashree, Sanjay Subramaniam, Sowmya and Unnikrishnan
Directed by : The team of directors for Vande mataram short films
Cinematography : P S Vinod
Shoot Location : Dakshinachitra

Up next: Venugaanam.. Vande mataram

Friday, July 13, 2007


Creating the Storyboard is the second level of making a television commercial (TVC). Storyboard is a series of visuals which convey the story or the idea behind the commercial. Once the concept behind a TVC is ideated, presented to the client, approved and researched, the storyboard artist is called upon to present the ideas visually with a brief from the creative department. In Advertising, these visuals are usually hand-drawn. The artist is given a detailed description on the commercial viz. Socio-economic profile of the protagonists , their age group, their costumes, the place / location where the TVC is set in and so on. The artist then presents his interpretation of the commercial in visuals as various shots conceived by the creative team. The dialogues / lyrics of the jingle are written against each corresponding visual. This storyboard is in turn forwarded to the producer /director of the TVC.

After the initial discussions on the TVC with the creative, the director then takes over the mantle and in consultation with the director of photography, visualizes the entire film shot by shot. His interpretation of the commercial is again presented by a storyboard artist as various shots, locales, look of the models etc on a storyboard but this time in a more detailed version.

To explain the concept of Storyboard, let me give you an example. Remember Amar chitra katha? How did you like reading the stories of Ganesha and Krishna presented visually in those comics as opposed to reading them on another book?Amar chitra Katha is the perfect example of a story board. You have your visuals and the dialogues. Even epics like the Mahabharata and Ramayana have been given as simple, well etched out visuals, in these comics.

For a TVC, a storyboard makes things easier for all parties involved. It makes the director's job much easier once he has his well-defined visual representation. The Director of photography too, with the help of a storyboard knows his shots and the angles much in advance and this helps his planning with the kind of equipment, lenses , the lighting technique which could be used to make the frames look interesting. The editor, even before the film gets shot, gets a fair idea on the editing pattern, thanks to the storyboard. From the advertising agency's perspective, the director's storyboard helps them understand what exactly the director's visualization is, of their script.

Take a look at this storyboard

And now the TVC version of the storyboard

A lot of advertising film-makers have turned feature film directors - Rajiv Menon, Rakeysh OmPrakash Mehra [Rang De Basanti], Rajkumar Hirani [Munnabhai series], Pradeep Sarkar [Parineeta] to name a few. Pradeep Sarkar, for his soon-to-be-released film 'Laga Chunari Mein Daag' came up with an Audioboard for the entire film where, along with the visual representation, were the film's dialogues in audio format, dubbed by professional dubbing artistes.

Here's an interesting website on Storyboards if you would like to know more on this.

The dynamic duo of Illusion films, Mumbai - Aniruddha Sen and Shantanu Bagchi tell you how they came up with the TVS tyres TVC. Take a look at their storyboard

Gotta script and want to do your own storyboard? Go ahead ...

A mini Ad quiz:

Do you see this image on my blog? It is from the storyboard of a famous commercial that made, is making waves at advertising awards in India and abroad, this year. Identify the commercial.
C'mon pal, doesn't it look familiar? I can see a biiiig smile on your face...Go for it!
Update: Ok Ok people, if that image was a tough one to crack, here's another image from the same storyboard.. Now, smile and crack it!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

விளம்பர விளையாட்டு 15

One attempt/person/day for all three questions

1. Identify the four commercials in the picture grid . Clockwise from top left, mark your answers as a,b,c,d . Each correct answer carries 1/2 point.

2. Complete the following:
_______ ______ , இணையில்லா கவரேஜ் : Airtel
Tanglish version : ________, _______ Inaiyilla coverage: Airtel

3. Listen to the jingle. Specify the brand -including the sub category. The ragam should give you a hint.


விளம்பர விளையாட்டு 14 Results.

The answers
1.Pond's age defying cream
2. Good day biscuits
3. Tanishq

Hamsi is the winner with one point. Though she got the first two answers right, I cannot award her 2 points because she got the 'Good day' right on the second attempt.But Hamsi, why didn't attempt the jingle based third question? Professional ethics a.k.a தொழில் தர்மம்? :)

Monday, July 09, 2007

Vande mataram: Sudharani Raghupathy

Padmashri.Sudharani Raghupathy's expression of Vande mataram. Filmed in June 1997 at the YMCA grounds, Nandanam, Chennai. Unusually, it rained on that particular day and that has added a special touch to this film. Mrs. Sudharani Raghupathy choreographed this piece and the students of her dance school Shree Bharatalaya join her in this rendition.

Produced by : Bharatbala Productions
Directed by : The team of directors for Vande mataram short films
Director of Photography: P.S.Vinod

Coming soon: Four singers for Vande mataram

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Right voices.. 2

Right voices can make all the difference.. Part 2.
A simple idea + Creative and humorous script + Fantastic execution = Rocking Radio spot


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Producer : Lingo India (P) Ltd.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

விளம்பர விளையாட்டு 14

One attempt/ person / day for all three questions:

1. Identify this television commercial

2. பரவிடும் சுகம் is the base line for which brand?

3. Listen to the jingle. The music director is Shantanu Moitra, the singer is Hamsika Iyer and the director of this television commercial is Bharatbala. Which is the product advertised here?

marriage MP3.mp3

விளம்பர விளையாட்டு 13 Results.

The answer is Karthik Raja. Good attempt, guys. No winners.
Special mention for :
Ambi for a 'just missed' attempt.. Thenisai thendral Deva :)
Hamsika : The music director is not Bappi Lahari. The singer is Bappi-da great great grandmother. Idhu eppadi irukku?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Right voices....

Right voices can make all the difference.. Enjoy :)

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Producer : Lingo India (P) Ltd.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

விளம்பர விளையாட்டு 13

Identify the music director of this jingle. Clue: It is not A R Rahman. Two attempts per person per day :)


Results for விளம்பர விளையாட்டு 12

1.Hutch Rs.99 recharge - Irrfan Khan
2.Philips water purifier
3. Top Ramen chinna pack 4 roobaa dan

It is a thrie! Me , Ambi and Karthik Sriram get one point each.

Vande Mataram : Bharathiyar family

The descendants of the great tamil poet and composer Mahakavi Subramania Bharathiyar, sing his version of Vande Mataram.

Filmed at Bharathiyar's house in Triplicane in June 1997, this song has been sung by Lalitha Bharathi, Bharathiyar's granddaughter, great grandson Rajkumar Bharathi and great great granddaughter Gayathri Bharathi.

Produced by : Bharatbala Productions
Directed by : The team of directors for Vande mataram short films
Director of Photography: P.S.Vinod

Monday, July 02, 2007

விளம்பர விளையாட்டு 12

விளம்பர விளையாட்டு 12

Identify the three commercials

Results for விளம்பர விளையாட்டு 11

1.Garnier Pure Pen
2.Mantra oil
3. Rin

Karthik Sriram wins. 1 out of 3. Congrats!