Ad filmmaker Prakash Varma talks about the making of Vodafone’s Zoozoos
While the IPL matches break and make fortunes and careers, Zoozoos have bowled over viewers with their simple but catchy storylines. For those who tuned in late, Zoozoos are characters created by Bangalore-based adman Prakash Varma’s production house Nirvana Films.
A master stroke by Prakash and his team, Zoozoos, alien-like characters with bulbous heads and stick-like hands and legs, were created to highlight the multiple features of Vodafone’s value-added services.
Says Prakash, who directed the commercials: “It was a challenge; we had to come up with 30 films in a month’s time to utilise the platform of the IPL matches to advertise our client’s product. Time was a crucial factor. So, we decided to come up with something totally new.”
It was then that Rajiv Rao, creative director, came up with the concept of Zoozoos. Giving it the green signal, Prakash began sketching the characters, while Rajiv got working on the remaining scripts. “We developed two kinds of characters. One comprised the rounded ones that were eventually used, while the others were more elongated. Rajiv came up with the name Zoozoos, and that was it,” explains Prakash, who went to great lengths to keep the project under wraps. “Only after the concept was developed did we even show it to our clients,” he adds.
Quite an achievement for a filmmaker, who was born and brought up in Alappuzha. After his graduation, he worked as assistant to film directors Lohitadas and Viji Thampy. Eventually, he joined the ad world as an assistant of Bangalore-based V.K. Prakash, an ad filmmaker who has made a mark as a director (think “Moonamathroral” and “Freaky Chakra”).
Prakash proved himself with the popular music video of Adnan Sami’s “Bheegi bheegi raaton mein....” In 2001, Prakash and his wife Sneha set up a production house — Nirvana in Bangalore.
Is a feature film in the pipeline? “Very much,” he laughs. “But, as of now, it would be difficult to say when,” he adds. Watch this space.SARASWATHY NAGARAJAN