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Treatment Note - Saffola Masala Oats

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Treatment Note I wrote, referenced and designed for a well known ad film director.

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Treatment Note - Saffola Masala Oats

  1. 1. TREATMENT NOTE BY DIRECTOR’S NAME
  2. 2. Saffola Masala Oats, in many ways has brought about a true revolution in Indian cuisine; in the way we eat food, perceive food and in what food means to us. It is a globally known fact that Indian cooking is a burst of flavour in your mouth, it is scrumptious, delicious and absolutely mouthwatering. But for those of us who are calorie and health conscious, Indian food can be a bit of a challenge to fit in our routine regimen. In this modern world however where almost nothing seems impossible, why should that be the case! Why can’t there be a quintessentially Indian dish that is both a burst of flavour and good for health! Saffola asked that question; they recognized the importance of keeping in step with the progressing times while retaining the legacy of Indian cooking. Our film focuses on one such Indian dish; Pongal, a dish that is an inherent part of Indian regional culture and gives it a modern, contemporary twist. Saffola is able to marry Indian culture and modern values to give us a contemporary cuisine that is both flavoursome and healthy. While this revolutionary dish is clearly the central theme of our film, what makes the film unique, compelling, engaging and truly progressive in nature is its characters and storytelling.The beauty of this film is not just in its truly liberal and progressive ideology with the blurring of the gender roles but also in the unpretentious and casual way it is handled. When the wife finds out that her husband is cooking pongal for the two of them, she is happy but subtly so, she is proud without being overwhelmed with sentimentality that can sometimes feel artificial and forced. It is this quiet progressiveness and modern thought that needs to come to the fore through performances and treatment – this film doesn’t mean to be preachy or pushy; it is indeed quietly revolutionary.
  3. 3. Story Flow We open the film inside a living room where a beautiful young woman is busy on her treadmill/stationary cycle. Irresistible aroma wafts in her direction and unable to continue, she stops the exercise and walks into the kitchen following the fragrance. As she enters the kitchen, she is surprised to find her husband cooking first thing in the morning. She closes her eyes and takes in the incredible aroma. Carried away by the emotion and flavour she mumbles, “Hmmm pongal.” Feeling her weakening resolve, she opens her eyes, shakes off the temptation and says,“You’re making Pongal?” The husband realizes only then that she is standing there. He looks up at her and quickly musters, “It was supposed to be a surprise. Oh well! SURPRISE, your weekend favourite.”The woman vehemently protests, “But Rahul…meri fitness!” and starts mumbling,“…aaj to calories double…”The husband looks at her and raises the pack of Saffola Masala Oats Pongal and exclaims, “Again…SURPRISE.”The wife is now intrigued. She looks at the pack and wonders where the surprise is.The husband is quick to explain,“Yeh oats se bana hai.”The wife breaks into a smile and gushes “Really?!” She rushes to the packet and starts reading.
  4. 4. We transition into the product window. In ultra high speed, we see the grains of oats fall into the boiling water. In a time slice, we can go around these falling grains and see how thin, flaky and fibrous each grain is. VO: Authentic ingredients. Authentic taste. Now, made better with oats. The husband and wife sit and enjoy the delicious Saffola Masala Oats Pongal Surprise. VO: Naya Saffola Masala Oats – Pongal Surprise. https://youtu.be/rQmnLWkyAMw?t=7 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17dxaW8UpIs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnkmlU9l_7Y&spfreload=10 https://youtu.be/GLX7uDw7zPk?t=65 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBJIY1ahqVQ
  5. 5. Character, Mood & Chemistry Our film is a tribute to progressive thought and liberal values. Progressiveness in our film is not an inconvenience to a traditional way of life, it demonstrates how it can coexist with tradition and heritage that give us roots and identity. While our couple appreciates the cultural values and lifestyle with which they have been brought up, they are truly modern and liberal in their thinking.Two theses clearly shine through in our film; gender equality and the significance of leading a healthy life. Both our characters become a mouthpiece for these modern and progressive values without being pretentious or pedantic.Their casual and matter of fact performances suggest that this sense of gender equality and blurring of gender roles is an intrinsic part of their personalities and something that comes naturally to them. It is an attitude that they have either been brought up with or adopted through conscious and scientific thinking. They are a beautiful, adorable South Indian couple that immensely loves each other, respects each other and understands each other’s attitudes towards life. It is this mutual respect that makes our film truly unique, aspirational and admirable. While they take their ideology seriously, they are fun- loving and playful people who bring peace and cheerfulness to each other’s lives. They are an upper middle class couple and live in a nice house in Bengaluru. They are both originally from Chennai but work has brought them here.They are away from family but their love for each other fills up the space around. Their relationship as a married couple is still in its nascent stage but they know each other extremely well.Theirs is a love marriage and they have known each other for a long time, they know the behaviour, the attitude, the lifestyle and also how the other thinks in what situation. It is this flawless mutual understanding that makes them a special couple. Perhaps they studied together in college and it’s an old love story. Their respect for each other comes not just from this wonderful relationship but also from a friendship that predates this new relationship. Even though the film is simply treated without much fuss, their chemistry and love for each other is quite evident in every frame, even if it is portrayed only through simple gestures, expressions and body language and not so much through words. In fact, it is this very approach that makes this film feel natural and authentic, much in the vein of ‘slice of life’.
  6. 6. THEVIBRANT,YOUTHFUL, LOVING & PLAYFUL CHEMISTRY BETWEEN OURYOUNG COUPLE
  7. 7. The husband is a software engineer who stays incredibly busy on weekdays but on such a Sunday morning, when he is with his beloved wife in a wonderful home that he and his wife have decorated with great care and nuanced detail, he wants to make the most of it. He appreciates how special this time, this day is when he is with his wife who he has been married to only for a year or so. He loves and respects his wife and while she is busy doing her routine workout, the husband without making a fuss starts cooking pongal for the two of them. It is not done as a great gesture or with the intention of impressing the wife but casually as if it is a natural part of life and one of his duties as an equal partner. The other striking feature of his personality is not just that he cooks for her but also takes into consideration her taste, her choice of lifestyle and her health.
  8. 8. THE LOVING, C A R I N G , T R U L Y PROGRESSIVE HUSBAND
  9. 9. The wife is a young South Indian woman who is liberal and modern in her thought and has a scientific outlook towards life. She is a working woman like her husband and comes from a progressive family that believes strongly in education, equality and the importance of a career for both men and women. She is a well educated woman and works in a corporate set up. She enjoys a good position in her company and much like her husband, weekend is one of those rare days when she can spend a stress-free day with her beloved husband. Both are still young, career oriented and happy in each other’s company which is why they do not feel the need to have a kid just yet. She clearly is very health conscious and believes in taking care of herself and her family by eating the right kind of food. The wife loves and appreciates her husband for who he is but she is not overwhelmed by his actions because she finds equality more natural than discrimination. He may not be a great cook, he may not be able to contribute in the kitchen significantly but she has never felt his contribution towards the house any less. If he is not cooking, he is possibly helping out with other chores. All things considered, it is important to realize that this modern thinking is still a transitional phase for Indians and which is why while she doesn’t make too much of it, she is also never under-appreciative. She respects the fact that her husband willingly helps at home. While to them gender equality comes naturally, they are aware of the world they live in and ensure that they never take each other for granted. It is this balance of casual attitude and quiet understated appreciation for each other that makes their relationship appealing, endearing and truly successful.
  10. 10. T H E B E A U T I F U L , AMIABLE, LIBERAL & HEALTH CONSCIOUS WIFE
  11. 11. Look, Feel & The Visual Magic This wonderful uplifting film about one beautiful relationship paints a warm picture of the world we live in. It leaves behind a positive feeling that stays with us beyond the length of the film. A film with content so profound and rich needs to be told with the most flourishing strokes.The look and the feel of the film gives us the opportunity to infuse the moods and the emotions of our characters into the world around them. Their happiness, their joy, their desires, their hopes and moments of peace & tranquility would get projected in the space around them. The world around them becomes a visual manifestation of their psyche and their state of mind. The space around them becomes an extension of themselves, it becomes a part of themselves. This marriage of the inner being and the outer world gives us the opportunity to narrate the tale of these wonderful characters and their relationship through mesmerizing visual lyricism. The film unfolds inside a beautiful modern house where our couple lives.The warmth and affection they feel for each other clearly reflects in the house they live in.They have done up this house together and they love the space that they call home. Pastel walls form the base of the house, earthy fabrics and furnishings add a sense of warmth to the setting, furniture in a mix of dark woods like teak, mahogany and walnut and light ones like pine and birch lend depth and dynamism to the room. A sense of careful gleaning reflects in every piece that resides in this house. A pop of bright colours, in pinks and yellows, breaks the monotony of the beige and the brown and occasional greenery in pots adds a sense of freshness. In order to bring in the true personalities of our characters, we would add some cultural elements to the house in form of furniture, curtains, motifs on fabrics and smaller props to suggest their rootedness and affinity to their cultural legacy.
  12. 12. THE TASTEFUL MODERN HOUSE WITH A TOUCH OF CULTURE
  13. 13. Generous amount of sunlight seeps into the house through the sheer and embroidered curtains draped across the windows to create wonderful patterns and textures on the floor and the walls. This beautiful textured sunlight envelopes the house in its golden glory on this fine morning. Corner lamps fill up the dark spaces and the pendant lamps hanging atop the countertop in the kitchen lend beautiful highlight to the contours of our characters making them look warm and ethereal. The kitchen in its feel is much the same as the living room – bright, beautiful and cheery but it’s a little more chaotic and cluttered than the living room. It’s a mix of a traditional mother’s kitchen and a modern one. A lot of ceramics, china and metals come together to give the space a dynamic vibrancy. Some of the open and glass shelves showcase a collection of china handed down through generations. Copper and brass vessels, earthenware, stone mortar and pestle and other such quintessentially Indian elements add a traditional touch to this primarily modern kitchen. Colourful fruits and vegetables strewn all over the kitchen counter and different mugs in the backdrop add a pop of colour to the room. Greenery by the window adds incredible freshness to the space. In order to make this film truly interesting and distinct, we can give it a natural, slice-of-life like feel with hand- held camera movements. We will make the film evocative and visceral through interesting close ups and centre framing to capture the peppiness, the mood and the emotion of the characters. The most important element of the film is food photography. The ultra high speed shots of the oats falling from the pack into boiling water would look absolutely stunning and mesmerizing. In order to make it dynamic, we can even do a time slice with camera going around the grains to show how thin and crisp every single grain of oat is.The Pongal in the bowl is delectable and mouthwatering. Top good contrast lighting would ensure that all the ingredients in the bowl look beautifully rounded and their bright colours shine through. A somewhat high angle shallow focus photography will make the dish the hero with out-of- focus elements around complimenting the dish and adding colour and depth to the frame.
  14. 14. BEAUTIFUL GOLDEN SUNLIGHT SEEPS IN & ENVELOPES THE PLACE IN ITS GLORY.
  15. 15. T H E GORGEOUS B R I G H T K I T C H E N SPRINKLED W I T H VIBRANCY & FRESHNESS
  16. 16. GLORIOUS COLOURS THAT ADD MAGIC TOTHE KITCHEN
  17. 17. DY N A M I C F R A M I N G TO M A K E T H E F I L M L O O K EVOCATIVE & DISTINCT
  18. 18. F O O D S H OT S – DELICIOUS M O U T H - WATERING O A T S PONGAL
  19. 19. Music Music is an ultimate expression of thought and emotion. Music creates an environment, a desired atmosphere in a film while enhancing the overall mood and emotion of the film. A happy and progressive film such as this deserves a piece of music that is bright, cheerful, peppy and soothing, all at once. Beautiful strings and chords create a mesmerizing melody that interweaves into the rhythm and groove of the film to create a piece of music that is truly evocative, visceral and emotionally powerful.To give the film a sense of cultural adherence, a sprinkling of Indian sounds would add a dynamic layer to the film. With heartfelt strings mixed with Western percussion, the music would please the ears while making the feet tap. This mélange will lend the music a more personal and relatable touch. Modern India is a beautiful amalgamation of Indian traditional values and Western culture thanks to globalization and just as that reflects in everything else, it is only natural that it reflect in the music as well. The music would reach its crescendo at the end with the shots of oats pouring into water to create a dish that is healthy and delicious.
  20. 20. It would be my absolute honour to be a part of a film that is a tribute to contemporary India which is a marvelous mélange of ancient heritage and modern progressive thought. It is this inherent modernity of thought that makes this film truly distinct. The casualness with which it is portrayed and presented makes it unpretentious and matter of fact; the way it should be. A film that is both aspirational in its flavour and progressive in its thought can create a silent revolutionary ripple and set an example for all future films to come. Through the naturalistic performances of the characters it would become apparent that the husband’s gesture is not grand or extraordinary, it is just the way it is. For a family that truly believes in equality, this is the new normal. This wonderful film demands detailing and nuance in all departments – visual, music and performances – in order to create a wonderful film that is profound, layered and complex. The most important aspect of the film of course is the love and mutual respect that our characters share. Their relationship is both identifiable and aspirational in nature.The performances of our actors, their actual chemistry and their inherent ability to get into the skin of these characters will make the characters come alive.The content of this film is so rich that it is bound to etch itself in the minds of the audiences for a long time to come. I look forward to working with you on this quietly inspirational film! Thank you!

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