Gauri Shinde : Creative films and in-house director, Lowe

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Name: Gauri Shinde

Designation: Creative films and in-house director, Lowe

Sun Sign: Cancer, 6 July 1973

About my career:

I have been at Lowe for the last four years. I was doing in-house production at Bates before that for a year. I had co-directed documentaries and worked on various documentaries before that.

Recently, I made a short fiction film for which I was invited to the Berlin International film festival. I have been supervising the production of advertising films at Lowe; but now I have also got into direction of films too. I have been involved right from pre-production to post production of films, as an interface between Lowe and production houses.

Career in ad films being an unplanned one:

No, my career in films was not planned, I wanted to be a writer and was fascinated by films. But, when I got a chance to be close to films, that's all I have wanted to do ever since. It has been a great learning experience at Lowe. This is the place where I started my career as an ad filmmaker in the last one year.

I took a break and I did a course on film making from New York in 2001. There, I worked on a short fiction film, a five-minute film on man-woman relationship. When I came back from New York, I got my first break in direction. Balki (R. Balakrishnan) had always supported me and then it was decided, I will direct the Fair and Lovely commercial.

On first directorial assignment:

The first film I directed was the Fair and Lovely (F&L) under eye dark circle remover cream (the "matching") commercial. This I would say was my most challenging assignment. It was a huge responsibility, firstly it being a Levers brand, secondly it was the launch of this variant for F&L. This also is my most cherished work, because it being my first and it doing so well.

I was sweetly shocked. Lot of credit goes to Balki and Lowe, for giving me an opportunity to work on this commercial.

The entire film was complete in less than a month. Pre-production took two weeks, followed by two and a half days of shoot. Post production was complete in a week. Frankly speaking, I had sleepless nights but I am very happy it came out pretty well.

It feels great when any actor does well and gets more work and recognition. For instance, the young girl, who says "matching-matching", got lot of offers after F&L ad. Here mother came to me and told me she was being referred as "matching-matching" kid. She is getting offers on the basis of her work in the commercial so it feels great.

Also, I got to know MTV had made spoof of this commercial. Even cartoons have made in a national daily, so feels great. I am trying to direct more films now and also continue to supervise Lowe films, which are being sourced from outside (other directors).

On advertising becoming television-oriented:

Yes, we can very safely say advertising is television led. It is the most powerful medium, as we all already know. And almost everyone has access to it. It is the best form of communication because with film, language is never a real barrier. Plus, our country is such a film crazy nation and to people like us, what best way to communicate to but through film. I can only talk about the kind of advertising we do at Lowe.

I think advertising is back to realism. Time is up for unnecessary gloss and glamour. So much so that we see a lot of real characters and real stories with nuances that one can relate to. Consumers can see through any fraud that your trying to push, so some amount of sincerity works. Technically, ad films have become more superior.

In today's world, producers cannot afford to relax and have to be updated with knowledge - especially of the way in which films all around the world are made. While doing an ad film, producer needs to take immense care at every stage to see that the quality of the film does not suffer at any point. Or else, there is always another producer to take his place.

Hectic schedule of being supervisor and in-house director:

I love it most when I am busy. In fact, when I am not busy I get restless.

My idol:

I do not really idolise anyone but admire the work some people have done. I have admired Balki for a lot of the path breaking work that he has done; and for his sheer passion for advertising and films. I admire a few current filmmakers in India like Shivendra for his hardcore realism in advertising films. And then I admire some works of some international directors like Frank Budgen, Tom Tykwer amongst others.

Hobbies:

Besides film-making, I love traveling and doing pottery.

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