Interview Hindi

Nupur Bhargava on Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan teaser: We were inspired by vintage film posters


Artist and filmmaker Nupur Bhargava shares her experience of creating the teaser for the announcement of Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, starring Ayushmann Khurrana.

Photo: Nupur Bhargava

Sonal Pandya

Earlier this month, actor Ayushmann Khurranna revealed that he was reuniting with producer Aanand L Rai for another film project, one that tells the story of two men falling in love. The actor’s tweet was accompanied by an animated teaser that made us wish we could watch the film immediately and not have to wait till next year.

The unconventional, funny and downright charming teaser was the work of Invisible Rabbit, a boutique studio that was founded in 2009. The studio is run by Nupur Bhargava and Hitesh Kewalya, director of Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, and you have probably seen their work either on television, at the cinema or online, you have probably just never realized it.

Cinestaan.com conversed on e-mail with Bhargava, who has directed animation sequences in films like Luv Ka The End (2011) and Katti Batti (2015), about how the creative teaser was conceptualized and made in a short span of two weeks. Excerpts:

How did you come on board for the teaser announcement for Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (2020)?

Our association with Aanandji [L Rai] began with Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (2017), when we made a fun animated teaser for the film, which went viral. So when Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan was getting ready for announcement, we were called to work on it.

When was it decided that an animated sequence would be the way forward? How much time did you have?

Animation is an interesting medium to introduce a film and its essence without revealing too much. Animation was the perfect medium to capture the humour and quirkiness that is synonymous with the SMS franchise. We had about two weeks to do the teaser.

Who wrote the script? How did you all conceptualize and storyboard the 49-second sequence?

Hitesh Kewalya, the writer and director of the film Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, wrote the teaser script. We received the script and the voiceover by Nilesh Mishra, both [of which were] big inspirations for the teaser’s animation.

We made a pitch with a detailed visual script and art mood board. The teaser needed to capture the textures, colours and stories of India. We took inspiration from vintage Indian film posters, which are hand painted and full of life. The most interesting part of the project was that it made us dig deeper and create relatable everyday moments that explore love.

The storyboard and art process was very fluid. Each illustration for the teaser was like a painting. We have added a lot of detail in each shot to enhance the tone and visual texture of the film. We explored lots of situations and artworks till it fit completely with the soul of the script.

How big or small was your team working on the teaser?

We were a team of three who worked on the teaser. Furthermore, Hitesh helped us to maintain the essence of the teaser.

Did you have any hurdles to overcome for the teaser in the short span of two weeks?

Two weeks was a tight schedule to work in, but we are a close-knit production team which worked round the clock. We also got instant feedback and approval, so work flow was smooth. Even with a tight schedule, we managed to do several explorations and have fun.

Did producer Rai have any inputs for the teaser?

He gave us a clear brief and explained what the teaser should emote. Aanand L Rai understands his audience and one always learns even interacting with him. It was great to work with a creative force like him who put a lot of faith in us and gave a lot of creative freedom.

What has been the response to the teaser since it has been out?

The response to the teaser has been overwhelming. We are getting such encouraging messages and love from everyone. People have found it humorous, quirky, yet sensitive. It has excited people and they are looking forward to Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan. So are we!

Can you tell me about Invisible Rabbit and what kind of work it produces?

Invisible Rabbit is a boutique animation and film studio based in Mumbai. Our strength lies in our strong design aesthetics and direction that enables us to direct and produce unique films for each of our clients. We have directed and produced several award-winning and nominated animated films for feature films, commercials, broadcast and web.

We specialize in quirky and out-of-the-box storytelling in various mediums like stop-motion, 3D/CGI, 2D and mix media. We are the only studio and directors in India to have designed and directed three Hindi feature film songs using stop-motion animation.