One of the most active is Indigo Production, a Bangkok-based outfit launched eleven years ago by veteran advertising executive Adrian Van de Velde. Based in Sukhumvit, Indigo is a “one-stop shop” which incorporates traditional so called ‘live action’ filming with a recently added post-production and CGI (computer generated imagery) division. By doing so they’ve added spectacular cutting-edge 3D animation, to their existing service offering of traditional broadcast tv commercials, documentaries and online content.
Its clients include the mainstay FMCG brands under multinational giants Unilever, P&G and Coca-Cola. A global hotel chain with 1000s of properties worldwide. And a growing number of local and regional brands across Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. One such brand is Nutifood Vietnam a flavoured milk and yogurt producer. This project gave Indigo the perfect opportunity to launch their CGI Division.
“As it turns out, our timing to launch ‘Indigo Post’ was remarkably prescient. While most of the industry couldn’t shoot live action because of the rolling pandemic restrictions, we didn’t skip a beat.” says Adrian Van de Velde.
The company currently employs 17 full-time staff all well-schooled in media creation, which includes its all-star team handling CGI for a growing number of clients requesting these services. For the more demanding projects Indigo still taps into its local and global freelance director network, but can now offer in-house talent on a number of project styles thanks to a shift in its hiring strategy.
“I’ve always believed in the importance of passing on knowledge and training to the next generation. There is so much raw artistic and producing talent in Thailand. We are always looking for keen young minds to add to the team,” says Holt.
In the fast paced world of Advertising Production, ‘out of the box’ thinking has always been a pre-requisite. These qualities were heavily tested during the Covid pandemic, when the company succeeded in overcoming the lockdown restrictions on several live action filming projects by going 100% by remote.
One of the more ambitious versions of this strategy was rolled out on a seven country campaign for Cornetto, shot on location in Hua Hin Thailand. An advertising film set is usually buzzing with clients and the advertising agency in addition to the production crew. Additionally, with country markets as diverse as the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand often a representative from each of these markets can attend a shoot. But solving this was the easy part, Indigo’s producers also had to contend with a remote film director.
Explains Holt. “As you can imagine, the thought of not having a film director physically on set was unthinkable before the pandemic. And while it did present a different set of challenges, these were outweighed by still being able to offer our clients unrestricted access to the global director talent pool Indigo has been known for.”
The biggest challenge, however, came in the form of Indigo’s obligations to its hotel client. This project required the on site filming at fifty of the chain’s North American properties, right through the most restrictive period of the pandemic. Indigo Producer Jee Paensri coordinated the logistics of four film teams traveling for months across North America, and the shipping of hours of footage back to Bangkok.
Here Indigo’s post-production team turned a bewildering fifty hours of raw footage into ten hours of final product. “Each property had its own set of requirements and stakeholders. So while there was a broad creative execution for the brand as a whole, each hotel still presented a different creative solution. The final product is a stunning showcase of the client’s properties, they loved it so much they requested a super cut of the best footage for an exclusive run on New York’s famous Time Square Video Billboard,” says Holt.
“The cherry on top with this particular client, is that in matters of film craft, they largely let us drive the process, and only intervene if we steer off track in terms of the brand,” explains Van de Velde. “And given that this is effectively a new thread to Indigo business, it has been both challenging and immensely rewarding. And it has allowed us to now seriously consider a move into long form TV and Film Production, via our CGI capabilities”
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