Arun, the founder of True Tone Ink would often tell us how the big textile brands were using storytelling to sell lies, using synthetic colors to paint a false picture and causing long term environmental damage by chasing short term profits.
Our job was simple to create a counter narrative, a true narrative to tell the true story of true colors. I said true a lot, right?
But to speak my truth this was not an easy job.
Because we had 3 minutes to -
Introduce a brand new concept of Herbal Dyes (the product)
Highlight the issue with Synthetic Chemical Dyes (problem the product was solving)
Show how Herbal Dyes is a perfect solution to the pollution problem created by Chemical Dyes
Establish Herbal dye's history and origin
Elaborate on its several features and benefits
Tie all of the above together in a compelling narrative
Quite a bit to cover right?
And that is barring the complex literature that surrounded the brand and product. Complex why? Because we had little to no knowledge about the product. Broadly speaking we understood that chemical dyes are bad —- also because we did a film on it. (linked below)
So, chemical dyes are bad and Herbal Dyes are the solution to this problem of textiles pollution. But what makes Herbal Dyes so great?
Well, the answer we got from Truetone Ink was a 20 page text heavy document highlighting several technical points.
It was fairly technical, like there's a thing called Color Fastness. What is that now? How does that matter to our story? We didn't understand any of that. But in the course of few weeks we learnt about all technicalities, in depth.
Because that's exactly what we needed to arrive at our story - RESEARCH
Research is an important aspect of storytelling to bring authenticity and uniqueness. Our 3 weeks of hard research actually helped us understand Herbal dyes and textile industry inside out. It made us realize the story we had to share had to come from a very basic but universal understanding of Color.
So what's the universal story of color? It is the story of blues and greens.
Well, what do you see when you look at our planet from outer space?
A big ball of blue and green!
These are perhaps the two most important colors. Both colors enable life on this planet as we know it. So protecting these colors is our foremost job.
But that's not happening now, we can't see the big picture, we get to see a bleak picture. We see how textile industry contributes to water pollution and how it's causing long term, irreversible environmental damage. For times like these, we need a game changer!
Something that is truly natural, sustainable and scalable, vegan and eco friendly. Colors that live and breathe. The true colors of Truetone Ink!
We had our story now, so next came the production. Production of this film was quite interesting. We had three days to shoot and execute and a limitation of budget that restricted us from using a set or traveling to different places to capture different process.
During the shoot two shots that stand out are the introductory shot of camera rolling past different sheets of Color and the wide angle shot of factory reveal. It took us more than 10 takes for each shot.
The opening shot was achieved by devising a handheld rig (shown above). We moved the camera across the sheets to give an illusion of machine spinning fabrics. Was a lot fun, rigging this but get a steady shot was equally a challenge.
The other shot was more complex as generally a dolly and track to pull of such a shot. (see below)
But we didn't have either, so we got creative and managed to pull that off with a car and a motivated cameraman. Well the whole crew was very motivated. This shot had many different elements as different people were assigned different roles and were asked to move at different time walking across the camera screen. Just this shot took us about two hours, the Ahmedabad heat got to everyone but after 14 different takes we finally got the shot.
There were a lot more interesting hacks we did to pull off the various segments of our script. Like in order to show raw material sourcing we shot in a field not far from the factory using women at factory as actors turned villagers in traditional outfits. For raw material sourcing we shot that at a nearby ayurvedic manufacturing unit.
The landfill and water pollution was however very authentically shot at the infamous site between the factory and the city, the toxic pollution entering the water stream was quite a surreal sight.
We additionally got shots of fashion brands that had created clothing out of the Herbal Dyes. We used this to showcase the different qualities of Herbal dyes by associating each quality with a specific range of clothing. For instance we used the baby clothing brand to showcase the hypoallergenic quality of the product.
All in all we managed to pull off exactly what we had set out to. Communicate all of it in a compelling narrative format in 3 minutes.
All kudos to the super team who backed this entire production :)
Now having said that, you may judge the final output for yourself - final film linked below.
Also, here's the review by Arun (Founder) for our work on True Tone Ink Film.