WEEK 32: Taking on the Giants

Whenever we create content, we always like to compare ourselves to global standards. We did the same with our 3D animation film for Arctic Fox. Those of you who are regular readers of this journal will know that this film was particularly challenging because it is set in the arctic tundra, in an abundance of snow – and snow is very difficult to animate. But after months of work it is finally ready, and we are very pleased with the result. You can watch the film here:

(Music by yours truly)

This film brings Arctic Fox’s brand mascot to life and showcases the values that the brand strongly believes in – relentless optimism in pursuit of a dream. The protagonist of the film has a dream to catch a lemming that had always managed to elude its grasp. Through the course of its journey, the arctic fox faces a number of challenges that could have potentially disastrous consequences. But it doesn’t let such hurdles stop it from chasing its dream. And once it achieves one dream, the arctic fox wastes no time in moving on to the next dream.

If you enjoyed the film, please share it. It would make us very happy.

Even though we completed this film, our work is far from over. The Red Fort project continues to present us with new challenges every day. As the nature of these challenges is very bureaucratic, I have been banned from elaborating on them. I can, however, share some interesting pieces of information I learned while doing research for this project.

For instance, the Sepoy mutiny was not a single event, as implied by our history textbooks. It was actually a series of riots spanning a few months. Another thing our history books tell us is that the mutiny was between the Sepoys and the British. This is not the whole truth. While the mutiny – which originated in Meerut – began as an opposition to the British (primarily on religious grounds), it quickly spun out of hand and became a full-blown civil riot in which a number of criminals and trouble makers joined the Sepoys and went on a murderous rampage, killing not only the British, but innocent Indians as well. They looted shops, burned down buildings and attacked money lenders. The situation became so bad that local law enforcement could not contain it and civilians were reduced to living in hiding. As supplies grew scarce, with rioters looting grocery stores, many innocents died of starvation.

Bahadur Shah Zafar, who was the Emperor at the time, learned of this destruction and tried to protect his people by stopping the mutineers from entering Delhi. But he was unsuccessful. The mutineers wreaked havoc in Delhi and even entered Zafar’s private apartments. When Zafar refused to meet them, they began discharging their weapons in the air.

Zafar finally relented and came out to meet the Sepoys. The Sepoys expected praise, but were reprimanded instead. They then asked Zafar to give them his blessing. Zafar was faced with a mob of armed and excitable Sepoys; he could hardly say no. But while Zafar did not support the destruction the Sepoys had caused, he still realised that this might be the perfect opportunity to rid India of the British and restore his empire. And so, Zafar gave the Sepoys his blessing.

Yet another thing left out of our history textbooks is that the Sepoys actually came very close to defeating the British, under the leadership of Bakht Khan. However, since Bakht Khan focused all his energy on his troops, he was unable to send regular messages back to Zafar’s court, which meant that Zafar was left in the dark with regard to Bakht Khan’s progress. This gave room for gossip and rumours to circulate in the royal court as a result of which Bakht Khan was removed from his position at an extremely crucial time. Had he remained at his post, it was very possible that the British would have been forced to leave India. Alas, Bakht Khan’s removal gave the British the window they needed to get back on their feet and plan a successful counter-attack.

Unfortunately, not all of these details made it to our script. When the latest version of the script was read aloud to the team, the reading took two hours, and we left the office at 9.30pm, setting a new personal record.

On the same day as this script reading took place, we welcomed a new Creative Associate to the team. He enthusiastically listened to the script, but after it was done he cautiously inquired if all our days were this long. I assured him that they were not.

On another note, we now have all Saturdays off! When the team was informed of this development there was much rejoicing. However, that means we now work from 9.30-6.30 instead of our usual 10.30-6.30.

See you next week!

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