What You Need to Know to Be a Successful Ad-film Director

Even the smallest challenge in the process of the film making can make a huge difference in the production

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By Aleya Sen • Dec 26, 2017


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There's no denying that there's an art to making a great television commercial. Here are the top 5 points to keep in mind.

The advertising industry is considered as one of the fastest growing industry. Indian advertising industry has been evolving since the past 70 years translating the brand image into a story that appeals the consumer humorously, emotionally and practically. Advertisements are able to create more impact on minds of the consumers' than ever before. What role does ad film-maker play? They formulate the visualized idea of an advertiser into moving images. They are the producers, directors and the team behind the wonderful ads. Advertising agency and the Ad-film makers come together to create a well-executed ad. India's advertising industry has also achieved recognition at international events such as Cannes Lions, New York Adfest etc. Certain points that I keep in mind while working on an ad are:-

Target Audience

The Target Audience, like who are we making the film for is the most important aspect and to understand their sensibilities and cater to it is not easy. We need to be the audience first to target them with the right emotions. I believe the brand should have a connection with the audience to target them more effectively and proactively. The ad should be crisp and gripping to be able to attract people to a brand.

Story Telling

It is a vital part which binds the brand and its message. Communication must be clear and should be such that it stays with your audience/consumer. As an ad filmmaker, for me, it's a very crucial part as we need to create a huge impact in a very short duration of an ad. I always keep in mind that I have a target audience that needs to feel the emotion, be it humour, love, drama or happiness through my ad.

Production Design

In today's day and time production design plays a very important role be it a rustic or beauty film. The look and feel enhances and becomes an aspirational mark for the product. The director's most important role is to visualize the story and to be able to recreate it in a physical form.

People Involved

The cast and crew hold the entire making process together. The cast is the face of the film and the crew is its backbone. The amalgamation of a team of professionals helps in translating a director's vision into reality. Even the smallest challenge in the process of the filmmaking can make a difference in the production that's where the crew ensures seamless progress.


Last but not the least, the budget of the film/ project plays a vital role. Sometimes the script demands a particular scale in terms of look, location etc., but due to budget constraints, it may not be possible. In such cases, I personally feel it's better to mould the script around in accordance with the available budget than try to compromise or cut corners, and only get halfway through your vision.

All Ads are the representation of a brand in the market and the Audiovisual aspect of these ads are proceeded by Ad filmmakers. There is an immense amount of detailing that goes into making a 30 seconder.

Aleya Sen

Indian Ad Filmmaker

Aleya Sen is an Indian ad filmmaker. She is widely credited for directing commercials for some of the leading advertising campaigns like Wagh Bakri, 18 Again, Idea, Godrej, Nokia, Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC), McDonalds and Salaam Bombay’s Anti-Tobacco campaign, ‘Life se panga mat le yaar’. She is the co-founder and director of Chrome Pictures Pvt. Ltd., a Mumbai based production house.

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