“The three of us principally believe there is no limit of growth, it’s a matter of choice”: Chrome Pictures founders

“The three of us principally believe there is no limit of growth, it’s a matter of choice”: Chrome Pictures founders

We love exploring and experimenting with new talent, technology, genre, formats, etc.

Chrome Pictures founders

Mumbai: Cinema has been entertaining and educating the masses through various mediums, including films, TVCs, ad films, TV serials, and web series on OTT platforms. Creating, experimenting and evolving with ‘Lights, Camera and Action’, a production house - Chrome Pictures has come a long way in the world of advertising and filmmaking.

On 20 January 2024, Chrome Pictures celebrated a remarkable milestone, marking its 20-year anniversary as a prominent force in the realm of visual storytelling. The film production company, founded in 2004 by the dynamic trio of Amit Sharma, Aleya Sen, and Hemant Bhandari has emerged as one of the premier production houses of the country, consistently upholding a legacy of excellence, innovation, and creativity on a global scale.

Renowned for its diverse portfolio, the company has directed and produced compelling and heartwarming TVCs for an array of leading brands in collavoration with top ad agencies of India. The accolades garnered and awards won at renowned platforms include the Cannes Film Festival, Spikes Asia, Adfest, NYA, D&AD, DPA, amongst others. In the recent times, Chrome Pictures won 33 film awards for their debut feature film 'Badhaai Ho' including the prestigious National Award for the "Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment".

To know more about the production company and its two decade journey, Indian Television caught up with Chrome Pictures founders Amit Sharma, Aleya Sen and Hemant Bhandari.

Edited Excerpts:

On the founders of Chrome Pictures coming together to establish the company in 2004

Amit Sharma, Aleya Sen and Hemant Bhandari started Chrome Pictures at the young age of 24. Amit and Hemant are childhood friends, while Aleya and Amit met on sets of Pradeep Sarkar. It was their dream to start a production house together.

On some memorable moments along with the challenges that Chrome Pictures faced during its 20-year journey in the industry

20 years is a long time and we’ve faced multiple challenges along the way. But we’ve always seen every challenge as an opportunity to get better at our game.

One of our biggest challenges was our first breakthrough. The first year we only got 10-15 sec ads. We made Hanes commercials with our own money. It won many national and International awards. That’s when we got our first recognition in the advertising industry. Making our own place in Bollywood, with landmark films like Badhaai Ho and recently Trial Period is equally challenging. Covid was another time of challenge for all production houses. We were one of the first to start online shoots, with a zeal to reinvent ourselves. We are a company of 70 and everyone was retained. We landed, bagging 46 awards, including Cannes Lions Awards for Dove #StopTheBeautyTest and the Facebook Pooja Didi Ad, shot during COVID.

On Chrome Pictures distinguishing itself in terms of its creative and innovative approach within both the cinema and advertising industries

We love exploring and experimenting with new talent, technology, genre, formats etc. It’s safe to say that the creative aspect of films - be it ad or feature, triumphs everything else for us. We believe that storytelling is not limited to any format and, hence, from Chrome’s very inception, we’ve looked forward to every project with equal amount of excitement. Long format was a natural progression. We like to stay updated with the ever growing and changing market.

On the genres or thematic areas that Chrome Pictures is looking to delve into as it further establishes itself in the Bollywood film industry

We are unified by our diversity. We’ve never restricted ourselves to specific genres while making feature films. We treat content as our hero. Selection of a particular script is an individual director's choice. Like, I might go from exploring romance in one project to drama in the next. Similarly, Amit might go from doing a sports biography, Maidaan, to a thriller. However our forte is emotional and realistic storytelling.

On whether AI is having any discernible impact on Chrome Pictures' production process and if so, is the company integrating artificial intelligence into its creative workflows

Evolution is constant. Just about 12 years back, Fuji and Kodak Stock suddenly switched to digital cameras. From Beta tapes, we switched to drives and then cloud. So AI is inevitable. At Chrome, we strive to stay flexible and relevant to changing times. It’s important to upgrade oneself in an industry that welcomes new technology readily. Having said that, AI will certainly have an adverse impact in terms of replacing manual work to digitised ones.

On the company’s future plans & aspirations

In the last 20 years, we have explored our strengths in more than one way. Currently with eight young and talented in-house directors, six producers and an experienced production and post team, we intend on producing more feature films, OTT films and web series.

Our advertising team is well-established and we encourage new talents. We have a digital wing, Minikin DG Works. We have a well-equipped post-production studio setup called “Planet Chrome”. Last year we launched our content lab called “Crimsen Tales”.

The three of us principally believe there is no limit of growth, it’s a matter of choice.