Trailer in the Making

The Challenge  

The creative world is vast but there are the rare and few human personalities since the dawn of time who have a canvas even vaster in scale and depth, making it almost impossible to capture or do justice to even a fragment of their lives. And yet, the team at Studio Eeksaurus was presented with this very challenge when they were asked to make an animation film on Sri Aurobindo.

Setting the Mood

Having spent most of his childhood in England, the team decided to focus on the moment he stepped off the ship that brought him back to his Motherland and tell the story of what followed in the next 21 years (1893-1914). This was the time frame when India was beginning to grow restless, wanting to break the shackles of oppression and subjugation by the British Empire. And while the mood for rebellion came from all corners of the country, Aurobindo Ghose would go on to create an entirely new drive and revolution making him one of the most important figures of the Indian Freedom Movement.

The Research

The creative team extensively researched not just the life events of Aurobindo Ghose and the atmosphere in the country at the time, but also, everything pertaining to that period from the culture dynamic between the ruler and the ruled, costumes, architecture and even the ship that the young Aurobindo arrived on. But going even further, Studio Eeksaurus shifted from the expected computer generated graphics to an extremely complex but rewarding handcrafted animation in which each frame is drawn, painted and brought to life. The artistes have used their own styles and also been inspired by several renowned painters including the Bengal School of Art, Francisco Goya, Pieter Bruegel, Haren Das and Zainul Abedin. The warm shades of the artwork, the turmoil running in the blood of the common man, the calm gaze and powerful destiny of the protagonist all comes to a resounding head with a haunting background score by Shri Sriram and the enchanting sound effects created by Academy award winner Resul Pookutty, creating the perfect mood for what is to come.

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Apollo Bunder, the place which marked the return of Sri Aurobindo

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SS Carthage, the ship on which Sri Aurobindo returned to India

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Pictures of Mumbai during the 1890s

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In Zayenul Abedin’s paintings, we took inspiration from the body language of the characters and their expressions, as they were wellsuited
to the temperament of our story. He also captures the lives of the people from the lower strata whom we were depicting.

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Haren Das’s work depicts rural livelihoods and captures the essence of the period in which our film is set in.

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The frantic energy and the range of activities taking place in a single frame of Pieter Bruegel’s paintings were a good reference for the commotion and crowd we wanted to show at Apollo Bunder.

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Storyboard

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Artist at work

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Preliminary sketch

Reliving a Forgotten Chapter of History

Not just an ordinary tale being told, A New Dawn is an attempt to consciously relive a significant moment in history which lives and breathes its repercussions into our present and most decidedly, into the future dawn of the Indian nation.