They started, they struggled and then they found Heinz to rule the roost. That’s the story of Amit Sharma, Aleya Sen, & Hemant Bhandari, the founders of Chrome Pictures

Inner calling: (Amit) Aleya and I were working with Pradeep Sarkar while Hemant was working for another production house. After assisting Pradeep for about six years, we decided to start a production house of our own and that’s how Chrome happened in 2004.

The early days: (Amit) We started Chrome from bootstrap funds. We even worked from our own house for nearly 2 years before we shifted to our present office in Khar, Mumbai in 2006. First year was really tough, but then I think it happens with everyone and in a way it’s good as well. Because then you value things.

(Aleya) It was slightly easy for us to approach people as we knew them beforehand. But still, converting those meetings was really difficult. Even with those kinds of disappointments, we were sure of making it and never felt like giving up. Finally, we created a film on our own for Heinz and then things really started rolling for us.

The turning point: (Amit) Initially, we started with some 10 second promo films, but then Heinz happened. It even managed to win the Asia-Pacific award and that was the real turning point for us as we started getting work from other agencies as well. There were certainly a few problems in getting the approval for the first film, and they even made me doubt myself as a good filmmaker. So, even after the Heinz film I was depressed instead of being overjoyed. Thankfully, the next film happened and then every film after that added to my confidence. Even today, when I go for a shoot, my legs shiver (despite having shot more than 200 films), but that also helps me in being grounded.

African Nightmares: (Amit and Aleya) Oh, that’s certainly unforgettable. It was during the shooting of an ad film with a monkey for the Idea Cellular. We shot that film in South Africa’s Cape Town. Unfortunately, the monkey was not a trained one. So, finally we had to spend quite sometime training the monkey by ourselves first. That was quiet challenging for us, but certainly was a great experience.

Rueful moments: (Amit) Well, I wanted to be a hero :)

For more articles, Click on IIPM Article.

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2010.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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