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BlooperHouse Studio Sessions

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T2 Zooms In On The Zero-budget Video Music Scene Around Town   |     |   Published 13.06.13, 12:00 AM

W elcome to BlooperHouse Studio Sessions. The project brings together musicians in a studio where they record songs, mostly unplugged. The videos (each five-six minutes long) contain inputs from the groups, etc. And each month one video gets “aired”... on YouTube! The first “episode”, posted on June 8, involved Deep Phoenix and Arnab Sen. A t2 chat with Meghdut RoyChowdhury, 21, the head of operations of BlooperHouse Studios.

Why make an online in-studio video project and release it on YouTube?

It is the easiest way to reach out to people of our age. It is free, and the publicity and marketing of the product can be done sitting in your bedroom. Also, this is a project to support independent artistes. We are not looking to make any money out of this.

What’s the format of the “show”?

There will be one session per month, so we should be out with six videos of about five-six minutes each by the end of 2013.

How do you shoot the video?

Every episode is shot from three different angles, with three cameras, and then edited together with the master footage.

How is BlooperHouse Studio Sessions different from the Soundcheck Project?

The only major difference between the two is that the BlooperHouse sessions will be completely shot and recorded inside, on a studio floor, and the audio will be recorded/ mixed/ mastered at the studio itself.

Malcolm Mistry

Video title: The Hat Song by The Suitables. He is also working on a documentary about Parsi theatre in Calcutta and a short fiction film.

Music meets video: “The music video should not just be a literal translation of the lyrics of the song. The visuals should add an extra dimension to the sound, creating more depth,” says Malcolm, 25.

Fun Times: “While filming The Hat Song it was important to get the band performing like they do on stage, take after take. The song is about being yourself... and to make people wear hats!”

Shoot at site: Anywhere and everywhere! “Even a dull space could be done up and used in an interesting way!”

Budget: “All of us chipped in.”

Source of income: He is a freelance filmmaker.

Gairik Sarkar

Video titles: Ellora (Jack Rabbit), Medley

(Fiddler’s Green), Abusable Reusable (Zoo), Tourist (Ifs and Buts), Second Sex (The Anupam Roy Band).

Music meets video: “Every piece of music evokes a flurry of images and feelings. The video should be able to reinforce and enhance these images and feelings,” says Gairik, 28.

fun times: “The Fiddler’s Green video took four hours, the Zoo video took eight hours and the Ifs and Buts video took nine hours to shoot. Tourist was entirely improvised on the streets.”

Shoot at sitE: Homes of friends and relatives and on the streets. “Calcutta is a very photogenic city. So the only question in choosing a location is: Is it free?”

Budget: “Zero to Rs 15,000 if produced independently. Independently here means the band, the director, the cinematographer, the actors, the editor and most people involved in the music video do it for free. All the money goes in to set design, camera and light rental, costume, etc. This is not a sustainable enterprise,” he says.

Source of income: His company Notsoabsolute (founded with Rohini Ghosh) has produced four music videos in collaboration with the respective bands.

Margub Ali

The Soundcheck Project

He selects a band or a singer, shoots a video (mostly outdoors) with his money, and uploads them on YouTube. Margub Ali, 25, calls it The Soundcheck Project and he has already shot seven videos (the first to release featured the band The Monkey In Me).

Online address: “We put out the videos on YouTube as we felt we could reach out to a large number of people.”

Shoot: “Each shoot is different and we like to experiment with the format of the video. We shoot each episode at different locations and I like to keep the look and feel of the video close to the mood of the song.”

Improvise: Everything is done on the spot. “Which is why it’s always fun. Nothing is rehearsed. We record the song in one take.”

Funds: It is a self-funded project. “To start this project I had to sell off my electric guitar for the sound recording equipment we use to capture the live sound. We are planning to get sponsors and use better equipment.” The video post-production is done by

photographer and short filmmaker Anish Chakraborty. The audio mastering is done by Allan Ao (guitarist, Fossils) and Soutrik Chakraborty (guitarist, singer of Write In Stereo) does the sound engineering when required.

Ayushman Mitra

Video titles: Item Song by the Ganesh Talkies and Neesha the Night (independent project).

Music meets video: “I personally like the complete audio-visual experience… together they have this great power to transport people,” says Ayushman Mitra, 23.

Fun Times: “Shot Item Song on my terrace with three members of the crew, the band and a killer cast, including my cook and security guard, random kids from the street, my grandmother, friends and the beautiful Rii (actress)! It was all just a big shiny party. The house looked like a hipster camp. I didn’t even spare my dogs, they were very patient.”

Shoot at site: Anywhere.

Budget: “Both videos have been made on zero budget. Everyone worked for free and we successfully sourced all the material.”

Source of income: He is an artist.

Arindam Chatterjee

Do you know of others doing such projects in Calcutta? Tell t2@abp.in

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