Wednesday, January 19, 2005

On a Birthday Video...

This Sunday was Vishnu's birthday. And Prashanth and Srividya came up with this awesome idea of making him a birthday video, which was to be presented to him at a surprise birthday party.

I don't think I've ever had so much fun preparing for anyone's birthday.

We shot most of the video a week in advance. That included pieces on what we thought of Vishnu (his girlfriend's piece was incredibly sweet and moving), as well as Vishnuisms, stuff that is specific to Vishnu. Issues that were touched upon included his gentlemanly approach to buying applam, his shocking generosity to auto-drivers, his Brit turns of phrase (trundle along, dandy, twit...), his shagging and what it meant to his close friends, Oasis and so on.

Next came the editing. And that, in one word, simply rocked. OK, two words, so sue me. My house served as the editing studio, and I'm so proud of the final product.

We decided to come up with Frasier-like slides in between the different scenes, like 'Why Chennai auto drivers own mobiles' before the part on, obviously, auto-drivers. The process of deciding on sound effects was a long-drawn out one. We chose from hundreds of songs to find the best ones that would fit. A bit of Monty Python here, a clip art there, Elton John in between and Kelsey Grammer (Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs) bringing up the rear... superb. Lots of other artistes too.

The credits were fun - Gangotree for 'creative ambience', the Microsoft Corporation for 'sound effects', Hutch for 'cost-effective communication solutions' and many more.

The movie's not on The makers could really get arrested because it contains some very objectional language. We even gave it an 'A' certificate. Really. It's there right at the beginning.

The party itself was fun. I think we succeeded in scaring the hell out of Vishnu when we all yelled 'Surprise!', baritones mingling with altos and sopranos and whatever-else to result a truly blood-curdling sound.

But this blogpost is about the video, so I'll just stop. Here. Maybe more on the party and the CIA-like planning that went into it (calling all stations, they're turning into the road) later.

I loved the video, the love, care and thought that had gone into it's planning and the simple yet professional-ish-ism of its execution. I think Vishnu liked it. I'm glad.

I realise that all this won't matter an iota to a very large majority of those reading this blog. It isn't funny, it isn't thought-provoking, you probably can't relate to it, it's cloyingly personal. But it matters to me, because I loved the experience. It made me feel good and, frankly, worth something. And joking, working and laughing with the others in on this made me feel a renewed warmth, happiness and a desire to live. I felt more alive, less of a machine-like automaton going through the motions of life. I felt human, and glad to be human. Thanks, everybody.

To finish, here's a toast to Vishnu.


srividya sriram said...

Was that blog sweet or what?!?! very glad that you liked everything abt the party including me, prashanth and anjana and arshya and michelle taking over your house for two days...and including me hogging on the awesome pakodas made by your mum...and im proud of our video...and i loved the whole experience...i dont know what im saying but... the whole party and shooting and editing ROCKED THE SHIT OUT OF THE WORLD!!!!YEEEEAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!

P said...

I think Srividya has said all that I wanted to say ( and more!)

Anyway, Fabulous blog! We had so much fun making the video and putting the whole thing together!

Its interesting that you (very conveniently) mentioned nothing about the whole camera episode at your house!

Anjana said...

A very feel-good blog. Very interested in the CIA-like planning now.
Prashanth you do realise the camera episode reflects worst on the three of us?? Let's not go there :)

AC said...

Thanks a lot, guys. It was a really awesome experience. And yeah, prashanth, do you really want our humiliating experiences with the camera to be discussed in the public domain? :)