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News |  03 Apr 2019 16:01 |  By RnMTeam

My job is fun but comes with a lot of responsibility: Shruti Vohra, Music video director

MUMBAI: In the mid 90’s, a very unique wave hit the Indian entertainment landscape -music videos. From Alisha Chinoy’s Made in India to Sonu Nigam’s Deewana Tera, we remember all of them. It wasn’t just good music, but extremely appealing videos too that made those songs memorable. Shruti Vohra is one such name behind many of such videos.

Well, it’s in the family too. Her uncle, Suresh Mallik, was the creative head for Oglivy & Mather and one of the key members to develop the iconic Mile Sur Mera Tumhara. “He is a legend in his field and I am nowhere near to him. However, due to him, I got the exposure and would go to recordings with him. Also, my family is very inclined towards classical music and art in general.”

As she grew up, she had a stint with Zee TV, “I was a programmer and would handle seven to eight shows. However, I soon realised, there was something lacking and thus decided to move out of Zee TV. But I learnt a lot working there and it was a learning ground for me. Later, I assisted an ad- film maker, where I learnt how to polish our product or video.”

Soon Shruti became a name to reckon with in the Indian music segment and did videos like Bombay Vikings’ Chod Do Anchal, for which, she even earned MTV Immies and today she stands tall with over 100 music videos to her credit. Her portfolio of artistes encompasses greats like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan to his nephew Rahat fateh Ali Khan.

On being asked what excites her most about music video making, she says, “Though my job is fun, it also comes with lot of responsibility. On the sets, there are deadlines, shoe-string budgets and a lot of other constraints. But the process is fun and each experience teaches you a lot. The chemistry between team is great. It’s a combination of responsibility and creativity.”

“We have to take it with a pinch of salt and not take it too seriously that we develop a health issue.” She adds with a chuckle.

She shares her views on the transformation as she has a ringside view of the industry, “In the initial days, music videos were very novel and unique. When I was with Zee, I remember watching Made in India and Colonial Cousins. They had a grand vision even though they weren’t technically advanced at that time. But they are the people who brought this form of music in India and were the pioneers. Our generation just followed.”

Now, she says, the industry is technically more advanced, “If Made in India was to be made today, it would be more fantastic as we are more equipped technically. Also, I have shot many videos outside India too. I was the first director to shoot a video in Morrocco. Technically and exposure wise we have come long way.”

She adds, “But old videos have their own charm like November rain is eternal. We can still go back and enjoy them.”

Her list of chartbusters is exhaustive and thus picking one of her favourites is difficult, but she shares, “Chod Do Anchal is one song I am proud of. Also, it was an honor working for Tere Bin Nahi Lagda by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and recently also worked with his nephew Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.”

She also shares that she draws lot of inspiration from international music video scene, “I really wish I could do Hymn for the dream. It is the dream video. I love how international productions think out of the box.”

Shruti shares the vision and the process of working on a music video, “I live with the song for at least 10 days, trying to understand the meaning and nuances of the song. Then I start deconstructing the images in your mind and piece them together. The next organic move is referencing, so just going back to any image or song you have seen, even international work. Basically, anything that inspires you. Then the team meets and discusses the storyline, costumes and look of the model. Soon, it starts playing out as planned.”

About her recent work, Shruti says, “I have worked with Kumar Sanu and his daughter Sharon K. We shot in Kyrgyzstan. It was tough one to crack but I had a great time working.” She is also working on a video by a Punjabi singer who is from United Kingdom.