The Maddeningly Exhilarating Life of a Media Entrepreneur
Wake up, wrestle your way to Andheri. Edit trailers for two hours. Meet with VIP in Bandra. Panick about filming budgets. Wrap up shooting for Girl in the City. Repeat.
Founders of Still and Still Media (L-R): Amritpal Bindra and Anand Tiwari
Anand Tiwari and Amritpal Bindra founded Still and Still Media Collective in 2013. They have already worked with some of the leading names in the entertainment and consumer goods space including Yash Raj Films, Amazon Prime, Viacom 18, Disney, Maruti, Amul and Ching's.
Here’s a day in the life of running Still and Still as told by Amritpal:
I wake up and see a packed day ahead of me with lots to do. As I head to our office in Andheri, my mind is focused on the trailer of our upcoming film that we need to edit today. It’s a romantic comedy that my partner Anand and I have worked on; it is absolutely imperative that we crack an out-of-the box trailer for the film. When I reach office, Anand is already working on the background music for the film and watching it come alive to the music. I get to task immediately and sit down with my editor, giving him notes on the first draft of the trailer that he has come up with.
Just like that, two hours pass by and Anand and I rush to Bandra for a meeting with the Discovery team. We are in talks with them to do a 40 episode show called “Gabru” about the evolution of hip hop music in India. Finally! After a number of back and forths on the budget and content we get officially green lit and are told to start production immediately! This is a big deal for us, as this show marks our foray into the Indian television space.
We are excited and elated to get back to the office and inform the team, who have been tirelessly working alongside us to make this project happen. As soon as we get to the office, we announce the good news and sit down for a family style hot meal prepared freshly by our in house cook, Pramod. There is a great amount of banter and good humour as we all eat together.
Immediately after lunch, we dive straight into a meeting with a financial trading company that is a client of our brand solutions vertical. We are working to crack a holistic media campaign for them which goes beyond the production of a single ad. Our core task is to think of ways to make a seemingly unapproachable product relatable to the masses and particularly to a young demographic. Drawing on our experiences in story telling and language, we are able to come up with a few ideas that just might do the trick.
Next, we head into a long meeting with our creative development team. The biggest challenge for our development meetings isn’t about coming up with original ideas and stories but funnily enough about bagging the best and biggest room in the office. Once the room has been secured, the ideas come easily. There is an influx of some wacky and some brilliant ideas of “high concept” stories for a web series with Netflix. A 3 hour writing session ensues in which we work on refining five of our top pitch ideas. Such meetings usually deal with taking a simple idea and turning it into a compelling narrative with a strong sense of story, premise, plot and characters.
It is 5:30pm and we realize that we need to leave for a meeting with Dr. Anish Pradhan, who we want to bring on board as the music consultant for our show with Amazon Prime that is under development right now. We somehow manage to peel ourselves away from the development meeting and head out to Bandra, for the second time in the day. We still have to head back to Andheri for another meeting after this and both of us are getting restless and impatient. Our nerves come to rest as soon as we meet Dr. Anish at Taj Mahal Tea House and the next one hour and a half passes by listening to his interesting anecdotes and stories about classical music. Who knew meetings could be so relaxing and stimulating at the same time.
Invigorated and charged up now, Anand and I part ways. While I head to the set of Girl in the City season 2, Anand has to attend to the team in our VFX vertical to assist them in changing the pet bottle to a tetra pack in a series of Amul Lassi ads we had made a year ago.
I reach the sets where it is the last day of shoot for Girl in the City season 2 and as producers, we need to make sure all goes well. Last days are always packed with varied emotions. Though everyone is happy that the shoot has been successfully completed, some are moist eyed as they realize that they will not be seeing each other on set the next day. We cut a cake to celebrate all the good memories and the episodes that we created together on set. Once all the goodbyes have been done, I leave a long and satisfying work day, only to meet Anand again for a game of night cricket with friends.
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