There are so many amazing people in this world doing amazing things. Their stories must be seen and heard so that we can learn about new stuff and get inspired. I, Amrit, create short documentary films (typically of 3 minutes) to bring out such stories (both pro-bono and paid work).
If you think the world should know about your story too, click on the “contact me” button below and share your story. On phone, I am reachable on +91 95525 89252
Please do think of what I can shoot with a camera when you share your story (I only do documentary style videos, without involving actors – so there must be something “real” happening for me to shoot).
Footage for background video by: Mallik Arjun, Samriddhi & Faizal
My most viral film has crossed a million views. Over the last three years, I have created ~30 short documentary films on inspiring individuals, amazing institutions (start-ups, NGOs etc.) and several social initiatives. I am looking forward to both those who have a story to share and those who want to fund such stories!
Amrit at work – photograph by Mahesh Shantaram (Uganda, Africa, 2015).
‘After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the things we need the most in the world’ Philip Pullman, author
I am not limited by any particular story type. For example:
Because rape is not always about sex explains how exactly (by documenting a workshop). It became pretty viral when it was published and has been played over a million times.
Roads Unseen is an award winning short documentary on the first blind and sighted pair to cycle from Manali to Khardungla (the highest motorable road in the world).
Good Deeds Come Back – is two stories in one, from the mountains of Uttarakhand, India (in the context of a grave tragedy that hit the region in 2013). Bravery, humility and good karma are some of the themes that emerge from this documentary.
What’s my story?
In 2008, I received my B.Tech & M.Tech from IIT Madras. After IIT, I joined a business consulting firm in India and worked for four years. I loved my job. But it was also like playing a video-game and getting paid for doing so. A video-game might keep you entertained on a daily basis. And if you are paid, you can keep playing it for years. But one day you will get old. And then, someone might ask you, ‘so what did you do in this life that you had?’ and you will be like, shit, I just played games. continue reading…
So even when my job was interesting and all that and kept me happily busy and paid me well, it was still like playing a video-game. And I did not want to spend all my life doing that. Realizing what I did not want to do was easy though. The difficult part was to figure out, what I actually wanted to do. With my life. It occurred to me that to get even remotely close to finding an answer to this HUGE question, I needed a lot more free time with me than I had as a corporate employee (I am talking about 15-20 days a month level of free time). It took me a while, but finally, I did make it happen! Without losing out on my financial independence. I was lucky. I had a skill that I could exploit.I was good at photography (technically). So I experimented with professional wedding photography and launched ShaadiGraPher.com (it is a pretty kick-ass site and some of you might want to check it out).
Working as a freelance wedding photographer helped me start making enough money that I could soon leave my job. After four years of doing some pretty interesting stuff as a business consultant. It was a leap of faith of sorts, but thankfully, since then (mid 2012), I have never needed to work 5 days a week. And I never ran out of money to do do things that I needed to do.That same year, I married my girl-friend, we went Honeymooning to South Africa, returned to India and moved to Goa to start our new life together. Yes, she chucked her job too! How much better can it get? :DEver since we moved to Goa, I’ve had all the time in this world to figure out my true calling. But it took me almost two years just to find that one more thing to try, other than photography. And that happened to be making video documentaries. About real people. And real actions. And that’s how 3 Minute Stories took shape. I do have an answer to the ‘why 3 minutes?’, but let’s save it for some other time (may be when we meet over a cup of coffee or a pint of beer)! 🙂
Do I charge for these video stories?
If the story is about an individual or an entity that is not funded and will most likely not gain anything financially by my story – I typically do it for free (as long as I feel the story is worth sharing with the rest of the world – and I have the freedom to create it the way I want to).
Whether I do a story for free or work on it as a paid assignment, following are the key elements that go into making of a 3 minute story:
- A. Broad Story Concept development: this requires listening to all the interesting / motivating / innovating / inspiring stuff that you have to share – and then deciding, how to put some of that together in the form of a story (a list of points is not a story). This also includes helping you, as an outsider, exclude certain points from the video-story. You will often want to say everything that you have done / want to do – but I will help you decide what are the key points that should be retained so that the final video-story is fast, crisp, interesting and something that people remember and share and talk about.
- B. Evolving visual elements to be shot: based on the Broad Story Concept, I would work on ways to bring out certain points / insights ‘visually’. And that’s because, in a video-story, not everything has to be said in words. Visual clues generally have greater impact on a viewer (than say someone just speaking about an issue in an interview). The final story will of course have a mix of both audio & video narrative.
- C. Shooting (video+sound) and Editing till the first cut is made.
- D. Iterating on the first cut to fine-tune the final video.
- If the story is about an individual (or a small scale entity) that is not funded and will most likely not gain anything financially by my story – I typically do it for free (as long as I feel the story is worth sharing with the rest of the world – and I have the freedom to create it the way I want to).
- I take care of flying in to your city (I live in Goa) but you may need to take care of my accommodation (depending upon the city). In many cities, I do have friend and family with whom I stay when traveling (Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad etc.)
- Once the documentary is done, I will upload it on my video-channels, share it on 3MS site and let others (including you) embed the same video anywhere online (as long as I am credited as per my video credit policy).
- Now there’s a catch – I might take 2 weeks to complete editing the story but I might also take 2 years! There is no time guarantee basically. That is because, I don’t have any full time job and so, at any point of time, paid work will always get a priority in terms of timeline. But hey, it’s for free, so the wait would be worth it anyway, right? 🙂
- I am not obligated to incorporate suggestions by you for the video (if any). But I would be open to listening to them anyway.
- You cannot download the video and upload it anywhere (and thus you cannot control the call to action link that shows up once the video gets over).
- Fee: INR 1 to 1.5 lakh (based on number of days required to shoot)
- 50% to be paid on commissioning the assignment – balance 50% after the shooting is over
- I will take care of my travel to any one city (you take care of accommodation and local transport).
- I will finish editing the video within 3 weeks of the shoot.
- Up-to 2 iterations are allowed after 1st cut is shared before we finalize the video together.
- You will receive the HD version of the video and you can upload it wherever you want (and thus control the call to action link) and use it for offline screenings and presentations as well.
- I will still retain the rights to upload the same video (or edited version) on my video-channel(s), share it on 3MS site and let others embed the same video anywhere online (but will give up my rights to run any ads on the video when I upload it).