Home >> Podcasts >> Kriti Edwankar on Art Designing for Commercial Shoots
Show Notes

We’re back with another fantastic episode of Photosynthesis!

In this episode, we sat down with Kriti Edwankar, co-founder of Pencils & Frames, a creative production hub in Mumbai. They’re known for their standout digital ads, music videos, and commercials.

We didn’t just talk shop about their production business, though. We zeroed in on the art of Art Design. We looked at how it starts, the impact of details, and the way colors and props help unfold a story. We discussed the art of working with budgets, choosing costumes for characters, and shared some advice for up-and-coming art designers. And we even touched on how AI is boosting creativity in the industry.

Tune in to unpack all this in our latest podcast episode!

Listen to the full Podcast on Spotify

Check out Pencils & Frame’s stunning work on Instagram – Pencils & Frame

References mentioned in the podcast –
Inayat Music Band
Barbie’s Set Design

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Transcript

Vineet (00:01.019) 

Hi guys, welcome back to Photosynthesis, individual’s podcast where I, Vineeth, talk to some of the most creative people I’ve ever come across in India to discuss the business and the art of… Well, we started off with photography, now it’s photography and videography, but videosynthesis does not make any sense. Today we have with us Kriti Edwankar, who runs Pencils and Frames, a production house in Bombay and she’s done some really, really cool work. We’ll of course drop a link to her Insta profile in the show notes. 

Hi Kriti, welcome to the show. 

Kriti Edwankar (00:33.142) 

Hi, Vinny. Thank you so much. Have you? 

Vineet (00:35.819) 

I am really, I am doing great and I am really looking forward to this conversation for the audience. We thought we will talk about production house life in general but no, we found a much cooler topic to go down. Art design, set design, prop design, what actually goes into the process and how do you even begin thinking about it. 

So Kriti, set design, firstly what got you into it? 

Kriti Edwankar (01:31.978) 

Okay, that’s like a really big question. 

Vineet (01:36.455) 

Synthesize your life in like 30 seconds. 

Kriti Edwankar (01:41.082) 

Yeah, okay. So actually, while growing up, I actually watched a lot of films and like I’ve watched a lot of films with my father. And he’s actually the one who’s introduced me to like some of the most classic films and some of the most classic music as well. So music and film are like a really big part of my life since I grew up. And when I got into like filmmaking, I eventually found out 

that art direction was for me. Like the entire process of diving into the set and creating a set that actually comes to life. Because when you talk about filmmaking, everything is actually a set. Like it’s all fake, like it’s not true. And bringing that reality into it is what art direction brings. So production design completely gets that real aspect into it and that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to bring that reality out there. 

So I think yeah, that’s how I got into it first and ever since doing it. 

Vineet (02:46.008) 

And it’s still fun. 

Kriti Edwankar (02:47.57) 

It’s amazing. It’s I think the best part about filmmaking. 

Vineet (02:51.571) 

That’s great to hear. Creative life, why I love talking to creative so much. I thought I would go down a creative route, but I got an MBA instead. So now I try to mix both the worlds. So there’s so much passion in there. And people who are passionate after so many years, I interviewed Megan Cutty, just does concert videography. And we got deep into this conversation about why we do what we do. There’s so much. 

passion in there, which of course a lot of people also exploit. I’m sure you’ve heard the strikes going on in the US, the Writers Guild of America, the Screen Actors Guild. There’s people waiting out there to exploit people’s passion, but how do you actually figure out how to make this passion work? How did you figure out how to get into a career based on this passion? Where did you start off? 

Kriti Edwankar (03:47.51) 

So this was actually COVID that helped me push what I’m doing today. So when we were all sitting at home, it was like, I was studying filmmaking and I wanted to start working basically. It was very simple. I wanted to start working. But then considering that I was still in college, a lot of people, like exactly what you said, took advantage of me just being a college student and nothing more than that. 

So I really needed like an entire setup, like a production house or something that I could actually put my name to so that it becomes more believable, to be very honest. It’s how it started. And me and my partner, we all came together and we founded the company. We founded this production house, Pencils and Frames, and that’s how we started working. So we did a lot of projects in COVID especially, and it was… 

very project wise like we would work on several projects we would do the entire pre-production to the post like the editing and colour grading and everything but it was just that much like we were not so focused about this in the beginning and last year itself we actually founded Pencils and Frames completely we got the studio we set it up completely and now we work every day so now it’s not just something that I would do on 

specific projects but now it’s what I do like every day like I wake up in the morning to create and sleep in the night knowing that I’m going to just wake up and do the same again. 

Vineet (05:24.979) 

And that is absolutely fantastic to hear. But how do you now, so there’s a saying, what is that? Narrow gorges run narrow, but they also run deep. And sometimes you say the first part, narrow gorges run narrow, right, which is like, if you hyper focus, you miss the rest of the world, but they also run deep, so you get depth. How do you decide or is there even an active choice and you know, I will focus on the set design part or I will focus on the whole production, because you’re running your own business. 

Kriti Edwankar (05:35.299) 

Yeah. 

Kriti Edwankar (05:42.636) 

Yes. 

Vineet (05:53.239) 

Is that a conscious choice? Yeah, look, I have a resource constraint. I want to put my own brains here, but I also have a business to run. Is that a way to run? 

Kriti Edwankar (06:01.489) 

Yeah, that’s correct. 

that happens a lot. I would say like being creative and also running a business like getting these two together is very difficult. But I think that’s what that’s what I love doing the most because it’s very challenging. Like I know where I need to put my heart and then I exactly know when to switch and put my mind. 

So heart and mind is a very interesting way to very neatly segment the business part. A lot of people just focus directly, no, I will focus on the heart part, I will be a creative, I will work for others, let somebody else run the business. Some are like, and I’ve seen so many videographers who, you know, who get out with a camera, who start off with just a camera. 

do some photography, realize their heart is in video. And then realize that to do a full project, they need more. So then they start working with a freelance editor. They start working with a freelance script writer. Then they realize that a client project involves everything. So then they need to set up a small production studio of their own. And I’ve seen some people really thrive on it. But some people actually miss just being out there with their camera and their gimbal and their tripod. 

Kriti Edwankar (08:34.253) 

Yeah. 

Vineet (09:00.643) 

and just doing the pure creative part. What’s your take on that in your life and have you seen others go through this? 

Kriti Edwankar (09:10.89) 

Yeah, I have a lot. 

So when I pick up the camera, I or when I like create that set, I’m doing it with a lot of passion. So when the business and the commercial aspect comes into it, sometimes it just loses that essence. And that’s what you’re talking about. So it’s I have seen 

a lot of people like go through this but what I do personally is very simple so whenever I travel like I love traveling so whenever I travel it’s just me and my camera that’s the time I don’t think about business I don’t think about work I don’t think about anything else but just me and that moment and that moment getting captured by me and 

doing nothing about it, that’s where it ends. Now I don’t have to pitch it to someone or I don’t have to edit it according to somebody else’s needs. It’s just for me. So yeah, that’s what I do. I take my travel breaks. 

Vineet (10:31.795) 

That’s a good one. For me, my hobby is shooting cats. Like, in the unfortunate model of like a million people. I go out with my camera and especially when I’m travelling in more cat-friendly countries, I just go and shoot cats and I know that nothing will come of it. But that’s great. I just enjoy it and that’s my recharge time. 

Kriti Edwankar (10:36.542) 

No! 

Kriti Edwankar (10:52.416) 

You’ve taken your cat like around where all? Like on road trip? 

Vineet (10:56.663) 

I can’t take him anywhere. He’s scared of the outdoors. He loves being inside. That’s his… But I just spent 15 days in Georgia. They are a very cat-friendly country. So there’s like cats just roaming around, people feeding them, there’s like cat food in every corner. And they’re very happy models. 

Kriti Edwankar (10:59.915) 

Oh. 

Kriti Edwankar (11:05.07) 

Oh wow. 

Kriti Edwankar (11:17.502) 

Yeah, they’re super chill. 

Vineet (11:19.867) 

Oh, that’s super chill. So now let’s get to set design. Now let’s take a very straightforward project, right? Let’s say you get a, so okay, so we have a project that’s basically about recipe videos that we’re working on right now for a client. How would you look at something that is just set in a kitchen? That’s a, and when I say straightforward, I mean, theoretically, it’s not very complex, right? 

Kriti Edwankar (11:50.21) 

Good night. 

Vineet (11:50.983) 

Or let’s say there’s a shoot happening in someone’s drawing room. You just have to recreate a drawing room. How do you go about looking at, okay, what should the set look like? What kind of drawing room? What kind of kitchen? How does it reflect the project? What’s your thought process? How do you start? 

Kriti Edwankar (12:06.758) 

Okay, so I would say the concept is firstly very important. Once we decide on the concept, once we write down all the ideas and once we finalize on what we’re exactly going to do, that’s when the art direction actually begins. So I’ll tell you something, art direction is very basic, I would say, but also very complex at the same time. We are, we usually like we 

we’re living every day and we see things lying around us on a daily basis like your cat right there, a curtain behind you, a picture like a photo frame behind you. So these things are something that we see every day. So when we’re recreating that we need to see that those things are also there at the same time. Like we cannot suddenly have a drawing room which just has one sofa and one chair and one television maybe and that’s it. We need to have aspects like 

lamps and plants and you know other things like coffee tables and cups and mugs and so many things to make it more real to make it more filmic and that’s how I go about it like for example now if it’s a drawing room where you know a child is studying for example so I would keep like some story books and some sketchbooks and maybe 

shoes of a child and you know like his school bag or something like that to make it more real. So it takes your production from here to here. 

Vineet (13:38.739) 

I’m guessing you’re also thinking about what kind of school bag, right? Not just any school bag, because that also reflects the kind of customer you’re trying to feel that he can associate with this, okay, this could be my home, right? Association also. So how do you go deeper into, okay, because, you know, marketing that way tends to get very super segmented and, you know, socio-economic classes and kinds of customers. How do you? 

Kriti Edwankar (13:41.633) 

Yeah. 

Kriti Edwankar (13:54.868) 

Yeah. 

Vineet (14:08.051) 

think of okay this kind of lamp fits here and I am coming to the budget question after this. 

Kriti Edwankar (14:16.241) 

So, again, one more thing, color palettes are very important in a frame. So like we usually when we mood board like the entire idea about how this project is going to look like, how the visual feel of this is going to be. That time colors are very important. So we always have like color palettes which we need to follow. So the bag. 

for example, cannot just be like a dazzling red. If we need something very simple, then we have to go through our color palette. So if our color palette is very neutral and pastel, then I would go for a bag, which is like, you know, like a more subtle color, not something that’s really out there. And props, like these objects, they’re called props. And these props are actually very essential because they tell the character’s story as well. And they take the narrative ahead. 

So I would say that I would choose these props and these lamps as per as my character, how my character looks, how my character feels and how my character is telling the story in the frame. That’s how I set the props around. 

Vineet (15:24.615) 

Can you give me an example with a potential, if that’s possible, with a project that you’ve done where props played a huge role in telling the story? 

Kriti Edwankar (15:33.238) 

Yes, I can. So recently, I worked for this album art for a band called Inayat. And their music just released. Their entire album just released. And the album is called Danka. So it was a very concept heavy album. It was stories from mythology and folklore and fictional stories, but also all based on Ramayan. 

these kind of like narratives. So when they came to me with this entire album, like I said, it was very concept heavy, all the songs were like really long, like they were like five and a half to seven minutes long. And the band wanted their face on the artwork. So because always like when you put your face out there, there’s more value for anything. So they wanted their face out there. And that’s when we started planning and 

conceptualizing how we go about this artwork. So firstly, I would say we heard the song for about like 100 times. We just like, even while taking a shower or while just like working or while doing anything, I was just listening to their entire album. And we wanted a very rustic feel. We wanted something that actually takes you back in that era and takes you back in that time. 

So we did a lot of location scouting and we did a lot of recce and that’s when we actually came about the idea of using my village home. So I have a village home which is just like two hours away from Mumbai. It’s in Edwan. So Edwan is like a small town if you know Safara. It’s like around Safara. I’m sure you don’t know it’s okay. So we went there for a recce and my backyard 

Vineet (17:21.211) 

Yes. 

Kriti Edwankar (17:27.978) 

was the place that was finally decided for the shoot because we really love how that entire village home, there was a small well over there. So it was giving that vibe to us. It was giving that feel. So that’s when we decided our location and we thought about these characters, all the five characters of the song, they also are the same members of the band. Like they are gonna represent these characters. So each member of the band, 

they dressed up as one of the characters and that’s where wardrobe comes. Wardrobe is also again a huge part in production design. 

Kriti Edwankar (18:14.54) 

Yeah. 

Kriti Edwankar (18:24.682) 

Coming back to props. Correct. So when I started doing the production design for this, I realized how important props are because the instrument Duncan. So basically the album Duncan means any percussion instrument. Okay. So it’s like a, it’s like any percussion sounds like drums or a door or, you know, like those kind of instruments. And we wanted to create 

Duncan in a very theatrical way like we did not want an actual drum or an actual dole in frame We wanted to keep that theatrical influence because our entire vibe and the entire concept the entire album was itself very theatrical So that’s why we chose to make a Duncan So we literally made a Duncan out of a Muda out of a Muda and we just tied a khadi cloth around it and we just with the pen 

We just drew like a small circle. And if you see the guy on the extreme right, he’s holding that dung beetle. 

Kriti Edwankar (19:34.73) 

Yes. So that guy on the extreme right, he’s holding the danka in his hand and also all the ropes. So if you see that, danka is completely fake, but it gives us that sense of theater. It gives us the sense of theater, which is what I exactly wanted to do. That’s what I wanted to do. 

Vineet (19:52.115) 

You’re showing later, you’re showing chaos, you’re showing order, you’re showing a lot of things. And that’s obviously a conscious thought process. Then, I actually think set design perfectly encapsulates how you’re trying to achieve simplicity through a lot of complexity. The final result should not distract from the artists also. The background should not get too overpowering. But so much thought, it’s amazing because so much thought goes into every aspect of it. 

Kriti Edwankar (19:55.518) 

Yes. 

Kriti Edwankar (20:10.583) 

Yes. 

Kriti Edwankar (20:16.908) 

Yeah. 

Vineet (20:22.555) 

which and the people seeing the album art, they are never gonna realize all the thought that went into it. They’re just experiencing it all together in one photo. 

Kriti Edwankar (20:31.97) 

Like if you see in the initial picture, the wall that was initially there was completely blue and it was like just random blues. It was all very old. And then we completely switched it into a mud-like wall. If you see the after picture, it was a complete mud-like wall with like a khadi cloth and all the five fingerprints of the characters that was there presently in that artwork. And… 

Also like a lot of metaphor when we took the flowers, if you see the flowers in the picture, they’re all very rotten and rustic.  

Kriti Edwankar (21:44.062) 

Yeah. How these characters, basically, like if you listen to the album, they all have a very different perspective to share. And all these characters were eventually bound and tied to that sound of the instrument, Duncan. So that’s why we’ve used those ropes. If you see in the picture, they’re like five ropes that are tied to Duncan. And that’s how we represent that, that each character is tied to that sound is bound by that sound. 

So all of these little details went into it. 

Vineet (22:16.527) 

And how did you start thinking that, okay, this can’t be shot in Bombay, this needs to be shot somewhere else in a more village sort of setting. What brought that thought process around? 

Kriti Edwankar (22:26.99) 

The same thing that I said, these concepts were all very old and very back in time. We don’t see houses like that around right now in Bombay. There are these tall buildings and there are no trees and there are no huts. So we needed that exact rustic feel and that is why we went all the way to Edwan. That is my heritage home and then we shot it there. 

Vineet (22:54.075) 

Yeah, yeah. Now, and again, it comes down to creativity and just following your passion and putting so much effort into what some people might say, you know, they just don’t Spotify these days, right? People will spend three seconds looking at it. But yeah, when you’re driven by the creative thought process, whatever it takes. That brings me back to the next question, which is budgets. When you’re doing a commercial shoot. This is obviously not a commercial shoot. This is a… 

Labour of Love, right? But when you come to your commercial shoots that your production house does How do budgets play into and how do they clash with set design and prop design and even wardrobes? Because this there’s a wish list of course, but there’s also realities of organizing everything in two days Reality is okay. We only have a total budget of like the whole project is maybe five or seven lakh rupees It’s a small one, right and therefore 

Kriti Edwankar (23:26.168) 

Yes. 

Kriti Edwankar (23:43.106) 

Yes. 

Vineet (23:52.007) 

cut it down and cut it down and cut it down and wardrobes and props is maybe like 5% of that. How do you go about that process? 

Kriti Edwankar (23:57.215) 

Yes. 

Kriti Edwankar (24:02.094) 

This is very interesting because this happens every time with me. So, when we get like a project from a client, they usually, very few of them will actually see how important location and wardrobe and props and set design are. Apart from that, the 90% of the rest will just see that we need a cast. We need. 

a cinematographer and we need an editor and that’s literally it and that’s how a shoot is done, right? And that’s when you actually have to make them understand about having all of this is not enough, like we need a good location, we need a good cast, we need like props, we need wardrobe, we need all of these things. So usually it always clashes like budget, the art department always have less budget. 

Like it’s always the case, like they’re always having lesser budget than everybody else. So there have been times where we’ve actually made our cars into tempos and taken everything from our studios and houses, like literally fill up our lamps and fill up our things and plants and like boxes and makeup and like so many things and just put it so that we don’t have to waste time. 

and discuss several things with the client and we just rather have all of this getting done by ourselves. Because in the end, we do want it to look nice and we do want to give it our 100%. But then sometimes it just does not deliver the message that I want to tell the client, it does not deliver, which I’m not saying is right. But then again, like I said, my heart comes into it and I’m just like, I’ll just put it in my bag and I’ll just take it for the set and we can use it. 

there. So a lot of time that happened. 

Vineet (25:59.675) 

Yeah and there are obviously compromises. They just have to be made. You can’t have a shoot where there are obviously compromises with cost and time. There have to be because I guess you can focus on some key elements. Okay, these will be perfect and everything else, we’ll just take them from home. 

Kriti Edwankar (26:19.158) 

Yeah, that’s literally always. 

Vineet (26:25.019) 

And do you end up seeing the final product and showing like the final ad or film and showing it to your friends and then being like, Oh, you missed that. You missed that. I spent so much time on that particular thing and you missed it. 

Kriti Edwankar (26:37.054) 

Yeah, yeah that happens. That in fact even happens when I show these things to my parents and they’re like, oh wow, that shot looks amazing. And that looks, I’m like, but aren’t you seeing that lamp that I put over there? Or aren’t you seeing that little table that I put there? That looks amazing. That’s what makes the shot look amazing. 

How complex is wardrobe for a regular, again, not the esoteric shoot, right? But a regular, you know, ad shoot or a regular commercial shoot to like a couple sitting in a living room on their laptops, you know, having a conversation. How complex is the thought process that goes into wardrobe for these or do you just say, you know, just wear your regular clothes and come to set? 

Kriti Edwankar (27:44.727) 

Yeah. 

Kriti Edwankar (27:55.77) 

No, that does not happen. So yeah, so actually, when we talk about wardrobes, I would say first of all, it’s very important to think about the time and the mental space that the character is in. So like if like you said, if they’re just sitting at home and working, they’re obviously not wearing like jeans and like 

Blazers or whatever they’re sitting at home. They’re working So you need to get that vibe in your hand in your mind that you know when you’re working You would be sitting probably in a shorts or a t-shirt because you’re working from home And you’re just on your laptop on the couch So we think about the character we get in the characters head and that’s when we start planning and then again colors play a very important part so According to the color palettes of the set and according to the color palettes of the entire design 

is how then wardrobe comes into place. So I would just have the character wear like really pastel colors again and also prints like I would avoid prints because like you know written prints on the t-shirt they’re a little distracting and once like if something’s just written over here it just puts you off like you don’t want to your attention diverts and that’s what we don’t want. So then we avoid printed stuff we avoid… 

Kriti Edwankar (29:38.404) 

Hmm. Yeah. We also avoid white sometimes while shooting outdoors because indoors the environment is still very controlled but outside outdoors according to the natural light and according to the placement of the sun it gets very overexposed. So those whites get very overexposed and that’s why when your character looks a little more dull and underexposed so that does not look good so white does not compliment people outside. 

That’s something we do usually. 

Vineet (32:20.135) 

So now set design, crop design, wardrobe, all coming together in one fantastic example as we were discussing earlier. Barbie, now the movie you were saying that it’s pretty okay, I thought it was funny at parts, you know the message was the massive cooperation trying to show themselves as pro feminists to sell and obviously there’s going to be a franchise coming on, we all know that but 

Kriti Edwankar (32:36.778) 

Yes, message was on. Bye. 

Vineet (32:49.235) 

The set design, everything, the art design just sort of stuck, right? You’ve obviously put in a lot of thought into this. What do you say? What were your thoughts? 

Kriti Edwankar (32:54.358) 

Talk yes. 

Kriti Edwankar (33:03.459) 

Barbie. Barbie is actually like a big part of my life as well. Like I grew up playing with Barbie dolls. And when I watched the movie, I was so like, I was taken aback because the details, it was the details that actually stuck with me. Like for example, if you remember there was the shot where Barbie is walking and 

her feet are actually like the heels. Yeah, that’s because I’ve never seen Barbies having flat feet. Even as a child where I had so many Barbie dolls, I’ve never seen a Barbie with flat feet. So I think it was the attention to detail and also that perfect blend of realism and fake. Like, for example, Barbie’s dollhouse was completely done. 

Vineet (33:32.727) 

years. Yeah. 

Kriti Edwankar (33:57.906) 

in a 2D and a 3D way at the same time. Like if you remember, there was this scene where she opens her fridge and then there are not, there are real cartons but then there are also fake cartons that were there in the same fridge, like cartons of milk and cereal. And that was perfect. Like even when she got down from her dollhouse, the entire swimming pool was fake. And it was perfect. I think that was like that perfect blend of reality and fakeness. 

Vineet (34:28.207) 

It was, it was. The contrast, the contrast between that scene was just so stark. The contrast when she goes from Babiland to LA. And how they show this one side there’s perfection. And that perfection is shown in a certain colour palette, into this grey real world. Where, yeah, where nothing’s happy. That’s a lot of effort that’s gone into that set design, right? 

Kriti Edwankar (34:37.451) 

Yeah. 

Kriti Edwankar (34:45.654) 

Yeah, it was very great. 

Kriti Edwankar (34:53.13) 

and look. Yeah. And even like, it’s mainly the pinks, even the color, the pink color that they’ve chosen is perfect, I would say it’s the perfect pink. Like when I see that color, I can only see Barbie, like I don’t see anything else. And I think one of the main parts about this entire film was the marketing. The marketing was fantastic. Like everybody was wearing pink and going even to watch the film. 

And even on all the premieres and everything that they had before the release, it was all pink. So I think the marketing was also very, very good. 

Vineet (35:29.715) 

And like Babenheimer just became this whole cultural phenomenon, which is amazing. After so many years, I think post COVID, this is the first time people really looked forward to a movie event all over the world. 

Kriti Edwankar (35:33.433) 

We’ll just do good. 

Kriti Edwankar (35:39.946) 

Yeah, that’s true because everyone was just watching movies at home. But even I literally had the same conversation with my friend that, you know, I’ve really, I’m after a very long time, I feel like going to the theatre and, you know, watching a movie. 

Vineet (35:58.299) 

Yeah, yeah. Now, so wardrobes, which is also costume design, right? It’s the same thing, costume design, wardrobe, set design, props. What else am I missing that’s part of art design? That’s part of everything in the atmosphere that is not actually the script and people are talking. What else is theoretically part of the background that is meant to not be 

it’s meant to give a subtle message. Like the direct message is coming from the dialogue or the voice over. This is all the subtlety around it to put people in a familiar, either familiar situation or a situation that you want to project. 

Kriti Edwankar (36:39.326) 

Yeah, a lot of props also have like messages sometimes which even a dialogue can’t say, like I would say. Like even like for example, if I am having a conversation with a friend in the frame and there is a clock at the back which is like the clock has like a time of three o’clock in the night. So the conversation is deep, but the time is like 

3am in the night. So that also says something that says a lot that says my like it talks about my relationship with that friend. It talks about how comfortable we are each with each other and a lot of things. So like all of these little things is what you exactly said it takes that message forward sometimes and sometimes dialogues are really not important. Sometimes these things take over the narrative and take them forward I would say. So 

Kriti Edwankar (37:55.798) 

I also think sometimes the more simple you keep it the better. So there are a lot of times where we actually don’t even set design. What we do is set dressing. I would call it set dressing. So they’re just basically minor tweaks and things that I would do here and there to place the character in a way where there is like good light. 

coming on the character, lighting is very important again. So supposedly if I have a frame where I want the character to be like lit from the side, like a nice ray of sunlight coming in from the side. So I would just do a very simple thing is change the position of the sofa, just place it in a way that the character gets that perfect lighting and that’s literally it. That’s what I call set dressing. So these are some minor tweaks that you do to get the set from here to here. 

Vineet (38:54.663) 

Yeah and speaking of distracting set design, I know everyone watching this right now is not looking at me, is looking at the cat. What’s he up to? Can he be in focus? Please can he be in focus? I can guarantee that. 

Kriti Edwankar (39:02.529) 

Yeah. 

Kriti Edwankar (39:06.462) 

Yes, even I looked at him while talking. 

Vineet (39:10.531) 

Yeah. So, yeah. So now, now a little bit on the business side of things. Right. So if someone, do you recommend setting up your own production house to young people? And I say young people, sorry, I don’t mean any disrespect, but I’m 42, 43. So young people, right. So do you recommend setting up your own thing or how should anyone wanting to get into set design start off? You started your own production house very early on in your own journey. 

Kriti Edwankar (39:38.626) 

Yeah. Yes. 

Vineet (39:41.255) 

How did that go? How did you start getting clients, start getting work? It’s a very competitive market out there for production houses. 

Kriti Edwankar (39:48.646) 

Yeah, actually, right now, filmmaking is very accessible to people, I would say. Like, you have an iPhone and you can be an amazing filmmaker. And it’s also not about the phone or it’s not about the technology that goes behind it. It’s about the eyes and the way you can tell your story. So, but right now, I would say definitely like a lot of brands, a lot of… 

companies they’re just using phones and good you know like a good way it’s a good way of promoting your business like you have a phone and you have a tripod and you have a very minimal setup and you can create a lot so right now filmmaking has become accessible to a lot of people and that’s why there are a lot more opportunities out there for people so if they want to start they can simply go and work 

there are so many projects that people continuously require freelancers for. So that’s how I started. I would freelance on projects and I would go and I would just like do the set and then I would just come back. Like it was just me doing set designing. And right now I’m doing everything completely. But I started off by just doing set design for, you know, certain projects. So right now there is a lot of opportunity for filmmakers and people out there to just go and freelance and work with people 

Instagram is giving that entire, there is an entire page about female and male filmmakers who come together, they are travelling around Bombay, they are clicking pictures and it’s an entire community that’s happening. So there are a lot of chances. 

Vineet (41:33.447) 

So basically do your own stuff, make yourself known. 

Kriti Edwankar (41:35.81) 

Yeah, get yourself out there as much as you can. 

Vineet (41:39.471) 

Yeah, so like your instapage is your portfolio basically, personal instapage. 

Kriti Edwankar (41:42.162) 

Yeah, now I think that’s true for a lot of people like your Instagram is literally your portfolio. 

Vineet (41:51.439) 

It’s also interesting, a lot of people misunderstand what it means that phones are getting, phone cameras are getting so good. They now feel the clients will do it themselves. Will start shooting, everyone has an iPhone. Yeah, but there are so many layers of creativity involved. It’s not that is so in fact, I have investors asking me when will AI replace producers, right? When will AI generated video completely replace the whole production market? 

You might, okay, even assuming that video production gets or video production apps get so good that you can just type in and it will create video. Even then there’s like some 10 levels of creativity involved in this process of making one ad. There’s, as we’ve discussed, we’ve discussed like set design, props, wardrobes, script writing, concept generation, videography itself, lighting, editing. You can’t expect. 

the client to be a master in all these areas, even if you give him the technology to recreate it. That creativity, where is it that coming from? That’s where all this, that’s where people are still always and always is a very, very strong word, but at least for the very near to mid future, I think they’ll be needed. 

Kriti Edwankar (42:55.286) 

Right. 

Kriti Edwankar (43:12.426) 

With AI, I think even when everybody started using it, my team and I also started using it to create mood boards, because it is quite helpful to do that. And sometimes we just literally get exactly what we’re looking for, you just have to put the right prompts and you get your answers. But then with AI, I think. 

Vineet (43:23.838) 

We do that. 

Kriti Edwankar (43:38.838) 

that you that entire human element that heart is not there. And same with the clients who you know try to do everything by themselves. It’s it’s just that when you try to like cut costs and try to do things by yourself, sometimes like you said, you can’t master everything. And with this iPhone with this entire iPhone 

videography and iPhone filmmaking coming in. Even we’ve had moments where we talk about this in the studio itself, like my team and I discussed these things that, you know, like because of the iPhone and because of filmmaking becoming so easy and accessible to people, it’s just losing its true essence, like that, you know, you sit down with your team, you ideate, you write scripts and 

You get those concepts out there and how you start working on those concepts. You go to locations, you mood board, you reference board. There are like multiple inspiration boards that you create and you make those color palettes, you go for the right wardrobe and it’s endless. It’s endless. And that entire thing does not come out when. Even if the technology is right, like I said, your story needs to be more important. Your message needs to be more important. And. 

in lol flow. Like more than technology, it’s the story. It’s the story that needs to be there. 

Vineet (45:08.075) 

We believe that AI can absolutely, it absolutely has a role to play. It’s here. Like it can supercharge creative people. Because there’s so much boring work also as part of the creative process. Just sitting down in front of a blank page versus sitting down in front of something that AI has given me and take it from there, that part I absolutely love. It makes me so much more efficient as a creative person when I’m working on a script. 

Kriti Edwankar (45:25.41) 

Yeah. 

Kriti Edwankar (45:35.32) 

Yeah. 

Vineet (45:36.123) 

because I hate that part where I have a blank page in front of me. 

Kriti Edwankar (45:39.722) 

It’s just like a creative block and you don’t know where to start from. But yeah, that’s true. Like a lot of times, even when I have used AI, I’ve actually gotten a very good kickstart and that helps me flow better in my process. 

Vineet (45:43.604) 

Yeah. 

Vineet (45:53.655) 

I wrote an article for my local RWA newspaper on street dogs. But so I started with something from AI and the final product, everything was different. Literally every single paragraph, every single sentence was different. The focus of every paragraph was different. But the fact that I started somewhere, it helped me so much because I hate that blank page. It didn’t work for me. Some people thrive on it. 

Kriti Edwankar (46:20.011) 

Yeah. 

Vineet (46:22.459) 

you know it’s my universe, I will start creating it from scratch. No, I need something there even if I just rip it apart and do something completely new. 

Vineet (46:34.635) 

I think that’s a good place to wrap this discussion. It’s been fantastic. 

Kriti Edwankar (46:41.806) 

Yes. Yeah. 

Thank you so much. Even I had a lot of fun. This was actually my first time. I was a little nervous, but I think it went well. 

Vineet (46:56.989) 

So, thanks for joining us Kriti. This has been absolutely fantastic. 

Kriti Edwankar (47:01.87) 

Thank you so much. I really had a lot of fun and this was amazing. 

Vineet (47:11.103) 

It was a great discussion. I was very, very happy. And I think people watching you, I’m sure, especially, see I’m seeing young people again, I’m turning old, I’m turning really old now. People getting into set design, interested in art design, interested in the thought and or as Kriti put it, the heart and the mind part of it. I think there’s a lot to unpack here from this discussion. Thanks all for joining us and see you next time. 

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