Kunal Bansal (00:00.381)
I hope my audio is right.
Yeah, scenes clean enough actually. And it’s coming on that too, it’s coming on the thin phone too, so we’ll take whatever’s best.
Kunal Bansal (00:09.361)
So currently I’m recording while this earphones.
Perfect. Also, are you comfortable keeping the whole thing in English? It just makes life easier for us. Perfect.
Kunal Bansal (00:17.077)
yeah might be well i might i’m a very i’m generally used to english but yeah i’ll try
That’s fine. So don’t get conscious. But basically we can’t get transcripts. Now it’s completely in Hindi. If it’ll be in English, that’s perfectly fine.
Kunal Bansal (00:33.325)
I’m not a right, but I’m not a very good speaker. So you’ll I’ll fumble a lot or I might and well might stop in between and start again from the beginning. So that will happen.
See you guys.
Sounds more natural. So, let’s start.
Kunal Bansal (00:50.589)
Thanks a lot.
Kunal Bansal (00:58.853)
Good to go.
Hi everyone, welcome back to Photosynthesis individuals podcast where we talk to some of India’s top photographers, videographers, creators and just learn more about the craft and the business of doing photography and videography in India. Today we have with us someone we’ve worked with on a couple of very interesting projects. We have with us Kunal Bansal who just told us that he’s now been doing video projects for 10 years, 10 years and one week to be precise.
I can only welcome to the show.
Kunal Bansal (01:31.069)
Hello, hi, glad to be here.
Tell us, 10 years, how does it feel and how do you feel your life has changed in these 10 years?
Kunal Bansal (01:44.913)
So, uh, honestly, I didn’t plan that I’ll keep making videos for 10 years long. So I thought, uh, okay, I’m getting kicked out of it. Let’s, let’s keep doing this one month past two months. And now, uh, I didn’t knew that it is across 10 years. So yeah, I’m standing here after 10 years now doing the same thing.
That’s very cool and how does the question of when does the question of how do I monetize this? How do I turn this into a career? At what point does that hit you? So you started at 15. So were you even then thinking here I need to monetize this from day one or were you like no this is so much fun. Let me just keep doing it as long as I can.
Kunal Bansal (02:17.981)
Kunal Bansal (02:26.961)
Yeah, so basically it started while when I’m So basically it started when I was making YouTube videos So I used to make tech videos So I aren’t like quite six, seven thousand rupees and I was 15 years old So I was very thrilled to you can make money out of this These videos thing But then the process of making videos gave me so much kick out of that I got so much kick out of that I preferred I shifted myself into making videos and
I inclined myself more into learning making videos than learning on YouTube. Sometimes I think about this. If I would have continued doing YouTube, I might be like a crore. So I might be having a.
I feel like the tech reviewers on YouTube, the popular ones, must be making crazy money, I assume. Because there are
Kunal Bansal (03:15.854)
no doubt like.
Kunal Bansal (03:21.073)
So I think these influences now, whosoever has taken the chair of being a, being a,
Kunal Bansal (03:30.797)
I’m missing out on the world.
Kunal Bansal (03:36.694)
What do you call it? Who knows it all kind of a guy
Yeah. I don’t know what’s going on, but okay. I understand.
Kunal Bansal (03:47.026)
Let me start it from the fact. So I think whosoever has received the, so whichever influencer has gotten themselves a seat of expert now, I think they are into consent creation business. So consent creation earns you a lot more money than making videos or making YouTube videos. YouTube won’t pay you enough.
Like trying to be an expert basically on everything.
Kunal Bansal (04:13.393)
consent creation is the biggest thing. I think Samsung pays them like lakhs and lakhs of money. I think if we talk about technical Guruji, we know that he lives a filthy, lugubrious lifestyle. So we are sure that they get a lot of money.
And I want to be flown to Korea also. I have friends who are tech reviewers and they get flown to Apple events, they get flown to Samsung events. Sounds at least like a fun life.
Kunal Bansal (04:33.776)
Kunal Bansal (04:39.786)
I think the even the exposure that they get the inside things that they get to know and that is also really good for that thing they enjoy.
So what made you stop because you started getting commercial work?
Kunal Bansal (04:53.397)
No, not the commercial, but the fun that I got out of making the videos more than the taking, I think I made like six, seven videos. And then I fell in love with the process of making videos. I think editing was the first thing that I enjoyed doing because I think as you start making videos, editing is the first thing that you need to love. Rest of the things can wait, like getting good visuals can wait, but first thing that you need to tell stories or tell anything is editing.
So that is back then they were very good channel like film, right. And the X, these are like really good channels. They used to share really good knowledge. So that incited me even though making videos. And that is where my inclined towards pursuing filmmaking.
So I want to get deeper into that, like visual storytelling. Now, story telling is something that is such an abused term on LinkedIn. Everyone is a storyteller. But visual storytelling seems to be more than just editing. It seems to be more than just videography. It seems to be the art of telling a story. It seems to be the art of narrating something in a good flow. And this is actually one topic I really want to spend some time on today.
how do you build that flow because people are saying AI will replace this, AI will replace that and they are like how like there’s so much expertise required in building flow and building a story how will AI build that? AI can maybe generate like right now 10 seconds of video but where is the art of storytelling coming from? I want to get into that like how does one pick it up and what does that actually mean to you? What is visual storytelling to you?
Kunal Bansal (06:30.301)
So there are multiple parts to this question. If I talk about AI replacing great inside of the story, storytelling, I personally feel that any technology will save you the labor. They’ll replace the labor and replace the technical things. Like for example, right now we are putting in a lot of effort in achieving this decent quality of video. We are putting a light in the background. We’re trying to illuminate ourselves and we’re trying to put a little bit of effort on, on clean audio so that it can be understood.
AI will do these kinds of things for us. Like in DaVinci there is already a feature called relight. So it studies your scene in a 3D depth and then you can put in a light and do behave like there was a light in the real environment. So it will illuminate me differently and it will illuminate the background differently. So it knows the 3D map depth of the video. So I think AI will do these kinds of things better for you. Like for example, earlier we used to edit on the film stock.
Now it’s so easy to edit. If the video industry wouldn’t have moved to digital editing, I think YouTube wouldn’t have been such a big thing if still we were editing on film stocks. So I think what digital filmmaking was compared to analog filmmaking would be AI to what we are currently doing.
It will replace our labor, it will replace our effort, but I think original storytelling will still have its place. It might shift, it might change in certain ways, but yeah, essence of the good storytelling will always be there.
And the second part is how do you build that crop?
Kunal Bansal (08:18.529)
I think consumption is the most important thing. What you consume is what you become. So, I think consuming the right content is the most important thing. If I talk about myself, like earlier, I used to focus on, yeah, let’s get good visuals. Let’s do three one lighting. Let’s light it from the back. Let’s do that. Let’s do this and that. But when I inclined myself towards.
good filmmaking, good storytelling and the likes of Andre Tarkovsky, the likes of Satyit Ray and the likes of Wes Anderson, what not. So that shifted my interest towards telling good stories rather than visuals. So most of the people would not agree with me, but I have a, if you give me the 100 rupees, I would spend 60 rupees on the right writer on the right concept designing and I would spend only 40 rupees on the cameras.
lighting and all those kind of things. So I think I’m going to get it. That will happen a lot with me.
How did you make it? Consumption is obviously one part and I am guessing that built your expertise and also your interest. Did you then decide that no, I need to do a course in this, I need to build an education in this or did you just get to work? That you are consuming and practicing, consuming and practicing.
Kunal Bansal (09:37.431)
Also here, please come again.
Kunal Bansal (09:47.185)
So ideally consumption and practicing is enough for you. I think because as you practice you fall into problems that if you only consume you would not understand exactly what to learn out of that consumption. What you need to absorb out of that consumption. I think practicing goes hand in hand. So when you practice things you fall in certain problems, then you go back to the consumption and then you realize, okay, how they might have done that.
then you put that into practice and that is how you learn that is the best way. But yeah, if we talk about the film school, I think you directed me, you sprinkled film school in the between. That is the context you are referring to. I think film school can give you right community. It can give you right starting point. But yeah, I think a good filmmaker can be born out of without a film school.
What was the path you decided to take?
Kunal Bansal (10:43.453)
So my path mostly came out of ignorance. I was just doing whatever I enjoyed. So I was learning from YouTube. I was making videos and I was having the fun of my life. Then I completed my 12th standard. So I had to decide what I want to do next. So the only thing that gave me fun was making films. So I thought let’s join a film school. I joined the film school that I could get access to. So that is how my journey went. I went to a film school, then I went to Mumbai, and then I…
Did my share of struggle and then here I am making art thesis.
So now I want to get into actually making ads. Now as a professional, I film maker, videographer.
What kind of… so when you’re working with a client, what does the average client give you and what are you infusing into the process? Because see a lot of people just think that camera layout and shoot and we will tell you which is obviously not true. Right? There’s so much we also like in our journey as a production sort of company, we’re also learning that at any step the whole process can change, the whole look of the video can change.
in the videography, in the creative direction, in the editing. You can start with one visual in your head and end up with something completely different. So what do you expect from the client?
Kunal Bansal (12:10.481)
So the most important thing that I keep fixating on, I keep asking my client does I want to know exactly what they want from the video. So there are multiple types of clients. So majority of them are like my competitors doing certain thing. And I want to do the same to be in the same race. I want to show that I’m also a capable business man. My business also deserves your attention. So they want to just replicate what their competitors are doing. So one is that kind of thing.
Kunal Bansal (12:40.641)
I understand what they are. I try to go behind the purpose of that video, even if their competitor are doing why they are doing that and what is the benefit they are getting and again, for any business, I think generating sales is the most important thing. And that’s why they are marketing. One of the most important, of course, that brand building and very different segment. But the most of the businesses that require advertisement these days are the first movers on that.
Kunal Bansal (13:12.265)
So I want to say that the people who are making the ad for the first time, the business is making the ad for the first time. So most of them are only fixated on generating sales. They want sales. So I try to find the thing that could generate sales for them. It’s not just making a video. It’s not just getting active. It’s not just getting the crew and making the video for them, making a ad for them. Because there can be hundreds.
Kunal Bansal (13:40.101)
thousands of ways of making one ad for a particular business. So I tried to find the best possible way that could generate business for them.
So you basically, you are looking at it from multiple perspectives but primarily yes they are trying to sell a product. How can you help them, how can you help them sell a product.
Kunal Bansal (14:00.093)
So yeah, so sorry, I would like to add on that. So yeah, please cut that. I don’t want to get into any chaos. So please keep cutting. So yeah, so one kind of client is that wants whatever their competitor is. Another type of client is who wants to stand out? Genuinely wants to stand out. They want to cut the clutter. They want to like.
What a great test Praveen, good guy.
Kunal Bansal (14:29.937)
tell exactly what the brand is, brand stands for, and they want to build their brand awareness. So whatever the type of client might be, we, we try to bring our own aesthetics to the film. It might sound very technical level. It might, might sound very cliche that I use the word aesthetic. So, but bringing your own flavor, I think is very important because at the end, we are also trying to build our portfolio. No, I’m with seven, that kind of, because I will get more business base off. I’ll get the further business based on what I have.
Kunal Bansal (15:00.029)
uh, to my past clients. So yeah, we tried to, we tried to convince them, like most of the clients will take your feedback. Most of the clients will, would be like, little, would be a little rigid on what they need and we try to find the perfect balance, making the best that we can make in the given discussion. And of course, at the same time, making sure they work out satisfied, because if they’re getting, making creative video is my greed, but at NP, if they see it in the fundamental level.
The first thing that we should do is of course make sure that line works on satisfied because that is the first purpose that we are serving. So we try to find the balance and make, make the sum of the words.
And how can the client help you in this case? Because the aim is to build that story most effectively, right? Because you are selling a product, but you’re selling a product by telling a story. Here is the product, here is why the customer should buy it. Here is the message. Right? How can the client help you build that story? What are you adding? How should this process work? So that you are and the client are basically on the same page.
Kunal Bansal (16:05.821)
So client can help us I think by listening and discussing They should treat us not like vendors or not like somebody who is trying to rip them off of the money But they should treat us not like a counselor Like you go to a doctor and you will have to tell them your exact problems that your body is facing this problem These are the problems sometimes that your body is facing So I think it is the same way if you talk to a video vendor if you want to
talk to a marketeer, you have to tell them exactly where your business is suffering. And that is how we can, I think, dive deeper into the exact problem and address them, address the exact problem that the business is suffering.
And what are the memorable projects you worked on? So for the audience, Kunal and individual, we worked together on two projects now. One is for a health startup called Raksa, or three projects, yes. And also for Philips, which is a fun project where I saw the BTS video where Kunal was throwing a brick into a grinder, into a mixer juicer grinder. A, how was that not dangerous? And B,
Add video of Raxa and Phillips grinding bricks here
Kunal Bansal (17:00.701)
Tell us more about that shoot.
Kunal Bansal (17:21.205)
Right, I think that was dangerous. It might have like flown out of the mixer grinder and it might have wrecked my head or something. I think the flow of making videos is such that the butterflies in the stomach is such that you forget the danger and which is not recommended. We should definitely look for safety. But yeah, I think the excitement was such that we overlooked the basic things that we were supposed to look after.
And the shoot was very fun. Like we were again very over ambitious and we also wanted to show the world what we are capable of. And we got a very good client in our hands. So we wanted to make an impact with those ads and we tried putting in value in terms of our concepts. I think we tried to stand apart in terms of concept because all the vendors that Philips would have taken help would have collaborated with. They all had.
good resources, I believe. So technically or resource wise, we could have not beat them. We would have student at the same level. But the only way of making an impact and making a notable difference would be for the best way would be by making good concepts. So that is what we tried. We tried weird concepts like trying to break the Mixer-Winder and entering the Katana thing and metaphorically saying that Mixer-Winder has a really good blade.
Kunal Bansal (18:49.829)
like a katana trend. So we tried multiple. And then you will send it in a jar. Showing how strong that jar is. And so like I believe that client would come and say that we want to show our jar is unbreakable. Tell my audience that my jar is unbreakable. Now it’s our job to find the most creative way of saying that. I believe, I believe in the saying by coin with us. So coin with us.
and even standing in a jar to show that it’s something.
Add the video of person standing in a jar from Phillips shoot
Kunal Bansal (19:18.725)
as a very famous rule or saying whatever you can call that. So they say that give audiences two plus two. Don’t give them four. Let them do the math and then engage themselves in the process. So they will enjoy the result when you give them two plus two. They have put in some engagement. They have put in some time reaching towards four. So I think I believe in that giving the audiences two plus two better than a four.
But is that like in real’s case manner? Do people have the attention span to go through to figure out things themselves? Because I have spoken to clients and their expectation is no, it has to be simple. But also it is, you know, like you’re also a victim of the medium, right? Like YouTube now, ads start skipping after six seconds. So if you want to make it unskippable, you need a 15 second version.
which also communicates a message in 6 seconds which is like if you remember the old comics, the Calvin and Hobbes comics there would be the title and one panel and a lot of newspapers would just chop that off so there has to be title, one panel and remaining six panels should also have a standalone joke It’s the same thing basically, how do you account for that in the medium when you’re actually building a story?
Kunal Bansal (20:34.929)
So I think for the answer, we should look at those one sentence stories. So if you Google three-word stories, you’ll genuinely find stories being told with only three words. Like.
What is a three-word story? Give me an example. I’ve heard six. What is a three-word story?
Kunal Bansal (20:50.649)
We’ll have to Google like, let me just google it and give you the best ones. But there are like, I have read quite interesting stories, both come words. So I think that is the answer.
If our startup were bigger right now, I would have a producer on air right now, googling this for me.
Kunal Bansal (21:09.573)
So yeah, let me try and do the.
Kunal Bansal (21:22.929)
So, yeah, so one is like she fight back. It’s a story. It tells me that it’s a US story.
Yeah, it is, it is.
Kunal Bansal (21:38.17)
and three words sorry, he beat cancer.
Sorry, oh here we can say, oh yeah, you can say that.
Kunal Bansal (21:43.173)
Maybe it can say it’s a three word story. And you told us, sorry, you told me, you gave me some emotions out of that, but I’m getting some emotions out of that. And feeling like I won. So I think this is the same answer that we should look after. And while we, we are making short form advertisement, short form, short medium video, short medium. This is the answer.
So how should the client think about it when they are doing something for YouTube versus television versus Instagram or actually it’s simplified of online versus traditional like TV. How should the client look at it differently?
Kunal Bansal (22:23.921)
So I think the most important thing that client as well as the creator should look after is the target audiences completely different. You might say that target audience is same for a for example, a pan masala brand on a digital platform and on a TV platform, but there is slight there still there is a difference between the target audience. If you the rickshaw, Allah who is watching a YouTube video is different from a
from a cycle peddler cycle farmer that is cycling across a rural town. So there is a difference between those people and they’re exposed to the world. So I think we should cater the difference in target audience. That is the most important thing while focusing on the traditional and the modern way of communicating ideas.
What else changes? Does the setup change? Does the lighting, of course the cameras and all, if you’re planning for TV, would of course be different than if you’re shooting in InstaReel. Can you sum up this? Because clients obviously then have different budget expectations also when they’re planning for television versus when they’re planning for online.
Kunal Bansal (23:34.337)
The biggest difference that comes to us creators is of course the budget. So there is a general misconception. Like if you call any director, any DOP, any filmmaker that is into advertisement and you tell them that you are doing an advertisement, the first question they’ll ask you is it a TVC or it’s a DVC? And they’ll quote you differently. Like for example, if a DOP is charging 50,000 rupees a day for a TVC, they’ll quote you 30,000 rupees for a DVC.
I am not able to wrap my head around it like this. They’ll put in the same effort. They’ll put in the same time. They’ll sell their soul. But the price difference would be there. So that is how the industry has evolved to be, which is very sad and unreasonable as well. I think that is not fair, but yeah, this is the current standard that we are chasing. So I think I hope in a perfect world we learn to…
Appreciate DVC as much as the DVC. But yeah, corner cutting is there in DVC and client.
Yeah, but if I’m running it, but also I have more of a budget if I’m doing, if I’m a startup spending a hundred crores on an IPL campaign, I am happy to put in the time and effort and money versus if I’m launching a new product and I want to do a few reels and reels disappear in three days. Like shelf life is typically so short unless it goes viral in which case it lasts for like four days. So clients do, but does the shoot.
look different. If you go to a set, how will you be able to instantly identify this is a TBC or a DVC.
Kunal Bansal (25:12.837)
The first difference that you’ll see on a real site or a TV site is the recycle sets. So the real, the dealers will use the, the pre-made sets where you’ll see, like if you visit any site, you’ll find, oh, that video has been shot on this. And that would be, has been shot on the site. I recently went for a shoot. We shot for a beauty brand and there was a small washroom set. And I would instantly make.
uh, instantly make that before our videos are short on that set. So that is the biggest difference that you can make out on that production. The first thing that gets deducted is your art budget. So as soon as you deduct your art budget, you’ll have to find a pre-made set that looks pretty cool because you don’t, now you don’t have resources to go on a live location or a simple set and put in your resources to make it, make it look better. So.
Yeah, that’s a fantastic startup idea. Like a Jaco ad and next day they’re shooting Perfora and the next day they’re shooting like a perfume ad or something. Same set. Startup idea right there.
Kunal Bansal (26:17.269)
So that is, so that is why Jack were puts in money in creating their own original checks. So that is why people are still paying like, uh, crores and crores of money for simple advertisements because they won’t, they don’t want, uh, they’re said to be a visible in somebody’s some somebody else is that that’s why you pay exclusively for that, that you can’t do ads for the similar industry for two, three years, five years, whatever.
Uber for ad film sets. Oh, I am inspired. I am inspired. But that’s interesting. So that is one big difference between DVC and TVC and of course budgets, which obviously run into lakhs per day on a television set, but could be, could range it out. So now I want to get into budgets. Actually, do you have any standard metrics when you’re quoting the price? Or does it always have to go back? Like, you know, I will spend a few days to figure out. I need much more detail on the concept.
Like if you are planning a whole shoot, of course, it’s not just a daily, whatever, but if you’re planning a whole shoot, including props, including actors, do you always have to plan everything out because what should a client expect? Should they always expect? No, it is very, very highly customized.
Kunal Bansal (27:28.109)
Right. So the starting any creator has to put in a starting point because client things that, okay, they’ll make an ad in one month, but it’s not one month. I have minimum put in like two, three months minimum I have put in any project. So what some of our projects have grown up to like one year for a simple project. We have put in a time of one year from getting the client, converting them, convincing them on a concept, getting the advances.
shooting it, editing it, making multiple rounds of changes. And then finally receiving your end last minute. It generally takes minimum two, three, two, three months. So, uh, I think, uh, the time that we put in and converting that client is so alone, so there has to be a minimum point because we are putting in a lot of time in understanding that it’s not as easy as walking on, walking up to the set and just shooting whatever is written in the script, you have to find reasons, you have to find the wires of a lot of things. So.
There’s a, there’s a minimum amount of research that wasn’t understanding that point and their needs. And so there has to be a minimum certain amount that because you can’t, I think if I talk about me, I can’t cater more than 12 clients out, 12 clients. I can’t cater more than 12 clients a year. So I have to, yeah, one client a month is the best I can do. It’s, it’s an ideal situation that I can cater to 12 clients in a year. So we have to like.
Kunal Bansal (28:54.641)
put a minimum price over every client that because there is also an opportunity cost. If I’m giving you my time, I’m not giving time to five other people that I could convert. So I think there has to be a minimum bar that bar depends on your experience and your portfolio and the amount of inquiries that you’re getting. So you can be as choosy as much as you can be the choosiest. So you can be choosy if you get a lot of inquiries. And
and vice versa.
That’s an interesting one. And for a marketer who’s basically new to this, who wants to get a video professionally produced. Because you, so there is this conception, there is this thought that some people have that, you know, it’s a very short process. It’s just a one day shoot, right? But we’ve all seen it, right? It’s you’re saying three months, at least a month even for the simplest of things.
What’s the process like if I asked you to describe the production process from start to end, from when you meet a client? Like what do you go through? What steps do you go through?
Kunal Bansal (30:01.841)
So again, that depends on the kind of client we are interacting with. So most of them are Windows over. They’ll just come to you. They’ll, they’ll speak and then they’ll go in the world and they’ll try to speak to five other guys, five other production houses, and then they’ll, they’ll realize, okay, which one was the best and they’ll go back to them. So most of some of them come back to you and then they take a call. Then they discuss their needs in detail and then they take a call. So if, if for say 10 people approached you.
Five of them came back to you to discuss their needs. And once you give them your code, only one will remain. So at the end, there is a conversion ratio of only 10%. So if you’re generating leads of 10 of, of 100 people, you normally get business of 10. So that is what my experience has been. Of course, it, it is. It differs person to person and creative to creator. So first, the biggest challenge is converting the land. And that is why.
agencies like individuals is very important because that they save your conversion time. They save a lot of time in preparing that client and they become a very good communicator between them. They try to educate client as well because there is a for new market years. There is a certain education that goes into play because you are setting their expectation right within most of them are doing it for the first time. So yeah, first best processes of course converting the client. Second is agreeing on a concept.
It can take from anywhere from seven days to two months. It depends on how eager the client is getting the video. So after that, you plan the shoot, you do your pre-production, you cast your actors, you finalize as a crew, you, you find the perfect location and everything. So then you go into the shoot. It might be one day shoot, but you already have put like two months into getting that one day of shoot. Then you will edit. You’ll do the post-production and then.
the biggest thing, the changes will come in. You’ll keep doing the changes until you die. After that, you’ll get your final payments. So that is the entire process, pre-production and post-production.
And what’s post-production like? It’s not just one editor sitting in a room like, here are the rushes, go for it. It’s a more complex process than that.
Kunal Bansal (32:15.953)
100% so when we talk about post production most of the client things that one editor will set and will just do some magic trickery and the output will just flow but yeah so if we talk about the ideal world of course one person is wearing a multiple hat in most of the projects but if we talk about the ideal world one person has to just sort the footage he just has to optimize the footage make the proxies and all those kind of things then the
Then somebody has to make a rough cut. The assistant editor has to just line up the takes. Then approve the senior editor would come in and they’ll just make the best story possible out of those cuts. Then you, you go into the grade, you do the DIA, you do the sound designing, you do music composing. There are a lot of steps, motion graphics, voiceover, but it, but the client thinks it’s only, there’s a one person sitting behind the keyboard and he’s doing all those steps.
So yeah, there has to be a lot of things that needs to be done in the post process apart from just editing.
And yeah, time for us to actually do some showboating because as Kunal was saying, individual, we try to manage all these expectations for the client, and also the boring work, the contracts, the NDAs, all the boring parts that we can sort of automate. But for individual creators, especially smaller freelancers, it becomes very, very tough.
put here link of video production services?put in shownotes
So yeah, that’s what we are also trying to now simplify as much as possible, because even the client is happy. And even the videographer is happier. Let me do my work. So, now I actually want to ask you fun projects, what’s been the most fun project where you partly injected your own look and feel into the project, your own style and the client was very happy. Give me a story.
Kunal Bansal (34:10.321)
So yeah, there was a project that we shot for Futurins. It was a tech startup then. Now it is a good company. It’s a big company now. So they came up with the requirement of making a corporate video, which invites students to enroll in their corporate. So it was basically a HR kind of a video. It was supposed to be an HR kind of a video. (Put excerpt from the video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLRMCIJkQOw
But I really respect that client for that. They…
They trusted us for whatever value we can bring on the table. They gave us a free hand. So we devised a really brilliant concept and I call it brilliant because I personally really like it. I’ve done a lot of projects after that even projects that are like 5X in budget, but I still look back at that project and feel really proud because that was very honest filmmaking at hand. It was very honest attempt that we tried because it was
because money was not motivation over there. I personally feel when there is money in the world, your motivation shifts, your motivation shifts to earning money. And that particular project we were looking after making something creating some magic on screen. So we want our ideal dream was to make a HR video, a sort of a corporate video. But I think we made it in and Wolf of Wall Street meets corporate videos kind of a film. So I’m really proud.
Is it on YouTube? Oh it’s on YouTube, we are going to put this in the video.
Kunal Bansal (35:39.738)
Yeah, it’s on YouTube.
Yeah. So we’ve been corporate VFX also in that. Like, uh, I rarely see corporate videos with that cool kind of a VFX. So I’m really happy that we did that. One of the best times we have ever done.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLRMCIJkQOw&t=3s (Put excerpts of this video)
That’s amazing. Actually, I think I’ve got a lot of really, really interesting stuff from you. So I’m going to let you go now. So thank you, Kunal. This has been a very interesting conversation. I learned a lot.
Kunal Bansal (36:14.767)
I learned a lot too.
So thanks Kunal, thank you guys for tuning in. Thank you guys for tuning in. We are on audio on Spotify podcast. We are on YouTube if you prefer watching us on video. Yeah, and I think that’s enough channel. There’s too much social media happening. Thank you guys for tuning in. Thanks Kunal.
Kunal Bansal (36:18.353)
But I will. Sorry, sorry.
Kunal Bansal (36:37.981)
End of first part
So Kunal, now I want to get back to something we started with. But I want to go deeper. I want to know more about the creative process of coming up with an idea. Where does the idea come from? Where does it start? And two filmmakers make completely different acts. What happens in this process?
Kunal Bansal (00:19.029)
So I think the good and bad of the ideation process is that it is not a standard Everyone has their own way to come up with concepts You can pick any book, save the cat, story, 3x structure It will tell you something that you will not use I did not get any fruit from that I could not get anything from those formats Ok divide it in 3x structure, do this in the beginning and middle
12 story beats, adventure call, call for adventure, nothing helped me what worked for me the most was that you sit in one corner and just keep thinking about the purpose focus on the purpose I think you have cracked the purpose, the concept will come out on its own the device will come out on its own, it will come on its own on paper plus going back to what we earlier spoke about consumption is very important if your consumption is right
I’m not sure. Yeah, yeah.
Kunal Bansal (01:19.253)
Consumption of right content. If your consumption is good, you look for good things and bring them from corners of the world If you consume it well, then it will be different from the geographical region you are catering to So I think that the purpose should be driven whenever you do the creation process I keep thinking about the purpose Okay
We have to tell unbreakable jars that they can’t be broken How can we tell? We have to think about the world and create sense in the end
But exactly it is that simple because I also discuss this with my team when we are writing concepts When we are writing articles for our own content, for the website It actually comes down to who is the audience, what is the message, what is the purpose Why are we writing, what message are we sending them, that’s it Start with that, finish with that, everything fits within that Otherwise don’t do it
Kunal Bansal (02:24.089)
100% and if you go very technical it will lose its charm anyway because it will be so technical it won’t have human reflection so it’s better you don’t get a lot of it’s okay to begin with technicalities are necessary to understand basics it is necessary but eventually when you start doing things when you start making when you start moving from passion projects to professional projects purpose is the thing that you then want that one
Purpose is the thing that one must put their time to.
Exactly and so this is the purpose, the concept has developed. How is the script made? How is the storyboard made?
Kunal Bansal (03:06.561)
Yeah, that is that is now technicality is coming to play. So once you once purpose is defined, you have seen one useful thing from the world of useless things which is 2 plus 2. So you’re not giving them for you have found 2 plus 2. Now put them into standard formula that audiences are accustomed to. Audiences can also see things in a format. If you shake that format too much, then either it will be too
complicated or it will not make sense. So now put that into.
Yeah, it will distract you. Focus more on whether you see something new or not rather than the message you are actually trying to spread. It will distract you.
Kunal Bansal (03:47.085)
I think ads are an intertextuality game You find stereotypes in ads all over the world because you don’t want to make the audience think too much They are just looking at your food passively They are just looking at your ad on the phone If you give them too much to think about, they won’t be able to do it So you try to give them in the stereotypes manner
Kunal Bansal (04:17.248)
I think that is the formula that I have cracked.
Give me an example. Will you fit this example in concept rich and stereotype? I can’t leave this example.
Kunal Bansal (04:27.909)
Kunal Bansal (04:33.957)
Think calmly, Praveen pause it now. Think calmly.
Kunal Bansal (04:38.463)
Okay, so let’s pick a project that was done with an individual
Say something good about the client.
Kunal Bansal (04:55.805)
Actually I have a good example of this but it is a very recent project It is with Divisal, can we talk about it? Ok, Kaveem, start from here So if we talk about this, concept reach and then you put it in the stereotypes Then it will start creating sense For example, we have made a digital ad for a company named Bytescare
Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Karo Kar
Kunal Bansal (05:21.885)
They are supposed to be skippable ads. You have 5 seconds on YouTube. You can grab the attention of the audience. After 5 seconds, he doesn’t enjoy watching. He has already put his thumb on the screen. As soon as 5 seconds are up, I will skip the ads. So we have fitted it in the stereotypes. The concept is very amazing. The concept is that a girl is sitting in the room. She has very seductive lighting. She is playing with her hair. As soon as the ad starts, she doesn’t do anything for 2 seconds. She just keeps looking at the camera with love.
Kunal Bansal (05:50.851)
And then she asks, am I that old that you are thinking of doing ad skips?
Kunal Bansal (05:57.121)
You have got my attention. Now I listen to you. The people of this age group, the TG’s, you have got them by their eyeballs. They will listen to your entire ad and then go. Then our ad starts. The girl plays with them. Stereotypes, girls are always the same sexual object. You have made the concept of stereotypes. The girl calls the camera and says, come closer, I will tell you something. The camera walks closer and goes. She says, come closer, he goes.
She says use protection. Now the audience is like, Bholenath is found, it’s fun. Then she says, now you steer your ad to the purpose. The purpose is that we want to know about Bytescare. She says use Bytescare protection. Light changes, everything changes. Now she talks like a salesman. Because Bytescare will give you diesel protection. It completes its brand communication. Brand mandates come on the screen. Then from behind, again.
Kunal Bansal (06:54.401)
If you end it here, my audience will feel cheated That you promised me entertainment and you just gave me information and ran away Now you have to give them a dose of entertainment while going back You took their time and gave them information and you have to fulfill the promise you made Now the brand mandates stay on the screen for 5-7 seconds Now the director’s voice comes and all the visuals are cut
There are two mic frames, makeup guys come in front and people from the back are setting up We found out that it’s a film shooting They talked to someone off camera They are such people, they can hear anything in the Tharag Basically you have made fun of the audience at the meta level So as an audience, I am entertained You had promised me entertainment I am going home after getting entertained I am walking out satisfied And as a brand, I have also conveyed brand information Which I have to tell you as a brand
I have communicated that too So I think that is the win-win You design a concept beautiful put it in a stereotype Whatever you promise If you promise entertainment give it entertainment If you promise informational then it’s okay Make it a boring information It has a right As an audience, I have a right I should skip it So this is an example
I was thinking in between whether we have to censor this or not censor this But it won’t work
Kunal Bansal (08:14.827)
You cut it, just keep a little bit. Cut the details.
No, women are not sexual objects. They are portrayed that way in advertising, yes. But, yeah.
Kunal Bansal (08:27.013)
and good damage control.
But that’s an interesting one. I have to show the message but I have to entertain too. Absolutely.
Kunal Bansal (08:30.265)
Kunal Bansal (08:34.725)
Please cut this, it will be a woman’s section, it will be a backlash
I don’t know why I’m laughing There are short attention spans There are short attention spans in the internet today That short 2 second cut Kunal Bansal is the villain We will make it happen
Kunal Bansal (08:56.328)
So, I think the fundamental of Instagram is that they are based on a casino system Cheap dopamine, flashy light, things like that, change the story beat in every beat Convey what you have to, it’s a 60 second reel, do whatever you can That’s the format, if the audience is there, you have to do it, there’s no other way I would like to
I would like to tell good stories, I would like to take a long take like Satyajit Regi That reminds me of an ad that we did We broke all the rules of advertisement In that, I think we became a little more greedy As a creator, we became greedy And the client’s purpose might have been secondary But at the end, it worked out best for the client We did an ad for mild education What is its opening? A boy is walking from the reception and is in the line
It takes 5-6 seconds in this process The camera starts from the reception The camera is tracking the guy and he is setting the line He is standing in the line As a creator, our purpose was to set the story world The environment we wanted to show What kind of environment is being talked about What is the story world But all the rules of advertisement are defied Advertisement says that in the first 5-6 seconds You convey, you grab the attention of the audience
But we did it subconsciously We didn’t do it consciously, but subconsciously it was a good thing After that ad, I realized Client, you promise the audience We had promised slow good storytelling These are signs of good storytelling That you are a formula of score C In any good film school, the first thing you need is pipeline C Wide close, wide medium close Wide, you can do your story world
establish and then you can go into the drama so this is the formula of good storytelling so this defies the advertisement but at the end the whole ad is like that at the end it is a flip side the interviewer is the child of mild education so there is a very good twist at the end( add excerpts of this ad) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwX0x_UPYXU&t=11s
so currently it is on 1 crore views combined that ad was uploaded multiple times it is currently on 1 crore views it defies all the rules of ad yeah it is on youtube
This is also on YouTube, of course also in the show notes, also we’ll air it right now.
Kunal Bansal (11:18.825)
Yeah, so I think yeah, we’ll be great career. There was a little break here. Surprisingly, it’s not good. Good storytelling co-prioritized, Giavni, over the concept, which is not always the right thing. I accept that.
But I am seeing so much amazing storytelling on Reels I miss TikTok still TikTok I think was such an amazing thing I don’t know, stories were coming from all sides From rural India, from urban India All kinds of very unique experiences I was seeing But Reels has also now picked up to a level where It is very city centric and all mostly But amazing storytelling I am seeing in like 30 seconds
Kunal Bansal (11:56.821)
I disagree on this I think TikTok is the most fun party Instagram deals, maybe everyone has different algorithms and timelines I know what I see in deals as I swipe Someone is welding Some working class person is building a house and is flooring And he is showing how precisely he is slapping the ground So this is the…
Kunal Bansal (12:26.45)
Good thing, I mean, this is the only good thing.
I used to see everything on TikTok, wide variety. Instagram has taught me so much, it only shows me cat videos, it shows me photography videos, it shows me music videos. Nothing else. I will see nothing else till the day I die on Instagram Reels. Mark Zuckerberg, if you’re listening here, please give me some variety. Please. I will pay you $8.
Kunal Bansal (12:30.701)
Kunal Bansal (12:51.193)
So I tell my female friends that if you ever want to date a guy or judge a guy on a first date just see their explore segment If a lot of girls are coming in that means it tells you a lot about the person So that is the best way to judge a person If some intellectual or artistic or value-addition based person is coming in that is the right person to…
I think all cat videos now, I am never going on a date again But yeah, that was exactly my algorithmic TikTok Very very diverse So but, no, storytelling is looking amazing I see some amazing stuff on Reads from that perspective
Kunal Bansal (13:29.689)
So this is the story, if we talk about traditional media I don’t think that For example, the two African bandbys who dance on reels They have become very famous, they do it on Indian music There is no African band in Rata Alamya, they are very famous They put a lot of reels and stuff
I remember the coffin bearers, the four of them on that one song
Kunal Bansal (13:53.141)
Oh that was a meme I am talking about serious dance The brothers said that they are seriously dancing good So I think this is the good thing about modern media Now the hero is not just a celebrity or a resourceful person He is only a storyteller The same thing is always Let me recall that saying It summarizes it well
Kunal Bansal (14:25.373)
Yes. The hunter will remain a hero until the lion starts writing his own story.
Kunal Bansal (14:33.137)
This is the special thing about TikTok. Now even a lion can tell its story. I mean, you won’t just listen to the perspective of a hunter. Now we will listen to the perspective of a lion. We will listen to the perspective of a monkey. Those who have never heard of it before.
Someone wrote the whole Lord of the Rings in Russia from the point of view of Sauron
Kunal Bansal (14:52.053)
I had written it, I had made a movie. But yeah, very good point. The point of view that is visible from one side, that is what we are getting.
Kunal Bansal (15:02.213)
This is what Marvel has cracked If you look at the mainstream, Marvel has done it first that your antagonist also creates sense
I just completely disagree on that. Yeah, I mean at least Black Panther was different. Absolutely.
Kunal Bansal (15:19.837)
I have seen the end game, I will talk about it You can write a brilliant video on YouTube that teaches you about writing on the new world He noted this very well The hero’s structure of call for adventure which is 12 story beats It falls in your antagonist So antagonist has a purpose It takes me back to David Fincher’s saying
David Fincher or Tarantino, whoever has the card There is a very good saying of a very good filmmaker It is fun when you are in a debate or argument When antagonists are saying you or protagonists are saying you There are two different philosophies of the same thing and both are right That is a good debate for me, that is a good drama for me So I think
Thanos? Well fair enough. Too many people fighting for too many people’s lives. Hmm. Fair enough.
Kunal Bansal (16:18.977)
Yeah, so that is that is a tenosis.
No, it makes sense, makes sense. Too many billionaires fighting for the same social media eyeballs. Twitter becoming X and Instagram becoming threads. But yeah.
Kunal Bansal (16:43.827)
New marketeers also think that once we run ads, we put 10, 15, 20, 40 lakhs Now our sales will skyrocket and everybody will know what it is So this new marketeers have a big mishatter whenever they make advertisements for the first time If the result would have been good only in 40-50 lakhs Generally speaking
Kunal Bansal (17:10.282)
There are a lot of businessmen, I think there are a lot of businesses that can easily afford 40 lakhs for marketing Marketing is a constant effort Once you put 40 lakhs, it’s not like everybody will know about your brand And your sales will skyrocket, it’s a constant effort I don’t know where this came from but
No but I agree that and that’s the problem with everything becoming so short shelf life of video that we are still in this era where video is expensive, big productions for the most part meant for the TV era but people need crazy amounts of content like, the first thing they might be running a TV campaign for like 3 months and in those 3 months they need like 50 reels
and the cost of DVC is not 1.50th the cost and the effort involved is not 1.50th the cost of a television commercial We are trying to solve it by making it simple but how simple can we make it? It won’t be 1.50th
Kunal Bansal (18:18.953)
I have a different perspective I feel that definitely the quantity of content creation has increased first for example for example MDH first he would make an ad he would run it throughout the year he would renew it next year or it would have been shelf life for 2-3 years now he has to change ad 4 times a year once in a quarter so he has to change the ad so
Kunal Bansal (18:48.513)
Earlier I had to make one ad, now I have to make four Effort has increased a lot Cost is not that dramatically reduced Cost has also been reduced Second thing is that sales has also reduced a lot Earlier it was a marketing effort Plus, sales used to be a big effort They used to do door to door selling There were salesmen who used to do their sales They used to pamper distribution offers, sponsors and channel a lot
Kunal Bansal (19:19.385)
you are running ads in today’s market your instagram game is strong you are not running ads you have strengthened your instagram game you are just selling your e-commerce you are selling your website you are selling 20-30% of your Amazon and you are ready you are doing crores business so the sales effort has also been reduced a lot according to me
This is there but D2C cost also Basically D2C means you are spending 20-30% of your revenue straight back into Google and Facebook That is also there
Kunal Bansal (19:49.813)
No, that problem is actually the problem of the startup bubble This is not a sustainable way of business But those who want to become a billion dollar business They are doing all these things They will put in an unreasonable amount of money in AdWords Or in ads, they will put in a lot of money They will put a lot of money in pushing But those who are doing good business, who are bootstrapped and valuing their business
We are not putting in a fairly amount of money, we are running it profitably We put in a decent amount, run a sustainable business with our D2C format So I believe that in today’s data marketing is still easy I believe that compared to traditional phones Like few months ago I met a really big senior of me I have met him before 2-3 times but he is into everything from 30-40 years So I had a discussion with him that you
What do you charge in Kunal Aad’s market? Anywhere from 5 lakh rupees to 10-20 lakh rupees He said, that’s it He doesn’t talk to clients below 30 lakh rupees He comes from that thought school It’s not like you will find his portfolio You will find Samsung and Oppo Decent portfolio You will find IM and IM Ghazi Bacho So decent portfolio But that is the thought school they are coming from They saw that time that Again, the film will be shot on film stock
Kunal Bansal (21:18.034)
If you are retaking, your money is wasted So they come from that third school
And this ad will last for 2 years.
Kunal Bansal (21:28.088)
MDS was still played on the nostalgia factor Even today they are playing it That is a testament in itself That what a bankers shelf life is And at that time there was not even that much exposure of audiences You have heard it once You will grow up to be 25-50 years old You will remember it
Because everyone was watching Mahabharat, everyone was watching the same thing on television, on that same channel So, tomorrow also, today also, tomorrow also, we will listen to it 50 times Because everyone is watching it, that when I was a small kid, everyone is on the same channel That Cadbury’s ad, like the new one played on the nostalgia of the old one But it was gone in a month, even though it went properly viral, it was gone in a month The old one was around for so long
Kunal Bansal (21:52.471)
Kunal Bansal (22:02.979)
Kunal Bansal (22:14.35)
And even I think they played it smart before airing the new one. They played it for a certain while as well. The old ad as well too. We knew people with the… That our ad existed.
Gen Z, you see. First you get the context, Gen Z. We’ll know about the Millennials. Gen Z, first you see the original ad, then we will bring the new feminist version.
Kunal Bansal (22:27.984)
I did become lucky.
Kunal Bansal (22:39.052)
Right. And I, You talked about Gen Z, right? So I would use this platform to share my opinion on Gen Z. It’s a very bad experience to work with Gen Z.
Do tell, we can always censor this part out. Hahaha! Story time!
ASK ABOUT THIS PART
Kunal Bansal (22:53.174)
Kunal Bansal (22:57.205)
Story time. And not just one, multiple, 4, 5, 6, back to back. It was a very bad experience. Because I think we had seen different idols. We saw that dad is going to work hard in the business. He goes home in the morning and comes home in the evening. He works hard all day and comes home in the evening with a sweat. So we saw such idols and such examples.
Kunal Bansal (23:26.797)
His example is Mark Zuckerberg. He became a billionaire at the age of 19. I am sure my facts are not right. So his examples are those. He thinks that small efforts are not enough. You talk to us and we will give you crores. You don’t talk to us about lakhs. They are giving me crores.
Now, the time of quick instant gratification has come.
Kunal Bansal (23:52.425)
I think it’s very bad for creators I think a genuine creator can’t be made in the exposure of Reels I’m saying something very debatable I believe that a person who has a habit of short-formatting I enter the table in 60 seconds and need a cheap opening, quickly His attention span is over I sit in one corner and for an hour
I can’t even think about the broken jar
I am not as creative as I used to be 10 years ago I am saying twitter, scroll It’s addiction So yeah, I believe you Meet you with me
Kunal Bansal (24:39.177)
and you can see your demographic and its analytics that you are posting long format interviews and podcasts how many percent of age group are Gen Z?
I haven’t checked because we are still on the 7th or 8th episode but yeah instinctively my impression would be that podcast, full length podcast will be older people.
Reels will be younger people because if we take out 2-3 reels, that will skew much younger. It’s a stereotype but again, I would broadly believe it to be true.
Kunal Bansal (25:16.937)
I think I will get a lot of backlash after this podcast. Please cut the part where I am stuck. Let me work. I am a small businessman.
Controversy is good. Controversy is a good thing.
Yeah, video producer and startup founder get together and controversy.
Kunal Bansal (25:36.053)
Don’t glorify this, these are the things to glorify But honestly, these are the mediums of survival I never wanted to become a producer, I just wanted to direct I never wanted to deal with clients in life That is the way of survival and there is no other way You can choose to go to Mumbai and get an A.D. Now you are paying Rs. 30,000 per month In which you have to spend Rs. 50,000 per month to live in Mumbai You are getting Rs. 30,000 per month Why? Because the market has been set by the rate
because their entitled kids are very well to do so market redevelopment is set for 30-40 thousand it’s different for big productions I have done general productions, they will give me 30-40 thousand they will make you slot the entire month your expenses are more than your living plus you have no respect for your creators whether you are junior or senior for example if you look at a corporate
Kunal Bansal (26:30.159)
Kunal Bansal (26:34.572)
Praveen, you know what to do.
Kunal Bansal (26:50.773)
Right so there are two ways, either you go to Mumbai and apply for assistance You will get a salary of 30,000 rupees a month, your expenses are 50,000 rupees The market rate is bad You can do that or you can find 20 ways for survival You find a decent genuinely good paying job Which is paying you decently You can do moon lighting, there is no other way Moon lighting is a frowned upon concept But I feel bad for creators, I mean you haven’t left out any other way for them If you give them money then with this much
They have to do moon lighting, they can’t survive without it You’ll be working for 12 hours in your office And they’ll have to go home and do freelancing for 4 hours to survive To break even, to make a decent saving So I lost my train of thought, why am I talking about this
Which is why we are all remote. Wherever you are, please work for us. You don’t need to come to Delhi and spend 3 times your salary.
Kunal Bansal (27:47.349)
I think in future, such creators will win a lot who are sitting at home in the village whose expenses are very less and they are earning good because of the good storytelling they bring on the table the good videos they bring on the table
Because why should there be a belief that only people in the metros are aware of the craft?
Kunal Bansal (28:11.965)
I have a very big stereotype breaking example in front of me One of my friends, Satya He has a VFX business, True Light VFX He has his own VFX company They are working on biggest of projects, you name it I mean their team is working on biggest of projects Juk Ji Ho Poli Gulaiya 2 Whatever, I mean biggest project, Bhediya And international projects, Noop They have team credits in Noop is like I mean
It’s a dream project. IMX has been shot. So, you have credits in it. Where are they from? They are from Sarnpur, UP. They are working from Sarnpur, UP. They are working from Amroha. The whole team is in their home basement in Amroha. And they are doing biggest of things. Because of the internet. Internet is the biggest blessing my generation has got. And even the coming generation. If there was no internet today, I definitely wouldn’t have done filmmaking.
Kunal Bansal (29:08.961)
I was sitting in the shop and asking him to buy oil and ghee I was very sure
Kunal Bansal (29:17.807)
the internet. I couldn’t pass my MBA without the internet.
Kunal Bansal (29:24.201)
Why? How internet helped you?
Oh Google, we have we googled everything even back in 2003-2004. We googled absolutely everything. Of course we spent a lot of time in the library but the rest of Google was around then. But on that note, let’s wrap up. This was this has been a fantastic discussion. Thank you so much Kunal. This was I learnt a lot.
Kunal Bansal (29:46.213)
Thank you. I learned a lot.
Thanks guys, thank you for tuning in. We are on Spotify, full audio version with some censorship here or there. We will have to re-listen to this. And we’re on YouTube video version if you prefer that. And yeah, stay tuned to photosynthesis. We will keep having amazing discussions with some of India’s best creators. Thank you and see you next time.