The future is here for music videos

The Guide catches up with a progressive rock collective that has launched India’s first VR music video

Dastaan LIVE is heavily influenced by the poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Indian indie bands are increasingly using music videos as a tool to make their songs reach a wider audience. But progressive rock collective Dastaan LIVE has now gone a step ahead and launched what is being touted as India’s first-ever virtual-reality video. It’s for their debut single, Mat Ro Bachche, and involves an experience where viewers can take a 360-degree look at the shots after downloading an app and putting on headsets. We catch up with band members Sumant Balakrishnan and Anirban Ghosh to find out more about the effort. Edited excerpts.

What sort of role do you think music videos play in making an artiste’s works more accessible?

Balakrishnan: A video can portray an artiste as being more than human, or make them seem more relatable as ordinary people. If you’re planning to shoot a video, keep in mind these essentials — an original concept, a team capable of executing it, and a clear strategy to make sure it reaches your desired audience.”

What was the process like of shooting the VR video for Mat Ro Bachche?

Ghosh: We shot at some extremely unusual locations in the peak of summer. Since we were all dressed in black and required natural light for most scenes, outdoor shoots had to completed really early in the morning, or around sunset to avoid getting burnt to a crisp. We collaborated with Vaibhavi Kowshik, a space designer who has experience in working with 360-degree cameras.

Balakrishnan: This video offers you a glimpse into what a Dastaan show is really like. Our roundel or 360-degree performance, Surviving Democracy, is a new way to watch a musical performance and allows anyone, wherever they may be, a chance to experience a part of that show.

What was the inspiration for Mat Ro Bachche?

Ghosh: The song is inspired by the poem Falastini Bachche Ke Liye Lori, by the legendary Faiz Ahmed Faiz. He wrote the song in response to Israel’s bombardment of Lebanon in the early 1980s.

Balakrishnan: I was astounded that the words of the poem were so eerily relevant in the context of today’s reality. To us, the song represents a want of freedom in the face of an oppressive regime, which is relevant to so many parts of the world today, and is in keeping with the poet’s original intention.

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