Shruti Pushkarna: Of high-definition cameras and exclusive video chats

01 Feb,2012

By Shruti Pushkarna

 

MxM India completes its 100 days today, on February 1. It feels like yesterday when I was out in the market, on the internet, making endless phone calls to zero in on the best buy for our video coverage. This would include a high definition camera, a tripod, a microphone and other accessories. After much running around (including the swarmed streets of Chandni Chowk), we finally bought a Kodak zi8 (http://store.kodak.com/store/ekconsus/en_US/pd/Zi8_Pocket_Video_Camera/productID.156585800).

 

Much to my surprise at every event I covered with this camera, or any interview I recorded on it, my audience was awestruck with the compact equipment MxM team moved around with. Many mistook it for a phone, and in every break, be it over a cup of coffee or over lunch, I would be greeted with inquisitive fellas wanting to know more about the camera. And yes I would reiterate to each one of them that we shoot ‘on-air’ quality, full HD!

 

I must confess, one idea that I borrowed from my past experience as a TV producer, was the decision to buy a gun mic. When you are at an event which is crowded with Television crews with their ‘heavy-duty’ equipment, the one thing that’s common between us and them is the good old gun mic. Believe you me, it puts you in line with the TV wallahs. Of course it’s handy at the same time. You just have to be clever enough to push your mic and slick camera through the aggressive TV crews and get your ‘bites’ for the day. One of my recent experiences being getting sound bites from the DoT Secretary, R Chandrashekar, at thE 6th India Digital Summit, when all TV journos and cameramen ‘gheraoed’ him.

 

Enough tech talk, let’s move on to content. Among the events I covered in the last 100 days, the two big ones that stood out most in terms of video coverage were, the 38th FIPP World Magazine Congress (WMC) and AdAsia 2011. At WMC, we were lucky enough to get some great exclusive video chats with the FIPP President & CEO, Chris Llewellyn, AIM President and Worldwide Media CEO, Tarun Rai, Cybermedia Chairman, Pradeep Gupta, Kallie Purie, COO, India Today Digital and also members of the Organizing Committee, India Today Group CEO, Ashish Bagga being one of them. And before the conference commenced, on the launch of the event, I was lucky to be close enough to capture the King Khan doing his ‘chhammak challo’! That was my first to have got over a 2000 views within no time at all!

 

At AdAsia again, we were fortunate to get all the ‘gurus’ of the ad world interact one-on-one with us. Piyush Pandey of Ogilvy & Mather, Prasoon Joshi of McCann, Michael Roth, CEO, Interpublic, Tom Doctoroff of JWT China, Ravi Deshpande of Contract India, CEO of BBDO in Asia, Middle East & Africa, Chris Thomas, and many more engaged with us in candid video interviews. Here again, we stood in line with the usual suspects of the TV world.

 

Apart from events’ coverage, we had an early exclusive with Reckitt Benckiser’s Chander Mohan Sethi. Here too I struggled to make space with pushy TV crews but finally managed to get the desired answers.

 

But what remains my personal favourite, was my interaction with whom I call the epitome of broadcast journalism, Mark Tully. He was candid, honest, precise. His love and belief in broadcast journalism did not deter him from highlighting the follies of the trade. He didn’t seem angry at what TV journalism looks like in the country today, he only seemed concerned. As a man who likes to call himself ‘a British who is much influenced by India’, his worry for issues, social and political, came through in almost all his responses pertaining to India’s developmental story. As a TV producer myself, I exchanged many stories with him off the camera, and some of them seemed similar to the ones he narrated to me from his times. For me it turned out to be quite a unique and enlightening discussion on ‘media’.

 

There is so much more that I have experienced in these 100 days as part of team MxM, be it interviewing the likes of Vinod Mehta and Mark Tully or witnessing a new avatar of Arnab Goswami giggling like a school boy to Vinod Mehta’s jokes at the launch of the latter’s memoirs.

 

But as the rhyme goes, ‘100 days, 100 days, so clap and sway and say hurray’!

 

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2 responses to “Shruti Pushkarna: Of high-definition cameras and exclusive video chats”

  1. Rahul Kishore says:

    Nice work Shruti!Cheers!!

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