I sent out a tweet recently which set off a random set of events because of which I got the content for this story.
Om Dar-Ba-Dar is probably one of the most absurd movies Bollywood has ever produced. In technical terms, it is a postmodernist avant-garde film; one of those movies which doesn't take an ounce of effort to make sense. Highly acclaimed critically, Om Dar-Ba-Dar was produced and directed by Kamal Swaroop, a film, television and radio director and screenwriter. He is a product of the Film and Television Institute and is well known across media and design colleges and is an icon for many.
Surely one of the must-watch movies (a review of it that I liked is here), Kamal Swaroop himself doesn't like the limelight much. He hasn't made a feature film ever since Om Dar-Ba-Dar but is in the process of coming up with a sequel and is also planning to crowd-fund one of his projects. Leaving that at that, what that tweet did was connect me to someone who knew Kamal's son, Kashyap Swaroop, who has a startup. And the name is as creative as it gets - Lowfundwala.
Lowfundwala is a production house for startups, music bands and struggling artists to make their promotions videos or short films. The name of the company is a lovely play on words and means a service for the budget folks and can also be extended but probably after you've seen the movie. The fact that Kashyap is in his final year of college might come is as a bit of a surprise but he has been subjected to a lot film-making as his entire family is into it, including his sister Ardra, who is the co-founder at Lowfundwala.
Kashyap is studying civil engineering at NMIMS in Mumbai. “I had gone to Kerala with my mother accompanying her on a movie when I was ten years old. I was influenced by a sustainable house project over there and hence got into this stream,” says Kashyap. In his final year at the moment, his genes had to play a role and hence Lowfundwala came into existence a couple of months ago. They've already completed four projects (Flat.to, Haptik, Directi and Instamojo) and are working with the intention of getting this service to startups at a price point they can afford.
Ranging from live movie to animations, Lowfundwala has all the capabilities as there are some prominent professionals in various fields who are backing the company and lend their art whenever needed. “I've got relations with music bands, sound professionals and a lot more which helps me a lot,” says Kashyap. An average animation film is priced in the range of INR 3,000 to INR 20,000 per second, claims Lowfundwala; and they sometimes do it at price points as low as INR 1,500 per second (depends on various things) without any compromise on quality. Quotes for various videos vary as per the requirements (animation, live movie, length, etc.) but an average promo video can be made at a cost of INR 15,000.
“The whole intention is to take the services to startups and people who cannot afford the bigger players and go on to do more things from there,” says Kashyap. There are other startups like Laputa and A Little Anarky in the space who've been operating from a while but a growing number of startups who can spend a bit will give all of these companies an opportunity. The influence Kashyap has had and the contacts his background can bring in will come in handly for Lowfundwala to grow and scale.
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