Lights , Camera Action -Shikha's Fighter Spirit During Covid19 Times
About Shikha Shahdeo
Ms. Shikha Shahdeo is a leading video producer from India who has played a significant role in creating video content for some of the most well-known television networks in India. She has worked for some the biggest media brands which includes names like Reliance Media works, Zee Entertainment, UTV, Times Television network, and Star network (Star World, Star World Premiere HD, Fox, and Fox Crime). Her contribution to the on-air-promotions team has helped generate a greater audience reach for these networks.
Ms. Shikha Shahdeo is a leading video producer from India who has played a significant role in creating video content for some of the most well-known television networks in India.
Lights, camera action
Always ready for new challenges
Ms.Shahdeo decided to further develop her career by moving to the US where the production industry is bigger and more fast-paced. But thanks to her incomparable expertise in video producing, she has successfully established her career in the US and has worked for some of the biggest brands like Microsoft, Nordstrom, University at Buffalo, PNW Fashion district and award-winning ad agency Code and Theory. Her video work for independent organizations has been well-received by the audience as the YouTube views of her video range from 10,000 to 25,000 views.
Additionally, Ms. Shahdeo’s unique gift in storytelling got her selected for the Pitch New York Competition, an initiative supported by Governor Cuomo’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development, the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts and NBC Universal Governor’s motion. She was also invited to showcase her video on diversity on the official website of New York state and was officially invited to the New York State multicultural creativity summit, an initiative by Motion Picture Association of America in partnership with Empire State Development and Urban World.
Ms. Shahdeo has recently launched her personal venture “This is My Story, What’s Yours?” on Facebook where she tells the stories of people from across the globe. Through this platform she has interviewed people from different nationalities and backgrounds about their life stories, struggles, motivations, and learnings. The hope is to showcase extraordinary stories of ordinary people. For this project, she has interviewed people from various fields and backgrounds that includes leaders like the Founder and CEO of Founders Live, WIT Regatta, Creative Connect and even media professionals like Seattle photographers and videographers.
Covid19 impact on the world is colossal. The ongoing battle with the virus has pushed countries to the extreme of social distancing for months. With the number of cases growing by the day, more death reports coming from all over the world, people being laid off or furloughed, government mandated restriction on movement; all of this has led to political wars , economic depression, mental stress and social anxiety. During this chaos one of the most impacted industry is the media industry, which has long been recognized for shaping how we experience the world and ourselves.
I think coronavirus outbreak has affected different facets of the media industry. On one hand it has jeopardized all future film/television shows/music video shoots, that involve outdoor/indoor locations and significant human contact. Many of the projects have been put on hold due to social distancing. Even live entertainment which includes sporting events, live music and dance shows have been cancelled or postponed. On the other hand, the news industry has not caved into the threat imposed by the virus. News channels both broadcast and digital are on top of their game trying to bring every morsel of the pandemic news to its audience. There has been an increase in consumption of news by public.
The first thing that even I have been habitually doing in the morning is checking a digital news platform to get the latest updates on Covid.
To add to that, this whole global catastrophe has managed to emphasize the power of social media to the forefront. Market research firm Nielsen said social media volume saw a whopping 50X surge in consumption between January and March 2020. Social media buzz picked up from 0.4 million in January and 1.6 million in February to a staggering 20.3 million till March 24. The whole world is trying to use social media as a means to connect with each other and create value by acting as a medium of delivering important information about Corona symptoms or social distancing. Social media is also helping unite everyone through #stayhome photographs, or united yoga/exercise, live meditation with social media influencers like Jay Shetty, live conversations, tiktok videos for entertainment etc. We also have big television celebrities like Ellen De Genres entertaining us through her Instagram account, or talk show hosts Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon conducting interviews with celebrities from their homes. One of the most impactful social media posts for me was the twitter flood with tweets of junta curfew act of ovation for all the health care professionals fighting the single enemy out there.
The podcast world is deluged with conversations about Covid and how that will impact the economy and the lives of the people. Social media platform is also being used to raise funds for healthcare services. So overall, media is gaining significance as the light of hope against the darkness of the contagious disease and becoming the source of virtual connection with the whole world.
Advice From Shikha To Media Professionals
My advice to the media professionals would be to continue creating no matter what. We should not let the global pandemic create any form of creative restrictions in our minds. We are media professionals by choice, because we want to educate, entertain, empower, and enlighten people with knowledge and stories. Especially in this quarantine phase, now more than ever we need to use media platforms to create positivity in society, to tell each other our stories, and foster change, no matter how small it is. I have used this time to work on my passion project – “This is my story, what’s yours?” In this project I have interviewed people from different nationalities and backgrounds about their life stories, struggles, motivations and learnings. The hope is to provide a platform for extraordinary stories of ordinary people. The quarantine has not stopped me from interviewing people, I am now doing a quarantine version of the stories, where I am interviewing people via video conferencing. The reason I am pushing for my project is that now more than ever, the world needs to be inspired by each other’s stories.