Ridhesh Sejpal talks about GoodFellas Studio's first-ever Content Production Status Map tool

Priyanka Parmar
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Ridhesh Sejpal

Mumbai based Content Production house, The Goodfellas Studio, launched a first-of-its-kind Content Production Status Map recently. Ridhesh Sejpal, Co-founder of Goodfellas Studio shared his insights on the helpful tool.

Marketers, Brands, Agencies, individual Content Creators and production houses can use the India Content Production Status Map to identify prevalent guidelines and SOPs across states in India to help them take necessary production decisions. The map gathers data from creators across the country and verifies the same against key news and prevalent Government guidelines and sources. The inspiration & the methodology behind this tool have come from the Global Production Status Map created by the global creative production platform, Genero.

The free tool effectively breaks down production capabilities across regions in 4 parameters: Post-production and studio production shoots, Small scale studio production with talent, medium-scale production with restrictions, and full-scale production possibilities with SOP guidelines to be followed.

The tool not only helps Creators make better production decisions but also gives an exposure to locations outside the regular go-to cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi & Bengaluru known for high production and ease of creation capabilities. According to the tool, as of today, states like Kerala, Himachal Pradesh & Madhya Pradesh are more shoot ready than other regions. We had a chat with Mr. Ridhesh Sejpal, Co-founder of Goodfellas Studio, who talked about their innovative tool.

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A MAP TRACKING CONTENT PRODUCTION STATUS ACROSS INDIA DURING COVID-19 📍🎥 . Happy to share a new tool we have created - India Content Production Status 🇮🇳 . Helping brands, media agencies & content creators navigate production capabilities by collecting data from content creators across the country. . Do check it out and help us track data in real-time by submitting an update. LINK IN BIO Team . . #covid #coronavirusindia #coronavirus #indianfilm #indianfilmindustry #indianfilmmakers #indiancinema #indiafilms #filmindia #filmproductionindia #indianfilmproduction #indiancinema #indianfilmproducers #filmmakersindia #filmmakingindia #covidfilm #covidindia #covid19tracker #covidtracker #indianfilmmaker #covid19india

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Here's what Ridhesh Sejpal had to share about the map:

When did you come up with the idea and inspiration for the tool?

"When the lockdown started, we had a booked March for shoots, an exciting summer coming up and then the lockdown happened and suddenly everything got washed out. Content Creators and Freelancers, were confused about what’s happening. They were out of work and in every 15 days new rules were coming out and slowly it all started opening up. Even if all the rules were decentralised, there was a lot of confusion regarding photoshoots, whether colour-grading artists were working from home, if studios were opening up or not etc. Hence, we thought of creating one platform which will make life easier for everyone. One place where we can have everything together and over time we kept updating it, adding useful information and resources that would help someone with shooting from home, having a smooth remote workflow for post-production etc. We added links for SOPs and guidelines on how to do it. We got everything in one place to track the SOPs in the lockdown or in the unlock period. All the confusion and the chaos was ever-changing, for instance, Kerala was the first to open for shooting and suddenly it went back in lockdown. Now Bombay is opening up and it has all been a bit chaotic. We wanted to create something that would help bring clarity and provide assistance to people."

He further added, "We do Content Production and we shot at least six campaigns from home and we were constantly having requests like, "Arey, live shoot kar sakte hai kya?" And then we would find solutions for that. Goa also opened up earlier. We were realising that there is this constant demand for work and there was a lot of work sent by the brands but there were so many restrictions and we wanted to follow the rules. A lot of people asked us for work. Even now, on our social media who are really good at their work are reaching out to us for work opportunities. So, that's where we thought that we must have one platform that gives out information about ‘what’s happening, what is opening, what is possible, how one can make that work’ etc.”

Is the Map a free tool or do you plan on monetising it?

"No. None of that. We thought if we can do it, let's do it. We were also releasing articles on how to work from home, how shoots from home can be done. So, we’ve collated all the information for the people."

How do you think the lockdown and restrictions have affected Content Producers and Creators when it comes to creativity? 

"All of us have gone back to our early days when we wanted to make films and didn't have money. We had simple cell phones and old cameras. We shot films and gradually started growing and built a career and thought that without assistants and technicians, we can't work. Now we have pushed back to our film school days, all the brands have now started working in reverse. So, if an Influencer is cast in the film, we would first write the script in reverse. We used to see what is available in the house, write ideas in reverse, and play within those limitations. The other hassle was for the actors as they had to do a lot of stuff. Earlier, they were assisted with everything and now they had to handle the equipment as well. So, we have to train them and ask them to upload stuff. It got pretty exhausting. Creativity-wise it can be restricting but we had to work with whatever we had."

How do you think the Content space in India has evolved?

"Content has become decentralised. Earlier only people with money could make it and now with all these equipments and digital media, there are more platforms to show your work. The lockdown has been a boon for a lot of Influencers. They got more work because the only way brands could reach out to the audience was through digital as TVCs weren't being shot. So, everything became digital and people who wanted to become Digital Influencers utilised this time. The problem is that there is a lot of clutter. Now everyone is sharing information and breaking through that clutter is tough. Influencers who were already doing well got more reach during the lockdown. Brands could directly reach out to the influencers and that happened."

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B͟A͟C͟K͟ O͟N͟ S͟E͟T͟, A͟L͟L͟ G͟U͟A͟R͟D͟S͟ O͟N͟! 😷🧴🩺☑️🎥 . We have resumed live shoots! We are following safe shooting guidelines and SOPs as per post-COVID-19 Unlock relaxations. . Here is a quick glimpse of the "New Normal" on our film set. . Chegg it out ! And do reach out to us to know more. . Stay Safe; Stay Well 😊 . Shot & Directed by @giffy_kewal . #covid #coronavirusindia #coronavirus #indianfilm #indianfilmindustry #indianfilmmakers #indiancinema #indiafilms #filmindia #contentcreators #newnormal #filmproductionindia #contentcreators #indianfilmproduction #indiancinema #unlock #indianfilmproducers #filmmakersindia #filmmakingindia #covidfilm #covidindia #covid19tracker #covidtracker #contentproduction #indianfilmmaker #covid19india

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Are there any lockdown collabs you’ve done or seen that stand out? 

"There is this one film we did on Amazon Prime which had very high VFX starring Biswa and Rahul Subramanian and it was pretty challenging because the entire film was a CG which we pulled-off through a remote shoot, so, that got a lot of attention. Even Amazon mentioned that it is the best lockdown film so far. That's something we are proud of. Pulling-off a CG film and shooting from home, back-end post-production process and mostly different people working from home, from outside Mumbai shared heavy files over the internet and that's how we did it."

Has the approval process become easier or are clients still being demanding?

"Clients are clients. Since there are these limitations, you shouldn't have deadlines that we used to have before. The circumstances are not normal and we can't pull off the shoot in a limited period. Some things are not going to change. I am strictly telling people not to have deadlines but they are still having it and somehow people are still delivering."

There is so much you have done in this space. Did you also take up any personal project at this time?

"We didn't do anything on a personal level. Our aim was to save the business internally and think about how we can restructure it for the clients and how we can survive by paying full salaries to people. Thankfully, we managed to stay afloat even though the budgets have been cut majorly. So, our whole aim was to save the business. Luckily, our hands were full with enough brand work."

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𝘾𝙊𝙑𝙄𝘿-19 𝙎𝙖𝙛𝙚 𝙎𝙚𝙩 𝘾𝙚𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙛𝙞𝙚𝙙! 📽️✅ . Adding one more layer of awareness on our film sets - all of us at the production team have taken the Safe Set International training and have completed the COVID-19 (Level-A) Certification by 🙌 . . #covid #coronavirusindia #coronavirus #indianfilm #indianfilmindustry #indianfilmmakers #indiancinema #indiafilms #filmindia #contentcreators #newnormal #filmproductionindia #contentcreators #indianfilmproduction #indiancinema #unlock #indianfilmproducers #filmmakersindia #filmmakingindia #covidfilm #covidindia #covid19tracker #covidtracker #contentproduction #indianfilmmaker #covid19india

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You can check out the tool here: Content Production Status Map

Also Read- #KetchupTalks: Filmmaker, Devdatta Manjrekar shares the experience of shooting his debut short film, ‘Vikat’

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