SHUTTER CORP. GOING BEYOND THE MEDIOCRITY OF THE INDUSTRY
These days when it seems like every other guy has a DSLR camera of some kind and every other YouTube channel has become commercialized, we are left wanting that raw artistic expression. Not that there’s anything wrong with commercialized contents but the mass movement towards it has drowned out the art form.
Recently, we came across a show called Audiobites by Shutter Corp. which has a knack for unveiling that authenticity that we crave for and the guests that come up in the show unveils their rawest point of view. So, this time on TNM Radar, we interview the man behind the show, Mr. Kailash Gurung. We get an in-depth understanding to his art form that is filmmaking and learn the story of the name.
HOW DID YOU START WITH FILMMAKING?
My earliest memory of video making was when I made a parody of the popular anime “Dragon Ball Z”. To make that video I had to use Adobe After Effects and a green screen for special effects. It was definitely difficult to export that video because my computer then only had 128MB of RAM, and just rendering it took like 3 days. Plus, back then we still had the dreaded load shedding so while rendering, the lights used to go out so I had to start all over again. Then after finding glitches when playing back, I had to re-render the entire video. Basically that was how most of my early videos were made.
Technically, the first camera I started out with was a Canon 650D, but soon I got stuck with a Canon 550D (lower spec model). I don’t really remember this but from what I was told, from the time I was a kid, I kept telling people that I always wanted a camera. I remember seeing one of those popular Sony Cybershot digital cameras which had the flip screen being featured in magazines. Its cost was more than 20,000 NPR which I obviously couldn’t afford back then.
To tackle that situation, I actually sent a letter to one of my relative who is in the States asking her to send me cameras, a laptop, and other equipment. The funny thing is that I put the letter in the small red post box in Bhrikutimandap without applying any postal stamps on the envelope. Somehow, it was delivered to the relative in the States! I got news that my Didi had received the letter. But it was only later she said that she would send me a camera. She said she had a Nikon Camera that she could send me but I was already using my then girlfriend’s Canon camera. Having a Canon camera would mean that our lenses would be compatible and we could interchange lenses, so I asked for that instead. So Didi sent me the money to purchase a camera and that’s how I got the Canon 650D.
However, not long after that, I had accidentally dropped my girlfriend’s camera and she got really angry with me. To make amends, I gave her my camera and took hers. The camera she had was a 550D and that was how I ended up with the Canon 550D which was my primary camera for a good period of time. That camera didn’t even have auto focus. Although, I have to say, it was that limitation that forced me to learn how to manually adjust the focus or come up with creative ways to light the subject. In the end, it really created a strong foundation for me.
WHEN DID YOU START WORKING IN THIS FIELD PROFESSIONALLY?
Getting started professionally came from a point of need. I had just joined bachelors and it was then that I had also recently got into a relationship. I wasn’t getting any pocket money at home even though I begged for it. I really needed the money to take her out so I thought of ways on how I could make some money, which lead to freelancing photography and videography. It started out with taking photos for pubs and restaurants. I got paid in fried rice and money. Initially, I was bad at saving so always ended up back to being broke but I slowly learned to save up and I used the funds to buy more gear. Later, my friend asked me if I could do a shoot for someone he knew. I took the gig and that’s how I got into wedding photography.
WHAT DOES THIS ART FORM MEAN TO YOU?
To simply put it, it’s therapeutic for me. Art has always been something that I’ve been passionate about since I was a kid and filmmaking and photography is just a medium. It was my go to activity whenever I had free time back then and still is now. The main aspect I really like about it is that you can not only tell a story but live stories through it. We all have this one life to live and there are many factors in one’s life that limits you from trying out different things. It can be frustrating at times as we all have multiple passions but just this one life to explore all of them. I wish I had multiple lives so I could explore all of them to my heart’s content. Film is this medium through which I can get as close to as getting to live multiple lives at once. Through the character in the films you get to live their lives, live their story.
Also it’s crazy to know that a piece of work you create can have an impact on someone else on such a deeper molecular level to trigger release of a cluster of hormones. And to know that I am responsible for that just blows my brains out.
HOW DID YOU COME TO START SHUTTER CORP. AND THE SHOW?
It was when I was freelancing; a few people started recognizing my work. I harbored the fear that this number could grow further and I could amass a larger following of people that would recognize me. So as a way for me to work around without disclosing my name or face I came up with the brand Shutter Corp. How I came up with the name is simply from the camera term, Shutter and Corp. comes from the Marine Corp. Dad was in the army so that made sense to me. For the logo, I asked my friend to make one for me for free and voila. Right now, Shutter Corp.’s core team consists of just me and my bhai, Sambat Basnet. For our podcast we have our host Neha Hirachan. As for Audiobites, the inspiration came from those late nights where I used to listen to popular podcasts on the internet. One of them was Joe Rogan’s podcasts and I used to find those talks very interesting and enlightening. That inspired me to start one in Nepal. Actually, the original motive was to use it to promote my other company “Moodways Travel” in the event the podcast takes off. But later as I went on to make more episodes I started to enjoy the process. Being present in the set, I got to listen first hand stories of our guests. This made me realize that everyone has a story to tell and Audiobites could become that platform for people to share their story.
So far, people’s response to Audiobites has been surreal. We never really thought it would be where it is today. We even got multiple offers from people who wanted to buy the rights to Audiobites. For the future we, would like to bring in people from all backgrounds to share their stories.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE FOR SHUTTER CORP.?
I haven’t really put any concrete thoughts into what direction Shutter Corp. will be heading to. But I do know that it going somewhere I can be happy with. There are times where I am afraid for the company since I have poured my heart and soul into it, and the what-ifs scare me at times.
I also want to make a short feature film in the future. Personally, I really want Shutter Corp. to be one of the main driving forces to change the mediocrity that exists in today’s market. There are so many amazing talented filmmakers out there that don’t get enough credit or exposure. I want to collaborate and work with such people on a ton of dream projects I have in store for the world to see.
Every day, every project is a blessing for me. I learn and grow from each project. I and Shutter Corp. will strive for growth so we can bring Nepal and, one day, the world what it has never seen before.