By Ankita Jain
Originating from a bedroom studio and an inexpensive DSLR camera, Fuzz Factory Productions has grown into a sizeable video production company, credited with some of the most creative music videos in the industry. It is a multimedia company that covers an array of audio-visual production services. The company produces documentaries, music videos and advertisements. With a desire to work on what they are passionate about and to own it, Rohit Shakya, Prasiit Sthapit and Pratik Shakya started the production house in 2013. Today they work on everything from TV commercials, music video production, audio recording, mixing and mastering, music production, film scoring, event documentation, documentary production and photography. In short, they take on all size projects that demand creativity.
While Rohit is a musician and Prasiit is a photographer, Pratik comes with the business management background. Hence, they make a perfect team. Though the team admits that political turmoil, lack of infrastructure and uncertainty can be frustrating, they say the country also offers room to experiment and grow.
While they started with smaller and infrequent projects, ‘Rewind’ was their first large scale project that gave them a boost. But it was Rohit John Chettri’s Bistarai Bistarai which brought them into limelight. Prasiit shares, “Initially, our projects were with people from our own circle, like Kutumba and Rohit John Chettri. Working with other big names would mean more pressure and manpower. So we chose to climb one step at a time.” Fuzz Factory has not created any content that has gone viral yet, but that is a calculated approach . “We want to create good quality content that is creative, witty and meaningful and we have been doing just that,” says Rohit.
With advertisements like Coke and WWF, Nepali ads are finally moving past cheesy dialogues and are being presented in a more sensible and creative way. The creator of these advertisements, Fuzz Factory Productions, still believes there is little space for creativity when the platform is commercial. “Gradually the content of advertisements is changing and we are glad. But still when it comes to commercials, the scope is limited,” tells Rohit.
To work with no barriers and limitations, the team decided to explore Nepal and that is how Fuzzscape came into being. Since 2016, Fuzz Factory Productions have been putting out an original series titled Fuzzscape where they head out of the valley to some city or village and collaborate with local artists to create worthy music. The entire experience is then documented and uploaded on their YouTube channel. As practicing musicians and artists, they have largely been influenced by the Western tradition of the arts. A need for introspection was felt and they started searching for musical traditions and culture within the country. “We knew that Nepal has a very rich and diverse cultural heritage but had very little access to it. Thus, we embarked on a journey to explore all that was ours and all that we had not been able to embrace,” they say. “The series is the result of our love for travelling perfectly blended with music,” says Prasiit. So far they have created six episodes which document the journey to Kavre, Sermanthang, Birgunj, Bhojpur, Janakpur and Manang.
Their latest episode Manang features Yarthung, the horse-riding festival. In the documentary, Kathmandu-based artists Rajan Shrestha and Rohit Shakya travel to Manang with Karma Tsering Gurung, a Kathmandu-based photographer originally from Manang to interact with the youth organisers of Yarthung and create a song in Manange language with them.
Fuzzscape has created a few songs inspired by traditional folk music, several music videos, and a series of archival videos from the areas travelled.
In an initiative to archive the undiscovered and least known traditional music of Nepal, the Fuzzscape team has created a different archive section on its website. The section covers interviews of artists discovered during Fuzzscape series. The medium explores Nepal’s diverse intangible heritage as a source of inspiration and focuses on its documentation and archiving. “Archiving is a way to preserve our culture and helps researchers in their study,” opines Rohit, who is also the member of the National Archives of Nepal. When he first visited the department as a researcher, he was shocked to know that many of the files had been destroyed during the earthquake and the remaining are in bad shape. “Being artists, it is our responsibility too to preserve our culture in whatever ways we can. And the archive section is one such initiative,” explains Prasiit. The archive materials further talk about the community, culture and the arts of the different areas.
Today where every other artist is working towards their respective YouTube channel, Fuzz Factory is looking beyond the video sharing platform. “We want to explore other platforms too and are planning live concerts with undiscovered artists of our country,” confirms Rohit. They want to give the artists who were a part of the Fuzzscape series the recognition they deserve. Besides, the team wants to explore the medium of pop up exhibitions. “We believe in the simple idea that if people can’t reach you then at least you can make every effort to reach the masses,” concludes Prasiit.