Long Song: The Music and Times of Parvaaz
Great music, an untold story and a contemporary social perspective! This is the story of one of India’s foremost rock bands, Parvaaz, who, still early in their careers, regularly walk the thin line between opportunity and rejection, success and anonymity, inspiration and boredom, hope and despair.
About The Project
I was a Video Producer, working for ESPN in June 2014 when I had a head-on collision with Parvaaz’s music.
To say it moved me would be an understatement…it kinda shook me.
This music has a certain familiarity that pulled me in and then took me on an adventure through completely unfamiliar and exciting soundscapes.
My recent estrangment from contemporary music, due to a series of reinventions in my personal and professional life, had been dusted off.
Parvaaz’s music evokes a sense of space and time, like very few things manmade.
I often joke with the band members that their music belongs to a genre of its own…”spacious rock” perhaps.
It cuts across genres and yet, somehow, stayed grounded. Breathtakingly uncomromisingly expansive compositions coexist harmoniously with philosophical Urdu and Kashmiri poetry.
Perhaps that’s why, as I discovered over time, so many people find their music to be spiritual in nature. Their listeners often say that they can understand what Parvaaz’s songs are about even though they don’t get a single word of the lyrics.
I had been a filmmaker at heart for over a decade now and was looking to sink my teeth into a project that would inspire me for sure but also allow me complete control on its execution while staying within a reasonable budget, all of which pointed to a documentary.
Now, I had found a compelling subject.
I have seen a few music films that look back at the careers of established musicians.
I wanted to capture a moment in time when an up-and-coming band teeming with talent is trying to make a living out of doing something that they love doing and are really good at. Even within the year since I’ve tracked their journey since their first album, they have become one of India’s premiere progressive rock bands.
As part of the film, I had wanted to record the band playing live and, out of this simple idea was born a full-fledged themed concert called “Transitions” that I produced and directed. Here is that concert in its entirety:
Driven mainly by their music, this feature-length documentary will also try to capture the band’s roots – the coming together of two Kashmiri muslims, one Bangalorean Hindu and a Mangalorean Catholic – their struggles and challenges; the way the music scene in India works, the stigma attached to careers in music, and yet, how their music both arises from and is devoid of all the noise around them. Their journey also mirrors the larger journey of the burgeoning Indian independent music scene. Regardless of where Parvaaz reach in their careers as artists in the future, this film would have captured the promise that their music and their story holds today.
I would love it if you could join me on this ride by sharing in the costs of making this film.
Regardless, I hope you watch and enjoy this film eventually.
About This Team
Gokul Chakravarthy – Producer, Director, Director of Photography
Nov 2014 – present – Producer/ Director at Uktopia Creations. The first major project under this banner was “Transitions”:
Oct 2014 to Nov 2015 – Director at Impact Index, a cricket-based analytics website. Videos produced for Impact Index:
Jan 2013 to Oct 2014 – Managing Producer at ESPN’s cricket website (also the world’s largest sports website) ESPNcricinfo.com. For ESPNcricinfo.com I have conceived, produced and directed many videos when I was the managing producer there. Some of those things that I personally like are:
My other film work includes:
a single-shot music video shot using an iPhone:
Karthik Shetty – Production Manager, AD-1, Asst. Cameraman
“Shetty”, as we call him, was the Production Manager on Parvaaz’s first music video, “Beparwah” (shared in the “Statement” section of this campaign). He was also my Asst. Editor, AD-1 and one of the camera crew on “Transitions (also shared in the “Statement” section of this campaign). A generous team player, Shetty can hold a project together with his time and people management skills. Having worked with Parvaaz already on their music video was a big plus as well.Music videos
- Parvaaz – “Beparwah” music video — Role: AD + Line producer
- Thalavattam – Impromptu jam — Role: Complete
- Mad Orange Fireworks – Album launch promo — Role: Director + Cinematographer
- Titan “Gift of Time”, Diwali film – Role: Unit production management
Vandana Menon – Editor, Associate Director
Vandana is my trusted partner in this project. She came on board during the post-production and has already contributed a lot to the shape of the film. Here’s her IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6410053/