Thursday, December 21, 2006

Prahlad Kakkar @ IT-BHU

Hey everybody! IT-BHU's Annual Management Fest OPULENCE is ready to rock the country. The latest buzz is of genius adman Prahlad Kakkar joining the festivities from Jan 12- 14, 2007. To register for the various events at OPULENCE, please visit the website. There're plenty of exciting events and a lot of cash to be won.
Here's a short profile of Prahlad for the uninitiated-
"To me, advertisements are like having children. You give birth to them and your full attention and focus; sometimes they turn out great, sometimes they turn out to be juvenile delinquents. You just have to give it your best." - Prahlad Kakkar, CEO, Genesis

Success in the creative world lies in your ability to capture the simple, identifiable, everyday small things. In the words of Albert Szent-Gyorgi, Genius is seeing what everyone has seen, and thinking what no one has thought. This is how I would like to define one of India's finest ad filmmaker Prahlad Kakkar. From "Khatmal Niwas" to his own cigar brand PK, Kakkar's journey has been one filled with infinite variety and innovation. Besides a hectic work schedule Kakkar manages a teahouse in Mumbai, runs a jazz club and trains people in scuba diving in his own school located in Lakshwadeep. He has been inducted into the Indian Ad Film Makers Hall of Fame. A graduate from Fergusson College, Pune, he started work in 1972, with filmmaker Shyam Benegal. His monthly income was Rs. 300, which, he spend in setting up an office table at "Khatmal Niwas''(the place was infested with mosquitoes, therefore the name). For six years, he assisted Benegal in making ad films and art films, example Ankur, Manthan, and Bhumika. He later went on to set up his own production house "Genesis". Initially he accepted anything that came his way. The difference was in the way he presented those ads. In his words they were special, irreverent and over a period of time it became a style. The one thing Kakkar detests is a "boring script''. However, if he happens to come across one that can put a smile to his face, he crafts it into a memorable film. According to Kakkar it's the human element in ad film that makes all the difference. Being able to pick up mannerisms and emotions are the key to a successful film. The idea is to be able to relate to human emotions. He is against the use of technology for the sake of technology. Unless and until it is vital to the script, Kakkar avoids it, since it has little or no value. Presently, he directs TV commercials, trains assistants and sets them up. He has no qualms about teaching youngsters his style. That's the only way to stay young. For Kakkar, being young at heart makes all the difference. Of all the ad filmmakers, Kakkar works for the youngest brands in the market. Pepsi, Kit Kat, Nestle, Maggie Sauces and many more. He believes to understand the young, you have to be young yourself.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Homeward Bound-2

It’s vacation time again! Not yet, though. I have an exam tomorrow and one day after tomorrow, but heck! I’m a final year engineering student, and am supposed to stay as far away from books as from Suniel Shetty’s movies. So how has life changed post Homeward Bound-I.

Firstly, I am two months older; hence I am more worldly wise than I was two months earlier. A direct evidence of this is that I’ve already booked my tickets and for a change, I don’t have to squeeze into that tiny side lower berth with unattractive bedfellows.

Secondly, I am a job richer.

Thirdly, I am a few hundred hairs poorer. Clinic Ayurvedic is working overtime to delay the natural disaster, but I guess evil does triumph over the hood sometimes. The difference between Marilyn Monroe and my hair is that people don’t stare expectantly when a wind blows.

Fourthly, I have a new toy at home- a brand new digital camera. Mom said she’s waiting for me to come and operate it. Considering my dubious record of damaging toy guns inside 24 hours, I doubt if this is a wise decision. Anyway, I’ll play around with the thing and read out verses from The Alchemist if I screw it up.

Fifthly, India has slipped to number 6 in the ODI rankings. All our batsmen are competing for the lowest score and Mohammad Kaif generally leads from the rear. Dada is back but I hope he doesn’t bring his grandfatherly reflexes to the field. We mustn’t forget that he’s an excellent player of left arm orthodox spin bowled from over the wicket and pitched on off stump. We mustn’t also forget that he’s an excellent slip fielder when the ball comes straight into his hands. So what if he chases the ball like journalists chase Mithun Chakraborty’s second cousin.

Sixthly, Hexaware Technologies has acquired FocusFrame. Ok, I think Powder Metallurgy is getting the better of me.

Before leaving for Secunderabad, I will visit the Sunderbans in West Bengal. We’re a group of five, and plan to enjoy these last few months to the hilt- the Sunderbans now, and probably Goa or Kathmandu in March. Of course, our Goa plans hinge on the appetite of the tigers in Sunderbans. I just hope this jungle isn’t like Sariska in Jaipur. After waiting with a finger on the camera for hours, all we* saw was a few crows, monkeys, and dogs. We saw a few donkeys and tried to convince ourselves it was a sambar or something.

Each time I go home I resolve to spend time judiciously and watch as little TV as possible. Needless to say, TV hours end up being as little as 15 hours a day. This time too, I’m determined to read a few novels. I’ve already asked Pondy Baba (kabaadiwaala turned gyan guru) to bring me a few books. Let’s see if this time the spiders touch it before I do.

I don’t have much to write today. I have an exam tomorrow, and though I’ve read everything, I can’t say I know enough to breeze through the paper. Also, it’s 1:30 am and I could do with some sleep before my standard exam wake-up time of 5:30 am. Wish me luck for the paper. I promise to return and post updates of my trip to the Sunderbans and my stay at home.