When passion along with experimentation complements your work and all the team-mates are learners at the same time, each of the small steps that you take becomes so important that you end up doing more and more. Jazz Productions is a production company where a group of like-minded and passionate young folks work, learn and experiment. It was founded by Labesh Shrestha, Aneel Neupane and Tejaswee Raj Thala.
The story of a startup of Jazz Production is quite interesting. Aneel was working in a studio in Mumbai at that time while Tejaswee and Labesh had already incepted the work unofficially through facebook page. Aneel said, “Tejaswee advised me that I should come to Nepal and work. I was 22 and making a lot of money there. But the sole reason that bought me here was- I had always been a learner and I wanted to learn, struggle and contribute in my own country. So, I came to Nepal and we registered the company officially in October 2014.”
Soon after the company was registered, Tejaswee went abroad, andÂ Labesh went on a documentary project around Nepal. Aneel was left all alone to leadÂ the company. Meanwhile, one of his friends, Prabin Basnet Kaji showed interest in the work and asked if he could intern. When Prabin approached him, he happily accepted his words and said that instead of interning, they could just work and learn together. After that, they carried their works forward by taking up various small projects, music videos and wedding projects. “We did not have much experience and that working was not easy for us. So, what we decided was we would act confident in front of clients and after the project was finalized, we would learn to do that and eventually complete the project,” he said.
While in India Aneel had made a commercial video with a friend where he learned the work flow in the production process. And this became their strong point in adding up clients. However they started their work from close PR and Facebook. They insisted on the formal workflow by making contracts, signing them with the clients and quoting the appropriate budgets. At the same time, they did a lot of research on internet on how the work is to be carried out.
Aneel said that it was very difficult to convince people that they could pull through the project at first. He said, “As we think of our projects retrospectively, each of them were very ambitious and challenging and the trend is same for the current projects as well. For example, in the official music video of Kamero, we did the set design by ourselves. We worked with the make-up artists for the first time. Also, we used VFX and Special effects. Because we all are doing something new and interesting, we have gelled up together and are growing together.”
Today, there are seven core team members in the company who look after the accounting, content writing, art direction, sound/design, direction, cinematography and management who are “best at whatever they do”. Well, in their case- Passion is the fuel. They surprise and inspire each other through their work.
After a short period of time, Labesh re-joined the company. They have categorized their services into three sections viz photography and films, CGI and animation and branding and design. They have two departments in the company. One focuses on the ‘Client’s projects’ while the other focuses on ‘Passion Projects’. Â Aneel said, “The reason why we did this is doing only client’s projects would not be interesting and challenging. BOB was one of our passion projects.”
The biggest opportunity that Aneel thinks is there are very ‘few people who want to experiment’ in the market. He said, “Audiences have matured and their needs should be well catered. Somehow, the needs of the audiences have been catered well. However, we work to surprise the audience. We work so as to make them understand what they are seeking which is beyond their imagination”.
They understood that while they had been working, it was essential that they make their work reach the audience as well. Furthermore he said that they have accelerated their work from last six months only. Before that, they did not receive feedback from the audiences very much and felt that they were not getting returns of their work and had almost closed down the company.
“In Nepal, when anyone makes a video, they think it is their expenses and not an asset. So it is very difficult working here,” Aneel shared. He further said that our economy is small as well. “There are very few people who appreciate experiment. However, our clients are professional since we run formally,” he added.
Now they are targeting international clients. At the same time, Tejaswee is working for Jazz Productions- Australia and Prabin is working for Jazz Productions- America. They are also working and researching to produce a feature film. Aneel said, “Our ultimate goal is to shape the industry. We want to create an impressive impact and work to represent Nepal in every work we do.”
“There are a lot of inspirations around us. Question yourself on what should be happening and what is your responsibility towards the change. Come up and work as per your interests,” he suggests the aspiring Nepali youths.
Startups for a better Nepal!
Presented By: Anusha Kadel