Director Ashish Panda believes that music videos doesn’t only serve the purpose of melody, but also narrate stories. Hailing from Odisha’s Brajrajanagar, Ashish has directed numerous chartbusters including ‘Kabhi Yaadon Mein Aao’, ‘Humnava Mere’. ‘Meri Ashiqui’ is the recent release of Ashish with Jubin Nautiyal.
However, he realised that filmmaking is his call towards the end of his engineering days. “Though I was a Mechanical Engineering student, my inclination was always towards film making. So after my final year, I moved to Bombay chasing my dreams.”
Mumbai is known as the destination for dreams. During his initial years, Ashish met the then upcoming directors like Anurag Basu. He got his first break with Anil V. Kumar who is known as the topmost directors of Indian television. He worked with him in ‘Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki’ and ‘Kusum’ before moving to T-Series. He says, “I have worked with Kundan Shah in a few television projects and in my last short film ‘Bulbul’. He referred me to filmmakers Radhika Rao and Vinay Sapru. Since then, I am associated with T-Series.
Similarly, like storytelling through music videos, Ashish believes in experimenting with ideas. ‘Kabhi Yaadon Mein Aao’ starring Divya Khosla Kumar was a big challenge for him. He shares, “It was challenging because Divya Khosla Kumar was getting back to the screens after a leap.
After analysing a lot I decided to present a mother-son relationship through this song. Most of my teammates were not convinced, which brought me many negative feedbacks. However, audience found it unique and loved the presentation. It crossed 100 million views at that time.”
Being one of the frontline music video directors, Ashish says that it is equally challenging and fun to work with singers who are not trained actors. “You see, in many music videos singers do perform. It is giving shape to a clay mould with perfect understanding. Sometimes, they lack expressions which is visible. But what matters in the end is how the story has been shown.
If say about why love stories in music videos like ‘Meri Ashiqui’ and ‘Humnava Mere’ are remembered, it is because they are the unfinished stories.
I take up any project after the completion of background work. I feel that I am more of a storyteller than just a director.” Hopefully, we will get to watch a feature film directed by him very soon.
Ashish puts filmmaking at the first place. Apart from music video direction, he has made a short film called ‘Bulbul’ written by his mentor Kundan Shah. He concludes saying, “You need not run to be the best, because your efforts, determination will coronate you at the suitable throne. Your dreams should express your path, and to grow, you need to keep going until the last.”