Not many would travel across the country on their motorbikes to shoot a music video. Meet a group of five: Ananthu Rajan, Bibin Joseph, Ranjith Nair, Akhil Santhosh and Arun Babu who travelled 7,000 km, covering 30 locations in 10 states from Kerala to Kashmir.
According to Ananthu, who runs an editing studio called Cinemartist in Pala, Kottayam, it was music director Anoop Nirichan who planted the seed for the road trip in his head. "He suggested to shoot The Road while on a road trip as the lyrics speak about travel,” says Ananthu, a self-confessed wanderlust. The Road, which has lyrics by Babu TT is rendered by Crishna. Christakala provided backup vocals.
To stay true to the feel of the song, Ananthu and his team decided to get on their bikes to shoot the song. “But only after preparing a route map,” says Ananthu, who add that they went on the road trip on June 2019.
The group, who travelled on three bikes, carried just essential equipment. Says Ananthu, “The only way we could reduce our expenditure for the video was to travel by bike. And although none of us have gone on such a long bike ride, everybody was up to the challenge.” According to Ananthu, he raised the funds for the journey for the entire team himself. “I borrowed the money from family and friends,” he says, adding that they managed to complete the project within a budget of Rs 130,000.
As it was raining in some of the places they were driving through they were forced to stop for lodging at many places. “It was my responsibility to take care of my friends who had accompanied me without any hesitation. Our initial plan was to put tents up at petrol pumps. We had to change our plans due to the rain.” The team who did not carry proper shoes and jackets managed to withstand the cold weather too.
A scary instance was when one of the bikes skidded off the road. “Fortunately, all was ok,” says Ananthu, who admits that he was worried about the journey. “But I enjoyed the trip.”
Although he wondered if the launch of the video would be delayed as the pandemic had affected their post-production work, “we were able to finish our work on time.”
A fan of Gautham Vasudev’s work, Ananthu, on a whim decided to send to Gautham’s production company. To his delight, they liked the project and The Road, which explores the relationship between man and travel, was officially launched through Gautham’s YouTube channel, Ondraga Entertainment. Ananthu is also on cloud nine as various celebrities such as VK Prakash and Antony Varghese have shared the video.
The 26-year-old, who has gone on to work with Anoop on Love Lock, a breezy love song, during the lockdown, chuckles as he recalls how he had to hide his bike trip from his family. “I had to hide the truth from my family that we were going all the way to Kashmir on our bikes to shoot the video. But when my family saw our video, they were happy and proud. This song demanded such an effort and we were ready to face the challenges that would come our way,” says Ananthu, signing off.