A bunch of music directors and film makers attribute their considerable popularity to the Internet. They have taken the online route to launch their careers. From uploading music albums and films on YouTube and gaining technical expertise, to networking and creating a fan base, they have made the virtual world their own. Some of them share their success stories with K. Jeshi

Rajesh M.

Music director

This young music director has a busy schedule. He has provided music for Kurivattam, a Tamil film slated for release in the Andamans. He is composing music for two short films that will compete in the popular Naalaya Iyakkunar short films competition. And, he’s completed recording a song for a new Tamil film Chennai Superkings in Tamil, based on the IPL theme. And, all this, he says he owes to the Internet.

His journey

My music albums on YouTube gave a good start to my career. I got recognised as a music director only because people noticed my work online. I had the opportunity to work on a Tamil Film, Vetrivel, for a filmmaker in Malaysia. I composed five songs in different genres. I also composed for an album titled Nee Illai Enraal, a lover’s day special for the Tamil Sangam in Switzerland. The Internet helped me establish contacts across the world. My music album, Coimbatoreaa Kokkaa, became a big hit. Another song “All the Best’ on facing exams without fear was also well received by the student community. I have also made music for film makers in Sri Lanka. Sitting in Chennai, I have composed for a number of advertisements through the online platform.

Why online?

For newcomers, it’s an excellent medium to network with producers and distributors. I update my work regularly on FaceBook and Twitter, and the feedback is immediate and highly motivating. Anyone with a creative talent can just go online to start with. We have digital recording. Music director A.R. Rahman okays his takes in the U.S. to a recording happening here in Chennai. That’s the reach of technology. Two of my musicians sit in Hyderabad, and they send me individual tracks over rapid share, and I do the mixing in Chennai. High speed connectivity ensures that files as huge 1 GB or 2 GB are transferred immediately. A lot of compositions and conversations happen over the online channel. It saves time and gives that extra space to explore variety in music.

Websites I visit

www.soundcloud.com, where composers update their work. I upload my music there and people worldwide can to listen to my compositions

S. Mahesh Babu

Filmmaker

His full-length feature film Munjanmam made entirely in digital format is ready for release. To ensure low-cost production, he shot the 90-minute film in his Panasonic handycam in HD format. The theme is reincarnation and the budget of the film is just Rs. One lakh. His objective is to make people aware of low cost filmmaking.

The story

I uploaded my trailer on YouTube and more than 90 people, some of them from the U.S., viewed it and gave me feedback. I composed music with a single keyboard — Korg Triton Studio — and with the help of Protools that is available online. I completed the video, songs and re-recording, virtually. Dubbing was done with Protools. And, the sound is crystal clear.

Why online?

Brings in popularity. But, there have to be more avenues to generate money too. The virtual world is a boon for newcomers to get recognised. My first film Gavanathedi (in search of love), a Baduga movie, was shot digitally with the help of online tools. It had a theatrical release and ran for 50 days in Ooty. The virtual world, chatting and skyping have changed the way of filmmaking.

Websites I visit

www.digidesign.com, www.adobe.com and Google search. For music, I visit SwarShala in www.swarsystems.com to know more about Indian instruments such as the tabla, mridangam, and flute; www.sudeepaudio.com and www.korg.com. I also visit www.avid.com to learn about editing software

Sivaram Hariharan

Singer and Entertainer

He is a professor of Organic Chemistry at PSG College of Pharmacy. After 20 years in the U.S., he did his PhD and post-doctoral education, and moved to Coimbatore in 2009. He has over 15 years of experience in entertaining audiences with music both here and abroad. He has performed at the annual India-Australia fair at the Sydney Olympic stadium. He has a dedicated channel on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/omsriguru. It has over 90 subscribers, and 10,000 hits. He sings Kishore Kumar numbers at music shows and uploads them.

The story

YouTube has no barriers. You could be sitting in Coimbatore or Mumbai, but the online channels help you get your talent across the globe and reach out to fans .

Why online?

It’s a professional tool that helps you edit your videos and take your music to a wider audience. I launched my Vedic Chants CD on the online forum and people ordered for it from Australia and the U.S. I also teach Vedic chants online. Many NRIs learn music from Ustads here through Skype and video chats. Anyone who has talent can make use of the online media productively. For example, Gangnam Style became such a rage. He was an average guy who went on to become a superstar. I have also shared excerpts from my yet-to-be published book Rumble, a story on elephant poaching, to get feedback.

Websites I visit

I visit websites of musicians to build my music collection. I credit all my popularity to the Internet. I visit www.carnatic.com, www.smashhits.com, and www.musicindiaonline.com. You are spoilt for choice

G. Shyam Sundar

Brand promotion, Advertisement campaigns and Short film maker

He chose the ubiquitous parotta as the theme for his music album. “Everyone loves parotta,” laughs Shyam Sundar whose album got an overwhelming feedback when he uploaded it on YouTube.

The story

I sent the link of the music album to www.behindwood.com, which approved it and uploaded it on their website. I have plans to shoot a remix version of the parotta song in Singapore.

Why online?

It gives free publicity. Music director Ravi Menon came up with a catchy composition and the album got a good start on the virtual media. This led me to make a 20-minute short film titled love o love, a comedy entertainer. The film captures a director’s passion for film-making and his search for a heroine to play the part in the film. The film got a number of views and the song from the film ‘Roadla oru ponna kaanom’ became a big hit. People came to know about my work only because of my online popularity. A number of youngsters who acted in the Parotta song also got noticed for their work. The reach on the online media is phenomenal.

Websites I visit

I learnt everything about direction, editing, and choreography online. I visit sites on editing software. Music workstation that is available online such as Cubase software and Fruity loops help amateurs compose their own music. It gives you the free space to experiment with new ideas. If you have a concept in mind and a willingness to learn, help is available online.

What next?

A full-length horror film to be shot digitally with 5-D effect! And take the social networking by storm.