Focus Three young friends come up with 69mm, a music video with a message

The story of how the music video 69mm got made is as formulaic as a film script. There is friendship, there is disappointment and frustration, there is suspense and there is a nail-biting climax and ends with a happily ever after.

The people behind the music video 69mm are Nimal V.V., Rahul V. Raju and Rameez Salim. They are college mates who studied engineering at Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT). Did you know that 69mm is the length of a cigarette? They tell me. The trio’s muse was Kessi, a South African national. “Although he was older and he was a friend, he was also a chain smoker,” Nimal says.

Nimal found out that Kessi had ‘some smoking induced disease’ and how the diagnosis shattered Kessi. Kessi’s condition crystallized a desire to do something ‘anti-smoking’.

“A car, two cameras and a tripod and the three of us…that’s how the video was made. We haven’t paid any money to friends who collaborated,” Rameez says. The edgy and slick video has a club feel and rather ominously drives home the ‘don’t smoke’ message. Since they didn’t want to spend any more money than they had to, Nimal acted besides singing in the video.

The location was a friend’s cafe, the camera (a basic Nikon DSLR) was Rahul’s and he was the camera person, Rameez was the director of photography,

Nimal wrote the lyrics, composed the music and sang, another friend did the editing… . After editing they lost the edited version and were left with the raw copy. “We decided to call it quits. And then changed our minds and redid the editing,” Rameez says.