KOCHI: Malavika Anupraj’s photographs are embedded in photographs. Bewildered? Precisely what she’s good at. Not baffling her viewers, rather, layering her pictures and videos with more pictures, graphic designs and a music track. The 20-year-old recently worked on the visual promos of UK artist Megatronic and producer and DJ Brett Hartt’s new single, ‘Sticks and Stones’. In her own words, ‘The beautiful tonal swirl’ comprises Kochi-based Malavika’s signature style in video creation. Megane Quashie, popularly known as Megatronic reached out to Malavika after seeing her Instagram profile, which Malavika herself asserts to be her portfolio.
“I studied in Dubai for most of my life. And so, I connect with artists in the region. Megatronic had started this organisation in Dubai called the Female First Sessions in which I was highly interested.
They do talks, debates, and conferences with creative women. I followed Megatronic on Instagram as she’s the founder and my aim was to connect with the organisation. She checked out my profile and asked if I was down to work on her promotional videos. I was given complete creative freedom as she liked my work and didn’t want to instruct me,” says Malavika.
In an era of the forgotten film camera, Malavika stands apart. She primarily shoots on film.
“I like the tones and colours of film photography. I use a lot of graphic design elements in my content. Photoshop is used to combine the pictures making it a single element. This is then incorporated into a video with music. It is important for me that the music sets the mood. This signature style in itself - the amalgamation of music, photo and video, is what I did for Megatronic,” she explains.
Malavika currently works as an assistant director with Ganesh Raj, director of ‘Aanandam’, an opportunity she received via Instagram. Again.
“I’m not shy; I message everybody if I have a doubt or if I want a chance, I think what people fail to realise is that social media platforms are rather easy to connect and network professionally. Most of my networking is done on Instagram,” she says.
Substantiating her love for music and fashion, Malavika wishes to work on music videos.
“My favourite artist is Kendrick Lamar. I’ve also done a lot of work wherein I’ve recreated the paintings of female artists in photographic form,” she says. What about movies? “ I don’t write as much now. So. I wish to improve my storytelling skills and then perhaps direct feature films,” she continues.
The video creator is not one to shy away from the truth.
“It is difficult to be distinct as the industry right now is saturated. Everybody owns either a camera or a phone and it is pretty easy to create content. At the same time, social media has changed content creation to be a commercial thing. Artists no longer have the freedom of time given the constant pressure to churn frequent content. I’m starting to feel it’s more like a capitalistic endeavour than an artistic one. I want to take my time and put own quality work,” she asserts.
Known by her Instagram handle, ‘Ambotti’ which translates to charming, Malavika’s content is everything that is charming albeit easily distinguishable with her trademark of overlaps and graphic elements.