7 Audio Mixing Tips to Improve the Way Your Song Sounds!

Let’s face it, many globally renowned superstars did not become famous on the backs of their voices alone. They get help from hero’s behind the scenes such as record producers and mixing engineers to make them sound the way they do! No matter where you are in your journey in music, getting better sounding mixes for your productions will always help. Here are some mixing tips that will make your music sound better, so you do too!

Know your frequency cheat sheet

When it comes to mixing vocals, you should know where certain sounds in the human voice live and how they affect vocals. This will ensure that you make precise adjustments rather than just guessing. There are five frequencies that you should experiment with and see how they affect your mix. These are 120 Hz for Fullness, 5 kHz for Presence, 240 Hz for Boominess, 10 to 15 kHz for the Air and sheen, and 4 to 7 kHz for Sibilance. While playing around with these different frequencies to fix any sounds, always listen to what sounds best.

Saturate, saturate and saturate some more!

The term “Saturation” often refers to plugins and analog gear that add rich overtones and harmonics with a little distortion, so that a vocal or instrument has more thickness and sounds exciting in the process. With more saturation, you can push an element to be more in-your-face, which gives it more edge if you want it to stand out among dense music. If you are going to enhance a dull sound, play with the saturation settings while mixing, and have some fun.

De-Ess

A de-esser can control sibilant frequencies, which is the hissing “s” sound that naturally occurs with the human voice. In recordings, the sibilance sounds harsh, and a 4 to 7 kHz frequency cut done intelligently can do wonders. The right plugin can produce clarity by boosting the top end of the EQ and controlling it with a de-esser to reduce the “s” sound.

Panning

Panning out the drum-kit is an essential way to expand the stereo spectrum because you do not want all tracks fighting for attention. This is necessary if you are working with many instruments and various elements. There needs to be a place for them all in the stereo spectrum, which is why you need to pan everything around until you strike a harmonious balance. Make sure not to tip the instrumental balance too much to the right or left. Find an equilibrium that sounds good and create a little separation.

EQ’ing

Equalization is the most powerful tool after panning and leveling a mix. This enhances the sonic colors of instruments so that you can hear them with more clarity. It cuts and repairs unwanted frequencies while boosting the fundamental characteristics of a mix. Use a resonant boost and low-pass filters, especially for guitars, to filter the highs to the high-mids. Keep your boosts minimal and raise the volume if you cut more to boost the remaining frequencies. It also helps to group instruments together and then EQ’ing them, which means less work on separate tracks.

Compression

Try a low 2:1 ratio when it comes to simple vocal compression. This will tighten the vocals without pushing it so that it remains dynamic and breathable. Mix the loudest part of the song and loop it by using all your limiters and compressors until it sounds heavenly. The quieter verses do not need more compression, and you can simply automate those phrases with a higher volume.

Depth

Apart from panning from left to right, elements need to be positioned from back to front as well to create space in a mix. You can use effects like delay, chorus, and reverb, which will create more depth. This way, you will not have to suffer listening to a two-dimensional sound because you will have more diversity of exciting audio effects.

Did these mixing tips help? Let us know if they did, and if you want to take your Mixing game to the next level, check out our Mixing for Movement Workshop with mixing engineer Gaurav Chintamani!

Aromatherapy, Essential oils and how they can add to your wellness

Aromatherapy is an ancient technique of using naturally extracted plant essences to promote wellness of the body, mind and spirit. Due to the inherent properties of the plant and the chemical composition of these natural potions they are good for a large array of things ranging from skin care, hair care to pain relief, massage and stress relief.

History

Although a large number of people pass off Essential Oils and Aromatherapy as new age jargon, Aromatherapy has its roots traced back to the ancient Egyptian civilizations which were more than 3500 years before the birth of Christ. They used various spices, flowers and herbs to make them into incenses, medicines, cosmetics and perfumes. Aromatic plants played a central role in the healing arts of early mankind. As the Egyptian empire fell, the techniques found their way to various parts of Europe through the years. The therapy flourished in Greece under the works of ‘The Father of Medicine’ – Hippocrates and then moved along the generations sparking interest of the people in the field of botanical sciences and its relation to human health and wellbeing. In the modern Era, French Chemist, Rene Gattefosse brought it back in the 1920’s when she realized its great healing potential. Post which essential oils were used to soothe soldier burns, wounds and help them deal with psychiatric problems during the First World War by Dr. Jean Valnet. 

Just understanding the basics of Aromatherapy can equip you with homegrown solutions for you and your loved ones.. listing a few below –

  • Specific hair oils for different hair & scalp conditions
  • Address different skin conditions such as acne, pigmentation along with specific face oils
  • Make pre or post work out massage or application oils for sore muscles & peak performance
  • Blend a pain relief massage oils for loved ones.
  • DIY headache roll-on
  • Specific blends for stress & anxiety
  • Uplifting diffusion blends
  • Foot soaks/ Bath Salts
  • Insect repellant sprays, oils & diffuser blends
  • DIY sleep-inducing roll-on blends
  • Blends for focus & concentration
  • Blends to combat common cold & congestion
  • Blends for hormone balancing
  • Blends for boosting your immune system

Apart from these solutions Aromatherapy also helps you get more connected and in tune with yourself. It helps you operate from an empowered state where you can handle a lot of minor inconveniences at home yourself in place of being dependent on outside sources. The awareness of handling indications from your own body, mind & soul helps pave a new path to wellness & holistic health.

 

Some of the best photographers in the world (and the gear they use) to make iconic images

Nearly 200 years ago, the first photograph was made taking nearly 8 hours to expose with equipment that was big and bulky. Fast forward to today when we have smartphones, digital cameras, and DSLR’s that can capture a moment in milliseconds, it’s safe to say that photography has evolved at an incredible rate. Photographers are artists with an eye for scenes that invoke feelings in the viewer. Photography is an inspiring art form that is visually stimulating because it captures the most abstract and breathtaking moments that connect people. Let’s take a brief look at some of our favourite photographers in the world (and what makes them click!) who through history delivered powerful messages through their photographs.

Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz is the most iconic photographers ever and was the first female photographer to work for Rolling Stone Magazine. She has shot many celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Dolly Parton, and even managed to make pictures with John Lennon on the day he died. Her incredible work can be seen in museums and art galleries like the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. She received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Centre for Photography. We can probably best describe her work as elegant with muted tones. You might remember the poster for Les Miserables, where Leibovitz captured the vibrancy of the subject’s eyes to highlight the desperation and despair of the French proletariat. Although her lighting is brilliant, she keeps it minimal by mostly using just one light with an umbrella for portraits. Leibovitz said, “I liked the way things look when they are barely lit. The darker pictures seem refined and mysterious.” For portraits, she mostly uses a Canon Mark II or III or a Hasselblad with digital blacks. She also insists on almost always using a tripod.

Ami Vitale

Ami Vitale is a wildlife photography genius. Her work has been featured in National Geographic innumerable times and it is her passion and love for animals that shines through to create compelling stories in each image. Recently, she covered the wild side of pandas in Sri Lanka, showcasing the fragile peace. Her camera of choice is always a Nikon, and she is also the company’s brand ambassador.

Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry is one of the world’s most well-known visual storytellers. The image that put him on the radar was the famous “Afghan Girl” which graced the cover of National Geographic Magazine. His photography focuses on gritty and unpleasant beauty with striking primary colors. His subjects are usually real people with tragic stories and he often ventures into to refugee camps or Ground Zero locations to capture war and conflict. McCurry has also been featured in National Geographic on multiple other instances and has won the World Press Photo Contest four times. He often shoots with a Nikon D810 with a 24 – 70mm lens, which allows him to capture low-light scenes easily. Since he takes pictures on the move, he prefers not to carry tripods or other accessories because they weigh him down when he is walking on the streets. In terms of what inspires him, he said, “As far as research goes, I don’t ever want to do too much of it because, if you go to a place with too many perceived notions, it can spoil things. It is more fun to discover things while I’m there. Sometimes, these magic moments happen, and other times I can walk around all day and not see anything”. McCurry pointed out that not everyone will agree to pose for portraits, but if you appear sincere with honorable intentions, you can convince anyone to give you a few minutes of their time. Otherwise, do not take it personally if the subject refuses to work with you. Getting close to a person creates the most intense and intimate portraits, so he aims from the chest up and focuses on the eyes and facial expressions. He prefers using wide-open apertures of around f/2.8-f/5 and keeping the background out of focus just enough to highlight the subject from all their surroundings.

Interested in learning how to tell compelling stories using your photographs? Head to the experiences page to learn more about our various workshops and capsules in photography ranging from “Imagination to Image” which helps you in making photo stories to our Fashion Photography workshop which teaches you to make compelling fashion portraits. Apart from these specialisations, we also have experiences in the basics of both mobile phone and DSLR photography.

Overview Of Game Theory And Information Theory With Negotiation

What is Game Theory? 

Game Theory is a mathematical study of decision-making related to conflicts and various strategies that occurs in many social situations. The Game Theory with negotiation helps you in eliminating the inferior options and keeping the best options. The Prisoner’s Dilemma and Tit for Tat have emerged as the two-game theory strategies. Here, the organizations who are indulged in game theory need to understand the actions of their competitors too and frame strategies accordingly. The negotiation here settles the differences between the two players where they can reach an agreement mutually instead one player winning and another losing.

A few assumptions involved in this Game Theory are:

  • When parties are entirely rational like maximizing their utility, players are aware of the rules of the game, players only accept the higher payoffs, etc.
  • Players number is fixed and known to everyone
  • The players have to make tangible preferences amongst the available options. Here, the choices will remain constant during the negotiation or the conflicts.
  • The parties to the game theory can estimate the preferences and options of the other parties.
  • Here the communication is controlled and limited and is not even relevant to the negotiation or the conflict.
  • With the negotiation in Game Theory, one can reach up to the maximum efficient decision.

Information Theory and Negotiation

Claude Shannon initially devised the Information Theory in which he wanted to find out ways to communicate and communicate data operations. This theory studies the quantity of information, its storage, and communicating it to others. Its crucial measure also involves “Entropy” that states about the amount of uncertainty involved with the random variables and the outcome through a random process. 

The negotiation can be used while the people are competing in the volatile markets and must target the different deals that are lucrative and can get the maximum information about the special deal. Even an arbitration process also takes place between the two parties by communicating their thoughts through digital channels. It will help in resolving the dispute, and even a third party can get involved to reach out to a deadlock.  

Moreover, the communication takes place only when the encoder and the decoder involved in the communication process had a prior agreement on it. Even the messages send under this Information Theory sends and receives the messages in a sequenced format that supports the negotiation seamlessly.

Conclusion

Overall, for reaching out to a standard conclusion between the players in the Game Theory and communicators in the Information Theory, the negotiation plays a vital role. It not only resolves any conflicts but also helps the two parties involved in the dialog to reach out to a conclusion. 

Moreover, negotiation helps in clarifying the goals between the two parties, focusing on talk to get a win-win situation, and after understanding each other’s viewpoint coming to a great outcome that is worthy for both the parties. In any case, if negotiation fails then it can be re-scheduled after some time.

Want to learn more about game theory and negotiation? Join our Art of Negotiation workshop this September! 

Five Instagram Accounts Every Aspiring Entrepreneur Should Follow

It’s not the phone that’s the problem; it’s what you use it for. Lots of people are increasingly responding to criticism that smartphones make you dumber, with this argument. If used right, they say, then your smartphone can become a gateway to knowledge – whether by helping you learn a language, reading more books or facilitating community-based interaction. The same rule applies to social media; you could mindlessly scroll through your feed or use the app to grow your mind and learn new things. From how to look after your potted plants to making more sustainable fashion choices to how to run a company. To that end, we’ve shortlisted five inspiring Instagram accounts that entrepreneurs-in-the-making or start-up founders should be following. They are: 

Everette Taylor

Taylor has a pretty impressive resume; the CEO of ET Enterprises, he controls multiple million-dollar companies including Millisense, Popsocial and Growth Hackers. A high school dropout, the marketing genius founded his first company (an event management technology company, EZ events) when he was 19. Two years later, he sold it successfully and went on to build many profitable brands and even feature on Forbes 30 under 30. 

What’s on his IG? Taylor uses the platform to share snippets of his talks or interview articles. 

 

Gary Vaynerchuck

The CEO of VaynerMedia and VaynerSports, Gary Vaynerchuk is as solid an investor as they come. He invested in companies like Venmo, Twitter and Facebook early on and, today, has massive street cred. 

What’s on his IG? Vaynerchuck is a straight-shooter and, so, his feed is full of no-bullshit advice and cautionary tales, like this one-minute clip on what he believes is the worst financial strategy of all time. 

Natalie Franke

Natalie Franke was a wedding photographer, is an entrepreneurship coach, a brain tumor survivor, and founder of the Rising Tide Society that’s vision is perfectly encapsulated in her hashtag #communityovercompetition. Franke’s Rising Tide Society organises monthly meetups for entrepreneurs, so everyone can learn together and grow together. 

What’s on her IG? The sun-lit feed’s most wonderful feature, although the pictures of Franke and her family are a close second, are thought-provoking yet easily-digestible nuggets of information for a new generation of kind entrepreneurs. And customers – like this post on what small business owners wish they could tell you. 

Amber Lilyestrom

Lilyestrom’s bio reads “I help visionary women monetize their dreams ✨CEO / Wife+Mama / Brand + Biz Coach”.  She’s an author, branding strategist, podcaster and a business coach who uses Instagram to inspire and remind her followers that you can do it all. 

The creator of the Ignite Your Soul Summit, she believes that the key to success is to build a brand you love, constantly evolve and, most importantly, recognise your potential. 

What’s on her IG? The most striking feature is the collection of monochromatic text posts with simple, yet important, truths. Like this indisputable fact:  “When you know who you are and what you’re here for – everything becomes really simple.” 

Startup Creative

A growing repository of information, curated by Kaylene Langford, Startup Creative  entrepreneurs from all over the world. One of the best things about this account is that it gives followers a closer look at how the best in the business made it really big. 

What’s on their IG? Make sure you check out the highlights for recommendations and “free advice” on how to steer your company to success. 

If you’re interested in entrepreneurship, you can also check out other content like this (as well as details about our upcoming capsule course on www.projectmynt.com.

 

5 Tips For Negotiating Your Way Out Of ANYTHING

Negotiation is a necessary skill to have, for even if we are not aware, we are constantly negotiating. When your friend wants to go get a burger but you’re in the mood for pizza, with your relatives, with your partner or your children. It is not only related to the area of business, talking your boss into giving you a promotion or a raise. Negotiation is a skill that we, inadvertently, use every day and for that reason, it’s a skill worth polishing!

  • LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN.

Before you do anything else, just listen to what the other entity has to say. In negotiation, he who knows more has  ultimate control over the situation. When you listen to the person that you’re negotiating with, your are showing them that you care and that it is important to you that they get what they want out of the deal as well. 

Knowing what the other person wants gives you a tactical advantage and helps you come up with ways in which you can satisfy them while making sure that you get what you want out of the negotiation. Also, take time to notice how are they speaking; Is their language open and confident or do they sound wary? If the person you’re speaking to is acting wary, you can start by showing that you are trustworthy and ease their concerns before they are even voiced, which again, will put you in a leading position. 

  • KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE AND DESIRABLE. 

When entering a negotiation, it is paramount to be clear on what is that you want to achieve. Deciding on the go can leave you feeling dissatisfied or taken advantage of when the excitement over the negotiation fades. 

There are three points that you need to be clear on. These are; What would exceed your expectations, what is your desirable outcome and what is the minimum that you are willing to accept. 

Let’s say that your ideal salary is “x” a year, that would be your desirable outcome and what you are aiming for in your negotiation. Reaching an agreement for “2x” a year would be fantastic! Wouldn’t it? That would be exceeding your expectations. Now, in the worst case scenario, you would do fine with 3/4x a year, what would be your minimum acceptable. 

In a negotiation, you should aim to stay as far as possible from your minimum acceptable for the best results, but always remember that you can’t go below that.

  • START THE NEGOTIATION WITH AN OFFER.

Instead of starting your negotiation with a request, start with an offer instead. If you have been an active listener, you must be aware by now of what is that the other person wants. Your counterpart in a negotiation is probably moving in the same spectrum as you are (minimum acceptable, desirable, exceeding expectations) so now it’s time to walk a mile in their shoes and think about what should be their minimum acceptable. There’s where you want to aim! 

The objective of an initial offer is not to close the deal immediately, but to show your counterpart that you are interested in making them happy, build rapport and create a positive atmosphere before speaking about what you want. Also, their attention will be more focused on what they are to gain from the situation, and they are less likely to think about the cons of agreeing to your request. 

  • MAKE IT ABOUT THEM.

You have clearly voiced your request by now, and you are in need of closing this deal. However, displaying need is the most effective way to end up in a disadvantageous deal! Instead of putting your attention on how much you need to reach an agreement, make your case around the reasons why they need to close the deal. 

Be aware of what you can do for them and paint them a picture of the benefits that agreeing to your deal would have for them. Show them that you are just the right person to give them what they want and add pressure on their side instead of yours. 

For instance, you can say that you can only offer to do this for a limited time because there are other responsibilities coming your way in the foreseeable future. Find a way to create scarcity and add pressure to them by making them realize how much of a win-win situation this is and what a fantastic opportunity they risk losing and you will be three steps closer to doing fantastic business!

  • WALKING AWAY IS AN OPTION.

As counter-intuitive as it may sound, displaying that you are willing to walk away and bearing in mind that a particular negotiation is not the only way in the world to get what you desire creates both an “aura” of confidence around you and a sensation of scarcity for the other part that makes the deal irresistible! 

As much as these tips will help you improve your negotiation skills and help you be way more successful when making deals, not everyone is a match and it’s necessary to remember that it is okay that you are not able to convince everyone! Sometimes, you have pushed too hard and you find yourself in a negotiation that has turned against you, or upon further thought, you feel that you are not satisfied with the arrangement that has been made. If this is the case, you are entitled to walk away and try your luck somewhere else!

Implementing the tips above in your negotiations will have a positive impact and increase your chances of succeeding. Remember to have a clear mind and show confidence and you will have them in the palm of your hand! 

Want to improve your negotiation skills? Join us for a workshop on the “Art of Negotiation” on the 28th/29th of September and learn how to get more from life!

What is The Internet of Things & Why Are People Talking About It?

The world around us is changing at a rapid pace, and technology has become an integral part of our lives over the last few decades. There are a plethora of devices that we use to make our everyday tasks easier including our smartphones, smartwatches, Bluetooth trackers, smart door locks, and these have impacted our lives so much that we can’t really imagine our lives to be same without them. And this is only the beginning; trends suggest that technology will become an even greater part of our lives in the coming years.  Let’s have a look at how Internet Of Things is bringing a change into our lives. 

Internet of Things (IoT)

Imagine this: the alarm clock on your side table rings at 6 AM and alerts your water heater to start heating water. Once you finish your bath, the geyser sends a signal to your coffee maker to start brewing coffee which you sip on, on your way to work. Sounds like the future? Actually, all of this is possible in the present because of the Internet of things. IoT is a concept which can enable connectivity between all the physical devices, through the internet, making them even more convenient for you to use. The device is no longer related to just the user, but it’s now connected to surrounding devices and database itself. In a nutshell, IoT is going to revolutionise the way we interact with technology and will essentially change the way we operate in our everyday lives.

What is the scope of IoT?

In India, IoT may still take years to flourish but it is definitely booming among customers and industries worldwide. IoT is impacting many industries including healthcare, farming, telecom, retail, transportation worldwide. However, in India, it will have several other uses based on the country’s demographics and cultural set-up. The kind of technology that IoT supports can impact our surroundings in many ways apart from providing affordable wireless technology where data is transmitted into the cloud at a component level and is slowly shaping up to be the next big thing in the technology industry. Be it across society or inside the home, the IoT is a revolution that guarantees to change people’s lives, forever. 

Role of IoT in Industry

So, it’s clear that the Internet of things has a lot of potential and scope in the future. It’s a platform which can help organizations reduce cost by improving efficiency, productivity, and asset utilisation. Let’s see how IoT is helping some of the industries:

Healthcare:

IoT has the potential to bring about a revolution in the process of treatment and diagnosis of diseases. Embedding medical equipment with IoT devices will help in monitoring patients more effectively, which will lead to improved patient quality of life. Personal fitness and wellness trackers are already gaining popularity and this real-time monitoring gives data which can provide a holistic view of a patient’s medical history and their current health, as well as identifying trends that may need medical support.

Automobiles:

Connected smart cars have the ability to sense, analyze and make decisions based on information gathered from the surroundings. Through real-time traffic updates, these cars can optimise traffic routes, avoid accidents and maintain a level of safety that was previously very tough to achieve. Driverless cars and other automobiles are going to rule the future and soon enough we might see them on our roads.

Agriculture:

The agriculture industry is embracing IoT in a big way. Applications that are significantly helping the industry include smart sensors to remotely monitor and control pumps and equipment, chemical levels, air quality, and soil quality. Farmers are now able to collect relevant data about their crops which can be analysed to sense the best times to plant crops and how to optimise their yield.

Manufacturing:

IoT with the manufacturing industry is another a win-win partnership. Manufacturers across most areas including automotive and electronics have invested in smart sensors and machine learning to make in-line adjustments to the process. Many manufacturers have already started using IoT solutions to track assets in their factories, consolidating their control rooms and increasing their analytics functionality through the installation of predictive maintenance systems.

The ideas discussed here barely skim the surface of the deep sea of possibilities of IoT, where everyone has a shared vision of making this world ‘smart’.

Is this something that has left you curious to know more, learn more and experience in practical? If your answer is yes, then enroll for the Internet of things capsule at MyNT today and explore this vast concept with some like-minded people.

Five Things To Do In Delhi This Weekend

Don’t watch the weekend pass you by; instead fill your days with meaningful, enriching experiences that will stay with you. Here’s what you can do this weekend in Delhi: 

Learn a new language 

A three-month course at Max Mueller Bhavan, or Goethe-Institut, will have you speaking basic German pretty fluently. If you’re looking to give your CV an edge, we’d highly recommend enrolling for this 25-week course that costs about Rs 27,000. 

Spend the day volunteering 

There’s a whole host of organisations that are truly making a difference, and on the look-out for volunteers. From Delhi’s Blind School Association where you can sit and record audio books for the visually-impaired to Frendicoes where you can spend the day looking after injured and abandoned pets, there are many ways for you to make a difference (in a small but meaningful way). 

Attend the ongoing Delhi Theatre Festival 

On from today (August 30) all the way till Sunday, the Delhi Theatre Festival imagines the classical art in “newer, unexplored and younger territories”. If you’ve found the world of theatre slightly intimidating, or you want to start watching more plays, we recommend attending the festival that will showcase the talents of leading actors and writers from around the world. 

Laugh the week off with a comedy show

For less than Rs 500, you can catch comedy all-stars, including Biswa Kalyan Rath, Atul Khatri and Kumar Varun perform at Delhi’s Kedarnath Sahni Auditorium as part of the Bingo! Comedy Adda, There’s nothing like uninterrupted laughs to wash away the stress of the work/school week. 

Project Mynt’s Fashion Photography Workshop

If you’re drawn to the world of fashion photography, check out our upcoming workshop ‘From Concept to Conclusion’. Conducted by Nayantara Parikh, a Delhi-based fashion photographer, the course covers the entire process of creating dramatic, powerful and effective fashion imagery including how to understand or read a brief, lighting, usage of colour and post production. The experiential nature of this workshop ensures that students spend most of their time shooting in real-life situations and, consecutively, learn to deal with the challenges that come their way while they’re on the job. 

 

In Conversation With Fashion Photographer, Nayantara Parikh

Ahead of her photography workshop at Project Mynt, we caught up with Nayantara Parikh for a quick interview to learn a bit more about her and her body of work.

“I’ve known I’ve wanted to be behind the camera since I was 16,” says Nayantara Parikh, a Delhi-based fashion photographer whose work has been published in Raghu Rai’s Creative Image Magazine, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Verve Magazine and Vogue. The 30 year old creative professional has an impressive client list that includes homegrown brands such as Nicobar, Ritu Kumar, and Bhane, as well as internationally recognized ones like H&M, Gucci, Swarovski, and Burberry. She’s also worked with Rupi Kaur, Spike Lee and Mumford and Sons. When she hasn’t been commissioned to create her signature brand of imagery, Nayantara Parikh spends her days working on her personal body of work with intimate portraits redefining Indian female identity and the female gaze intertwined with moody botanicals.

One look at her portfolio and you’d have a hard time believing that Parikh only began her career as a fashion photographer four years ago. In fact, when she was fresh out of high school, Parikh went to New York to explore the craft of moving pictures–not stills. She pursued a BFA in Film with a specialization in cinematography at NYU’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, “Over the course of my classes, I realized that I was passionate about working with the camera, not directing or producing. I trained as a cinematographer and assisted several DoPs on over ten feature films, numerous music videos and TV shows. When I moved back to India in 2014, I made the shift to still photography. My work continues to be informed by what I learned when I worked in motion pictures.” 

Her first photography assignment, Parikh shares, was for an e-commerce website. “My sister had designed a line of clothing, and we thought it would be fun to shoot something together.” “The greatest challenge the shoot presented”, she says, “was, and still continues to be, my health. Overcoming my physical limitations and pushing the boundaries of what I think I can do, and of what my body allows me to do is a constant challenge. But, the pure joy of shooting can make any tough shoot day easier. The feeling of connecting with the subject through my camera, and catching that intimate and vulnerable moment is so revelatory”.

Her favourite shoot to date is one with her sister, Karuna Ezara Parikh, a personal project titled Berlin Series. She says, “It was completely impromptu and there was no brief; we just let ourselves create and there was a raw energy in the air. When we saw the results we knew we were on to something, and have continued to create together over the years.”

More excerpts from the interview below: 

Project Mynt: What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve gotten? 

Nayantara Parikh (NP): Keep shooting things you really want to shoot, along with what you need to shoot for work/money. That way you can build up a body of work that you actually like, and will eventually get more projects along the lines of what you love doing.

Project Mynt: Who or what inspires you? 

NP: I’m constantly inspired by natural beauty like the mountains, for example. Good stories and movies can always transport you to a completely different world-they activate your imagination, which is so important to keep the creative juices flowing.

Project Mynt: What’s a day in the life of a fashion photographer like? 

NP:  Depends on the day! On a shoot day we drive to the location, set up the lighting from the lighting plans I’ve made prior to the shoot, wait for the model to finish hair and make up, and then shoot. Though different challenges arise at different shoots, the order of things is almost always the same.

Project Mynt: If there was one thing you could tell aspiring fashion photographers, what would it be? 

NP: Keep shooting and stop comparing. Don’t copy other people’s work, create your own.

Project Mynt’s fashion photography workshop, delivered by Parikh, has been designed to provide participants with a basic understanding of how to conceptualise and produce a fashion shoot. If you think fashion photography may be your next thing, find out more about the workshop here

 

5 Free Softwares That Help To Boost Your Productivity | MyNT Guides

In this age and time, free and easy to use softwares are a blessing. Unless you have a company license to buy softwares for you, tools like Photoshop and even MS Office can burn a hole in your pocket. Here are some FREE softwares that can help you get your work done without taking a serious bite into your wallet. 

Slack 

Slack is a great resource, especially for bigger teams. It helps you organize your work conversations and build channels based on specific teams and projects. It gives you the freedom to work with third party clients as well, without having to leave the main software. Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS. There are two types of channels on Slack: the public and the private. Obviously, the former are “threads” that all team members can access and participate in. A private channel, on the other hand, will only be accessible to team members specified by the channel’s creator.

MailChimp

An efficient marketing resource, Mailchimp is a software which helps you send out bulk emailers to a mailing list to promote your products. It has inbuilt templates and customizable ones too which are fairly easy to work with. Apart from that, you can also add links on the emailers that will directly link the reader to your webpage. 

Wunderlist 

Wunderlist is a cloud based task manager and to-do list that helps you get your work done efficiently. It syncs with your phone and computer, so you can access your to-do list anywhere. This free software also supports collaborations; you can easily invite people to collaborate on your to-do list. The overall interface works smoothly and is easy to use. 

Evernote 

Evernote is the boss of all note taking apps. It is a cloud based free software that helps you take notes on your computer and smartphone. These notes can be synced across devices. Evernote also has a desktop client, incase you don’t want to take notes on a smaller device. It has some great organizational features like tagging notes for sorting, cross linking notes and inserting checklists and tables.  

Canva 

Canva is an online design tool that helps businesses, marketers and even self-employed people create impressive creative collaterals without having any design experience. It has an array of free templates to use from. Canva helps people create various kinds of creatives, be it a poster, Instagram post or story, and even helps you jazz up resumes! It is incredibly easy to use with a smooth functioning user interface. 

Skype

Skype has changed the way we communicate with people around the world. It is the most popular telecommunications tool that offers video chat, international calling and texting via the internet. It even has features such as group chat, document sharing and video conference calling. As a business tool, Skype has remained one of the most affordable tools for business communications.

Know Your Mentor – Snehil Mishra On The Magic Of Movie-Making

Snehil Mishra is an Economics Graduate with over five years’ work experience with The Northern Trust Company and BNP Paribas. However, a job that had Mishra striking Net Asset Value for hedge funds was not what Mishra wanted, and so he chose to follow his passion—making movies. 

Currently working with Delhi-based production house, Swastika Films as a creative, he has written three feature-length screenplays and directed various ad films over his career. Mishra has also shot an entire film on a smartphone, that went on to be screened at The African Smartphone International Film Festival. His full-length feature debut, Tahravi is now doing the festival circuit, meanwhile he has already started working on the script for this next feature film.

Currently leading the filmmaking capsule at Project Mynt, we caught up with Mishra to ask him what it takes to turn your passion into your profession: 

The most crucial skill for a filmmaker? 

Skills! They include a burning desire to tell a story the way you see it, a willingness to learn from your mistakes (making them is inevitable!) and the ability to see things from a different perspective. 

 The best piece of advice you have ever gotten

 “The best camera is the camera you have.”  

The biggest roadblock you encountered during your professional career, and how you overcame it

As budding filmmakers, it will always be difficult to find people who believe in your vision enough to fund your film. They will evaluate if you are just another dreamer or a doer, and the only way to prove you are serious about it is to make films with whatever means you have available. 

Great filmmakers like (Christopher) Nolan or Lars Von Tier started making films with whatever resources they had, and were eventually noticed for their creativity. 

A good filmmaker is…

Someone who can bring her/his concepts to life. 

A mentor that influenced you…

I spent six months hanging out at the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune and I met a few people there who deeply influenced my journey as a filmmaker. It was here that I realised that it is the romance of filmmaking that keeps us going. I also understood that most filmmakers strive to bridge the gap between telling a story that people want to see to telling a story they want the world to see. 

A word to the incoming batch of your next filmmaking capsule

Get ready to make your film!  

Join Snehil at the filmmaking capsule this August. Course begins on the 17th. Click here to know more and enroll. 

Is experiential learning the answer to India’s stunted education system?

Picture this – it’s a hot afternoon in April, school’s just started and you’ve got two back-to-back periods of trigonometry. There’s lots of formulas, no calculators, hefty textbooks, and no real direction. You soldier on, determined to make sense of the triangles on the board, before you realise that you’ve grown up, school’s out and you haven’t learnt anything that might actually help you excel in your chosen career. Sure, the foundation’s there – reading, writing, critical analyzing – but template-style education segregates interests into arts, commerce or science, focusses on exams and marks and culminates with a degree that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you’re qualified to, for instance, write a song or start a company even though that’s where your heart is. Enter experiential learning, or learning by doing, that can at the very least supplement the more conventional methods. At its most advanced, however, it can disrupt the traditional education system completely.  But experiential learning can change this. 

And there’s no better time than right now to revisit or reimagine what a holistic education can give you. One of Project Mynt’s co-founders, Aayush Naran (engineer-turned-serial-entrepreneur) recalls, “While we were in schools, we were not allowed to use a calculator while dealing with complex arithmetic problems during exams. Using the internet in the school lab was banned, and if I used the internet to study, my parents would never believe that.” However, he points out that, everything changed when he got his first job. “My boss expected me to check Google before I asked him a question, and I was specifically asked “Don’t you own a phone” in a derogatory manner, when I was trying to solve those large number arithmetic problems in my head.” He finds this gap problematic–education was supposed to prepare one for what they were going to do in the future. 

Ways of assessment must also be overhauled, he believes. Narang says, “I was an engineering student and I used to earn more marks to learn computer programming codes and writing them on an answer script than to actually run that program on the computer. Moreover, I knew the code which was to be written but I never downloaded the software which was required to code.” 

So, is experiential learning the answer? 

Narang certainly believes it is. Corporates have started admitting the facts that a better experiential learning background and a self-learning attitude is the actual price-worthy skill, rather than just the degree that people hold in India. The ancient Chinese philosopher, Confucius once said, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” The idea that learning by doing is not new, only forgotten. However, at Project Mynt we believe that experiential learning is going to be the next big thing in the education space. Soon, it will be widely understood that experiential learning and creative thinking are the skills to chase, not just diplomas and degrees. 

This will also help combat the extra expenditure that corporates (and individuals) need to spend on upskilling themselves for a job. Needs and extra expenditure on upskilling is on a rise due to this lack. Currently, companies and mass recruiters incur huge costs on experiential training due to these lags in the way that India currently studies. You see, as job profiles continue to evolve, social media continues to create new jobs, hierarchies in companies continue to change and the world continues to become a smaller and smaller place, these lags will continue to be exposed. And, hopefully, understood. 

At Project Mynt, we’re placing all bets on the rise of experiential learning – come check out our capsule courses in Filmmaking, Photography, Music Production, Entrepreneurship and more to see how it can transform your education experience. 

 

Best Cameras To Buy For Amateur Photographers

I am often asked, “What is the best camera?” Or, “Which is a good camera to buy?” Typically, the person asking is anxious and excited, someone planning to pursue photography as a hobby or a potential career. The answer needn’t be as complicated as it is often made out to be.  Let’s begin by addressing some of the reasons why buying your first camera feels like such a complicated decision. 

  • You don’t know what all the tech jargon means
  • You don’t really know what you intend to shoot and what you don’t care to shoot
  • Cameras are expensive
  • There is a massive industry whose only job is to sell you the latest, greatest camera that will apparently turn you into an amazing photographer.

Let me start by tackling these issues in reverse. The words megapixel, autofocus, low light and image stabilization enter the lexicon of many amateurs and hobbyists long before they even begin to marvel at form, shadows, light and texture. While understanding camera technology is important, the current levels of tech obsession are grossly overdone even for most working professionals, let alone hobbyists.

Ask yourself a simple question – how many of your photos are going to be printed and how many will never ever go beyond being shared on Instagram or Facebook. I am not belittling social media but it’s important to understand that even if your camera has 1000 megapixels, Instagram and Facebook just about accept an image that is 1080 pixels wide. If I translate that sentence to English, it means that even a budget smartphone today produces an image that is overkill for Instagram and Facebook in terms of megapixels. 

Similarly, autofocus speeds and low light performance are great tools but mean absolutely nothing unless your primary photographic subjects are Olympic athletes or the secret life of fruit bats. I assure you that the autofocus on your smart phone paired with the powerful presence of a biscuit will slow your pet dog down to the point where you can nail the perfect shot sans a one lakh rupee DSLR. 

So, to begin with, disregard all the hoopla around camera specs. Perhaps the only camera specs to really think about are size and weight. I feel compelled to explain my standpoint at this juncture. As you delve into the wonderful world of photography, the one thing your camera needs to be really good at is becoming a seamless part of your life. It is this ability to have an unobtrusive camera as companion that will allow you to test and explore the subjects that really make you tick. 

In the interests of full disclosure, my approach to exploring photography is everyday rather than simply on holidays or on the odd day that you decide to lug your DSLR around to a few monuments. And so my top recommendation for a beginner camera is a really good cellphone. Hey, don’t fall off your chair! 

It’s no secret that cellphone cameras have come a long way but what most people don’t realize is that cellphones have a neat trick up their sleeve that no DSLR can accomplish. Cellphone cameras don’t make people uncomfortable! Imagine yourself aiming a DSLR roughly the size of your head at your parents as they break into a laugh or aiming one at your siblings when they act corny. In all probability if the size of the camera doesn’t catch their attention, the gun shot slap of the shutter will. Professional photographers spend considerable time refining their technique to use DSLRs without setting off their subjects. Cellphone cameras offer amateurs and hobbyists a massive head start to explore varied subjects without having to learn how to manipulate a DSLR.

My top picks for good cellphone cameras are: 

  1. Google Pixel 3A/3 (Whichever doesn’t send your bank account into a tailspin)
  2. iPhone XR/XS (For those who are still paying Apple tax, myself included)
  3. One Plus 7/7 PRO (Arguably the best value for money)
  4. Redmi Note 7 pro (For those on a tight budget)

All the above cellphones share one single thing in common. Their cameras start up fast and often don’t need you to unlock your phone. All of them have reasonably good lenses and sensors. So pick one that fits your budget. You really can’t go wrong!

For those of you who think that cellphone cameras don’t give you enough control over photos, come join the MYNT Cellphone Photography Capsule. I will give you a money back guarantee if I can’t change your mind about cellphone cameras. 

I can sense the frown on your forehead as you wonder how a cellphone camera can shoot in dim lighting and how it can capture the details of flowers and the beautifully random movement of birds. While we at MYNT can teach you how to shoot any and all of these subjects with your cellphone, a dedicated camera can offer you some advantages. However, the answer to your woes is still not a DSLR. Most of us find ourselves in dimly lit conditions at parties, that is of course, when we aren’t marveling at birds and flowers. A DSLR at a party is like an SUV at an F1 race. It’s plain clumsy and overkill. The same holds true for beautiful vistas we encounter when we travel. A small pocketable camera with a good viewfinder will let you shoot some stunning and candid images in almost any light condition. 

My Top Picks:

  1. Sony RX100 VII or Sony RX 100 VA (Get whichever is carrying a heavier discount)
  2.  Panasonic Lumix TZ 200 or Lumix DC-LX100 Mark II (The latter offers more control but doesn’t fit in a jeans pocket and the former fits in a jeans pocket and has an impressive auto mode)
  3. Fujifilm X100f (Hands down the best camera if you are really committed to honing your photographic craft. NOTE: Doesn’t have a zoom lens! Many pros don’t use zoom lenses either )
  4. Ricoh GR (A similar approach as the Fuji X100f but can fit in a shirt pocket)

Some of you may wonder why I am recommending tiny point-and-shoot cameras that cost as much or more than DSLRS. The reason is simple. These cameras pack a massive punch in a small package. In many light conditions you can’t tell their images apart from a DSLR and they help you overcome many of the complications in understanding camera technology with an easy learning curve. These cameras can be found in the hands of many working pros for the simple no fuss approach to photography they offer. 

For those of you who are still unconvinced, only and only if you see yourself making a living from photography, consider a DSLR or an interchangeable lens camera (ILC). These cameras by virtue of allowing you to mount varied lenses are more flexible and can grow with your interests and skill. These cameras demand that you spend time understanding the technology built into them and spend time learning to use the technology to render your imagination into images. 

My top picks:

  1. Fujifilm XE 3 with 18-55 kit lens (Perhaps the only thing this camera won’t excel at is shooting wildlife. In every other way it’s near perfect. The analog controls can be a great learning tool for beginners and pros) 
  2. Canon 200D Mark II with EF-S 18-55 kit lens (Optional get the twin kit lens pack that includes an EF-S 55-250 lens if you intend to shoot live performances and birds)
  3. Nikon 3500D with Nikkor 18-55 kit lens (Optional get the twin-kit lens pack that includes a Nikkor 70-300 lens if you intend to shoot live performances and birds)

Here is hoping that I have spared you hours of internet research and agonizing over budgets. Get a camera that catches your fancy and come join us at MYNT to get your photographic journey started.

 

 

P.S: In case you think I am being paid by these companies to push their phones or cameras, I swear by all my photographic gods that is not the case. 

 

4 Things To Think About Before You Pick A Stream In Class 11

It’s the year 2008 and you’re about to go off to college, at a time when the world is still discovering social media. A world of possibilities lies ahead of you, and this is the beginning of your future. You can decide what you want to become by carefully examining and evaluating careers that didn’t even exist a decade ago. In all probability, the field you’re thinking of joining was either not very famous or even completely non-existent at that time. This is the boon of living in 2019. The world is flexible, reachable, and responsive from the go. Two decades ago, you probably couldn’t even imagine stepping into something called Data Science or Digital Marketer. Now is the time. This is your time, to pick your choice, to pick your stream of study. 

So, how do you go about it?

Firstly, if you haven’t chosen a stream in 10th then you’ll want to use this time to decide where your interests lie and what you’re good at it., It’s that simple! Don’t think computers or commerce, think about your hobbies, your passion, subjects that you know you’d love to deep-dive into.  

The ordinary and unsound approach is – 

They ask you to pick a stream. You do. 

They ask you to choose a course and a college. You make a choice. 

They ask you to get an internship or give you one. You get it. 

Then you ask yourself, “Do I really want to be doing this?”

That’s where the problem is. Reverse the cycle! It’s really that simple. 

Don’t worry about picking a profession at this stage; instead, think about what it is that you’re good at and you enjoy doing. These are the two most important factors. The money and the recognition come later. 

Explore and experience

When I was younger, I used to go to my older cousin’s office every once in a while. Back in 2011, he had founded his own company after having worked for a few years in his field, and he was the first entrepreneur I ever met. In retrospect, he was the person who made me fall in love with entrepreneurship. This couldn’t have happened with me sitting in a class room. So after school, start visiting workspaces of those professions that you think you’d like. 

The vibe, the people, how they function, notice everything and then write off the ones that don’t appeal to you at all. Slowly and steadily you’ll see how it all starts making sense. You’ll notice how multiple careers start with a single stream, giving you that much more confidence and clarity in what you want to choose and pursue in school as a start. 

Network 

Such a big word, isn’t it? Networking! It’s all a big hoax, honestly. We humans start networking the second we’re able to talk and the minute we’re able to have a conversation. There’s nothing complex about it. Everyone can do it. How? What was your last outing? Think about that. How many people did you speak to? Bet there weren’t people from just one age group. What were you doing? You were networking. People are your greatest asset in life. 15 or 50, that holds true for everyone. 

Reach out to the people you confide in. They could be your school mates or even friends of your parents. Keep in touch. Talk to them, ask them, seek them out so they can help you understand where your interests lie. You never know what insight you might end up with. 

Rewards are king

When I was younger, people (including those closest to me), used to tell me how badly they wanted to become rich, there a few who wanted to become famous, there were also those who said they just wanted to own the most expensive car in the world. The point is that people are always telling you what they want in return for what they do, the things which drive them. I just never paid that much attention back then. 

Notice that about yourself – what sort of riches are you looking for in return? Let that become your greatest motivation and don’t wait till you start working. Dream it, plan it, and start building it – right now. I promise you, it’ll come in abundance if you’re sure of it.  

Use your worldwide reach

Can we please realise that we’re living in 2019? The time where you can literally call anybody to see their face at any time, for free. Use that. Reach out to icons that work in a field that you’re interested in, tell them what you’re thinking about, ask them whatever you want. Use their experience to define how good yours is going to be. And don’t worry about them not replying, if you reach out to ten people, you can be sure one of them will respond. 

This is also a great way of networking, by the way. There’s literally no one that can’t be reached out to today. Use it in your favor. 

These four factors are something that won’t just help you, but will ensure that you end up picking more than a stream in school or a course in college. It’ll help you find out your passion and help you get where you want to be. 

If you’re still confused about it, reach out to us in the comments below, we’d love to help! 

DIY with MyNT: Shoot Your First Film At These 5 Locations In Delhi

At Project Mynt, we’re not only trying to widen your horizons so you can explore different interests and passions but also equip you with the skills to chase them. Including how to make the most of what you have. It’s simple really. Want to get fit? Don’t let an expensive gym membership get in the way of your goal; just go for a run. Want to learn how to edit videos? Start on your phone with free YouTube tutorials instead of waiting to get professional software and powerful computers. Interested in photography? Give your phone camera a shot. 

The point is to work with what you’ve got rather than procrastinating about what you don’t; taking the first step is always the hardest, but it can set the course for a lifelong, fulfilling journey. To that end, we’re rolling out our DIY series, or a compilation of easy hacks, comprehensive guides and instructional videos so you can get started with whatever it is that makes you excited to get out of bed every single day. No more waiting around for the right moment, the DIY series is about making every single moment count instead. 

For instance, if you’re interested in making films but can’t wrap your head around production costs involved with renting studios or making a full fledged set , here is our list of completely free locations for you to shoot at in Delhi. All you need to carry is your equipment, a compelling story and laser sharp focus on what you want your future to look like.  

 Lodhi Garden

On a good day, Lodhi Garden is absolutely stunning; the landscaped lawns are strewn with beautiful, flowering trees, demarcated by stone walkways, and marked by three picturesque tombs from the 15th century. The perfect setting for fitness videos, short films and lifestyle montages, Lodhi Garden opens bright and early at 5am. 

Lodhi Colony Art District

Lodhi Colony underwent an incredible transformation from a sleepy neighbourhood market into a thriving, vibrant art district with stunning graffiti and murals. Perfect at golden hour, and near-perfect the rest of the day, we recommend filming dramatic backdrops in this part of town. 

Hauz Khas Village and Lake

Not just every kind of watering hole, Hauz Khas Village also has a lot of filming locations–from the mysterious fort, the bustling market or the serene lake. The narrow bylanes are perfect for edgy fashion films or sketches. The running track near the lake can obviously be used to shoot both health and lifestyle videos such as restaurant round-ups. The park just outside the village compound is also worth exploring. 

Old Delhi’s Spice Market

Want to try your hand at documentary filmmaking? Head to Old Delhi’s Spice market, located in Gadodia market in Khari Baoli. Not just for the spectacular sunrises and sunsets, the spice market’s greatest draw is that it is steeped in history and full of stories. You never know which one will inspire you. 

Champa Gali

Love love stories? Shoot a short one at this hidden gem in Saidulajab. Tucked away in Saket, away from traffic and real life, Champa Gali feels like a time portal back to simpler times. The entire lane is adorned with fairy lights and comes alive at night. 

If you’ve started making your own films and are interested in learning more about the craft of filmmaking, join us for our Filmmaking capsule starting on the 17th of August where over the course of 3 weekends, you will explore what goes into making a film by working with industry experts and making your own short film on professional equipment. Call us on +91-8448550445 for more details!

Seven Free YouTube Channels For Aspiring Filmmakers

Are you an aspiring filmmaker and want to make a movie? Do-It-Yourself! Passionate about stand-up comedy and creating funny videos? You can Do-It-Yourself! Interested in becoming a fashion stylist and working for a shiny, glossy magazine? We’re happy to report that it’s possible to Do-It-Yourself. Given that the Internet has made access to information so ridiculously easy, it’s a shame not to use all the tools and resources that are at your disposal to pursue your passion. Or at least, get started! Welcome to the DIY generation.

For instance, if you’re interested in the craft of filmmaking, you don’t have to wait to apply to a fancy school, shell out exorbitant fees and then spend the next five years shadowing a director (all of which are good things to do, nonetheless). You can take what you have (a speedy WiFi connection and a notebook) and start learning, thanks to free tutorials and content that are available online today. We’ve rounded up seven YouTube channels that will help you get started on your journey to being a successful filmmaker, provided that you’re willing to put in the work. These are: 

Filmmaker IQ

Perfect for beginners

Just starting out? Check out Filmmaker IQ (both the YouTube channel as well as the website) that is built for first-time movie makers and hobbyists. You will learn the craft of filmmaking, the history of films as well as the technical skills that most directors need. In addition, Filmmaker IQ deep dives into how stuff works as well, so you have a more rounded understanding, rather than a superficial idea, of the different aspects of filmmaking.  

Dave Dugdale

Perfect for geeks

Learn with Dave Dugdale who takes his viewers on rollercoaster rides as he shares everything he knows about cameras, equipment and post-production software. If you love comparison videos, Dave does a lot of them so you’ll want to hit that subscribe button. 

Tom Antos

Perfect for open-minded learners

The director, cinematographer and VFX enthusiast has uploaded over 500 videos that include everything from his Filmmaker Rants to tips on how to buy gear, and his own short films, making it ideal for every aspiring filmmaker and cinema enthusiast. 

Philip Bloom

Perfect for cinematographers

Product reviews, informative articles and filmmaking resources—the suave cinematographer, Philip Bloom has worked for Lucasfilm, CNN, Sky and the BBC, while also running this one-stop-shop channel for those interested in the craft of moving images. 

Every Frame a Painting

Perfect for writers

While the channel is no longer active, its creators, Taylor Ramos and Tony Zhou created a repository of video essays that explore film form. Critical scenes of award-winning movies are deconstructed, soundtracks are analysed and narrative techniques are unpacked.  

Film Riot

Perfect for amateurs. 

Run by Ryan Connolly, an American filmmaker, Film Riot has been described as an on-demand film school by Wired.com. It has lots of helpful tips and tricks and also takes you live on set, so you can see exactly what a day in the life of a director looks like. 

Indy Mogul

Perfect for independent filmmakers.

With over a thousand tutorials, Indy Mogul is a great place to learn about the different nuanced aspects of the craft, including how to shoot cinematic interviews, music videos and short documentaries. 

Want to know learn the craft of filmmaking? Join our filmmaking capsule course today! 

How To Transition From College To Work Life

Congratulations! You’re about to make a big transition, from college to work life. You’re about to enter the real world. A new chapter of your life is about to begin. This is also the beginning of endless advice from your friends and family, anecdotes about working a full-time job and tips on surviving 9-5 life. Of course, people tell you this because they care about you and think they can help you make wiser choices based on what they’ve learnt so far. They’re not wrong, but it isn’t necessary that what worked for them will work for you. 

However, we’ve sifted through all this information to curate a list of tried-and-tested ways that will make the shift from college to work a little bit smoother. Here they are: 

Building a routine will help you in the long run

Your parents already told you this when you were a kid, but it’s more than just sleeping and waking up on time. Building a routine is also about creating a work-life balance from the beginning. Many freshers have a tendency to exhaust themselves, work long days, and stay out all night. This isn’t the wisest regime. Remember, you’re going to be working for the rest of your years, so don’t trap yourself in a trend that makes you start hating your work. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Work towards creating an equilibrium. 

Making mistakes is okay

My first internship was in the content department of a social media agency, back when blogging and social media were just taking off. This is where I got my first and most crucial lesson of working in the real world: the person who doesn’t make mistakes is unlikely to make anything. I fumbled and faltered every day of the first week and went back feeling a little more disappointed and demotivated than the previous day. On the 8th day, one of my superiors asked how my experience had been so far. When I told him exactly how I felt, he laughed, patted me on the shoulder and said, “If you’re that worried and not enjoying this right now, what are you going to do when you start doing this full time?” That got me. He was right. I had been so focused on my mistakes that I stopped looking for solutions. After that day, I made sure to make mistakes, learn from them, and move on. 

Networking can do wonders if you start now

Network, socialize, mingle, favour the friendly—do it all. Meet and make connections in your industry with as many people as possible. Time will change way you communicate with them, it can’t change how you bond with people. 

Relearn how you learn new things 

Absorb more, read more, learn more but unlearn the way you used to be taught. Don’t let fear of failure or being reprimanded guide your performance. Learn things your own way. Apply them wherever possible. Build on them whenever you get the chance. The idea is to be your own best critic. 

There are no right answers to wrong questions

It’s not about having the right answers or obsessing over the results you want. It’s all about the quality of your questions. Your priorities, your ambitions and passion, your aspirations, all of them are thoughts, so focus on building a thought-process, the overall development of your skill and mind. There’s a lifetime of opportunities for you to earn fame, glory, and riches but, for now, the wisest thing you can do is start asking yourself the questions that’ll matter to you even 20 years down the line. 

Got any tips of your own that you’d like to share with the rest of us? Drop a comment below. 

 

Choosing A Career : Now & Then | Does India’s Education System Really Prepare Students For The Real World?

Today, the Indian higher education system is the largest in the world; over 70 million students are enrolled in both government and private schools. That means that India will have the world’s largest graduate talent pipeline by 2020. [Source:www.ibef.org/industry/education-sector-india.aspx] But does that help students choose the right career path?

From a country that had a literacy rate of just 18% under British Raj to having achieved a staggering 80% rate as a young independent nation in seventy years is remarkable. We’ve grown immensely and quite intensely, but is it enough? 

Is high school education and a degree enough to equip people for the rest of their lives? To truly introduce them to their aptitude and acumen? What can we do to make the quality of education in India better and help them choose a better career?

The revolution starts with the simplest steps that leave a growing impact, especially in schools.

Hands-on experience

There’s enough research that underscores the need for real-world experience, but we believe that it should be provided to children while they’re still in school. While internships are available in abundance for college graduates, especially with the rise in startups and small enterprises in India, experience in a live environment can help students as young as 15 when they’re picking their stream of study. Giving them a preview of what their field of interest looks like, how people function and what they do during a work day, is bound to give them the reality check they need before picking a stream that’ll define their professional lives. Or the next 40 odd years of their lives. 

The idea is not to overwhelm a young child by asking them to join the real world before they’re ready; rather it is to provide exposure and breathing room to identify what excites them. 

Aptitude and Personality

Not all subjects can please every mind. That’s a fact. Everyone has different inclinations. Remember the time you got low marks and felt embarrassed? How did it feel? Demotivated to study the subject? Worried that you were not capable? Concerned about your future?

Time at school plays the fiercest role in paving the path for a child’s future. While discovering their own aptitude, they also retain important characteristics. For instance, a good debater exudes confidence and eloquence. There are fields such as oratory, public speaking, and life coaching which are now well-recognized.

But if we arm twist the same child to study and ace all subjects instead of creating a necessary understanding, we’re not being fair to their true talent. Rather, we’re confusing and, subsequently, distorting their natural personality. There’s no doubt about the fact that every child needs a holistic education and schools are a great platform since there’s nothing more motivating than a hanging deadline or an examination. However, if students don’t fall in love with their subjects then they just end up focusing on passing the examination and clearing submissions. Not on becoming the best version of themselves.

It’s high time we start condensing and curating streams that help students prosper, not just in theory but in life. 

Contemporary Educators 

So far, the benchmark followed by the government has been the student-teacher ratio in classrooms, irrespective of the subject or stream. And while the gap is reducing and we’re closer to an ideal ratio than we have ever been, is that really a comprehensive indicator of progress? 

We believe the method is flawed; to draft a ratio like that is incoherent—especially in the 21st century when different kinds of professions are becoming mainstream. Children in schools today need personal attention and time with educators who have real-world experience. However, even more than the tool of analysis, we believe that the quality of syllabi needs to improve as we’re making rapid developments in every sphere, every industry.  

How justified is it for a teacher to first not be able to pay attention to every student, regulate fairly old literature, and then judge their aptitude on the basis of what they’ve learnt? What have the students really gained?  

What is your opinion of the way India studies? If you could, what would be the first thing that you’d change? Tell us in the comments below!

Films On A Budget!

If you want to understand the craft of filmmaking, you gotta make a film! It’s that simple, and it can also be that budget-friendly—so long as you have a little bit of help. One of the many benefits of living in a digital world is that it has drastically reduced the costs required to shoot and produce a film; don’t get me wrong, it’s still a challenge, but it’s not impossible!  

In fact, use the challenge and let limited funds inspire you to really get creative with filmmaking. Take a cue from living legends, Richard Schenkman (The Man from Earth) or Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity) who directed stunning no-budget films. 

What it boils down to is making a few key adjustments right when you’re starting out. These decisions can not only help you save some big bucks but also add character, infuse creativity and, eventually, help produce a piece of work that you’re proud of. Here are a few nifty tips for making your first ever, low-budget film with as few hassles and bills as possible: 

  1. Shooting in black and white reduces a significant amount of work and money that would be spent during and post-production. 
  2. Using props and situations that are raw and earthy, instead of flamboyant and flashy, is a really good way to cut back on costs. For instance, if there’s a scene that involves the use of guns in your script, maybe you can use a saw or a hammer (easily available in most garages) instead. This can help eliminate things like expensive rentals, sound effects, and editing.
  3. You don’t have to force your imagination and creativity when it comes to filmmaking. Instead, try and build a story that’s closer to your heart and mind. Maybe your city, your college, your school or even your own family can be jumping-off points. Instead of racking up set-building bills or paying hefty actors’ fees, you can try and set your first film in as natural a setting as possible. 

These aren’t just my personal thoughts on filmmaking; these are tips from very successful and renowned directors who, at one time, were only aspiring to become film-makers—just like you. Here’s a video by the Royal Ocean Film Society in which they review younger films that Christopher Nolan, Robert Rodriguez, and Richard Linklater made, discussing techniques and approaches they took to create low-budget marvels of cinema. Have at it!

For more tips on shooting on a minimal budget, attend one of our Filmmaking Capsules  where in a span of 6 days you will learn what it takes to shoot and deliver a short film using minimal equipment and budgets.

These Startups Are Using Technology To Solve India’s Water Crisis

3 Indian Startups That Are Working Towards India’s Water Crisis

Netflix’s new dystopian drama series, Leila is set in 2050 India and, among the many horrifying realities of this world that was first conceptualized by novelist Prayag Akbar, is that clean water is a commodity that only the upper caste and wealthy have access to. But what is scarier than a possible future is an almost-certain present; India is already running out of water and, according to NITI Ayog, more than 40% of the country’s population will not have access to clean drinking water by the year 2030.

Chennai is currently suffering the worst water crisis it has in over thirty years—pipe water supply has reduced to a drip (less than 10% of what it used to be), malls and residential societies are rationing water, companies are asking employees to work from home and, for the city’s nine million parched residents, the availability of the next bottle or pot of water remains uncertain. It’s on its way to becoming the first Zero City, or the first Indian city to run out of water, followed by Delhi and Bengaluru. Akbar’s dystopic world is looming large, and swift action is the need of the hour. 

The silver lining to this very bleak cloud, however, is that some Indian startups are addressing this crisis and responding with smart, technologically-advanced products that will help combat it. These include: 

Uravu Labs

A Bengaluru-based startup, Uravu Labs has developed a solar thermal based device called the EVA aquapanel that produces drinking water from thin air! Essentially, what it does is that the device absorbs water vapour at night (as the humidity is higher in many places at this time). Then, during the day, the solar collector heats up the device to around 80-100°C, releasing the saturated water vapour back. The vapours are then passed through an air-cooled condenser and transformed into liquid.

For every square metre, the device can generate around four to five litres of water. Many urban homes rely on reverse osmosis (RO) or UV water purifiers. According to their website, the device will work in areas of 10% – 90% humidity and a micro-grid or network of EVA aquapanels can generate enough water to sustain a community or small industry. 

 OCEO Water

Bengaluru-based company has an Internet of Things (IoT) – enabled smart water purifier essentially checks water quality in real time and sends alerts when the device requires maintenance. While most water purifiers are quite costly, OCEO’s premise is that water purification is a service that they charge for but everything else is free-of-cost. Their USP is that many of these water purifiers that are currently available do not have a system that alerts users when the water quality begins to deteriorate. 

Swajal

To tackle the issue of availability of clean drinking water in public places (like railway stations, metros or malls), Gurugram-based startup Swajal is installing water ATMs in the city. These Swajal water ATMs use internet of things (IoT) sensors to remotely monitor the quality of the water and the performance of the machine. It uses machine learning to run predictive maintenance algorithms to predict system failures before they actually happen. And, of course, it makes access to safe drinking water much easier. 

Although the NKD Pod+ is not Indian, it is manufactured in England, the water bottle is a portable alternative to water purifiers and could be extremely useful given the country’s predicament. The NKD Pod+ has an in-built purifier system, which can cleanse up to 99% of bacteria, heavy metals and chemicals from water in any form. 

If you are interested in having your own startup or are interested in building your career in IoT, contact Project Mynt to know more about our Entrepreneurship and Internet of Things (IoT) courses.