by DVL Vidya
In conversation with Maverick, Mr. Worldwide and Iceman, some of the core members of the Getting Na? Team
- So first things first, what is the story behind the name, “Getting Na?”.
MW: Well, a common friend of ours has a quirk of ending his conversations with the phrase “getting na?” to see whether people were listening to him. We found it very endearing and thus decided to use it as the name of our team.
- What was the idea behind creating Getting Na?
I: Honestly, the only reason we started this was because we wanted to do something that didn’t remind us of law school. We all just wanted to break the monotony and do something that was fun and creative. We all had diverse interests and the only thing we all agreed on was making videos. We started out small with 15 second videos and after that we moved on to bigger projects.
- From 15 second videos to a web series. That seems like quite a leap.
M: Actually, we had a lot of other projects. We made more videos, for birthdays mostly, then small comic skits, a short film for Dr. Prasannashu’s project and the Getting Na? team was largely involved in staging Trial by Jury for Dionysia 2015. Warzone seems to be our most popular but it is not one of our first projects.
- So, what made you come up with the concept of Warzone?
MW: During the winter break, I had this idea of making a really gory web series filled with guns and blood. The title “Warzone” actually refers to that. But after coming back to college and hearing the rumours surrounding the IMS scene, I realized that I kind of was already in a Warzone. The events are almost completely exaggerated, but the IMS is an extremely intense time and seemed to be a very good premise for a web series.
- As you said, the IMS is an extremely intense time for any law school. So how did you manage to take the time out to create Warzone?
MW: Creating Warzone takes a lot of time and effort. The lack of equipment and funds meant that we had to improvise and use everything at our disposal. We even used our cell phones to shoot scenes since we didn’t have proper equipment. It takes about 3 weeks to make a 10 minute episode and we originally planned to have 6 episodes. But due to the exams and the break we had to reduce that to 4 episodes. We wanted to hold auditions for the cast but then we eventually decided to choose people who we knew were free and broadly fit the characters personality. We are not kidding, we took the most outspoken Marxist in our class to play a Marxist in the series. Balancing people’s schedules and campus timings were really challenging. And holy shit, the hard disk space. It was tough managing even that.
- So enthu, much wow.
M: That’s not even half of it. Filming aside we wanted to ensure there were no copyright violations. Whenever we showed the University we made sure to not show any specific place. There are 20 people affiliated to Warzone and 5 other people who help us out whenever they can. We took their signed permission for everything.
I: We are law students after all. We tried to make things all professional, if not from a technical standard, then at least from a legal standard.
- Wow. You guys have though this through. How was the feedback?
MW: It was mostly positive. Some of the (now) alumni wanted to even be a part of Warzone and we were happy to oblige. There were suggestions ranging from putting subtitles and improving sound quality to serious concerns raised about the depiction of certain characters. However for a first time endeavour, the feedback was really encouraging.
- How did you address the concerns?
M: We understood the reason behind their concerns and were also aware that we had inadvertently strengthened the whole “women distract men in the library” debate. However we would like the clarify that all the characters in the show were meant to be a mockery of clichéd Hollywood tropes and we would never have thought that certain scenes could be construed in such a manner. The scene in question is an isolated incident and was shown only in the first episode. We had plans of various other scenes that are not as problematic. Though to be fair, we admit that we should have made it more obvious that we were mocking the “distracting women” trope. But that is a mistake in the filming. Hopefully in the coming episodes, the character will develop enough to be able address such concerns satisfactorily.
- Since you’re planning on making only 4 episodes will there be other seasons?
MW: There are plans to make more seasons. But there are also plans for various other projects which we believe are far more interesting. We are planning on releasing video soon, independent of Warzone, about how the reality of NLUD is different from our expectations.
M: MW was very enthu and jobless when he was single. He had around 25 project ideas. Crazy ones, really. We even wanted to shoot a porno once, just cause. We couldn’t shoot it, for obvious reasons. Warzone was the idea to materialize. Once we get some equipment and sponsors (subtle much?) we hope to be able to make some serious videos.
- So tell me about what goes on behind the scenes. Your favourite parts and the biggest obstacles.
I: Brainstorming for ideas is definitely our most favourite parts. There might be a few conflicts due to our clashing ideologies and getting consensus is quite difficult, but really, it’s so much fun. The toughest parts would be the editing and recording audio. We have to sometimes do 15 takes of the same scene and recording the audio without any microphones is extremely tough. Since we have no budget in the sense that we are all broke as hell, trying to come up with a decent quality video takes more time than you can imagine.
MW: – The maximum we have spent was like 20 bucks to buy some juice for one of our lead actress. And by juice, we mean Tropicana Mixed Fruit. The good stuff. (It was fruit juice. Honestly.)
M: Our campus offers us so many opportunities with various scenic locations that we didn’t even have to go to Rajiv Chowk to film. We are so lucky. We managed to come so far without a DSLR, microphone or a tripod. And that is an achievement in itself. We are even planning on painting one of our hostel walls green in order to make a make shift green screen. Taking one for the team and all.
- Yeah, yeah. You’re broke as hell and have no equipment. Who is the Phantom, though? Pretty sure people are more interested in that.
I: There’s a reason he’s called the ‘Phantom’ you know.
[Interviewer: Isn’t that a line from the show?
Iceman: Don’t judge.]
- Anything else you guys want to add?
MW: We are open to suggestions and ideas. Like our Facebook page and subscribe to our channel. 100 followers toh banta hain. We can’t ask you to click on the ads so that we can earn something because that would be against YouTube Policy. But make sure to watch our videos.
M: And also, we need a plastic gun for our next episode.
(You can view all of Getting Na?s videos here.)