Features

24 hours with… Nanthiniy Ravindran of Mediacorp

A hectic day spent compressing documentaries, travelogues and news promos into pithy 30 second trailers to get viewers interested – it's not as easy as it sounds, says Mediacorp creative producer Nanthiniy Ravindran

Ravindran is a creative producer at Mediacorp


6.30am
: All up and ready for work. I believe in starting my morning right so that everything else will fall into place for the rest of the day.

7.15am: Time to head off to the train station. I refrain from using my phone during my commute and prefer to take in my surroundings.

This is when I find myself visualising and coming up with ideas, most of which are inspired by events, things or people that I observe in daily life.

8.30am: This is the calm before the storm. I have some valuable quiet time to plan for the day ahead. I will also take the opportunity to respond to emails from the night before and attend to the urgent but easily tackled tasks.

9.00am: I’m now knee-deep in editing 30-second trailers for documentaries, travelogues, news promos, etc. We call these programme trailers in the industry.

To get started, if I am working on a documentary trailer for the day, I’ll watch the full documentary to understand the theme or key issues the programme addresses. I’ll then skim through the b-rolls with my team before brainstorming for an attention catching trailer flow that gives the audience an overarching idea of the show.

Shortlisting b-rolls isn’t as easy as it sounds. I need to be precise because ‘every footage you put up must have a reason’. This was a piece of advice that my television production lecturer at MDIS once gave me and has stuck with me ever since.

Ravindran with her professors

10.00am: It’s now time to start drafting the script for the voiceover. I turn on my writer mode by putting myself in the shoes of the director and the audience. I ask myself: what does he/she want to say in 30 seconds? Who does he/she want to show? How can I get the audience interested?

11:00am: I usually like to get my first draft completed and work on a draft edit while waiting for the script approval to come in, before lunch. I am a fierce critic of my own work and this process can be time consuming. When I spend more time than needed, I will take a break.  

I make it a priority to not think or talk about work during lunch as it gives me a fresher perspective when I return and re-evaluate my work.

2:30pm: The video editing is done and it’s time for a self-critique session. I start asking myself: How can I make this better? Is this what I want to put out to the audience? To check for the final flow, I will get my colleagues to watch the trailer. I always need a fresh pair of eyes to critique my work. Once that’s done, it’s time to submit the trailer for clearance.

Ravindran creating trailers that will draw audiences in

3:00pm: While waiting for clearance, I spend my time on self-directed learning. I am currently watching ‘The Art of Editing’ and a video on the techniques of storytelling.

6:00pm: Homebound. Depending on my mood, I indulge in either comedy shows on Netflix or catch up with books on my way home.

Today I am reading ‘The Return of Sherlock Holmes’. I’ve watched the TV series and I am curious to see how different the storytelling component is. Occupational hazard, I guess.

8:30pm: It’s time for a swimming or jogging session. I am mostly desk bound at work so I make a conscious effort to keep fit.  

10:00pm: All washed up and ready for downtime. I usually spend time with my sister as it is a great opportunity to catch up with her after a hectic day. Tonight’s conversation is about the issue of class divide that’s been covered extensively in the news, of late.  

11:00pm: It’s now time for me to hit on the snooze button for a new day tomorrow.

 

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