Youthful, peculiar, and hilarious, VIVA has emerged to become one of South India’s most followed channels on YouTube. The short film ‘VIVA’, which took YouTube by storm a few years ago, is from where team ‘VIVA’ embarked on its journey. The brainchild of youngsters from Visakhapatnam, it was recently awarded the Social Media Summits and Award in the Entertainment category. Yo! Vizag interacted with the team’s members and here’s what they had to share.
From playing the VIVA examiner four years ago to playing characters in some famous Telugu movies, city’s Harsha Chemudu, a.k.a ‘VIVA’ Harsha, has certainly come a long way. He shared his thoughts on his team’s journey thus far.
“To be honest, none of us even had the slightest clue that we would come this far. When we started out initially, we were just a bunch of film enthusiasts who wanted to use YouTube as the platform to reach out to the audience. We never imagined that ‘VIVA’ would go on to garner such a massive response. Luckily, one thing led to another and new avenues opened up for us.”
Winning the Award
“Sabarish is the director of all the films created by us. He is ably supported by his directorial team of 8-9 members. We even have an artist team of 10-12 actors who are a regular part of each of our films. We received the Social Media Award 2017 for the best content creation in the regional category. The feeling of winning was really amazing. The fact that we have been awarded in an area of our interest makes it even more special. I would like to thank the Government of Andhra Pradesh for recognising social media as a special entity and organising these awards. I’m sure this would do a world of good to all the budding talent out there.”
Growing scope of social media
“Looking at the rapid pace at which social media is picking up, it is safe to say that digitalization is the future. In fact, the Telugu states too are up and running with some brilliant social media channels joining the league. People have started considering YouTube for a profession and the term “YouTubers” has a heavy weight attached to it nowadays. This has given rise to many new opportunities for the youngsters and the scope for content creation is massive.”
“Visakhapatnam is very special to me. The city has made me what I am today. To sum it up, any statement about Vizag is an understatement.”
Sabarish is the captain of the VIVA ship. Starting out with an experimental short film to getting many opportunities in the industry, this youngster from the city is busy scripting his destiny.
How it all started
“Right since my childhood, I was interested in making videos. As a kid, I used to go out with my cousins and make small videos with my handycam. As days passed by, my interest turned into a passion and I started filming in a more professional way. Eventually, I decided to quit my job to pursue film making and formed a team with some of my long-time friends to film VIVA.”
VIVA’s current RUN
“Thanks to the response we have been getting from our viewers, our team is gaining recognition from many quarters. We recently collaborated with Culture Machine and have started making films more frequently. VIVA currently has 8 million views every month and we are looking to scale it up to 15 million.”
“VIVA runs high on its entertainment quotient. We make films that have a social message enveloped with a meaty layer of satire. This has helped us in connecting with a wider range of audiences. Many people from other states as well have appreciated us for our quirky and relatable content. In fact, we are heartened to know that VIVA has a following among children too. Factors such as these, encourage us to keep coming up with healthier comedy that can be enjoyed by varied people.”
“Visakhapatnam is probably the most peaceful city to live in. As a matter of fact, Harsha and I always discuss spending our retired lives in Vizag. Personally, I have an emotional connection with the city. The rides to Rushikonda, late in the evening, are absolutely magical. Be it the sea breeze, or the inherent calmness, or even the chance to embrace one’s solitude, these rides can revive anyone’s spirits.”