Made up of Banukan Shanmugaratnam, Vasu Karunanithy, Nish Jegaindrabalan, Hiro Loganathan, Gogulan Mahendra, Sarmel Arudsothiy and Thanu Chandrarajah, the “Tamil Guys” started in the summer of 2010, making videos aimed at the Tamil youths of the world. They have since had over 800,000 views on their YouTube channel, and just released Season 2, Part 3.
We had a little chat with them to find out more …
So, it’s been two years since you started the “Tamil Guys”. How much has the experience changed you in that time?
A lot has changed since we started the Tamil Guys, not changes within us individually but as a whole group. Most importantly, we have learnt to manage time which was an issue during the early days of Tamil Guys, two years ago.
At first, our videos were short and were at maximum ten to fifteen minutes long, but we decided to extend our time on the screen. Now our videos are much longer, as you can tell by our latest 40 minute video.
Since all of us are in university and some of us with full-time jobs, it was really hard to meet up with one another to make our videos, but throughout the years we have changed some of our priorities and learnt to move our schedules around to make it happen.
Not to forget, we have also gained a lot of technical knowledge through the run of Tamil Guys as well as learning new editing software, camera techniques, and we have also gotten better with our acting throughout our videos.
It’s been a while since your last video (the “Winter Special” back in February). Before that your videos were more regular. What triggered the long gap this time?
Yes, it was a bit more of a gap than usual since our winter release but that was all due to exams and other business-related issues.
One example is the creation of our label Youth Motions Entertainment. It was extremely challenging to market a group as big as Tamil Guys under a label that wasn’t well known in the community. Things were not as well organized and always falling apart, so we needed a bit of time to re-gather ourselves.
In this process though, we soon realized that when we do come back with a video it had to exceed all expectations and really impress everyone.
What do all of you do whilst you’re not working on videos?
Away from the videos we are similar to how we are in the videos. Like you see on-screen, friendship, love, laughter, school life…they are aspects of our normal lives. We often chill and see each other, go out and make the most of our days.
How long does it take you to come up with a concept, script it, shoot it and edit it?
Normally after Vasu brings up the concept for the video, it is just the matter of finding the right cast, suitable locations for our scenes, and making sure our schedules are aligned. As mentioned before, shooting is what consumes most of our time in the process of making our videos because of all the other things we have going on in our lives. We never complain though, because the experience of making our films is memorable and exciting to us, and in a way brings us together.
The editing – believe it or not – usually wraps up within a three-day period thanks to our editors Banukan and Hiro. One of the most complicated things about editing is finding the correct BGM to suit each scenario and Nish does an extremely great job at finding them.
Are all the events in your videos inspired by your own life experiences?
Some of them are inspired by our life experiences, some of them are just pure creativity that we like to put on the screen to enlighten and please our audience.
You were recently signed by Rebelstar Records. How have they helped with your work?
Before we were signed to Rebelstar Records, we were actually huge fans of the label itself. Kumar Santha was able to manage several artists in the label such as the Tamil Rapper MC SAI, the stand-up comedian Kutti Hari, the dance crew Public Enemies, and the newly signed singer TeeJay. Once we were signed under Rebelstar Records, our group was more organized and our projects were completed without any delay. Rebelstar Records have one the best marketing techniques that we have seen and of course it is important to have marketing in order to reach out to a wider audience.
Do you get recognised whilst you’re out and about in Toronto?
All the time, but none of us complain about it because we all love our fans for the amount of support they have given us from day one. Our most hectic experiences are in shopping centres (malls) where many come up to take pictures but we don’t mind new profile pictures, haha.
Tell us a bit more about Season 2, Part 3?
Season 2, Part 3 was a concept Vasu built before the summer and goes to show the life of many youths, how exciting the school life is and how many obstacles we face outside of it. This is a great video for families to watch together because of the ton of comedy displayed and also because of the emotional aspects throughout the video.
It is definitely something different compared to our other projects since we have a larger cast, and also because a lot of the cast members have their own story. The video was released on November 4th 2012, and has had an amazing response that we haven’t seen before. To those of you who haven’t watched it yet, you can check it out here.
What have the Tamil Guys got planned next?
Our next project is to hit the one genre that we have not yet hit – action. The title of our next video will be “Anju Thalai Naagam” and will be an action-based short movie where we will be acting as police officers. The concept is fully complete; we have got several artists featuring on this video and several artists composing music for this video. Shooting for "Anju Thalai Naagam" will start in two weeks and more information will be posted on our official Facebook and Twitter pages.
Make sure you subscribe to the Tamil Guys’ YouTube channel to stay up-to-date with their videos!