How Do We Make Our Stories
Each of our stories are created following a process that ensures the stories are adopted for the format suitable for viewing on mobile device while keeping the essence of the source material intact. The typical process followed for creating these stories involves following steps:
The first step in the content creation process is the selection of topic. Considering these stories have been told through generations and the universe is almost infinite, it becomes important to select our stories very carefully. One of the most important criteria for us while selecting a story is we should always tell our audience something they might not know already. It could be a story which is not very popular among masses for example the story of Maharaj Prithu or of Sun’s charioteer Arun or if it is a story that many people are familiar with can we offer our audience something more like the story of Savitri and Satyavan was narrated by Marakandeya Rishi to Yudhishthira or the origin story of Chyavanprash.
Since we publish new content every day, we try to offer a variety of topics during the week so that all our users find something of their interest and return to our app for more. Monday is reserved for Mythbusters where we cover popular myths about our ancient epics and bust them with evidence from reputed sources. Tuesday is for Temple Tales, where we tell the stories about various temples across the globe. Wednesday is dedicated for Words of Wisdom where we publish the nuggets of vast knowledge stored in our scriptures which tends to get lost when we focus solely on entertainment. Every Thursday we publish short stories from of ancient Epics and Puranas. Friday is for Podcast, where we are doing a serialized retelling of Mahabharat based on original source material. Saturday is for long stories and Sunday is family day, when we publish stories for kids.
Each member of our writing team has access to the translations of our scriptures published by reputed sources like Gita Press, Chaukhambha, Bhandarkar Institute etc and they read through this source material before working on any story. The idea behind this step is twofold, one – the writer must understand the story as it is narrated in the source material to get the essence right while adopting it in the short format and two – the information available on various sources on internet in unreliable and cannot be trusted at its face value.
This process also helps us gather insights into the appearances, landscapes and most importantly the moral message. These elements are then incorporated throughout the next steps to ensure the sense of authenticity is maintained to the extent possible. We also mention the source material in our story videos so that people are encouraged to do their own reading as well and explore the vast universe of stories and knowledge left for us by our ancestors.
Once our writers are done with the research on a particular topic often from multiple sources, they get on with the task of writing the story in simple language with engaging storyline. We try to keep the story short and engaging so that it is suitable for viewing on a mobile screen yet our aim is to tell a complete coherent story and not just cut corners to fit to a particular time limit or any other such restrictions.
The objective of creating short videos is to enable them to be shared across various platforms by our users specially Whatsapp. Indians share millions of Good Morning messages everyday on Whatsapp, imagine if these good morning messages are replaced by 1 minute video from Sutradhar which tells the story from our Itihas-Puranas.
Once we are done with the writing process, our visual arts team takes over and the first step in their process is to go through the story and understand scenes, landscapes and characters involved in the story. The research done by our writing team helps them in this visualization.
After understanding the visual aspects of the story, the director gives the instructions to the illustration team, who then get on with the task of creating the images for the story.
Voiceover and Music
While Illustration team is working on creating the art work, our audio team completes the recording of the story and the background music is added as per the mood of the story. Our voice over artists are mostly from theatre background so they understand the emotions and mood and are able to channel that in their performance. This experience elevates to overall quality of our audio performance.
Illustration team creates the artwork based on the instruction received by the director. One of the most important instructions we have given to our illustration team is to avoid making cartoonish characters. We believe making our characters look like cartoons would take away the seriousness of the topic you are covering and we want this content to be consumed by Kids and Adults alike since the messaging of these stories is universal and relevant for everyone irrespective of their age, gender, social or cultural background.
Once the Illustrations and audio are ready our after effects team puts them together in the form of the videos that you can see on our app and some other media/social platforms.
In order to ensure the quality output, we have review mechanisms in place at every stage. Writing, Audio, Illustrations and Final video all go through at least one round of review before getting approved for next step in the journey.