The twist in the topic

The twist in the topic

The twist in the topic

Being one of the most sought-after sites today, Youtube has produced many ‘virtual heroes’ who are behind some of the funniest and most informative content online.

Culture Machine, comprising Sameer Pitalwalla and Venkat Prasad, from Mumbai is one of them. Their parodies have found many takers even in Bangalore.

Their ability to take a hot topic and twist it into something hilarious has earned them a huge fan following among ‘netizens’. “I used to head the digital media for Disney while Venkat was working with Youtube in California. We met through a common friend in Google and began to talk,” Sameer tells Metrolife. 

It’s been a year since Culture Machine was founded and many of its videos have gone viral. “It’s a media tech company. One of our first videos was about how a foreigner is treated when he or she comes here,” he recalls.

Slowly, they made a number of digital hits like ‘The Sonam KapoorSelfie Song’ and ‘Being Indian massive hits like Mumbai’s IQ or Mumbai on FreindZone’. They even made ‘Gore Gote’, which took a dig at fairness creams. 

Their latest sensation is a parody of ‘Humshakals’ and revolves around the different stages (like denial, anger and depression) an angry movie-buff goes through when a film like that is first announced and then released. “Our videos are a result of what people are watching and consuming,” says Sameer.  

“Though our company started with just the two of us, we have 60 people today! Many of my former colleagues have joined in,” he informs. Today, their talent pool boasts of artistes like Bollywood Gandu, Shraddha Sharma, Sophie Chouwdhary, Elton J Fernandez,  Vasuda Sharma and Raghav Sacchar to name a few. 

Ask him about the challenges of starting one’s own venture and he says, “Doing any business in India isn’t easy. From setting a studio to creating a business plan to burning the midnight oil, it’s tough. But then, the challenges are not insurmountable.”

Do they get a lot of hate mails from the fans of those they make fun of? Pat comes the reply, “This is India. Here people either love something or hate something.

Youtube is just a microcosm of the one billion weird people existing on the planet.” He laughs, “These are the oddities of humanity. Some of the personal abuses online, especially the ones in which people fight among themselves are extremely funny.” 

According to him, “one cannot control ideas”. “Everything is a result of how the market is. It’s about how people are forced to form an opinion while watching a programme. Put something out there in the world and people will absorb it,” he says. 

Their future plan is to keep creating entertaining content. “We put up content that we like to watch. We would like to dominate the net culture by creating programming that is entertaining as well as helps people learn,” he notes.

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