“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” ― Ansel Adam. And That is the winning formula to be a great storyteller – irrespective of the medium or the tool.
Today, we have an interesting artist who connects with people around him through his humor and down-to-heart demeanor. And what sets him apart is his ability to absorb emotions around him, and his curiosity to learn something new each day. All these qualities coupled with hard work and a practical approach to life, 26-year-old Sanen Kichu from Nagaland is the videographer you would want to hire to capture the most precious moments in your life. Let’s have a chat with him to know him more.
Here’s a fun chat with the humorous and talented Sanen Kichu of ‘San Production’ as he gives us a peek into his journey so far, and also what he feels is his secret formula as a videographer.
Hello Sanen, please introduce yourself.
Hi, My name is Sanen Kichu, I am the proprietor of San Production, I am 26 years old, and currently based in Kohima. I did my graduation in Commerce from Baptist College Kohima, after which I went to Bangalore to take up filmmaking and visual effects from the Zee Institute of creative art and drama. Post that, I worked for a US-based company called ‘Mall 140’, as a graphic designer and 3D artist.
“Long story short, after coming back from Bangalore I worked as a piano music instructor for 1½ years after which in a desperate need of a job, I joined the election office as a computer assistant and side by side, I continued to work on my video production venture. And finally, after 6 months of working, I decided to leave the job and go full time with my video production and the rest is history.”
Sanen Kichu (middle) getting ready for a shoot in Nagaland
What initially sparked your interest in videography?
Well, initially the spark was not from a camera (lol) but I remember when I was in secondary school, a friend of mine brought an editing software to school; we had no idea how to use it, but I remember how excited we were to learn more about it. That’s when he introduced me to YouTube Tutorials (obviously I had heard about YouTube, but did not know about Tutorials lol). He would download those videos and share them with me. That’s how I learned the basic stuff about video editing.
“As for learning to use the camera, one random day, me and a friend decided to shoot a short drum cover, so we rushed to the church (that was the only place where we could get a drum set lol) and started filming. Luckily my dad had a family camera – a handycam, so we used that to film. I would play the song and he would play the beat accordingly and I’d move around with my camera like an expert – though I had no idea what I was doing lol.
We then rushed back home and put the footages on my laptop, synced the audio then played the video and Damn!!! we were totally blown away by the final video. That excitement probably sparked that desire in me to pursue video making.”
How has your roots/upbringing influenced your work?
Having grown up in a small isolated town, I honestly think it’s the excitement and the curiosity to learn – especially from a world that seems so far apart and different from mine has helped me a lot. Also growing up in an environment where we, as kids, would get together to play and it would be usually experimenting and creating things to entertain themselves. With no pressure and pure play, I actually enjoyed the process of learning to make and edit videos – as fun activities.
“Even acting as a professional while making our first video as kids (drum cover video in church), sounds really funny now but it was pure fun and I really enjoyed the process; and when we saw the result, we were beyond excited that we could create something on our own – out of our childish imagination. That encouraged me even more to keep making videos and seek to learn more. I think that’s when I realized that I had a natural talent to make videos, and also planted an eternal excitement inside of me about the possibilities of creating endless things using a camera.”
Sanen Kichu’s camera and toolsets
‘Kids’ by Sanen Kichu – captured with drone camera – also a visual representation of Sanen’s overarching philosophy to always stay ” Young, Foolish and Happy”
Kohima Town by Sanen Kichu.
Did you always want a career in the creative field?
As a kid, I’ve always wanted to be a doctor, but then as I grew older I changed my mind and wanted to be a full-time musician, and I did venture into that for some time. I was a piano teacher for almost 2 years. But today I have my own video production venture, something I had never imagined I’d be doing full time.
Behind the scenes of a shoot – San Production
Behind the scenes of a video shoot for San Production
- What’s your work philosophy, and where do you take inspiration from?
My only philosophy is work hard and never stop learning. This is a major challenge many of us face when we are trying to get better at what we do – we often forget the importance of learning new things and that’s when you get stuck. Even if you put hours of work into your art, if you don’t learn something new each day, you will not grow as a professional.
“YouTube tutorials have always been my go-to when it comes to learning new things. I also take a lot of online courses and often engage in online conversations with filmmakers I look up to. Also, I get a lot of the inspiration during my quiet time, which is mostly driving alone somewhere far, and enjoying the nature.”
Sanen showing off his new editing skills
■ What do you hope people take away from your Videos?
“My one goal as a videographer is to let the viewers into my world and to be able to make them feel the same emotions that I feel/go through while capturing moments that are unfolding in front of me.”
Snippet from a wedding video by San Production
Your most memorable video shoot/video
To me, all the shoots are very memorable, but if you ask me then it would be a shoot in Sethikima. Not really about the shoot but about the day of the shoot that makes it memorable.
That fateful day, when I had hardly 5 mins for the program to start and I was supposed to start shooting, the tyre of my car got stuck while parking my car, so I came out to take a look and then my foot went inside a pothole full of mud. I somehow took out my camera and gears out my car and rushed to the program holding all my gears, sweating (it was a hot day!) and out of breath. Upon entering the program venue, my other foot went inside another pothole full of mud, and this time it was serious because I was holding my camera gears lol. But long story short, on our way back we had Sinju at Patkai college which made the day so much better.
[Editor’s note: He probably went to the same AUNTY SINJU we had featured in 2016 😀]