28-year-old Akshat Gupt co-founded the company – Supari Studios – along with his brother Advait Gupt, in 2012. Supari Studios is a Mumbai based digital content studio that creates animated and live action content on internet. They have worked with brands like Google, YouTube, Nike, L’oreal, Maybelline and more. Akshat and Advait were also listed in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Asia in 2016 under their Media, Marketing and Advertising category.
Akshat is credited with directing over 75 films for company. More recently Akshat directed the documentary – Gully Life: The Story Of DIVINE, for Red Bull India, which follows the story of the acclaimed rapper – DIVINE aka Vivian Fernandes.
We talked to Akshat about his journey with Supari Studios and his work with Red Bull after Music Inc 2.0.
- What is the story behind Supari Studios? How did the idea of it come about?
I was freelancing with a bunch of advertising agencies and production companies back in 2012. However, I was struggling to find people who took me seriously considering my age. At that time, my brother just quit his Investment bank job to study for his MBA. I asked him for a little help for some of the projects I was getting at that time. We soon realized that there was a gap in the digital content market, that’s when we combined our skill sets and set up Supari Studios – which would focus on creating online video content in a rapidly-evolving digital media landscape. What started as a passion project in September 2012, quickly evolved into an integrated studio that creates content for the audiences on the digital medium.
- What sets Supari Studios apart from the rest of the industry?
We’re a digital content studio that functions at the intersection of film, design, and technology. Being digital first, and being fully integrated is what we thinks sets us apart.
Tell us about your collaboration with Red Bull for Gully Life: The Story Of DIVINE. How did the collaboration come about, what made you choose Vivian for documenting his story?Red bull approached us in early 2018 to cover an upcoming artist that they were looking at collaborating with. This artist happened to be a young rapper named DIVINE who was on the rise and apparently had a movie inspired by him. We just finished working on a three part documentary series called Doppelgangers that won a Webby – one of the highest awards for the internet. I was looking at what to do next and we decided that deep diving into this story would be the right thing to do. As I was discovering his story we figured that there was a lot of depth and telling a short documentary would not do justice, that’s when we decided to follow him for an year and see how his life would change after Gully Boy. The film took 15 months to shoot and edit. It was awesome to be part of his life for that long and to be able to tell his story with such authenticity. The challenges were almost positive – he is a person that never settles. He kept evolving as an artist and as a musician and kept achieving newer and better things, that just kept evolving my narrative and edit.
How was it working with Vivian? Is there a memory you can recall during the filming that you will never forget?Vivian is humble and is real. He’s not let the fame get to his head. I learned that one should not take no for an answer. Had he accepted ‘no’ as an answer, he would have been a different person. He broke many barriers. Being ambitious as well as being grounded are very important and his main focus has always been his family and friends. His music is relatable, it’s real. It’s what everyone is going through and is on everyone’s mind and that’s why everyone relates to it. That’s what I love about him the most.
Brands Supari Studios is working with? Can you give us a brief on the Content IPs you are building for brands?We work with Red bull, Estee Lauder, Google, Asian Paints to name a few. We are working with brands to build for them strategically relevant content IPs, wherein the brand’s value proposition is subtly incorporated in the larger content piece/s, created based on the passion points of the audience. These content IPs thus, not only pique the audience’s interest and increase their engagement with the brand, but also help market the brand’s products.
What are the future plans for Supari Studios? What are some new projects to look forward to?Supari Studios has three fully functioning verticals –
1. Supari Studios that handles branded content for brands that are looking at creating content territories online
2. Post office is our animation and VFX division that consists of animations, designers and technologists servicing agencies and production houses when it comes to high end animated content.
3. Keeda – Our original content division. We realized that the future is having capabilities in original content. With so many players entering the market the demand for original content has never been this high. Keeping this thought in mind, we’ve started a channel Vitamin Stree. Vitamin Stree is focused on reshaping the narrative of young women in India. We have 100k Subscribers and 8.6 Million overall views.
The future of Supari studios is to scale all these verticals.