Scrolling through Instagram, you come across what seems like yet another wedding film, but something is different here, there’s dialogue, candour, and what seems like nothing less than a short film.
You check again to see if it’s a trailer, only to realize that it is a Yratta Media Film. A production company based out of Lahore that has popularly mastered the art of weaving narratives out of weddings. ‘There’s a fine line between corny, and emotional’ the description reads, and as you keep going through each one of their narrative style videos, one realizes that there’s ‘something special’.
Reaching out to the Creative Director of Yratta Media, When HELLO! exclusively asked Saad what their secret was? He said, ‘It’s an extensive process, from the first meetings, to coordination with the planners, setting schedules, the actual shooting, acquiring the right crew for the job, curating the sound score, colour grading, designing all the relevant graphic aids, and etc. It takes somewhere around five months, and if you have an original soundtrack added, that may take additional time’.
We further inquired about their most recent project with an original soundtrack, to which Saad responded, ‘Our most recent narrative video for example (tough love), was a bitter sweet retelling of a bride's memory of her late mother and her distant childhood, weaving it into a timeless piece about finding acceptance and love after loss. For this particular video, we had original music composed, Arsalan Hassan produced the song, our writing team wrote the lyrics to suit the narrative, and put together a non-linear story that is all encompassing of these heavy events. So, the fact that so much thought goes into it, that's what our true labour is, and of course the best cinematographers to execute such perfection.'
How did Yratta come into being? And what does the word mean?
It’s our family name, my sister Suman, she’s the CEO, and I am the Creative Director. Back in 2017, we were looking to finance a short film project that seemed too ambitious to do on a student budget, corroborating with like-minded wide-eyed wannabe filmmakers we decided that to make short films out of weddings. At the time it sounded like a stretch, but two years into the business we have gradually come to the realization that you could isolate all the elements of a big cinema production out of a big fat desi wedding. There is lighting, amazing costumes, throughout set design, and a couple of lovebirds ready to star in their own film.
Do you ever script your films?
We do stage some sequences, but the emotional responses that one gets from the family and couple on their big day, they’re impossible to stage, so what you see is ‘mostly’ natural.
What about the lip dub videos?
Well, apart from those, they require extensive planning, some camera rehearsal and a lot of effort on part of the clients, as well as the Yratta Team, so they are staged.
You did Mira Sethi’s wedding, that’s an accomplishment. Tell us a little about the experience.
Mira was an absolute delight to work with, as is with all of our wonderful clients. She let us into her boudoir as Rana Noman was just helping her finish her Mehndi look. That brief exchange during that segment made me realize two things 1) Mira loves her dogs-- they’re family to her 2) Her persona as an academically accomplished individual is a huge part of who she is. So, the surprise for her was that it started off with a snippet from her graduation speech that the writers hunted off YouTube, and connected it to her main story. Weddings like Mira’s have helped us reach a wider audience and we couldn’t be more thankful. Whenever we’re inspired, we manage to push the envelope.
What does the future hold for Yratta?
‘Tough one, given how the pandemic has ravaged the industry, we’ve had to scale back executions, no more dozen background dancers, or extensive rehearsals for a video, just plain old intimacy. We’re hopeful to be telling more stories, better ones, and perhaps one day you might even see the Yratta Media logo flash before the start of a feature film.