We all spend hours on Youtube for different reasons, some are hooked on music videos while others are fans of tutorials, there are a few who watch food and travel vlogs while others prefer to look for educational videos. It is true that different people with different interests follow different channels on Youtube but there is one thing that almost every viewer switches to every once in a while and that is comedy. With our busy lives and stressful jobs, it is but normal to seek a little break and laugh a little, which is why we love comedy videos, parodies, stand-ups and the like. One channel from the Northeast that is making viewers crack up is Dreamz Unlimited. Based in Nagaland, the channel is getting great reviews for uploading comedy videos that are relatable and hilarious.
The First Take
It all started when National School of Drama, New Delhi, conducted in Dimapur in the year 2008. There were twenty six participants from all over Nagaland, and at the end of the workshop, which was initiated by North East Zone Cultural Centre, they continued doing theatre and called themselves Dreamz Unlimited (DU). ‘In the initial years, we did a few productions, here and outside Nagaland, in theatre festivals under Robijita Gogoi and Robin Das who were our teachers during the workshop. However in those days, things were not as smooth, so among the 26 participants, many gave up midway as during that time there was less scope to earn through theatre. By the year 2010-11, the group became non functional. Some opted for further studies, some got married and settled down and some just gave up. After a few years, two members namely Tiakumzuk Aier, who is the present director of DU now and Bokavi Swu, co-ordinator, decided to revive DU and started recruiting new artistes.’ They started performing but things were quite slow in the beginning. The big change happened when they started making videos.
Besides Tiakumzuk and Bokavi, the other team members are Ariensa, Chuba, Alfrit, Along, Asen, Sunep and MTakum Aier.
Lights, Camera, Action
The first video they uploaded was a 1.17 minute one-take video titled ‘The Big Scope‘. ‘It was uploaded on our Facebook Page in 2016 which was widely appreciated as it was a satirical take on how students just follow the trend of studying arts, science or commerce after their HSCL exam, according to their percentage.’ At present, The Demand 2 is the most viewed video on their channel as it has almost half a million views so far.
For DU, the highlight of their videos are the relatable topics, most of which come from the mind of Tiakumzuk. ‘He usually does the scripting and dialogues, but during shooting, sometimes the actors also improvise. In addition to that, Longchar, who takes care of the sound and Imtiakum Aier, who is the cinematographer and editor of DU are the two other people who bring new ideas and scripts to the table.’ They usually choose a topic that is trending in the State and the country.
Passion and Profit
Of course, making videos as frequently as they do takes up a lot of time and effort, but is it profitable? The team revealed that they weren’t earning anything in the beginning but now since they have dedicated subscribers, they do earn revenue. ‘When we started, we had very little knowledge about earning through the videos. We did it purely out of passion. But now our channel has the highest Youtube subscribers in Nagaland so we get projects for making ads or creating awareness campaigns from the government and private enterprises which helps us earn revenue.’
Not Just Comedy
The team is not only focussed on making comedy videos, they also work on a lot of thought-provoking videos about serious issues like domestic violence, child labour, malaria, dengue, HIV/AIDS, sanitation and more. ‘One of our most successful project in terms of creating awareness was the feature film, NANA – a tale of us, which was released back in 2017. It was produced by Aoyimti Baptist Church Youth Ministry and had a social message about clean election.
The Popularity Chart
They have received a lot of love from people in the State and in the region. ‘We are able to make a connection because people can easily identify with the characters or issues we portray because we tell the stories of every day common people. The genuine love and support we receive from people when we travel, visit colleges, churches or while attending functions is overwhelming.’
The team recently opened a school, Dreamz Unlimited School of Drama and Film, where they are giving basic courses on drama and video editing.
Apart from more funny videos, the team is also planning to work on another feature film in the future, which means a lot is in store, so be sure to stay tuned!
Follow the channel here
By Meeta Borah