• Monday, September 25, 2023


Mihir Gulati on directing Jacqueline, Fernandez Michele Morrone in ‘Mud Mud Ke’

Mihir Gulati (Photo credit: Picture Perfect Communications)

By: Mohnish Singh

Mihir Gulati, who directed the chart-busting music video ‘Mud Mud Ke’ featuring Jacqueline Fernandez and hugely popular Italian actor Michele Morrone, is overwhelmed by the kind of response the track has received from the audience.

Talking to Eastern Eye, Gulati shared his experience of creating ‘Mud Mud Ke’, the pressure of directing Jacqueline Fernandez and Michele Morrone, his long and fruitful association with rapper Honey Singh, and much more. The director also talked about his plans to helm a streaming show in the near future.

“Mud Mud Ke” is a big track, what was your first reaction when you learned that you will be donning the director’s hat for the same?

“Mud Mud Ke” is a dream project for any director. The two biggest global sensations from different worlds coming together for a music video, what better can you ask for! When Anshul Garg (Desi Music Factory) contacted me to direct the video, I was very thrilled. It was quite a challenge for me as we were working with such a big star cast. The storyline we thought was a tricky one when it comes to execution, as we only had 2 dates from the artists. Both of them are amazing artists to work with. Very professional and humble. They went out of their comfort zones to make this video happen. Talking about Jacqueline, it never felt I was directing Bollywood’s superstar, she was very down to earth and completely believed me. She nailed her role in the song. Being an International Netflix star, Michele Morrone, was very understanding and professional. Working with him was a learning for me and my team. We had fun during the shoot and we were cracking jokes in between. I also taught him Punjabi and Hindi, which was quite fun. Also, it’s always a pleasure working with Tony Kakkar on sets as our chemistry is great and he understands everything quickly. He was there throughout the shoot and kept supporting us. I am grateful to Neha Kakkar as her voice always adds that extra magic to the product. I also want to thank Anshul Garg and the whole team of Desi Music Factory for trusting my vision and providing us with all the resources required during the shoot.

You have directed several music videos, as a director how easy or difficult is it in comparison to doing a movie or an ad?

A music video is not less than a film if treated in the right manner. In a music video, we have a time slot of 3-3.5 minutes only to showcase the entire story without missing any detail. There are scenarios when we get very little time for pre-production which becomes a big challenge. For instance, Yo Yo Honey Singh’s track Jingle Bell was conceptualised, shot, edited, and released within 5 days.

Every artist has a different vibe and carries a different aura with them. We always try to design concept that suits their raw character. We always try to understand their vision behind the song and plan the video accordingly which should also be appealing to the audience. We try to experiment and give a fresh visual to the audience so that they can enjoy the video as they hear the song. I feel audio is the soul and video is like a physical appearance. Both audio and video should complement each other to make it a complete product. As they say devil’s in the detail, I and my team keep a check on all the departments like Production Design, Choreography, Screenplay, Styling, Editing, and delivering the final product. Every single detail matters in a music video, as you have only 3 minutes to showcase the whole movie.


We have seen Honey Singh encouraging new talent, how was your first meeting with him and how did the journey start?

Not many people are aware of the fact that I created Yo Yo Honey Singh’s fan page on Orkut in 2006 when he used to produce underground music and was releasing them on the Internet. I used to follow all his work at that time. I met Yo Yo Honey Singh on a music video set as a fan. Yo Yo Honey Singh noticed our work and really appreciated it. In 2013, half an hour prior to his charity concert in Delhi, he asked me to be a part of his creative team and shoot that concert. We shot the concert with multiple cameras and edited it within no time. He totally loved it. After that we started traveling with him and covering his live shows, we produced many after movies of the concerts which were highly appreciated. I was also a part of this reality show called India’s Raw Star where Yo Yo Honey Singh was the Judge. I also directed digital promos for the same. From covering his BTS to being a creative director to being a director, I am really thankful to Yo Yo Honey Singh. Working with him in itself is a huge learning process. He is the most visionary artist I have ever come across. He always treats me as a younger brother and teaches me life lessons from his own experience. He knows the pulse of the Indian audience, that’s what I’m learning from him every day. His energy is contagious and he inspires everyone around his circle.

How do you deal with trolls?

In my opinion, my job is to present extraordinary visuals to the Indian audience. I am very fortunate that people have loved and appreciated my work but as we all know, every coin has two sides. Luckily, every time we release a product, we always get immense love but there are people who don’t like or can’t relate to our work. I read all the negative comments too and analyse my lacking points so that we can improve. I think trolling should be taken positively by artists and they should consider it as an opportunity to improve.

What would be the one thing you will take away from ‘Mud Mud Ke’?

I think I would say, spontaneity. Every project is a case study for us and acts as a great source of learning for me and my team. Every project teaches us what no film school can do when you are practically there is a situation, you have to make hard calls. That’s is the greatest learning for me, taking calls on set, managing everything; keeping time and creativity in mind.

Talking about ‘Mud Mud Ke’, we shifted our location from Delhi to Dubai just 4-5 days before our shoot due to some technical reasons. We re-worked our requirements, locations, storyline, etc., and shot the video in Dubai for 2 days. It was quite a challenge for everyone but we all took it as an opportunity to learn. We pushed ourselves out of our comfort zone as we only got 2 days of pre-production. The whole crew was in sync immediately and adapted to the situation to their best. We shot what was important in terms of script, and avoided anything that was unnecessary. We didn’t compromise on our creative goals and planned everything according to the given resources. I can proudly say that ‘Mud Mud Ke’ is a project which even after many pre-production complications, has turned out to be one of the best in the Indian Music Video Scene.

Michelle Morrone and Jacqueline Fernandes’s chemistry was a treat to watch on screen. Tell us a bit on that.

The chemistry between Jacqueline and Michele is extraordinary. They both lived their characters respectively and the end result is in front of you. Acting is not everyone’s cup of tea. It demands hardworking, determination and you must live the character you are going to play. They were so patient and understood their character in the very first brief. As you can see, Jacqueline’s role also included dance, she learned in very quickly and her performance is flawless. As soon as Michele entered the set, the whole vibe turned very positive. He carried on the legacy of his 365 Days’ character of a gangster and pulled it off brilliantly.

Many times, I started seeing the video as an audience instead of a director in the post-production phase. I personally feel the visuals of ‘Mud Mud Ke’ are very indulging and keep you attentive throughout the track.

What’s next in the pipeline?

Many more music videos as I feel India still lacks that edgy visual. I always wanted to put India on the international map when it comes to music videos. I feel India’s music scene should be global now and we should have more international collaborations. I am also looking forward to directing a web series and working on a script already.

Eastern Eye

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