“Go Kochi” shows the old and unknown sights of the city in a new way
In just under six minutes, the video “Go Kochi” by cinematographer / editor Sameer Sakkariya, a promotion for Kerala tourism, shows places in the city that locals here do not know. Uploaded to YouTube recently and shared by several celebrities on their social networks, it is recording views.
Intended to present the city as a tourist destination, the video is a love note to her. What sets the fast-paced video apart is the way Sameer “shows” the familiar and heavily photographed places of Kochi as well as the hidden gems, “I didn’t mean to show the typical sites”. The visuals he captured change the way you “see” even familiar sights – the iconic Thoppumpady Bridge at sunset, St. George Forane’s Church in Edappally, the Bolgatty Palace, Chinese Fishing Nets in Fort Kochi and many others.
“The angles make all the difference. Something could have been photographed multiple times, but a different angle changes it, ”he says. So much so that he got calls asking where some of the locations were.
“For example, a lot of people have asked me about the old Ernakulam station, which is behind the High Court of Kerala. Few people know he’s there. Likewise a spot in Mangalavanam, which I found on one of my hunting trips to the location. The video footage is the result of 18 days of filming. It couldn’t be shot at random, each location chosen carefully.
Not wanting to show typical sites associated with Kochi, he researched locations – finding some on his own and with others leading the way. “I got in my car and drove. I literally came across some of these places. All venues are within 25-30 km radius of Kochi.
Travel videos like these are difficult because time is a luxury. “I went for a quick fit which helped me pack in a number of destinations. It would not have been possible otherwise. He has his production company Playmaker Film House.
This is his second video in the “Go…” series for Kerala Tourism; the first being Go Trivandrum (2018). He will follow up with similar videos on Calicut, Kannur and Alappuzha. Kochi’s video was ready before the lockdown, but he asked for it to be released once the situation calmed down and people started traveling.
An engineer who chose the camera out of pure love, he learned everything he knows not only about photography but also about editing. The Varkala native left the IT industry and has spent the past nine years chasing his dream. “It was the only thing I did, practiced, and experienced until I understood it.” He wants to make a film, which he is about to make soon. His first film will be a survival thriller in Hindi, filming will begin soon.