Ashwini Ponnappa & Srikanth Kidambi go viral in a funny video
Produced by digital content studio, Supari Studios, in collaboration with Red Bull and Star Sports, ace badminton players Ashwini Ponnappa and Srikanth Kidambi recently pulled off a light-hearted prank on students at the Garuda Badminton Academy, Hyderabad by disguising themselves as an elderly couple struggling to play the game.
The prank video starts with the duo peaking the frustration of the academy’s students, failing to even hold the racket correctly after interrupting their playtime. Just when the students are about to lose their patience, the prank reaches its climax, with them displaying their real skill, leaving the entire court surprised. Upon pulling off their disguises and finally revealing their true identity, the students are left in bouts of laughter and awe, seeing their idols this up close and personal. Employing professional prosthetics artists to successfully execute the disguise, perfecting the mannerisms of the athletes, as well as working with an extremely small crew to ensure that the prank is sufficiently discreet, the Supari team left no stone unturned to make the prank seem believable.
Since Badminton is a relatively less popular sport in the country compared to the likes of cricket, the video was an extremely interesting and inspiring way to draw much needed attention to it, leading up to the fifth edition of the Premier Badminton League.
Arushi Kaushal and Vikalp Chhabra, Directors of the video said, “Prank videos are as good as the reactions they fetch. In a format like this, there are no retakes. Hence, it is important to work on the details. We worked on the mannerisms i.e. the walk, body posture, body movements etc. of the players to make the disguise more convincing. Both Ashwini and Srikanth did a wonderful job at embracing the disguise and gathering the most genuine reactions from the audiences; which ultimately was the true winner of the creative.”
Manoti Jain, Executive Producer, Supari Studios said, “When Red Bull approached us to produce a prank video leading up to the Premier Badminton League, it was an interesting chance for us to enter into a territory that we hadn’t before. Pranks can bring out human emotion in its realest form and we knew that achieving the same would be difficult but extremely satisfying if pulled off successfully. We therefore ensured that we had a convincing backstory in place for the characters and presence of cameras at the venue, as well as had moles strategically placed to supplement the act. The crew size had to be kept small enough and audience reactions had to be taken into account while building up to the climax, to ensure that interest was not lost. The prank proved to be a fun way to break the ice between badminton icons such as Kidambi Srikanth and Ashwini Ponnappa and young students who are interested in the sport.”
Directors: Vikalp Chhabra, Arushi Kaushal
Executive Producer: Manoti Jain
Creative Producers: Ria Concessao, Vaibhav Dhandha
Lead Producer: Parag Shrivastava
DOP: Parth Sayani
Assistant Director: Aditya Mehta
Camera Operators: Nikhil Nair, Ram, Vikram Singh, Raghu R Ballari, G. Vijay Kumar, A. Prasad
Editor: Divas Gupta
Grade: Nube Studios
Sound Recordist: Thota Oblesh
Line Producer: Kotaa Srinivas
Costume Stylist : Naomi Chowdary
Makeup/ Prosthetics Artists : Jitendra Mhatre, Akshay Mhatre, Yogesh Patil
Camera Vendors: HS Video
Spot Boy: Ilyas Shaikh
Athletes: Ashwini Ponnappa and Srikanth Kidambi