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Pradeep Mohan came from Chennai, India to become one of the moving forces of commercial VJing in Dubai. Working in the big event management company, this guy knows how things work inside out. Keep reading to learn from his experience!
Lumen: You’re a video engineer and it sounds extremely cool but could you please describe the basics of your profession? What exactly do you do in Artes?
Pradeep: Well, I know it sounds quite weird! The reason why I joined the Artes company is to learn everything about event production. So I’m working as an in-house VJ and video engineer to ground support the other VJs who are on tour for music festivals or corporate events.
Lumen: Did you move from India for this exact job?
Lumen: Have you always knew you want to do things like these? Which other jobs did you consider before?
Pradeep: I never even had a thought of working in events industry. But now I thank God that I chose the right one to pursue. I didn’t have other options to consider, except maybe a delivery boy in Dominos Pizza. Also, I worked as a DJ earlier.
Lumen: Why didn’t you remain a DJ and keep developing in that direction? Do you think VJing is the next evolutionary step after DJing?
Pradeep: Indeed VJing is the next evolutionary step after DJing. There’s no particular reason for moving from DJ to VJ. I still do DJing but I don’t hunt for gigs, I just do what I get. DJing helped me to understand music, which is a great source of improvisation in VJing. Everything’s connected! By the way, many people still know me as a DJ.
Lumen: You also design stages and lights, which is awesome! How to start? Does it require any special education?
Pradeep: In India there’s no source of studying VJing, event production or stage designing. It’s only possible to immerse yourself into a hard work in the field you like, so I also had to work under an expert. That’s how I started learning all the basics of trussing and rigging. The same way lights! To make my work more interesting, I’ve learned everything all the basics in sound, lights, video, trussing and rigging. Actually, you don’t have to be an expert to design stages alone. But to execute a design it’s essential to know the basics.
Lumen: What’s your favorite equipment and software to work with?
Pradeep: As for me, MAC PRO Trashcan, Livid Instruments OHM RGB and Resolume are the basics to play with.
Lumen: People in Dubai seem to love grand shows of any kinds. Your futuristic shopping malls, spectacular concerts, and even the own Louvre prove that. So event management must be a very profitable niche! Am I right?
Pradeep: Yea! Event Industry in Dubai market has grown up a lot. As everyone knows, The city is filled with tourists so one or the other events are happening in all the sides. And the number of conferences which happens here is huge and where the all money is.
Lumen: List some pros and cons of living and working in UAE from the point of view of a VJ?
Pradeep: Well, I like that I can set my own schedule for work, get tax free salary, accommodations in Dubai and develop myself in such a multicultural society. It’s a magnificent city with a lot of outdoor activities, smart public transportation and interesting people from various creative fields. Also, UAE is much more liberal than other Middle East countries. Talking about disadvantages, I need to mention that sometimes we have to work 24/7, deal with Internet censorship, extremely high prices on everything and quite strange whether (either too hot or too cold). Also, it’s very difficult to understand addresses and roads here!
Lumen: How often do you visit your hometown Chennai?
Pradeep: I visit Chennai approximately once in 3 months, if I have any big shows there. Usually I take off from Dubai for a week or so. Every year I spend approximately 3 months there during the off season in Dubai.
Lumen: How do Indian VJs differ from VJs in UAE and Europe? Or Internet killed all the borders?
Pradeep: Fellow VJs are equally talented and help each other across the world and the only good thing about VJs. VJs like me needed a lot of help earlier in my career and I took a lot of help from fellow VJs to solve any issues. I’m proud to be a part of VJing community.
Lumen: I wonder what kinds of help… (how exactly you guys help each other)
Pradeep: The kind of help most of the VJs would need is about troubleshootings and codec errors which we face very often. At present we have lot of social media platforms to share our thoughts and stay connected.
Lumen: How to find time for side projects and to help others when you’re supposed to work 24/7?
Pradeep: When we work round the clock we face a lot of technical issues and we run to solve it. There you get all your answers from fellow VJs and the same way it’s easy for us to convey it to others. And the worst case scenario we put them on to someone who can help at the right moment. Side projects are good ONLY when you know how to manage your time.
Lumen: How do you spend your free time?
Pradeep: I prefer sleeping during the daytime and club hopping in the night.
Lumen: By the way, share your favorite places to visit in Dubai!
Pradeep: I highly recommend Burj Khalifa, Ras Al Khai ma hilltop, Ferrari World and Yas Island. Check these places!
Lumen: What is your biggest dream?
Pradeep: I want to feel the bass from FOH of Ultra Music Festival. I guess it’s a dream of most VJs in this world!