Pranjal Bhandarkar, a very popular YouTuber, vlogger who has gained popularity because of his immensely funny YouTube videos. He has his own YouTube channel. He does pranks, vines, reaction videos and a lot Iof other funny videos. The famous ‘Calling Girls Aunty’ which went viral – he was the brain behind it ! He is popularly known as Mr.Vodka and his videos get millions of views as his content is extremly innovative and different.
In conversation with Pranjal Bhandarkar:
What made you come up with YouTube videos? Why did you think of making videos?
I was a mass media student. Making short films, ads, music videos and etc. was a part of our curriculum. I also won many college competitions in my graduation. Making videos was my passion ever since. I never knew about YouTube until I was in my Junior College. One of my friends told me to check out some video on YouTube & that’s how I was introduced to the YouTube world. I became a YouTube addict right after that. I used to watch music, tutorials, movies, pranks, etc. everyday. I soon realized when I got in college that the whole world is on YouTube & you can even make money & get famous through it. Who would not want to try that? All you need is a camera, a laptop, dedication & skills. I had it all. I wanted to start my own YouTube channel a.s.a.p. and there you go; I had my own YouTube channel in no time.
Who inspired you to make such a tremendous YouTube channel?
I watched a lot of pranks in the start, as pranks were the trending thing. Vitaly was the prankster that first caught my attention. Even today many YouTubers inspire me. King Bach, Inana, Anwar, Liza Koshy, BigDaws, Limitless, EpicFiveTV, LAHWF, etc. are my favourite YouTubers. I do not want to stick to one genre. I am an entertainer & sky is the limit. I do pranks, vines, reaction videos & there’s more to come.
Why the name Mr. Vodka?
(Lol) This is one question that I get asked usually. It wasn’t planned. I wanted a name that is catchy, funny & that anyone can remember. One day it was raining, my dad & I were having a couple of drinks at home. He was the one who suggested me the name, ‘Mr.Vodka’ with a peg of vodka in his hand. It sounds funny but that is it.
How did you receive criticism as a YouTuber and how did you deal with the criticism?
When you want to do something different, there is always a lot of pressure & criticism involved. Criticism is everywhere & everybody has to deal with it. Patience is the key here. Like all YouTubers even I get many hate comments & dislikes. But you should never lose focus. I do every single video for those who support me & like my work. Why should I stop making videos for those who hate me? Do not care how many followers you have. If you have even one true follower, do it for him/her.
Life as a YouTuber- What is it like? How do you feel?
Sometimes college guys approach me saying things like I saw your videos, I like your videos, stopping me in the middle of the road out of nowhere. It feels great to receive messages & comments from many followers everyday apart from some criticism. But the love I receive from my supporters overshadows all the hard work, criticism & pressure. Reading comments like ‘I am your big fan’ feels special because after all even I am a fan of someone.
How much effort really goes in coming up with new ideas, concepts so that the audience is not bored with the same old concepts?
That’s the real challenge. And it’s a challenge for all YouTubers according to me. I cannot sit & wait for an idea to pop out of my head. An idea is like a cloud. You never know when will it pass above your head. You just have to catch it & bring it on screen. Its like I am having a conversation with my friend & I get an idea out of nowhere at that time. I note it down on my phone. I take inspiration from the surroundings. Concept does not have a specific time. The whole process of making a video, editing & releasing can take 2 days or can even take a month. Trust me, its been times when I haven’t uploaded a video for a month or more just because I couldn’t think of any concept.
How do you find success in this field of profession as you chose it?
Every profession needs patience & determination. YouTube will not give money from day 1. I remember I started my YouTube channel while doing my day job. I shot on weekends. There are YouTubers who are earning millions of dollars every year. If you are confident enough about your content you will soon reach that point where you no need to work for anyone but yourself. But the most important thing to earn from YouTube is to have a business mind. There are a lot of courses & tutorials available online. I would suggest doing a research before starting your own YouTube channel. You have to invest time & efforts to make YouTube your business. Know your skills & know the market.
So you have created a lot of diffrent video categories on youtube? What are they? How much positive response did you receive for each of the video categories?
Every category will give you positive & negative response. Depends on the quality of your work. I have got thousands of views on YouTube, Instagram & Facebook for Pranks, Trolls, Vines & Reaction videos. Like I said, you have to give your best in every video regardless of the response you get. I am not going to stop here. I want to explore many more categories.
Also read A Toast To All The Frustrated Engineers Out There ! Welcome To The AIB Roast Of Life Of An Engineer ! Satyabrat Will Grill You All With His Dark Comedy
Any funny or embarrassing moments?
A lot. There are situations when I was escorted out of the mall by the security for shooting inside their premises. But the most embarrassing moment I remember when I was shooting a prank, watching porn in public. That was the 1st prank attempted in India by me. And it was so embarrassing to stand next to a stranger & start watching porn on your phone with full volume. I got some hilarious response.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9fEGa43Qzo (link to watching porn prank)
What is the most memorable and funniest project?
One of the funniest project was The Statue Prank. It was memorable because Statue Prank is the only prank in the world introduced by me. You will see mannequin prank but not statue prank like I did. When we were in school we use to dare our friends with statue & they stopped moving & stand like a statue. I thought why not try doing that with strangers. I also got a lot of funny responses.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyFj-dAQel0&t=2s (Link to Statue Prank)
Anything that you have created gone viral?
I did a prank called ‘Calling Girls Aunty’. And it went viral. It wasn’t my favorite prank but it was my first viral video. It received a million views. And after that prank almost everyone started making prank on the same lines. That prank is no more on YouTube as it was deleted due to copyright issues.
What advice would you give to a YouTuber just getting started?
One thing I would like to advice anyone is to be sure about the YouTube copyright policies & learn about safety. That’s the hidden part. There are tons of hackers & fraud people in this world who would want to bring you down. YouTubers from CarryMinati to Superwoman all have been a target of copyright & hacking. It’s really frustrating. YouTube is not as easy as it looks. If you are serious about it you need to research your genre, your audience & go through the YouTube copyright & safety forums thoroughly. Do not forget to be patient & determined as well.
Share an interesting story from your YouTube experience.
One experience that I cannot forget & that made a bad impact on my work is the hacking incident that happened to me in July, 2015. That experience was bad. Working hard, spending time & money & one day you get to know all has gone in vain for some fraud people on the internet. I had a call from an agency saying that they would help me promote my content & it would be a very beneficial opportunity for me. I trusted them & after that day my channel was gone. It’s not only me, it’s happening on the internet everyday. I had to visit cyber cell countless times & I finally got back my account after a year. It will take time to get my spot where I was earlier. But I surely will. This incident was an eye-opener for me because it taught me that the more popular you grow, bigger the risk follows.