Going from a teen who one day dreamed of making movies to becoming an internationally in-demand film producer has been surreal for Canada’s Sahil Mirchandani. With an impressive resume filled with critically acclaimed projects, this Torontonian feels extremely grateful for the career he has had so far. He has worked alongside top Hollywood talent, most recently Alfred Molina on a gallery shoot for the upcoming Amazon Prime Video series Three Pines, produced music videos for top artists that have amassed millions of views, such as “When You’re Home” by Tyler Shaw, worked with internationally recognized brands on large commercial campaigns, including Gymshark and Nike, and even started his own production company to create the projects that mean something to him.
“I have worked incredibly hard over the years to be involved in projects that I could only previously dream of being in, and I feel nothing but love and gratitude for everyone who has worked with me and helped me succeed in this industry. I have been blessed to produce with amazing teams and I have been able to learn so quickly because of this. I feel like I am on the right track to success, and every day I’m one step closer to achieving more of my career goals. I used to dream about the things I now do every day, so it truly is surreal to live the life I am living and be involved in such a wonderful career where I can create magic on screen every single day,” says Mirchandani.
One of Mirchandani’s greatest moments of his career came when creating the performance video of Tate McRae’s hit “You Broke Me First” for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon! in early 2021, so when he was approached just a couple of months later about working with the same team on her next single “Slower” for Jimmy Kimmel Live! he instantly said yes.
“I loved working on a project for Jimmy Kimmel. He’s a household name and has such a wide reach, it was simply surreal to be involved in producing something that appears on a show I watch weekly. To turn on cable TV and know that Jimmy is announcing this performance, I simply cannot put into words how grateful I was for the opportunity,” he says.
The moment Mirchandani heard of the intricate creative concept for the project, he knew he was the right person for the job. The set involved creating a mirrored image of McRae’s childhood home that was featured in her first viral video, which would then transition into a larger than life set with over 50 rigged ceiling fixtures, all with custom real-time cues, a 30-foot custom set build that was rigged to the studio ceiling and designed to look like a sunset, and custom camera movements that blended this all together to look like three long takes. It also was a pre-recorded music video that needed to look like a live performance. To pull off such a feat would require an expert producer who could plan every small detail and budget accordingly, and Mirchandani was up for the task.
When getting started, Mirchandani knew he first needed to find a location for this grand plan. He chose to utilize a large, empty studio space (about the size of an airplane hangar) in order to have creative freedom in building the sets to fit the creative, rather than letting the studio space limit the set build. He also hired an extremely experienced lighting and rigging team with previous experience doing live performances, and a renowned production designer and carpentry team to build these sets to an exact match of what he and his team had envisioned. Building the practical logistics of such a complex creative while on a time crunch is no easy task. Mirchandani assembled the heads of each department, assigned budgets to each team so that they could get their tasks done, managed the day-to-day progress of the preparation work, and troubleshooted many problems along the way.
“I loved the challenge of building larger than life sets that really make the performance look other-worldly. Walking onto this set and seeing the elements of these sunset rings, rigged lighting, and a camera rig weaving through it all made me feel like I could creatively accomplish anything that I really set my mind to,” he says.
The slower performance has over 1.2 million views on YouTube, and played to an audience of 345,000 viewers on Jimmy Kimmel Live! when it initially aired. McRae boasts over 24 million monthly listeners on major Spotify, ranking her among the 100 most-streamed artists on the platform, and this performance has been widely enjoyed by her many fans.
“I feel proud of myself knowing that this project has been a success. Knowing the incredibly tight timeline we had and the limited budget to put this all together, it was incredibly gratifying to know that this project’s production value on screen vastly surpassed that of the budget we were given,” Mirchandani concludes. “I feel incredibly efficient with my production dollars, and like a master creative problem solver, knowing that everything on screen looked seamless.”
Photo by Andre Apperley