Racing a Tuk Tuk in India

As some of you might know, it’s not unusual for us to be out of the country for a few days here and there. It could be for holidays, or work, and usually the two intertwine quite nicely. This time I was exploring the home region of my girlfriend in the Brazilian state Rio grande do sol. A state that has many similarities with southern parts of France in my opinion. Anyhow, you might be wondering what this all has to do with the common auto rickshaws a.k.a tuk tuk in India.


Well, it started when I was about to leave Brazil to go back to Vancouver. I was doing my warm-up for work again and opened up my e-mail inbox. It only took me a split second to move my eyeballs to the headline of an urgent request to fill in a business visa application for India. That’s right, I was not even back in Vancouver yet and I already had to get prepared for a trip to India. I was extremely excited, but my girlfriend was not necessarily sharing the same enthusiasm. She really wanted to join me, but the timing of it all didn’t work out. So as we got back, I pretty much left my suitcase untouched and added another case of video equipment to it.

Charminar intersection Hyderbad
A common view during the day in Hyderbad.

Before I knew it, I had to say goodbye to my favorite bagel place on commercial drive, the beautiful beaches along the seawall and my beloved camper van. Oh! And my girlfriend of course. (I’ll make sure she doesn’t get to read this one) I was on my way to Hyderabad, India. A city in the Telangana state with a population of a little less than 9 million. That’s about half the population of my entire home country, the Netherlands…


I had already visited Hyderabad before, so coming back for the second time felt a lot more familiar than my initial arrival, which I clearly remember as a big culture shock.

Golconda fort in Hyderbad
In front of Hyderabad’s historic Golconda Fort

I was assigned to cover a 3 day workshop that was given by a global employer and summarize it in a video that could be shown by the end of the workshop. Even though the travel aspect is amazing, there’s not much time to sit around and relax when you’re doing these projects all by yourself. You are responsible for every single aspect of the production process. From setting up the cameras, audio recording equipment and lighting kit to conversing with the interviewees and making sure you stay on top of the right questions. The hardest part is to actually make the interviewees feel that you are a 100% engaged with them, while also monitoring the cameras and audio equipment at the same time. And that’s only the beginning. You then need to capture supporting footage that can be used to show what was going on during the event, you need to capture some stunning shots of the city that it has taken place in. Lastly, but definitely not least, you’ll have to edit all the acquired material into an interesting and dynamic 4 – 5 minute video that needs to be finished by the end of the workshop. Luckily there’s a few spare days in between the workshop to get started on the organization and post-production of the project, but you can imagine it’s not just your average workday.


Fortunately, Oh Boy has been doing these workshops for several times now, so we’ve gotten a pretty good system down to be as efficient as possible. That allowed me, the client and the rest of our team to have some “off-time fun”. During dinner we shared some of our experiences from travelling in South East Asia.

The view from inside a rickshaw
The view from inside a rickshaw

We once saw two tuk tuk drivers racing each other for a bet. Someone else had once payed a tuk tuk driver some money to drive a few hundred meters himself and so we thought it would be excellent fun if we were to combine the two. Our team would pay some tuk tuk drivers to borrow their vehicles and race with each other. And with the famous internet phrase: “pics, or it didn’t happen” I decided to capture this crazy adventure and turn it into an additional video. Below you will see the result of our agreement!


Tuk Tuk Racers – Oh Boy Productions from OhBoyProductions on Vimeo.

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