Birds of a feather flock together | Sunday Observer

Birds of a feather flock together

31 January, 2021

Building friendships and sustaining them for years is simply difficult. Just as we do not know what the future holds, it could be problematic and uncertain at the same time. However, at least rarely it’s possible to find friends that hold each other together at all times.

“Meanwhile in SL” is a Sri Lankan YouTube Channel that holds a tale of ten friends with seven years’ friendship. They have been creating content for Sri Lankan YouTube watchers for almost two years.

The Youth Observer caught this flock of birds together to talk through a few things.

Q: “Meanwhile in SL”, what does this catchy name signify?

A: Well, it simply expresses the meaning “these days in Sri Lanka”, as the creations are mostly about Sri Lankan society, we wanted a name including “Ceylon” or “Sri Lanka” in it. It has everything in it.

Q: Who are the team members?

A: There are ten members in the group - Fairoza Fair ooz, Dedunu Akarshanie, Sulakkhana Herath, Kanchuka Samarakoon, Manula Hewage, Isuru Ranaweera, Yasas Kulasekara, Shashika Milantha, Lahiru Keerthirathna and Kavinda.

Since when have you been friends? Tell me the history and formation.

The Institute organised a sort of Prom night where there were several workshops and other interesting things. Sulakkhana, Manula, Kavinda and Shashika took part in this. Kanchukka came on the prom night. That’s how the gang actually started.

We parted ways to pursue higher studies. However, we kept in touch. One day we organized a trip to Haputhale and everyone came together after a long time. That was when Sulakkhana requested Lahiru to join the gang.

She asked me too, at first I was skeptical but at the end of the trip we ended up singing together. Of all us only Kanchukka had started a YouTube channel in which some of us were featured.

Q: From where did you get the inspiration for the content and what made you think of launching a channel?

A: Our team member Dedunu was a frequent watcher of the YouTube channel ‘Filter Copy’ which was based mainly in India. She discussed the idea with us several times. Although we were interested, we had doubts on balancing the work with our jobs. The idea was discussed with Kanchuka, who is basically the person that introduced the rest of us to a YouTube Channel.

So, we went through the videos made by other people, the characters showed personalities similar to us. “This one is like that one or she is like this one,” which indeed made us move in.

Q: You are a cluster of friends but also work in different sectors. How do you find time to make videos?

A: Yeah…it’s not so easy but not so hard as well. Finding common free-time to make the video really matters.

Q: It’s a truism that “A lot of hands make work less”. How do you distribute the work?

A: Jobs are assigned to each one of us, for example I (Isuru), Sulakkhana, Yasas are in charge of the props and subtitle making.

Kanchukka does all the video related editing. Dedunu handles the social media platform work. Kavinda takes care of the posters.

Fairoza designs costumes according to the script. Lahiru, Shashika and Manula are responsible for the lightning.

Q: Let’s move back to history. Do you remember when you posted the very first video for the channel? Did you ever expect to have a target like this many subscribers or that much of likes?

A: Yes, Of course it was on 22nd of June 2019. The title was “The Horror Film”

We had expectations but it wasn’t so high. This is kind of a hobby for us.

Q: How did these comedy skits come to your mind?

A: Comedy can’t be created, it must come from the act. It should make the viewer laugh and smile. The script is mostly written by Dedunu, who adds all our ideas and choices, making it better, laughable, charismatic etc. Next she sends it to all of us through WhatsApp or email. This gives us an idea about the character we will play.

Q: Sometimes you have to work under sponsorships and you are expected to create content for the sponsors. Is it challenging?

A: It’s not so challenging, because we create content based on Sri Lankan society. We live in the same society so we come across various scenarios that might be related, this makes it easy for us. Moreover, we picture “types” of people for a certain topic or theme. So sponsorships are better than the other normal ones.

Q: There’s a lot of competition in the category you fall into on YouTube. How do you face the tough competition?

A: As a group making videos, we keep up with the competition without bothering that there is competition out there. We keep it simple. We don’t want competition for the sake of a few videos. We do it for fun.

Q: You guys won the YouTube Silver Play Button? How did you feel when you got to know about it?

A: It was a too good to be true moment, for every one of us. So surreal, that we felt how much the viewers had loved us for a year, making us win the YouTube Silver Play Button.

Q: How about acquiring the Gold Play Button?

A: (Laughs). We have to make quite a lot of sacrifices for that. Anyway we will keep trying to do our best.

Q: Is there any quote, saying or statement that your team abides by?

A: “If you don’t work the girls will beat you” (All laugh), No, we don’t have a slogan. But we keep ourselves motivated by the idiom “Sticks of the same bundle are hard to break”.

Q: Being a YouTuber may or may not have been one of your childhood ambitions. Nevertheless, now that you are one, how do you feel about it?

A: It clearly wasn’t a planned campaign. Kanchuka and Dedunu introduced us to this field. We are so thankful to them for introducing this idea. Some of us never even knew what YouTube was until they told us about. We feel so great about it.

Q: As you have been together for a long time period, I’m sure there must have been conflicts. How do you resolve them?

A: Well, there are times when some agree and some don’t. But at the end of the day we resolve it and work together.

Q: Can you depict the future of the group?

A: Our main goal is to keep up with the work and move with new trends. We also have plans to create a Production House of our own.

Q: Do you have plans to add a new member to the group?

A: Now that’s a bit tricky. Initially we all gave an oath of not bringing in or removing a member from this gang. It’s still there and will continue in the future as well.

Q: There are a set of people who don’t know about your channel and you. How would you introduce it to them?

A: We will let time take care of it. It’s better for them to get to know it from our fans or by themselves. We also thank all the YouTubers out there watching us, praising us and encouraging us. We will continue to move forward as a remarkable team of friends and a great symbol of friendship. As the saying “United we stand, divided we fall”.