11 months ago
Inspiring travel through creativity
As many as 49 days of shooting, 2,000 GB of footages, more than 10 destinations, sketchy drone laws and an arrest make Milan Thapa’s newest project ‘Traverse Nepal: The Home Coming’. With over 200,000 views since it was published on Youtube on January 5, the video has created a bit of buzz among travelers and film enthusiasts in Nepal as well as abroad. Here is an inside look on Thapa’s journey in the film industry and his insight on his new film.
Thapa, soon to be a household name, is a Boston based filmmaker and photographer. Born and raised in Pokhara, he turned to filmmaking after a failed attempt to join the British Army in 2006. Since 2009, Thapa has worked on film and photography projects with Asis Rana (Laure) such as his video’s for ‘Mero Solta’, ‘Banawati’, ‘Sabai ho Laure’; ‘The Edge band’s ‘Timro Yaad’, ‘Jhuto Maya’ and videos of other artists such as Samriddhi Rai and Gx Soul.
In 2018, Thapa has begun to garner the recognition that he deserves with many viewers praising his cinematography skills and the use of creative components in his video. Thapa has featured hyperlapse footage, smoke bombs and colorful scenery, which has helped draw in viewers.
The idea for ‘The Home Coming’, Thapa’s biggest and most popular project as of yet, developed from a conversation he had with an American man he met in Pokhara while they were both in town for a relative’s wedding. They spoke during a boat ride on the Phewa Lake and the conversation circled around nature and Nepal’s breathtaking mountains.
According to him, the man praised Nepal’s beauty and lamented how so many foreigners paid good money to see its beauty, while Nepalis never show an interest in the sceneries. So, with a new found motivation and an intention to share Nepal’s beauty (and the desire to enhance his portfolio), he decided to create ‘Traverse Nepal: The Homecoming’.
The filming process began after Thapa and his team landed in Nepal. They began their trip in Palpa, and then Bhairahawa for the shots with the smoke bombs. After that, they ventured to Chitwan, Dharan and Illam. They then decided to drive to Pokhara for their trek to Mardi Himal- one of the most popular destinations for trekking in 2017. Toward the end of their trip, when they returned to Kathmandu Valley, they explored Bhaktapur, Basantapur, Swoymbhunath and Kirtipur to include footages of various heritage sites.
However, during his trip to Mardi, he was arrested for using drones without a permit- a law that he, like many are, was unaware of. Although he is apologetic for that mishap, he found it funny that the policemen that were arresting him were just as unaware of the drone law. He hopes that the government will improve the country’s drone laws and make sure that the public are more aware of it.
Speaking of awareness, his main intention of making the video was to show Nepal’s beauty to the world. “It might not be as popular among Nepali people to do research about the destinations they’re heading for, but foreigners take time to dig every detail. And if they could see videos like this, I believe it encourages them to travel to that country,” he said.
Currently, Thapa is working to improve his video and photography skills. But in near future, he hopes to work on similar projects that would help promote Nepal, and help support tourism industry with his films.