GLOSS Volume 1, Issue 5 - 2018 - Page 65

P R O F I L E But, projects like Khuda Mera Bhi Hai was challenging, in terms of casting as no one was ready to play the transgender character and the transgenders mother. It all worked out in the end. A few months after this serial was aired the Government of Pakistan issued its first passport to a transgender. Not only that, a lot more is being done in order to elevate their position in our society. So, even if we contributed a little bit, like sparking a debate as to how we can make a difference in peoples lives, is one of the most fulfilling rewards. You worked on movies as well, how is it different from TV serials? I have only worked on movies in terms of styling the songs and a little bit of consultation. I haven’t produced a film as yet, but the stakes are so much higher for a movie when it comes to the budget and strict timelines. What sort of planning and work goes into starting a project? How long does it usually take to start and finish a project? The first and foremost thing is the story and script. That’s like laying the foundation of a project. Months go by into developing a well-written script after discussions with the writer and the channel. The next step is to identify the right director for the project and the cast fit for the roles. Casting and designing overall, plays a huge part in making or breaking a project. Devising a good marketing strategy is also a very critical part of this process. If a good project is not marketed well or played in the right time slot, it can cause a lot of damage and can risk it going unnoticed. The rest depends on the audience and how well they connect with the story and the characters. Every step in producing a serial is very crucial. What is the deciding factor behind the cast, director, and writer for a project? Every writer, director and actor have their strengths. For example, when there is a sensitive, slightly offbeat story my choice of the director would be Shahid Shafaat; as, he is good at translating that sensitivity and sensibility onto the screen. How do you think the TV serials of Pakistan have evolved in the past decade? Pakistani television has really evolved since the past 10 years. Look at all the subjects and content that is being produced. It isn’t just about simple love stories and saas-bahu sagas. TV series like Khuda Mera Bhi Hai, Ilteja, Udaari focus on social issues that the families are faced with and affected by. In this day and age, it isn’t just about a woman being the damsel in distress, rather strong, confident and independent women who can speak their minds like the women of Dillagi and Besharam are getting noticed. If it is a complex love story, Khalil ur Rehman Qamar would be the perfect writer to approach. Similarly, if its a complex performance like that of Mahgul’s character in Khuda Mera Bhi Hai, no one This does not mean that the typical stories have completely else could have delivered this performance like Ayesha Khan. stopped being produced, but the shift and change in storylines have to be gradual. We have to present a drama which is within Thus, getting a project together entails considering the strengths the parameters of our prevailing culture. and sensibility of everyone in the field and in terms of what they can deliver. There is still a long way to go, and the drama industry will continue 65