Posts tagged ‘Ravee’

ALL ABOUT INGILI

‘I was thrilled to watch Dhivehi film, INGILI. It’s a must-see.’ Those were the very words tweeted by Kayano from the popular local band Traphic Jam right after watching a preview of the movie. Kayano’s friend, Naaif who also watched the preview tweeted, ‘Breakaway from local movie stereotypes for sure. Thanks for the screening.’ The pleasure is all ours, I mean the producers.

Yesterday, the producers held a meeting with a very important person who helped the production in many ways. We discussed on premiering the movie in K. Gulhi, the very island where we had the shooting. The producers have decided to donate the ticket sales of the premiere night to the school fund of the island. This is the first time any Dhivehi film is doing such a thing. We thought we couldn’t have wrapped up INGILI (Finger) without the help of the youth of K. Gulhi. And this was the best we can do for them in return.

Director Ravee has started the color grading work of INGILI. He’s aided by CGI genius, Ahmed Shinan. Ravee is set to complete the task in ten days.

Meanwhile the shooting of music video Ingili by Traphic Jam is being planned together with the band. The music video will be featured in the end credits of the film.

As planned the new trailer of INGILI will be released on coming Friday on TVM’s Filmee Udhares. The trailer will be made available on both facebook pages of the program and the movie. And I will be uploading it on youtube and on this blog as well. So stay tuned.

Cheers!

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PLAY SCHOOL, A PREVIEW AND THIS IS A PROMISE

Yesterday I completed the final episode of the last five episodes I was commissioned to write of VAUDHEKEY MIEE (THIS IS A PROMISE), the thirteen episodes television series that’s being directed by Abdul Fatthaah which was started airing on TVM few weeks back.

I’m collaborating with Fatthaah at writing a serial or anything for that matter after almost five long years since the popular series HINITHUNVELAASHEY KALAA (SMILE, YOU). And it feels good to be writing couple of episodes for him once again. And I’m still aware of his style and craft. The current serial is very much his cup of tea and I have given him enough scenes he can direct even with his eyes closed.

In the last five episodes, I tried as much as I can to tie up the loose ends of the first eight episodes he had written. He wanted the final episode to be a real tearjerker and I have created so many situations where the actors can cry themselves so much that if need be, they can dry up their tear glands by the time the serial ends and long after the end credits roll.

Fatthaah has already read the four episodes and confirmed them good. As long as he’s happy, I’m happy.

Last Friday night, the producers of INGILI, they are in no particular order, Ravee, Munavvaru and myself held a preview of the film for selected guests. After the show was over, we all had a good chat and listened to their feedback. Ravee was busy taking notes. Most of the feedback was positive and they all enjoyed the film which was restricted to a small hut with just two actors for the entire duration of the movie. Everyone praised the lively conversation of the two actors.

The very next day director Ravee made corrections to the final edit based on the very constructive comments given by the selected guests.

The three producers met yesterday to discuss on the final preparation of the movie. The main agenda was negotiating with a high profile studio for theatrical and DVD distribution of the film. The owner of this studio was eager to make a deal and will give us an answer inside this week.

We are hoping to release INGILI on February.

I have left the best for the last. As parents, the most exciting thing that happened to my wife and I were taking our son to school for the first time. The academic year started on January 14th and as the day drew closer, we were dreading the thought of taking him to school. It was an unexplainable fear that was creeping inside both of us ever since we enrolled him. But my son was feeling quite the opposite. He was very eager to start his very first play school.

He was in top form when he got ready. He was dancing and smiling and teasing with his cousin who was a year older and was starting junior nursery at the same school. The story was completely different once he entered his class. He started weeping. Infact all the kids were crying. The play school was more appropriate to be called the crying school. The whole of last week he went to school, well, he cried in the class. But with each day, he’s adjusting himself to his class, his teachers and his classmates. And he cries a lot less now.

So before I start to weep a tear or two, I say Cheers!

OF LILY AND VENGEANCE

Since first of this month, I have been out of town and on vacation with my family, thus my short absence from posting anything at all. It was a well spent three nights at Lily Beach Resort and Spa, thanks to my sister for taking us with her. Her job at the mentioned resort’s main office comes with such rewarding benefits. A career change did cross my mind fleetingly. But I’m sure I’d be fired the very next day for spending too much time away from my job, most probably typing out my next screenplay under the shades of the coconut palms at the fringe of the long stretch of white sandy pristine beach that gets caressed slowly by the soothing waves generated from the crystal clear blue sea, with the help of the wind that is. And then there’s my pina colada by my side, which of course is non-alcoholic. Brownie points I do seek.

During the entire trip when my son was walking on anything but the sand which was like the whole resort had a full infrastructure of sandy roads and beach all around except for the wooden deck of the open air restaurants and the room we stayed in, I was busy shooting with my Nokia N8. And at times I shot while carrying my son who I knew wanted to give me some tips on handling the camera but then decided it was best to do it when he grows up and when I’m too old and unable to refute him. He had that look, you know? Anyway, I will be compiling a music video of this trip just like the one I did when my family including my sister’s took a trip to Island Hideaway in August this year. All in all I always do a music video of all my family trips.

Soon after we returned home on Tuesday, I met with Ravee at L’Aquila that evening. But before we sat down for a coffee, we met actor and editor, Abdulla Muaz and reconfirmed his commitment to do the color grading of INGILI (Finger). He asked us to drop the film’s project at his studio at our earliest.

Mohamed Ikram, music composer and sound designer of INGILI joined us while Ravee and I were having coffee. Ikram didn’t order a coffee though. He went for some kind of newly promoted fruit juice in a can.

Last night, my wife and I started watching the second season of SPARTACUS titled SPARTACUS: VENGEANCE. We didn’t mind filling our eyes with blood, gore and sex straightaway. Without those elements, there’s no SPARTACUS. Speaking of whom, we felt that Liam McIntyre as the replacement of Andy Whitfield looked too young like in the very first episode Mira tries to put some sense into his thick skull by telling him that they needed a leader not some angry boy who can barely piss without splashing everyone. That sums up our new Spartacus. But I have faith in Liam and I’m sure he’d make Andy proud as he will set his feet firmly on the character as the season progresses.

I guess for the very reason, the first two episodes of the second season which I have seen so far were crafted wisely, as the narrative of both episodes delves deeply into other characters especially Glaber and Oenomaus respectively.

And then there’s Lucretia. I almost sprung out of my seat to see her returned and give enough reasons for my wife to frown. Her appearance really was a joyous surprise. She’s like a phoenix to be reborn from the ashes. And to see Ashur reappear as well at the end of the second episode felt that the much needed evil is once again restored. And to realize that he and Lucretia are scheming together mean that everyone around them are in for a real treat. Can’t wait to find out what they are up to.

Cheers!

71 BC

How come I was unaware of SPARTACUS, the boldest TV series I’m watching at present which was aired 2 years ago? It’s shameful not to know anything about it for someone who boasts on having considerable knowledge in films, and more shameful at a time when internet is readily available and for someone who everyday updates himself with Hollywood news instead of having a morning coffee. Twenty something years ago, when internet was inter-what, I kept myself updated by subscribing to US magazine, PREMIERE and Australian magazine, MOVIE. I had a huge stack of both these magazines which kept piling with each month. Many years later I was on crossroads. I was left with no choice but to throw them all when storage space was desperately required for storing, well, more important things. I was in tears that day. And getting over the depression that followed was unbearable.

Okay back to SPARTACUS. To think about it, now I know why I never really heard about it. Firstly, it happened to be a TV series and secondly, like I mentioned in one of my recent post that I’m not much of a TV series fan. All these added up to absence of my knowledge on it. The only two series I completed watching was TWIN PEAKS and FRIENDS. Hopefully soon, SPARTACUS will be listed as the third which is also my best. Sorry FRIENDS.

Umar, a popular local DJ who is also my brother-in-law was repeatedly asking my wife and I to watch SPARTACUS for quite some time. But I never really cared because it so happened to be, yes, a TV series. But he didn’t give up. He kept asking us to watch just one episode and then we can decide on watching the rest of the seasons. I know there was no harm in watching just one episode but I still never cared. When I’m not in the mood to watch anything, usually mood of my wife follows suit. Dozing off is a different matter as long as I’m beside her.

Anyway, a month back, Umar came with his external HDD and saved both seasons and the six-part prequel of SPARTACUS in to my laptop. But I still never gave a thought on watching. Then one night while I was deleting old files to make space for the HDD, I came across the folder that Umar saved the series. I right clicked on the folder and checked how much space it was using. I thought 14.7 GB was just too much for a series I wasn’t going to watch, ever. I deleted it immediately.

Later that night, for no reason I just happened to check SPARTACUS from IMDB. Went through the storyline and some of the reviews and yet remained unconvinced. Then I played the trailer of the second season and my pupils dilated frantically. Then my jaw dropped. By the time the trailer was over, I was about to drool. Suddenly I came to senses. Quickly, I double clicked the recycle bin, right clicked on the folder and restored what was going to entertain my wife and me completely.

We have completed first season of SPARTACUS and last night finished the six-part prequel which was supposedly made to give time for Andy Whitfield who plays the titular character in season one to recover when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. But sadly Andy passed away on September 11, 2011.

Of course, Andy Whitfield will remain the heart and soul of the series. My wife would nod her head countless times though I can do with just one on the same fact. But John Hannah as Quintus Lentulus Batiatus almost steals the show as the main antagonist of  season one but surprisingly plays the protagonist of the six-part prequel.

Then there’s Lucretia, wife of Quintus, played to perfection by Lucy Lawless. I must confess that she’s my most favorite character of the first season and the six-part prequel. And in the fifth part of the prequel when Titus, dying father of Quintus asks Lucretia if she’s not the serpent he had thought her to be, her reply would even give shivers to Jupiter. For me it’s the defining moment of her character. From there it was understandable who she really is. Then again who wouldn’t be like her to elevate someone she loves more than life itself. I’m going to sorely miss her in the second season.

From 71 BC to 21st century, last night the three producers of INGILI (Finger), that’s Hussain Munavvaru, Ravee Farooq and I met at L’Aquila. Now that the music score and sound design are almost done, the only remaining post production work is color grading. We have decided to give that task including mastering to Abdulla Muaz who also happened to be one of the only two characters of the film. Yes, he is a brilliant editor who has won best editor at the last Maldives Film Awards held in July this year. And his post production work is remarkable too. He has already agreed verbally.

The releasing of DHILAKANI (Fire Sparks) teaser trailer was delayed to complete the musical installment of its director Hussain Munavvaru’s beloved franchise, KUDAFOOLHU. Ravee who was assigned to produce all the promotional videos of DHILAKANI had to take over the editing of KUDAFOOLHU which has been officially announced for a next week release.

Though Ravee is busy with several works, he’s started storyboarding of EMME MANZAREH (Just One Scene). Hopefully I can sit with him to discuss the storyboard at the end of December.

Well, that’s all for now. I decapitate this post with my rudis until another update. I-am-Spartacus!

Cheers!

I AM SPARTACUS

I am Spartacus! Not really. But those were the powerful words yelled by, yes, Spartacus, the man himself after stylishly and not to mention bloodily disposing six Thracians at the end of episode seven of season one. If I were to deliver the same line, to start with, I wouldn’t have survived a second stepping into the sand and sandal period he was in. The blood and the violence are just too much my single packed belly can take.

Even if the violence was removed, still my existence there would be futile. With all the sex Spartacus gets to perform and watch, no way I’m going to sleep on the couch and sign divorce papers the very next day. Like Spartacus feels about his long lost love and reuniting with her, I couldn’t imagine my life without my family. I’m not going to do anything to hurt them. In short quick cuts with muffled laughter and really emotional music, I am seeing moments I spend with my beloved wife and my son. They are all that I hold dear in my life. So unlike Spartacus making a mistake of going to war even when his wife begged him to stay in the pilot episode, I’m going to stay as myself with my family. End credits roll with sweeping music.

Now, what was that all about? Looks like I’ve been pretty hooked into this series. Addicted would be a better word to describe my new few found love in Spartacus. With each episode, the plot twists and turns unexpectedly and the layers of all the characters keeps peeling off. But this thought of Andy Whitfield’s demise still haunts me. I’m going to miss him once season one ends. But somehow I will continue watching and finish what he started.

Moving from reel life to real life, the teaser trailer of DHILAKANI (Fire Sparks) is shaping up very coolly. I have no right to speak more on this. Director Hussain Munavvaru is also working on animating the title. To do this, he commissioned visual effects expert, Ahmed Shinan. Last night, I saw a rough preview and I must say Shinan has really brought life and meaning to what the title suggests with fire sparks surging out from the enflamed letters, DHILAKANI. Simply awesome!

In the meantime director Ravee Farooq is busy finalizing the score and sound design of INGILI (Finger) with music composer Mohamed Ikram. Hopefully in no time, they will wrap up everything.  A new trailer is on the way.

That’s all I have for now. Can’t wait for tonight to watch the eighth episode of Spartacus. I may not be him but in my imagination I am him. So hear me scream, I-AM-SPARTACUS. Cough! Cough!

Cheers!

ROUGH CUT AND SPARTACUS

Before Editor Ali Shifau Chippe left to India today, I thought director Hussain Munavvaru did sit with him and finalized the rough cut of DHILAKANI (Fire Sparks). But I thought wrong. Munavvaru couldn’t find time because he was too busy with post production of the musical installment of his franchise KUDAFOOLHU scheduled to be released before the end of next week. This means, I only get to see a preview of DHILAKANI once Munavvaru finalizes the editing. Good thing is that I wouldn’t have to wait for two long weeks like I was first told. Chippe is gone only for a week.

Ravee Farooq, who was commissioned to make all the promotional videos including trailers for DHILAKANI, has resumed working on the teaser trailer which he started few weeks back. I’m guessing by next week this trailer will be released. A little while ago, I watched a rough version of it. I wish I could give a description of what I saw but unfortunately, I’m not allowed to leak anything before the releasing. However, I can say this much. It looks cool. There, I’ve said it and I don’t think I’m allowed to say even that much. I’ve breached the contract. I’m guilty and I will be sued, soon or later.

Finally, my prayer for a speedy recovery for INGILI (Finger) composer Mohamed Ikram was answered last night. Director Ravee met with him to finalize the score and sound design of the film. Ravee was completely mesmerized after watching a preview of the film with all the sound and music. This morning he called me and said the score was out of this world, it was this and that. I said, the feeling was all mutual as I felt the same when I watched the same preview. Ravee was out of town at that time shooting the musical of KUDAFOOLHU. Ravee will sit with Ikram tonight as well.

I made few changes to two scenes of EMME MANZAREH (Just One Scene). Ahmed Nadeem, Ravee and Ahmed Zareer praised those amended scenes.

Now that EMME MANZAREH is wrapped up, I have started clearing the remnant of its screenplay from my brain cache. As this process will take few more days, I’m indulging myself with my beloved wife watching SPARTACUS, the television serial. We’re on season one and so far completed three episodes. Not that bad in two nights I guess. Though I’m not that crazy watching TV serials, I kind of fell in love with the stylized violence shown in SPARTACUS. However, I felt each episode contained graphic scenes of violence and sex in slo-mo padded deliberately into the storyline. My wife even wondered if effing was abundantly used during Roman times.

Speaking of TV serials, for the record, the only two serials I completed watching were TWIN PEAKS and FRIENDS. Other than those, I never followed any other serials. I hope to complete SPARTACUS but today I hit an emotional block when I learned that Andy Whitfield who plays the titular character and shares the same birthday as me, died on September 11, 2011. I was so rooting for him in the three episodes I have watched. Now I just don’t feel like watching it. Maybe if I get over this emotional block soon, I will probably resume.

On that sad note, I leave this post for now.

Cheers!

AN UNOFFICIAL PRE-PRODUCTION

Though Dark Rain Entertainment (DRE) honcho Mohamed Ali Moger has verbally agreed on producing EMME MANZAREH (Just One Scene), Ravee and I have already started working on an unofficial casting for the film today. We both want fresh faces and have come up with some names. Ravee has already contacted one potential actor who he thinks is suitable for the role of one of the central characters.

Meanwhile Ravee and I have also started discussing all the scenes of the screenplay individually. When translated to screen,  Ravee too wants the visual to be faithful to the vision of Ahmed Nadeem on whose short story the screenplay is based upon. But most attention will go to the key murder scene where it is shown in three angles. Each angle is the beginning of the three respective acts of the screenplay.

I’m yet to hear the feedback from Nadeem, my niece and my writing partner, Ahmed Zareer.

In other news, Ravee will sit with Ikram tomorrow night to finalize the score of INGILI (Finger). The film’s three producers, Ravee, Hussain Munavvaru and I held a meeting today to discuss on the releasing date. We are still waiting for the completion of the renovation of Olympus Cinema, as if the entire nation has just one cinema. Well, sort of.

Cheers!

VERBALLY AGREED

When Dark Rain Entertainment (DRE) honcho, Mohamed Ali Moger requested for a read of EMME MANZAREH (Just One Scene) just as soon as I updated my Facebook status on completion of the first write, I knew he had an ulterior motive. It was too obvious he wasn’t just planning on reading it and strain his eyes. So without asking any questions, I emailed him a copy immediately. But due to his health at that time, he was unable to read it. And while he was indulging himself with chicken soup and cold tablets, I started work on rewriting the screenplay and completed it a day ago. Even when I emailed a copy of the rewrite, Moger was still feeling unwell. So on his behalf, senior editor and cinematographer of DRE studio, Ali Shifau Chippe read the rewrite and gave it two thumbs up. He really liked the nonlinear narrative and especially loved the ending which took him by surprise.

Last night, I spoke with Moger over the phone and he has come to a decision, thus revealing his intention. He has verbally agreed to produce EMME MANZAREH and appointed director Ravee Farooq to helm it. This is going to be another addition to the series of production deals Ravee and I have with DRE. First one was MIKOE BAPPA BAEY BAEY (Come My Baby’s Father) or in short, MBBB. Once again Ravee’s production company, R Squared and mine, T for 2 Production will be associating with DRE. Principal photography has been tentatively scheduled for early February 2013. Chippe will be taking over cinematography.

Ravee and I have also agreed to produce with DRE the final installment of our two characters/ one location trilogy. We already have a cool title to it but will unveil it later. The plot will have two female characters at one location. Ravee and I produced the first installment, INGILI (Finger) independently with Hussain Munavvaru.

I’m yet to hear from Nadeem, Ravee and my niece on the feedback of EMME MANZAREH rewrite. I have also asked my writing partner, Ahmed Zareer to have a read. Hopefully on Sunday I’ll be getting all the feedbacks. Nadeem has already read the first half and thought it was splendid. I’m hoping he feels the same for the rest of the rewrite.

Last night I watched the edited scenes of DHILAKANI (Fire Sparks) since my last visit to the studio few weeks ago. Director Hussain Munavvaru was also present. After a bit of hiccups in few scenes when I last watched the rough edits, the creativity of director Munavvaru comes strong when the narrative demanded solidity and restraint. The entire cast turns on strong performances and yet again veteran actor Roanu Hassan Manik who was recently awarded with a honorary lifetime achievement shield for performing in theater and films, chews up all the scenes he appears. The man is a true legend. Another actor who shines in her role is Rashfa. Copee Issey remains consistent throughout the scenes I have seen so far. And Mohamed Manik also does an admirable job as a lovelorn politician.

Well, that’s all I have for this post. Until another update I say… what I have to say afterwards is in next line.

Cheers!