Pakistani drama has always been the strongest medium in arts/genre of acting. Besides a muster of versatile actors we have produced, there is a lot of talented directors working behind the scenes of every successful drama. Pakistani drama has always been bifurcated in different eras like the founding era, the middle one and the modern or we can say the era of private production, which stared from mid 1990s and continues till now. The mushroom growth of TV channels in the advent of this century also gave a boost to these productions and provided more opportunities for talent in every section of drama. Pakistani drama also shifted a bit in its content because the new lot of writers and directors always wanted to experiment new things considering the vast venue opened before them. One of those talented and versatile directors is Mohsin Talat, who has been in the field of media for last 26 years. Since then, he has worked a lot, competed with all over the world and made our Pakistani drama proud. His recent notable work includes serials like Tere Mere Beech (2015), Ghar Titli Ka Par in (2018), Ki Jaana Mein Kaun (2018), Jaal (2019) and Daasi (2019). He is currently shooting a serial with Momal Production, Jaug starring Sonya Hussain and Sami Khan in lead roles.
Here is a detailed talk with this born-to-be a kind of director and a very down to earth person at same time with Daily Paperazzi.
How did you decide to become a director?
It was all self-assessments. I started with modelling in commercials but during shoot, I realized that I was a better visualizer than a model, so there I decided to go behind the camera and became director. So sometimes, you decide it yourself what you should be while at times, your seniors guide you to the right path. I feel myself lucky in this sense.
When did you start it?
My first project in the field was in November 1993. Actually I had started working before completing my studies. I assisted in dramas just after my matriculation exams in 1994 and became a director before my graduation. Then, I did my Masters in Mass Communication from University of Karachi and a short course in film making from New York Film Academy. Besides, I did workshops from CNN and BBC. Now I teach at Arena Multi Media.
Which dram gave you a real recognition?
The drama which gave me a breakthrough was Titliyan on Indus Vision, the first ever soap of Pakistan that completed more than 100 episodes. In that period, other directors had done three to four dramas but I was content that I was making the history of doing the longest serial of Pakistan. In those days, PTV did not believe in soaps or long serial. They even didn’t consider it a drama. But I was the one, who directed first soap of more than 100 episodes with Eveready Pictures for PTV named Jeans.
How do you select story and cast of a drama?
In any production, ultimate decision is of director. These days there are too many other departments are also involved like content department and production development. We also get an opinion from writer being the master of the brainchild but director is the captain of the ship and responsible for the outcome of produc. Generally, when there is a hit, its credit first goes to actors, DOP, writers and in the end to the director but when it is a flop, the director is solely responsible.
Do you always read the script first?
I thoroughly go through the script before accepting it. I think, it is our responsibility to also educate public through our production, so I can never accept any script which I think can send any negative or wrong message.
What do you keep in mind when start a new project
I always try to keep my every new project different from my previous one. Usually directors work on the looks of actors to make their work different but I emphasize mostly on the novelty of different issue and stories for my each production.
Who is your favourite writer?
To me it is more it is more important what is said than who is saying it. We are blessed with many good writers in Pakistan like Misbah Nausheen (Daasi), Sameera Fazal, Faiza Iftikhar, Umaira Ahmed, Zafar Meraj, Saji Gul, Bee Gul, Mustafa Afridi, Khalil ur Rehman Qamar and most of all Ashfaque Ahmed. I did his Tota Kahani. I also like the writing of famous actor Imran Ashraf. He has a very different point of view of narrating a story. It all depends on what type of story you want do and who has written that at the moment.
Who is your favourite actor?
It again depends on how the story and its characters are developing, which actor can act better on any specific character. We have a very few actors, who can adapt to any character. So, we have to choose the best one available for specific character.
I have been lucky in the sense that I get successful to have a new and best team for my every project. Actually a director mostly loves those actors, who surprise them and can’t be predicted for their next action. For me one of those actors is Uzma Gilani. I always enjoy working with her. She is like my mother. I have learned a lot from her. Not always in technical terms, but from her wisdom and approach to life.
What is needed if one wants to be a director?
I see a lot of difference in the approach and awareness towards the field of showbiz these days. Believe me when I told my father 25 years back that I wanted to be a director, he asked, “who the director is and what does he do”. In those days, parents wanted their children to be doctor or engineer, now they ask them to join showbiz to become an actor or director and induct them in media sciences. As far as the aptitude of being a director is concerned, one has to be very visionary, observant and most of all sensitive. Without being sensitive, one cannot excel or get the desired results in the field of performing arts.
How much lucrative is the profession of director?
To be honest, I am one of the highly paid directors of Pakistan at the moment. So yes, I would suggest those who have an aptitude and want to work in this field must join it as a profession. I think if I was a doctor or engineer, I would not be earning as much what I am earning being a drama director. I believe if you work hard, it increases your market value.
How do you see Pakistani drama evolving in last 25 years?
I think every era of our drama had its goods and bad. Every generation in every era tries to upgrade and experiment new things with their content. One thing I must share that senseless competition which we saw in recent years was not very high 25 years back. It has only emerged in last 20 years in the rouse of Zee TV, Sony and then Star Plus of India. Then there was Turkish content. Luckily in that competition most of us decided to stick to our own speciality, though sometimes we were asked to copy the trends from foreign content because if its popularity. Pakistani drama is still most watched and loved in the world because of its originality and the cultural, social and moral values. Our medium is steadily switching from television to digital but the content and its viewership is intact. It was actually a concern that what would happen if our first and second generations of drama industry retire but thank God we have taken it from there so well and managed to maintain the graph.
Who do you give credit for this success?
There are two things. One is to expend the industry while other is to make drama an industry. I have worked with every channel and they have their own priorities and agendas to promote them but there is only person who always thought for industry and his name is Ghazanfer Ali. He is the founder and godfather of Private production. His idea of private production actually turned our drama into an industry. In 1984, he left PTV due to some reason and started to produce dramas privately and asked PTV to buy and run them on its channel, to which PTV refused. Then he decided to establish his own channel to run these productions on while in between, provided many dramas to NTM, another prime time slot on first private channel of Pakistan. After 25 years he finally opened Indus TV. So, He is without any doubt or debate is the pioneer of making our drama an industry. All renowned directors and DOPs and other technical force are mostly trained at Indus TV.
In this age of social media, directors have also become stars. They are concerned that they should similarly be celebrated with their cast. But it seems that you don’t like or need any attention from masses.
When we say media or showbiz, the thing which comes first into mind is being in front of camera or acting, which is not true. To be honest, I enjoy being a director as it gives me a sense of satisfaction. We have so many kings but few king makers and I want to be one of those king makers. Without a director, they would never be an artist. By the way, I am covered very often in morning shows and other talk shows but yes, I am not very active on social media because of my laziness. Now, I will try to be active there too.
What about doing a film on future?
I hope I will do a film probably with my Daasi actor Adeel Hussain.
So, is there something in the pipeline?
We both have our ideas in our own spaces. I have worked on two scripts for film, while Adeel has something different in his mind so I think, if these two ideas get together, it will be an interesting venture. We have at least reached to a point, where I think has put us in a position to announce something interesting and positive in a year or so.
Delay in diagnosis can result in long term disability
An awareness seminar to highlight the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of arthritis was conducted at the Governor house Punjab, with joint collaboration of Arthritis Care Foundation and Scotmann Pharmaceuticals here in Lahore on Sunday 21 November.
The seminar was chaired by the honorable Governor of Punjab Chaudry Muhammad Sarwar, with awareness sessions conducted by chairperson Arthritis Care Foundation, Prof. Nighat Mir Ahmed, Co-chairperson Prof. Sumaira Farman Raja, and Co-chairperson and General Secretary, Prof. Muhammad Ahmed Saeed, and Dr. Saira E. A. Khan.
According to research done by the Arthritis Care Foundation with funding by World Health Organization, approximately 1 out of every 4th person is suffering from some kind of inflammatory joint disease. If not diagnosed early, these conditions can result in long-term disability, like Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. State of the art department of Rheumatology with international standards and equipment has been initiated at the Central Park Teaching Hospital, served by highly skilled and qualified specialists and staff. Central Park Teaching Hospital also provides free treatment services for deserving patients with the support of the Arthritis Care Foundation.
The seminar highlighted the role of Vitamin D, diet, and exercise for healthy bones and joints, arthritis in children, young and elderly, and the common causes of back pain.
Peng Salon celebrates Children’s Day, inviting Children Cancer patients for a Spa Day
This Children’s Day, Peng Salon & Spa, one of the leading hair & skin clinics in Karachi came up with a thoughtful initiative for children suffering from cancer. They invited these young cancer warriors from Indus Hospital for a Spa Day at the salon to mark Children’s Day celebrations. The children were treated with professional salon & spa services for a relaxing & refreshing experience.
Kaneez Fiza & Nafisa Dawood, Incharge at the Psychosocial department at Indus Hospital, who accompanied the children stated that the children were happy and it was an amazing experience for the children as well as their team at the Peng Salon. According to Kaneez, it was the first time for the children that they had visited a salon and they loved every bit of it and were overjoyed with the experience.
These children, fighting their battle against Cancer, are dreamers – full of innocence, hope and happiness. These little angels enjoyed the services of their choice at the salon and they were all smiles with the kind of pampering they were provided with. Services such as Haircut, hair styling, manicure, pedicure, makeup etc. were provided that made their day extra special.
After going through months of grueling treatment, giving these brave warriors such a day was a thoughtful initiative by Peng Salon. Arranging a Spa Day on Children’s Day for these young children to give them moments of joy and happiness was a wonderful idea by the team. Their aim to make these children feel valued, loved and special while helping them make cherishing memories.
Children were overwhelmed with the services they were provided and were all smiles as they left for the hospital again. Thumbs up to Peng Salon for initiating such a thoughtful activity to celebrate Children’s Day!
5 motivational thoughts to get you motivated by Canadian-Pakistani CEO, Muneeb Mushtaq
Canadian Pakistani CEO and motivational speaker Muneeb Mushtaq has given us many insightful and empowering thoughts over the years on the basis of his experiences as a young and dynamic businessman. The tech tycoon has been the founder of three tech business ventures and has managed to achieve so much at such a young age. And, he has given back his learning and knowledge by motivating, educating, and mentoring people to be successful in life.
Here are some motivational thoughts by the Forbes awarded entrepreneur Muneeb Mushtaq to get you motivated and beat the Monday blues:
- Get rid of the useless and negative clutter in your life
Muneeb Mushtaq suggests that it is important to subtract some of the unnecessary things from life to realise how insignificant they are. He advises us to get away from the insignificant and negative clutter in order to see an immediate positive impact. Worrying about what others think of us, trying to please everyone are some of the unimportant things we need to remove as soon as possible. According to him “When you remove what’s negative, it’ll add more space for what’s POSITIVE”!
- Don’t wait, just take the first step
The successful entrepreneur recommends us not to wait for other people or for the perfect moment to do what you have always wanted to do. There will never be a perfect time, situation or circumstances that would make you start working on your dreams. He advises us to just take the first step and get started.
- Failure is the opportunity to start over again, more wisely
The dynamic businessman is also of the view that failure provides an invaluable experience that makes it more likely to get success the next time around. He explains: “Till the time you don’t give up, the failures are just learning experiences, helping you to eventually succeed.”
- Respect the competition
Muneeb Mushtaq also shares this motivational thought that competition should be embraced and should be used as a driving force to push you further rather than fearing it. Competition is also a validation that there is a massive market and opportunity in the space to grow further.
- Change is important
Another motivating thought from Muneeb Mushtaq is that if you want change in life, then you should also be willing to change. He says, “If you are not willing to change, don’t expect your life to either”.
Follow Muneeb Mushtaq on Instagram @MuneebMushtaq for regular motivational posts.
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