Panto Time

// March 12th, 2010 // Blog

This post is partly an extension of a message I left on TweetBook recently. Imperial College ISoc is sending off Islam Awareness Week by hosting two plays/pantos: each of which was written and shall be performed by the guys and gals of the ISoc, respectively.

Both plays take place on the evening of Friday, 12th March (i.e., in less than 24 hours!), in the SAF building (no. 33 on the map), at the South Kensington campus.

The sisters' play starts at 6.15pm (female-only audience), and the brothers' (all welcome) is straight after at 7pm, inshā’Allāh. I pray that the show runs by GMT, and not MST!

I'm not performing, but I have made three short videos for the sisters' play, and as of yesterday night, will be taking care of 'tech' (which basically means playing a list of odd, a capella sound effects on cue!).

Regarding the vids, this was my first time filming 'fictional' pieces, as opposed to conducting interviews or covering events, so I'm quite interested to see how well they're received, especially by the non-Muslim attendees. The ideas and scripts were written by other sisters; I was roped into filming and editing at the last minute, i.e., making their crazy ideas a reality!

At first, I was reluctant to help, mainly because the publicity team hadn't yet finished making the IAW trailer, I only had a week left to make the videos the girls wanted, and tbh, I kinda hate editing these days.

But when it actually came time to film, I had such a blast, I actually felt a bit guilty for not being more keen initially. And even better, going through the 100+ clips that we had amassed over two afternoons of filming was a joy in and of itself. I was often creasing with laughter during playback – which made me realize: it's not that I find editing a chore; it's that I find editing boring stuff a chore.

Anyone who regular goes through the process knows what I mean: you're sat alone in a room for hours on end, your backside getting progressively more numb whilst you traverse backwards and forwards through hours of footage, in order to find the best five minutes worth. Then you have to decide on the cuts and transitions between scenes, where mere microseconds can mean the difference between glory or disaster.

If you're lucky, you'll have a good soundtrack (music-free, if you swing that way) to work with – it really makes the job of editing 1000 times easier. But the 'No Musical Instruments' (and sometimes, no musically stuff whatsoever) barrier presents a real challenge. And frankly, I am getting pretty tired of the same five anasheed that every Muslim video-maker seems to use these days. Please people, we need some new material already!

Anyway. This whole experience has served as a nice prelude to the 'women-only film club' idea, that I recently proposed. At first I was umm-ing and ahh-ing about whether women-only would work, but māshā’Allāh, it really does. Especially when you have access to bright young minds. The results speak for themselves – which you can judge for yourself, if you're around tomorrow night, inshā’Allāh. :)

One Response to “Panto Time”

  1. […] March 13th, 2010 // Blog For anyone who’s interested, both end-of-IAW performances went really well, masha’Allah. Annoyingly, certain individuals insisted on comparing the […]

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