Lights, camera, what’s the song called again?

Nefer Sehgal June 17, 2010
Taal Karisma is a fusion percussion band comprising of graduates from the National Academy of Performing Arts. It is also the only group of people that was brave enough to give me complete creative control over their first music video.

However instead of taking the narcissistic route and making it all about me, I thought the best way forward was make something that reflected how the band was feeling at the time. It was chaos in their world. Show cancellations because of the political issues and crime in the city.  The constant pressure that they should find “real jobs”. It felt as though nothing would allow them to shine. “Let them shine”. Those words stuck with me and became the theme for their music video for the song “Joy of sorrow”.

The music video takes place in a fantasy Karachi, which is shrouded in darkness due to the disappearance of the sun. A supernatural being announces that he is the cause of the sun’s non-existence and uses the situation as a means to allow him and his political party to control the city without question. The only people left to oppose him are the revolutionaries, the artists and the musicians.  Perhaps it was an obvious play on how they felt about the government and the city or perhaps I wanted to show the power that art has present within it. Perhaps it was a bit of both.

Important things I learnt from the shoot:

  1. Do not drive your car into a ditch for the sake of a better shot

  2. The external crew you hire will always be more interested in man-cuddling themselves instead of doing work.

  3. My driver is the best extra in the world

  4. The police will give you no issues but the rent-a-cops of D.H.A will since they have nothing better to do

  5. Do not drive halfway to a location and realize you forgot the lead vocalist

  6. It’s weird when everyone remembers it’s your birthday and you don’t.

In the end, it is always about great music. No amount of money, film and sex appeal (and our video has none) can make bad music sound good. And I was lucky enough to find Taal Karisma, who would make any music video director’s job easy because of their ability to make great music. And I was lucky enough to have people close by who I could trust helping me along the way. Allow your self to be hated on set, and loved when the finished project comes around.
Nefer Sehgal A freelance director and a photographer.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Sonia Rehman Qureshi | 13 years ago | Reply Well well well... Need i say our little rebel has turned into a very articulate and humorous young woman. Proud of you... Would love to have you on The First Blast to chat in detail about the video. Kisses...
Lubna Zaheer | 13 years ago | Reply well written. like father like daughter best wishes
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