Learning from the best: Nomad workshop helps filmmakers hone their skills

Former NCA principal and veteran photographer Nsir Malik is guiding filmmakers through the video production process.

Maryam Usman July 23, 2014


Geared towards fostering aspiring documentary filmmakers and giving a vent to their ideas, a video production workshop has been going at the Nomad Gallery.

Nageen Hyat, owner of the gallery, who has herself has made independent documentaries on culture, said the course was designed to equip students with both technical and creative aspects of video production to create quality content.

“It is crucial to have proper training before one ventures out to make a documentary, which is unfortunately lacking in most of the television programmes one comes across on the over 100 channels,” she added.

Spearheaded by the National College of the Arts retired principal and veteran photographer Nsir Malik, the course guides amateur filmmakers through the aesthetics and techniques of telling non-fiction stories through the video production process.

Furthermore, it engages them in lectures, readings, screenings, discussions, hands-on equipment exercises and the making of short video productions. “There is a lot of research, discussion and critique in the class,” Hyat added.

The eight-week course is currently in its final phases, with students working on post-production of their documentary projects. Some of the themes for the documentaries are culture, life on the streets, Buddhism, Sufism as well as old monuments and shrines.

Maira Azhar, who is a development professional, took up the course because she was interested in the documentary-making process. “It has been an interesting experience and I hope I can learn to record footage for the various projects I’m working on as part of my job,” she said, adding that owing to the rigorous course, an extended timeline would have been better.

Furthering her knowledge of professional photography, Azhar has learnt about storyboarding and script writing in the pre-production phase, lighting and audio during shooting and editing in the post-production.

Another student, Roshaan Khattak, said he was looking to get some hands-on experience in the creative field, adding that he was pleased to be trained by Malik who is a renowned name in arts and media.  “I’m been experimenting with the medium and am making a documentary on the issues of the internally-displaced persons in Bannu and I just returned from there,” he said, talking about his final project for the workshop.

Khattak, who is currently working on his first book, said interacting with a diverse group of people from different age groups has been an enriching, learning experience.

The next round of video production will begin in first week of September. Other media courses at the gallery include photography, acting and scriptwriting from among over 10 vocational training courses and workshops for community and mainstream students.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2014.


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