PakiUM Exclusive Interview: Bilal Lashari


1. When did you become interested in directing?

As a child I was obsessed with ‘creating’ things. I spent most of my time with my lego sets and jigsaw puzzles. Later I learned to play the piano and for a couple of years really involved myself in music. I spent all my life traveling and moving because of my father’s job. I think being interested in becoming a director was a very natural consequence. While studying in LUMS, I took a short workshop at NCA on the ‘Fundamentals of Filmmaking’, that was the turning point in my life as I was absolutely convinced that this is what I was going to do.

2. Do you have any formal study? if yes, where?

Yes I have just completed my BFA in Motion Pictures & Television with an emphasis on Direction & Cinematography from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, USA.

3. You have worked with alot of big artists, which artist did you like most to work with?

There are certain good and not so good things about working with each artist. I enjoyed working with Jal the most.

4. Sajni’s video was a great superhit, and everyone is praising your directional skills, how was your experience working on that video?

It was not easy. There were weeks and weeks of delays and it was a very frustrating process trying to get the project started. But the band was very easy to work with and trusted me completely. I had a great team that I trusted as well. It was a 3 day intense shoot but the more challenging and difficult part was the post production. I was pretty much locked up in a room with my laptop for 2 months.

5. Atif’s Hangami halaat video has been accused to have been “inspired” by another american video with same concept. Do you know anything about that?

Honestly, this is the first time I am hearing this. I am most curious to know what video you are talking about?, because Hungami Halaat in my own opinion is my most original video.

6. Which music video is your favourite in Pakistan, all-time favoruite?

Khamaaj by far. It is the closest to a ‘perfect’ music video ever produced in Pakistan.

7. What do you think about pakistani artists going to India to make videoes, which eventually turns out to be not so good?

Well, good or bad is a matter of opinion. I think what they do there works reasonably well for the Indian market. I don’t think the artists go to India to shoot a video thinking they will come back with a masterpiece. The reason they do that is to get the attention of the Indian market.

8. What is the most important thing in making a good video, the money or the storyline?

Depends on the kind of video you want. Music Videos don’t need storylines. It is not a narrative format. If you want high end production value, then money is essential. If you don’t have money then it usually makes sense to go for a ‘creative’ storyline or concept. For me personally these choices are made mostly based on what images I visualize on a particular song.

9. What are your future plans, any new projects in the pipeline?

I am moving back to Pakistan this summer to start work full time. I have alot of work lined up but nothing is ever certain in this industry. I don’t want to build a reputation on work I haven’t done yet.

10. Any message to members?

Do what you love most and keep logging.

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