Thursday 12 May 2016

Horror has niche following worldwide, says ‘Aksbandh’ director

22:19 By Lollywood Online No comments

KARACHI: When the Blair Witch Project came out in 1999, nobody thought the low-budget horror flick would pave the way for a new sub-genre. Implementing a found footage style approach, the movie proved to be a sleeper hit at the box office.
Nearly 17 years and many successful found footage films later, Pakistani cinema is set to have its own film of this kind, Aksbandh. The film does not comprise industry heavyweights, VJ-actor Ayaz Samoo is the only recognisable face in the cast, nor does it incorporate any formulae of success. Furthermore, history shows horror films have never featured among our box office high achievers. Yet, its director Emraan Hussain remains confident. “You see, the horror genre has a very niche following worldwide. A horror film would never rely on star power to become a success. Story is the main thing and we have that covered,” the debutant told The Express Tribune.
According to the director-writer, the two main points that they kept in mind throughout the entire production were intention and execution. “If we are making a horror film that is unable to scare or thrill audiences then what’s the whole point?”
On why he went for the found footage style, Hussain said, “Most of the horror movies that are being produced nowadays are moving away from a subjective to a more POV style.” He said this not only enhances the cinematic experience but also fits perfectly with the genre itself.
With most of his actors having little or no acting experience, Hussain stated that they conducted 15-20 day-long acting workshops to prepare the performers. Defending his decision to cast fresh faces, Hussain stated, “We are shooting this in found footage format so it is important to retain the element of believability,” adding, “No one would have believed the story if we were to cast Humayun Saeed. The audiences would think that such an incident can never happen to him.”
Filmed in a little over a fortnight, Aksbandh is currently undergoing post-production and this is what has taken the most time. “We have shot the whole film on Arri Alexa [cameras] and we had to be very careful with the light and all. We have worked extensively on sound,” he said. For this, services of Indian sound director, Ajay Gupta, were acquired.
Scheduled to release on May 20, Aksbandh follows the story of six college students who want to make a film. Things go wrong when one of them gets possessed by a supernatural being.
Co-produced by Samoo, Aksbandh features a cast comprising Bilal Yousufzai, Danial Afzal Khan, Saud Imtiaz, Shehzeen Rahat, Mahrukh Rizvi and Arshad Ali. Screenwriting has been carried out by both Samoo and Hussain.


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