Umar Anwar - From Gloom to Glam

His music videos introduced us to Jal and to EP, and ever since then Umar Amwar has not looked back. Shooting commercials and music videos alike, he is known for bringing his unique touch into all of his videos.

And this time he brings it to Call's new video ‘Ho Jaane De.’ Colorful, bright, funny and energetic, although these are some of the things you won't expect from Call or Umar Anwar, it brings about an interesting turn for both the band and the director. It has been over a year for the director since his last music video, having been busy with commercials since and he expressed his anticipation upon getting the opportunity to direct one after such a break.

Anwar is known for his moody videos; most notably Jal's ‘Aadat’ and EP's ‘Waqt’, both reflect abstract concepts with an almost gritty approach to the final result. But we see none of that here. "Since the song is very fun to listen to and very catchy," Anwar says, "the concept has to reflect that." And although Call used to be grim, gritty and a very loud rock sound, they have changed their styles recently.

This change can be attributed to its trips across the border and contribution to Bollywood. “It’s a pop song, it’s a very awami song from a band that is known for doing rock songs,” says Anwar. “The key was to finding the balance of the style of the song and the style of the band.”

But isn’t this style something that contrasts to what he’s done before? “It is a contrast to my style, but I’ve brought in a few of my signature shots – especially the corridor one.” He also cites the current climate, political and economical, as a factor in making the video. “These days people don’t want to see something abstract or gritty, they’re more interested in something colorful and happy.”

In the video we see the Call, Sultan , Xulfi & Junaid, as college friends, enjoying life and being happy go lucky. Then comes the love interest, and pretty soon we see a sort of competition between Xulfi and Junaid. The both of them soon vie for the attention of the model, who probably has the weakest role in all of this – stand by and look pretty. For a change, it’s interesting to see a band like Call actually enjoy themselves in one of their own videos rather than scream and sulk around. Granted, Call was about rock’n’roll, but here they’re all about pop.

The set design and production are very well executed, almost indistinguishable from any standard Indian videos that we see. Anwar is confident that such designs and the look and feels can be achieved right here at home. “If you work hard,” he said, “and follow the processes involved in making a video, then you can achieve anything. And we can make better quality videos than India, we just have to make sure that we do our homework.”

So what’s next for the virtuoso director? “Well, I’ve been trying to make this video for Strings since last June, and finally we’re about to start shooting very soon. It’s a song from their last album, ‘Keh Diya’ and we’re going to shoot it right here in Pakistan.”

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