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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

What inspired Ummah Films?

Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem,

A few months ago, I was invited to Bridges TV as guest on their new show, “The Beat”. Anyways, the CEO saw the game I invented, Mecca to Medina, at the ISNA conference in Chicago, so he asked me to come to NY and tell his audience about it. I was really excited because it was a great way to get the word out to my target audience, Muslims. I left LAX in the morning, got there by noon, filmed the show, hanged out at Bridges TV staff, and flew back the same day! (insane!!!) Yeah, it was a crazy 24hrs but Alhamdulillah I made it!

While I was there I was saw the staff work on a few different things. I got a chance to ask some questions and learn about industry, the software, and what was involved in making a show. As I soon realized that the technical part of making shows wasn’t that difficult, the gears in my head started turning. “ What about a Muslim Film Company?” Hmm….

I mean there isn’t much out there on the net other than DS-Films and Ash Films and if there is, it’s not easy to find on the net. Ash Films put out one film, The 11th Hour, and its shown over and over again on Bridges. That’s another sign that there isn’t much to choose from. The Ummah is thirsity and there is a huge vacuum and InshAllah I hope Ummah Films produces films that are both halal and entertaining, InshAllah.

My brother was the logical/mechanic one and could pretty much fix anything. On the opposite side of the coin, I was the creative one and was very fortunate enough to work on numerous creative projects (i.e. started a non-profit basketball organization, wrote two poetry books, got stuff published, invented a game, built numerous websites, taught flash animation classes, wrote scripts, designed candy bars and t-shirts, etc..). I think creative people are creative people and they need a creative outlet so jumping into film isn’t that much of a big deal. It’s just involves a lot of (technical) learning at first but once you have that down, the rest is about how good of a storyteller you are. There are plenty of multi-million dollar budget movies have no weight, end up on DVD in just months after they’re released, and are easily forgotten. The rare films that people remember are the ones that connect with audience and have those amazing stories that impact their thoughts. Those are the type of films we aim in making InshAllah. At the same time, I want Ummah Films to make films that have meaning and not just pop out movies for the sake of making movies.

I’m not much of the “just talk about it” type (I think we have more than enough of those type of people already) but rather I more of the “lets do it” kind of person and I have track record to show for it. So when I got back to Los Angeles, I started telling people about the Ummah Films and soon people started hearing about the new idea through the grapevine and they joined the us. And that’s how we ended up with the team we have now. We have a creative and talented group of people so now all we need now is something that is not common with Muslim organizations, being organized. If Ummah Films can somehow organize the talents that it has access to, I think we can produce some pretty cool films InshAllah.
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