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Sunday, July 02, 2006

Mecca to Medina - Practice commercial - Take 1

Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem,

I'm not the only one making videos with Ummah Films. There are others doing projects as well. RF7 is working on his upcoming short, Tomorrow Never Comes, which is about a brother who wakes up one day deaf. I think Sister Aurelia and Hootan are both working on commercial clips as well InshAllah.

Yesterday, Thinking Brother & Hani made a practice commercial for the Mecca to Medina** game. Please excuse the sound as were not aware of the problem until everything was already filmed. Since these clips are practice clips, it was more for the learning experience so they didn't reshoot the footage.

(click on the picture below to view the video clip)

**Mecca to Medina is the #1 Muslim game on the market right now Alhamdulillah. Its game based on negotitation and trade (skills that people from the middle east are usually good at) and can be played from 2 to 6 players. The game is very interactive and enjoyed by people from all over the world. Alhamdulillah. You learn more about it by going to www.muslimgames.com
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At July 03, 2006 10:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was a OK for an abstract film practice…but as for the commercial a Mecca to Medina game… it was horrible…really horrible I tell you!
I have the game and played the game many times with family and friends…
The stare down?...shouldn’t it be more like negotiation? The nature of the game is that makes people want to talk and see what they can get for their resources….I mean that’s what I saw at the conference when I watched kids playing?
“you need some gold” “na I got my zakat?” Is that a gold chain???! Horrible!! Who is the writer on this?!

he gave him kalmia exchange for what card? Where is the exchange?
The "victory" card gets you 2 resources of your choice…if he needed the Kalemah he could use it then...not after he finishes his route and then show the victory card…!!!
Do these guys even know how to play the game?

I think the purpose of a commercial is to give an ACCURATE & CORRECT overview of the product/services you advertising for. The audience should get some sort of understanding of what the product is about…

Once you get the theme and what part/aspect of the game you want to present then you can play and be creative on how to film/advertise your product…not just making an abstract film which does not even portray the correct game play…!

I think there was no process at all to see what they were trying to get across…because that was not an accurate presentation of what the game is about….

In my opinion this cheapens the value of a good product… (and please don’t reply by saying we were going for cheesy artistic feel…there is a place and time for that…this is not one of them)

I hope you take this with the right frame of mind as I care for the success of the Muslims who have a good product hate to see the product becomes the laughing stock cus they remembered some cheesy abstract commercial…use that technique for other things and not good legit prodcut that teaches about the Deen…

Bottom line this was a disappointment to a real fan of the game! & injustice to the good game!

Thank you
Abdullah (supporter & fan of Mecca to Medina)

At July 03, 2006 11:06 AM, Blogger Mahdi Ahmad said...

As-salaamu `alaikum,

Jazaka Allahu khairan for your comment. I do believe that any constructive feedback, whether it praises or criticizes is good.

The commercial was of course a practice experiment, but nonetheless, let me clarify any misconceptions.

It was intended to be a mystery; what are the characters doing and so on. It was not intended to be a breakdown of the game, explaining in a half minute what the game is about. If I wanted a "commercial", it would be the typical half-minute commercial.

Even how the game is setup and the "Victory Card" was not in accordance to the actual game as you know.

Insha Allah, a "real" commercial on the game will be filmed. But what we shot was not a "real commercial" but an experiment with close-up shots, suspense, etc. We just decided to use the game as something we can build a "story" around.

At July 03, 2006 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

err it doesn't play for me

At July 03, 2006 2:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i didn't like it very much either....uh it looks like a unplanned homemade movie that someone just filmed without any . even if you made this a practice clip, it looks like whoever made this just turned on the camera and decided to just filmed anything. i assume there was no planning...no script...nothing.

i went to the website and have seen the video there...what the heck does this have to do with the game?????? like the first brother said, you guys just killed the game....i have heard the game is sweet but this commerical dosen't do the game justice....

if you guys have so much free time, why not try making more video blogs instead of this type of stuff. this looks like a complete waste of time. throw this thing away!

At July 03, 2006 2:27 PM, Blogger Mahdi Ahmad said...

As-salaamu alaikum,

The clip is what can be classified as a promo teaser, not a real commercial. Many agencies use this tool to make the audience wonder so they will anticipate more explanation and clarification.

People expecting to see a half-minute commercial that explains the product will be disappointed because it is not about that.

It's a mystery. It makes you wonder what on earth is going on. It was a practice in supense. Ummah Films will film a "real" commercial later insha Allah, but don't expect an apple to be an orange and vice versa.

As with everything we do here, we can't please everyone...

At July 03, 2006 2:42 PM, Blogger Bilqees el-Ghoul said...

I'm really getting tired of reading "this is junk and you suck and you've ruined everything." That is not constructive criticism and it's not good adab, either. The people leaving these comments are Muslims, too and so that is why I am pointing out adab. Is that how you would talk to your close friend (or how about non-Muslims)???? "You're ruining everything and you just need to stop." Is this the manner of the Prophet (saaws)?? Really, it needs to stop. It's not productive and it doesn't get your point across because you're coming off as a jerk. As a writer I know for a fact this is NOT how you workshop stories, screenplays and more. You never attack the person, or even the whole idea. Instead you work with what is given and explain how xyz could be improved.

Constructive criticism is NOT:

* Over-generalising the problem
* Blaming them, attacking their core identity rather than focusing on the behaviour in question

Consequences include:

* Loss of respect, morale, and trust
* Lack of clarity in precisely what the problem is that needs addressing
* No clear feedback as to why the problem may have occurred and what can be done about it

Remember: An emotional brain is not a thinking brain.

A good rule of thumb is to not say something you wouldn't want someone to say to you with your project.

At July 04, 2006 8:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


There were only two "critical" posts and I think they offered much beneficial insight with regards to what they didn't like and why. Could they have used more diplomatic terms? Possibly, depending on how those that made the vid are expected to receive it. I don't know that I would go so far as to say that it was un-Islamic. not everything needs to be totally peachy. we should be considerate though, but that too can be subjective. Aside from that, we shouldn't expect that all feedback will come from someone that has the same exact perspective that we have on how to communicate. I don't think that the criticisms presented walked the line any more than the accusation of "coming accross as a jerk".....nor do they really appear to come accross as the purely flaming posts that one becomes so familiar with on the net.

newayz, to the real topic: the vid. I personally did not like it. one thing that the brothers that watched it with me seemed to agree upon (along with the previous posts) was along the lines of it being "horrible" (the vid, not the brothers that made it). just being honest. this was not so much in regarz to the shooting, editing, music (tho music didn't fit), etc. it was more the general theme. The whole wanna' be gangster feel of the characters (not the brothers) just isn't something that fits in any way (not that everything needs to exactly fit) shape or form. Did the brother say "Damn" after he collected the shahadah? =S that's neither fitting nor appropriate, IMHO. It sure sounded like he said it. I don't think the bling-bling whoopty whoop character should be linked to the game. especially since it is trying to promote an idea as well as a product.

I just watched it again and noticed that there is some thought to it with the camera shots and even the dialogue correlating with certain things.

newayz- to the brothers that made it, no defense necessary. the general feel i got from others as well as the posts here is that it wasn't liked...the story that is. so what? no biggie. file it under recycle, think up another, and give it a whirl (whatever that means:).


your brother

At July 05, 2006 7:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

perhaps the practice things should not be made so public as of yet...in an attempt to keep the material new, you are putting things on the site that bring an impression of 'messing around' with a camera, instead of a more classy image of Ummah films. Don't worry about new material. Don't sacrifice quality for quantity. We understand that it takes time to film something. We would rather see something worth our time than to see the ackward start of a potentially decent commercial. Keep the quality. Lose the experiments.


At July 07, 2006 6:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

" Is this the manner of the Prophet (saaws)?? Really, it needs to stop. It's not productive and it doesn't get your point across because you're coming off as a jerk.

How is calling someone a jerk and then lecturing on adab getting your point at all across?

At July 07, 2006 4:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I don’t think the first 2 comments were bad at all…to be fair to the comments…if you put something on the net PUBLICLY for the whole world to see and you asked them to come and comment about it…you should expect to see people disagreeing…and tell you why they disagree this does not mean they attacking you or your bad since they do not know you in the first place rather they giving their feedback based on the product you produced since it had been in a public domain for people come to see and give what they thought about what they saw….
I have to agree with them...what they saw was not appealing …looked very deficient …I checked out the site which the commercial was for and have seen the instruction video….mmmm….let’s just say you should definitely re-group and think it methodically and plan GOOD before you proceed to make another commercial.

Thank you for your time…

At July 14, 2006 3:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just watched the practice commercial, but I havent played the game but Inshallah I will buy it soon. It's realy not that bad how the other people are saying it, but I think it can be better. I wish you all the best in everything.
Your sister in Islam,

At October 01, 2006 12:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

with more priactice, theyll get really good. :]

At April 27, 2011 8:10 AM, Anonymous Kamagra said...

this really is really impressive, I mean Muslim are people so devoted to their religion, and something like a video game with this theme, can awake some misunderstandings.


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