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Monday, December 10, 2007

Ummah Films - Season 3 (Topics from YOU!)

Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem,

I often get asked how long it takes to my one Reminder video. So here it is!

Often times it take about 10 to 15 hours to put something together (yeah its tougher than it looks). "Hey Ali, all you do is just jump around in the videos"..."oh yes young grasshopper..if it was just that easy"

I’m not a writer or actor by any means so I can't “act” or “write about a random subject” on demand but rather I’ve been doing the videos by just being me and telling the viewers my thoughts of random subjects. I think the fact that I’m alone when I write, film, and edit the videos helps me to even more myself (that’s why you see me acting silly sometimes). Anyways, I live near a busy street so they only way I can film peacefully (least amount of noise) is at night so yeah, that’s why I look so tired in my videos. Its 2am people! Haha!

Ever since the videos have become popular, I have found myself traveling so much on my free time that I have had to delay the Reminder series again and again (currently scheduled for March 2008). Even then, I’m already getting booked for events in March, April, and even as far as August. Its crazy. Sometimes I miss doing the videos and I really want to get back to doing them so I have come up with a solution:

1. For the first two Seasons, the topics were based on subjects that wear dear to me and Alhamdulillah I got the opportunity to get plenty of topics off my chest. Now, I’m turning the table and making the series more interactive. The topics will now be based on viewer’s questions (send your questions to ask@ummahfilims.com and I try to answer at least one of the questions for each video). Note: I am not a scholar so please don’t send me any fiqh questions (in other words, i'm not answering questions about what is halal/haram in Islam unless it its universally known...which is like everyone and their mama knows....you know what i'm sayin'?)

2. I’m changing the name of the series to Ask Baba Ali InshAllah since the format of the show has changed. Don’t worry, its still the Reminder style which is basically random anyways so …uh…yeah…

3. Instead of having long 9min videos, I cutting down the video to 3 minutes. This will make it easier to put the videos together and allow me to make more videos more frequently InshAllah (did u know the last video was released back in July...dude that's like 6 months ago!...i know..i know..).

4. I’m opening the doors for sponsorships so that each video can be sponsored InshAllah. Ummah Films is growing and we want to make more projects and those projects will need funding. Since help and equipment isn’t always free, we will need to get some funds to put get the ball rolling on more projects InshAllah (going to best buy and telling them to give me a camera with a Fisibilillah Discount is going to get me but a funny look…especially if he’s a non-Muslim)

The goal is to come out more videos on a consistent basis InshAllah. If you have watched the series from Day 1, you will have notice changes as this entire experience has been nothing but a huge learning process for us. We are not different than any of the viewers watching and this whole film thing is brand new to many of us. Ummah Films started as just an idea and a blog. Alhamdulillah the idea has become something tangible and the blog has kept a record of our adventure since Day 1. I really hope it inspires others to make a positive difference because if we can do it…you can it!
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At December 12, 2007 7:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

asalamualaikum. do u consider these questions as fiqh questions? if you dont, maybe u may wanna consider touching on these topics?

1) polygamy.
2) marriage: the proper dress and make-up etiquette for the muslim bride. and the marriage ceremony itself.
3) teenage muslims nowadays.

good luck for season 3 =)

At December 12, 2007 10:43 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I think that this idea is great and is the direction that you need to take this as a whole.

Changing the name of the show is good because there was some finality with the DVD etc of Season Two. And it ended on a high note, so instead of continuing it, it is better to change it up a bit.

For some topics, perhaps you can address issues that are not really known to muslims in the US. Like since I left the US and now live in Morocco, I have a ton of issues that you can address about the muslims and how they live.

First you can make a video about salat. Not how to perform salat, but the fact that you actually have to pray 5 times a day!!!! There are a ton of people who do not pray but consider themselves to be muslims. This is more noticeable here, since when the adhan goes off, there are tons of people who just continue to sit in the cafe and drink tea and smoke cigarettes, while there are people praying just a few yards away from them!!!

If you talk about issues like daily life things, but things that muslims are supposed to be doing but flat out aren't, there may be good benefit for all.

However, I don't know how to pose these types of issues into question format.

Just my two dirhams...

Good job on everything so far.

At December 12, 2007 12:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Salaamu Alaikum;

Yeah, we're waaaay overdue for another Reminder Series! I've even got some non-Muslims cheching them out and learning something new.

I hope you're able to get some sponsorships, but be mindful that some sponsors may want or expect you to adopt a certain attitude or opinion or philosophy in exchange for their largess. I pray Allah keeps that fitnah from you. Amin. Looking forward to March 2008, insha Allah!

Maybe you could use as a topic wasting water when making wudhu. I can't count the times I've gone into a bathroom behind other Muslims and it looks like an Olympic swim meet just took place! Sheesh!

At December 17, 2007 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


a topic you could look at is music. i think that would be fantastic especially for teenage muslims.

At December 20, 2007 11:56 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

This isn't a topic, but, when r u coming to oz? we are starved for something like this..tour here..we'll give u fisabilillah discounts all the time!!! And I'm sure you'll have lots of content for ummah films - plenty!

At December 22, 2007 7:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alsalmoi Alykom Wa Rahmatollah wabarakatoh

Greetings from Egypt The Mother of the Earth

i love your show....whats new i already know that..(Ali May wonder)

Ok..i just wanted to see that you have a big responsibility toward your nation now.
so god be with you

Ali..you're not SHEAA right ? i'm asking because you said you born in Iran

thanks alot
Alsalmoi Alykom Wa Rahmatollah wabarakato

At September 28, 2008 9:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Asalam-u-alaikium

first and foremost your videos are truly inspirational and your humour is amazing!! it really helps young muslims dealing with some issues you mention.
we are actually planning to you some of your videos in Islamic Sunday School for young teens because they get so tired of hearing lectures and repetitive books =(..
Cant wait till season 3!! but unfortunetely even season 1 & 2 is sold out..is there an alternative site where i can buy it?

if there is can someone please email me at Sahar06@msn.com thanks =)

May Allah SWT keep on blessing Baba Ali and Ummah Films..ameen ^_^


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