You read our interview with Mohammed Saeed Harib and still want more? We got bonus scoop for you here!
Different Projects by Mohammed Saeed Harib (MSH) and Lammtara:
- MSH collaborated with Kanye West on a project called “Cruel Summer”, which was premiered on the 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival last year.
- MSH is the photographer who shot Al Wasmi’s latest album cover in which he used the element of the horse.
- MSH composed and wrote the lyrics of one of Balqees’s songs in her recently released album this year.
- MSH is now shooting his first film with “Image Nation” that is based in Abu Dhabi.
- Lammtara is launching Yadoz brand by end of this year.
- MSH is directing this year’s Dubai Film Festival opening as he did for the past few years.
- One of the first logos suggested by the approached design agencies for Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) was a design of the falcon. It was disregarded because the falcon represents aggressiveness which is something the committee didn’t want to symbolize through the logo; especially, with the general perceptions about Dubai. The horse was selected as it represents the Arabian gracefulness. MSH designed the final & official logo design of DIFF.
- Freej Folklore started as an exclusive way to announce the Dubai Freej theme park in Dubai Land; to distinguish the project from the other international projects that were announced at that time such as Marvel and Universal Studios in early year 2008. It was a 45 minutes theatre show; to which another 45 minutes were added to transform it into the known Freej Folklore theatrical show that was running at the end of year 2008.
- Freej Folklore used virtual theatre in a way that the characters in the show were animated characters, and it allowed people to interact with them live.
- We are probably never going to see Freej Folklore the same way it was done the first time as it was the biggest theatrical show in the Arab world in terms of cost and production efforts, and is relatively too expensive to reproduce. However, new versions of it may come along the way.
- It took MSH three years to make the first season of Freej.
- The show started 7 years ago and it will complete 5 seasons by end of this Ramadan.
- MSH avoided portraying social issues in Freej for the fear of having the topics getting cold in 2 years, and having the show irrelevant. He chose timeless issues that could still be related to years to come. Just like we all still love the classic Walt Disney cartoons that were made almost a century ago.
- There was a sunset scene in the 7th episode of Freej’s 5th season; this scene took a long time from the team to perfect all the colors in it to be reflected as the magical sunset scene that it was.
- In the 7th episode of Freej’s 5th season there was a dream scene in which Um Khammas was showing Um Saloom a drawing to be embedded in her dream. The concept took months from the team to perfect as it was about putting 2D characters in a 3D world, and still adding effects on top of it. Compiling all those art forms in one was a learning journey for the team.
- Freej’s script is written to target women mainly. This is evident through the feedback the show gets on social media, as most negative feedback comes from men while the positive feedback mostly comes from women. Some other shows uses men’s lingos; this leads to targeting the male audience as a result. Hence, the comparison between the shows isn’t exactly fair to any of the shows as they target different audiences.
- Najla Al Shehhi(the director of Khoosa Boossa) & Amna AlMansoori (a known Emirati writer) both wrote scripts for Freej’s first seasons. In their Freej experience: Najla specialized in social issues, and Amna specialized in story telling and poetry.
Freej & Social Media:
- Many of Freej’s audience negatively reacted to the 1st episode of the 5th season cause it was a little sad and made them cry. They didn’t want the show to take the route of tragedy and drama. However, they still cried on few more episodes and thanked MSH for giving them that feeling.
- MSH received tweets after the 7th episode of the 5th season accusing him of using pigs in the dream scene of Um Khammas. MSH directly responded to clarify that those were drawn clearly to be cows, and they were even drawn in the most simplistic form of illustration. This is just one of the many weird comments MSH gets on social media!
- The first few seasons of Freej were first aired during the pre-social-media era in the country. MSH and his team had no means to communicate with the audience or know how did the audience react except through reviews on newspapers’ opinion columns. This is completely changed now with the diffusion of social media in the region; the feedback is now instantaneous.
Iman Ben Chaibah, founder of Sail Publishing, a digital publishing house for online magazines and ebooks, and editor in chief of the Emirati Sail Magazine, an online magazine about community and culture written in English by Emirati columnists. Iman is a multi award winner in digital publishing, entrepreneurship, and literature. Iman has also completed the Leadership Strategies in Magazine Media Course in Yale University. Besides her work in publishing, she also lectures in Canadian University in Dubai.
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