ProperGaanda’s venture ‘Young Creatives’ sheds light on the individuals that are shaping their own unique path through a society that has long faired on traditional values passed down through generations. In a sea of people akin to a school of fish riding the same wave, we focus our lens on individuals who have dared to step out of the box and let their voice break through the humdrum noise that is daily monotony.
Our featured talent is Musa Ghaznavi. Ghaznavi has based his career on his individualistic choices and the courage to follow his passion: filmmaking and directing. For this artist, the two things that describe him best are: “organized chaos” and a “dreamer in pursuit of his happiness and path”.
This was a one of a kind interview, due to long distance and different time zones. The process itself was time-intensive but what we hope to have accomplished is an insight into Ghaznavi’s imaginative mind and the creative eye through which he views the world as it evolves around him and he grows as an artist.
Without further delay, let’s jump right to it.
What was your childhood like and what sort of student were you? Is there any particular memory that has stayed with you?
“I was the distracted one in class – I would say. Academically I was a weak student. I didn’t pay a lot of attention in class, but I would get by because I respected my teachers. I still do. All of them. I remember one time, my Urdu teacher was fed up with me and so he sent me to the Art room. Not because, I was distracting the class but because I would be more productive there.”, reiterates Musa as he begins the journey down memory lane.
As we conversed about the various things that shaped Ghaznavi’s journey, he talked about how the arts influenced him in his childhood and education.
What is your educational background and how has it impacted your career?
Ghaznavi completed his primary education from Aitchison College and is currently enrolled in a liberal arts college in Vermont on scholarship.
“My love affair with art started in school. I took O’ Level art in Aitchison College and was hooked. After my A’ Levels, I decided to go to Canada to pursue a degree in Economics and then dropped out from York University, after a semester (I love to mention that now), came back to Pakistan and started working all sorts of different jobs. I had some great experiences and worked with some wonderful artists. It was an in-depth study of my personal calling in the career. After working for a year and a half my family gave me the push I needed to go back to college. I am currently enrolled in a small liberal arts college in Vermont.”-Ghaznavi
What are three things that you are passionate about?
When Ghaznavi talked about things that he is passionate about, it was as though he was entranced by his imagination. He answered-“Storytelling, orange sunsets, and Banyan trees.”
From where do you draw your inspiration?
Inspiration fuels the artistic soul. And for Ghaznavi, it is a very important source of his creative process.
“Stories, family, friends and everything I surround myself with. Along with that, traveling. I have a love-hate relationship with traveling. Getting to see new places and meeting new people is always great but the actual traveling part of traveling is always hectic and tiresome.”
What motivates you in life and keeps you going?
“My family, friends, and teachers. Regarding the second part of this question; something like that happens every day. It’s terrifying but when things work out, it’s great!”
How do you manage time between your career, friends, and family?
“It’s very difficult but you find ways.”
We at ProperGaanda, can absolutely relate to this statement.
How did your love for theatre and production start?
Ghaznavi’s career is diversified due to his many talents, and that remained the focus of our conversation. He has many talents whether it be directing, theater or videography. He talked passionately about his love for theatre:
“By now, I’ve been involved in more than ten productions. Theatre is definitely a passion of mine that I plan on pursuing. The rush of being up on stage with an audience in front of you is incomparable. I worked mostly with Independent Theatre Pakistan, when I came back to Pakistan after dropping out from university. It was the first time I was exposed to professional level theatre. My brother drove me to the audition and I was hoping to get a part in acting but that didn’t happen and instead, I was offered a place as an assistant director and I took it. I had to get my foot in the door and thankfully I did because it opened a lot more doors for me including the music video for Poor Rich Boy Band.”
What was the process behind your debut music video for Poor Rich Kid?
The video itself is raw and real. You have to see it for yourself to know what we are talking about.
“It was one of my first music videos called ‘Man I Love’ for Poor Rich Kid (True Brew Records), and went through a pretty experimental process that concentrated on color and motion.”
What is the one thing you absolutely love about your line of work?
“Collaborating. With the right team, so much can happen.”, Musa firmly told us while discussing the pros and cons of his chosen work line.
What was the last project you worked on? Moreover, are there any interesting future projects in the pipeline that we should keep an eye out for?
“The last thing I worked on was a documentary about mental health on a college campus. I’m currently working as the Director of Depth at 1RIC studio on an augmented reality documentary.
Oh, I have also worked as assistant director for Itni Chikni by Mooroo and some other projects whose names are escaping me right now.”– We learnt about Ghaznavi’s experience as Mooroo’s assistant director, which showed us that he is headed for great things.
Can you elaborate on your experience as an Assitant Director for Itni Chikni by Mooroo Featuring Ali Gul Pir?
“After getting a bit of theatre experience, I wanted to go deeper into filmmaking at a professional level. That’s when my brother put me in contact with Mooroo. I’ve worked under Mooroo a few times now and every time, it has been a great learning experience. He gave me a lot of tips and techniques that I apply till this day. The other great thing about working with him was getting an inside look into his creative process and how he manages to be so efficient coming up with new material.”
The video itself was fun to watch with its direction and groovy beats.
On ‘Study of a Place’:
This project shows a different side of Ghaznavi, where he keeps everything as real and raw as possible.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
“Hopefully, I’ll be done writing a film and directing; a little passion project of my own that I can’t share much more details about.”
As an artist, what do you make of the current situation of our artistic industry and the country’s socio-political effect on it?
“I believe there are certain unwritten responsibilities of being an artist to inform their audiences and artists in Pakistan have been doing that constantly, almost subconsciously. It’s great! There is so much happening every day and it can be hard to keep track of the important things, now more than ever. I hope we can keep pushing the boundaries forward and bring more direct attention to the really important things and build up from there.”
Do you have a message for the young individuals who want to follow in your footsteps?
“Get as much experience as possible before choosing what you want to do. Make mistakes and then get better at making mistakes. Surround yourself with people you care about and care about you.”, a much-needed message for the young generation.
Thank you, Musa Ghaznavi, for giving us an insightful journey into all that is raw, musical, and art of direction.