In last week’s episode of Ms. Marvel, Pakistan’s first Oscar-winning director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy showed Karachi through Kamala’s eyes. She painted a traditional, almost lively view of the city that is often drenched in blood and gore on screens. The director spoke about how she wanted the audience to perceive Karachi for what it truly is – a colour, visual treat.
Taking to Instagram on Tuesday, Obaid-Chinoy shared a behind the scenes clip of everything that went into creating the Karachi we saw on Ms. Marvel. She recalled how incorporating her childhood memories of the metropolis helped make her depiction as authentic as possible. “I wanted to immerse Kamala into my Karachi. And I thought about all the Landmarks that have been a part of my childhood, the things that I’ve enjoyed doing,” she said.
Through the heritage walk, which sees Kamala explore the Old Town, Obaid-Chinoy wanted to put Ms. Marvel on the streets of the hustling and bustling city “so she could walk amongst the stalls that sell clocks and brightly coloured clothes, alongside perfumes.”
Elaborating on the magnitude of all things Chinese in Karachi, including Chinese dentists, she added, “We even show Kamala pass this Chinese restaurant A.B.C., which is where I grew up eating Chinese food.” Obaid-Chinoy also took the opportunity to elaborate on Karachi’s train station and how she took ‘attention to detail’ to whole new level by making porters dress up in quintessential colourful attires worn by coolies back home. “When Kamala goes to the train station in Karachi, it was important to have the way the porters are dressed, the red-coloured outfits.”
And while Kamala’s grandmother’s abode “is imagined in an old part of Karachi,” Obaid-Chinoy made sure to do away with the yellow tint Karachi is often colour-graded in. “My dear D.O.P. Jules and I worked closely to make sure that the yellow filter that is traditionally used to show Karachi is done away with.” Since the most important thing for the director was to “bring the city to life through the eyes of Kamala’s residence.”
The director earlier also shared a video clip on Instagram where she talked about the traditional transportation of Karachi being a part of the show as well. “Karachi is my home. When I thought about bringing Kamala into that world, I wanted it to be colourful, I wanted to bring its buses that are brightly coloured, its trucks that have beautiful handwork on them, its rickshaws and taxis. I wanted Kamala to take the audiences on a venture through the city of Karachi where she goes to uncover her past.”
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