Web-series in Pakistan is getting more mainstream attention after Zee5 commissioned five original web-series to be made by some of the top creatives in the country. However, Pakistan’s digital content has been quite strong for a very long time. For years now, many content creators have been churning out great content for the digital spaces in the form of vlogs, sketches, and mini web-series. The lack of an OTT platform’s backing in Pakistan has not deterred many content creators from making a respectable career in the field as platforms like Youtube and Facebook have provided them the space that allowed their creativity to reach millions of people around the world.
One such group of young filmmakers under the name of Imagine Nation pictures released a web-series on Youtube last year by the name of BFFs. The quirky, fourth-wall-breaking, six-episode-long comedy web-series that told the story of two best friends that get married more out of convenience to escape their families than for any romantic reason collectively got millions of views and was praised for unconventional humor. Now, Imagine Nation is back with their second web-series, and this time they are dabbling in the world of Youtube vloggers.
Youtubers At War
Aptly titled Clickbait, the web-series is a story about two rival Youtubers Sara (Rida Zahra) and Asad (Sami Rehman), who are constantly trying to outdo one another. The first episode of the web-series clearly establishes the main characters of the story and their rivalry. But the most interesting thing about the episode was the way it shows a sneak-peek into the machinations that go on behind-the-scenes in the lives of famous Youtube vloggers.
The first episode of the series was an easy and breezy watch as it quickly delved right into the main story without wasting any time. The production value of the series is also excellent and it is evident that the team has not compromised on the quality by doing their best to put together a top-quality project. While Sami Rehman and Rida Zahra’s acting still needs work, it is not bad enough to be distracting. Considering it is a web-series and the duo have also worked on major departments of the series behind-the-scenes as well, it is engaging enough to immerse the audience in the world of the characters they are playing.
Clickbait is definitely of a different genre than the team’s first web-series BFFs as the trailer and the promos suggest that it is a more serious story that focuses on the ups and downs of internet fame and how different reality really is from what the internet perceives. The series which is primarily shot in Thailand also promises to treat the audience to some picturesque visuals alongside an explosive storyline that deals with complex characters, their ambitions, and the relationship they share with each other. In addition to all of this, Clickbait also boasts of cameos of some of the biggest Pakistani Youtubers that the long-time fans of Pakistani digital content will easily be able to spot and recognize.
The Team Behind It
Imagine Nation pictures (IN) was set up by 4 young filmmakers namely Sami Rehman (of Bekaar Films fame), Rida Zahra, Ghania Asad, and Sidrah Jamil. IN was formed in the hopes of further exploring the web series market in Pakistan and later dabbling into films and other media. Their goal is to present a range of different genres and exciting content that would inspire Pakistani youth.
Sami Rehman and Rida Zahra have co-directed both the Imagine Nation web-series as well as acting in them in the leading roles. Talking about the experience of shooting the series, the co-director duo said that despite the difficulties of taking on such a project, the experience was very fulfilling for them.
“Acting, directing, and doing several other things on set at the same time was never going to be easy but we still had a blast filming in Thailand.”
A very small team went to shoot the majority of the series in Thailand (Bangkok, Phuket, and Phi Phi Island) and among them were fellow teammates and producers Sidrah Jamil and Ghania Asad. Being a small team and all, each member was wearing multiple hats on set and had to work on almost no sleep for the 9 days they spent out of the country. No matter how tough things got, the team persevered and didn’t hold back.
“We’re more than excited to finally show what we’ve been working on,” Sidrah and Ghania pitched in.
The first episode of Clickbait was released exclusively on Imagine Nation’s Youtube channel on 4th December, with the remaining five episodes to be released every Friday.