Saeed Rizvi a cameraman, a director, a visual effects specialist, rather, a personality with various built in capabilities & above all innovative.He is a man with vision to create difference & put forward altogether a new concept.
Introduction of Mr. Saeed Rizvi:
Saeed Rizvi a cameraman, a director, a visual effects specialist, rather, a personality with various built in capabilities & above all innovative. He is a man with vision to create difference & put forward altogether a new concept. He has an appetite for his art & creativity. He has had the honor of making the first Science Fiction movie of the subcontinent, "Shaani" with leading cast like Babra Sharif and some others. He has earned lots of laurels and awards from different parts of the world as well as five Nigar awards. He has also done a joint production with Russia in the movie "Tilismi Jazeera". A lot of triumphs are also on his credit if one ventures the Ad field. Recently, he honoured KalPoint.com by paying detailed visit & then we interviewed him as "Personality of the Week".
Interview with KalPoint.com
Kalpoint: Plz tell us something about yourself.
Saeed Rizvi: I was born in Bombay and got my basic education there. Later, my family migrated to Lahore after couple of years of partition. We are 6 brothers and 1 sister. Unfortunately the weather of Lahore didn't suit us so we moved to Karachi. My father (Rafique Rizvi) was a famous film director & made quite a few movies in India & then in Pakistan. All my brothers are in creative field. The people in the film industry used to call him "Bapu". He was also my best friend, I learned a lot from him. I did my intermediate from Jinnah college and was Chief Monitor for three years. I then graduated from KU. I also used to assist my father in film direction during my studies. There was a song in the movie "Baidary" related to Kashmir; we were Indian citizens at that time. The agencies started hurting us. Then we decided to move to Pakistan. Our Hindu and Sikh neighbors helped us a lot in migration. Initially my father was against my coming into this field but my mother encouraged me to go for it. When I did my graduation in Chemistry, I got an offer from Atomic Commission for a job and they were offering me Rs 1300 per month which was a huge amount at that time but I refused it for the sake of my interest. I had interest in photography so I became the asst. cameraman in a modeling studio on Rs 70 per month salary. Basically I am a cameraman, director and have also specialized in Special Visual Effects.
When I was doing apprenticeship in Photography, I shot the Sindhi movie "Mehboob Metha" I got the Mehran Award for it. And still it is known to be a landmark in photography today. When the film industry came in crisis in 1970, I left the industry and moved towards advertising.
Kalpoint: Didn't u go to India again?
Saeed Rizvi: No, when my film Shaani got the award in Moscow film festival, I had started receiving invitations from Bollywood. They offered me to make science fiction movies like Shaani but I didn't go. I wanted to do something for my country.
Kalpoint: What difficulties did u face?
Saeed Rizvi: I didn't face any hurdles as such. In 1973 when I started, I used to borrow a camera from Waheed Murad to shoot. But it was always in my mind that I couldn't do visual effects. Although I tried it with the "Desi Tareeqa" but when I made the commercial for "Double Action Bright" in 1980, I used visual effects for the first time in the history of Pakistan. Still we don't have visual effects equipments & gadgetry to assist a Director to put forward his thought perception, but talent does play its role to achieve something to the nearest. These things can be done in videos easily but still nobody can do it on 35 mm. That was a problem so I learned visual effects, animation, and graphics. In 1983, I went abroad to learn visual effects and imported a visual effects machine. I did a song in "Sarkata Insaan" in which I used animated characters like Ninja Turtle and Pink Panther dancing with Babra Sharif and it was appreciated by lots.
Kalpoint: Do u have any plan to establish a talent making institute here?
Saeed Rizvi: I made science fiction film but the govt. didn't even appreciate me. They should back the people who are doing creative work on their own but they don't. The time when I was getting many awards from Russia, Egypt, Korea etc, and also Nigar awards but NAFDAC didn't even take my film and excluded "Shaani" from the list. The reason that they gave was that there was no good Urdu movie made in 1990. And again in 1994 when my "Sarkata Insaan" was released, they didn't even forward my movie in front of jury. They gave the National award to a movie, which didn't deserve it at all. My movie "Shaani" was the first science fiction movie of the sub continent, which had no song in it, and it was based on pure entertainment but I don't know why they didn't consider it.
Kalpoint: What is the major difference between Lollywood and Bollywood?
Saeed Rizvi: There is a lot of difference. We are behind because of illiteracy. A film is not made just out of money but brains as well. If you don't have the brains how can u make a movie like Steven Spielberg, James Cameron or other directors? Titanic and other big movies are made from the same camera but the difference is clear. Investments do make that environment but for the "subject" investment has got nothing to do with it. There is a shortage of professionalism in our industry. The filmmaker doesn't have the IQ to make a movie. Although we have good directors but when a filmmaker sets the terms with you then how can you make a difference?
Kalpoint: Then what reason will you assign for the decline of Lollywood industry?
Saeed Rizvi: Lack of good themes and story lines. Also no emphasize is laid on the treatment of subject. All filmmakers seem to be in a hurry. Filmmaking is an art of patience. Apart from this the print quality and sound quality is very poor. Technically we are very much behind. Few directors go abroad to record sound, that's why it looks better. Recording in India is done on magnetic tapes but we are working on optical tapes, which are too old. The processing quality is also very poor. In a nutshell, our film industry need a complete renovation & up gradation to compete with other film industries.
Kalpoint: It is said that behind every successful man there is a woman. Who is the one in your case?
Saeed Rizvi: My mother.
Kalpoint: What are your activities these days?
Saeed Rizvi: I am turning my studio into TV system; I am planning to open up an outlet for TV serials. I am taking some people and will make science fiction serials for TV.
Kalpoint: What sport interested you?
Saeed Rizvi: I was into cricket and was an all rounder. I played a lot of cricket in my school days. I was selected for the under 19 team of my school. After that I started doing bodybuilding. In 1967 I was Mr. College. I had also been the runner up in junior Mr. Karachi contest.
Kalpoint: Which was the saddest day of your life?
Saeed Rizvi: It was June 24, when my father died of cancer. It all happened in a very short span of time.
Kalpoint: What was the reaction of your mother when she sees your achievements?
Saeed Rizvi: She used to say that your style of talking and working is just like your father and it reminds of you father.