It’s been more than a decade since Harry Potter’s last book (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) came out, but fans of the series around the world have only grown in numbers. Such is the spell created by the magical JK Rowling. Closer to home, a group of young, dynamic people — most of them current students at the Government College University, Lahore — got together recently to produce a Potter fan film.
They call themselves Khayaali Production, and their product is titled, The Last Follower and the Resurrection of Voldemort. The film is so named because it tells the story of Asmodeus, the last follower of Voldemort, who wants to resurrect his Dark Lord who died long ago in the last duel with Harry Potter. But he is stopped by the wizards and witches of Hogwarts. The young team made sure that the 90-minute movie does not feature Harry Potter anywhere.
Traditionally, fan films are created by fans of a film or television programme, or a comic book. These tend to be amateurish and, therefore, may vary in quality as well as length. You’ve to hand it to Khayaali Production for pulling a visually spectacular (for an amateur venture) film. Their little trailer, which was released online recently, has surprised everyone. It’s gone viral — 3.2k hits already, and still counting.
Team Khayaali Production, which is composed of five people, is on a roll. The best part about their film, judging from the trailer, is how they have photographed the awe-inspiring building of GCU. According to Waleed Akram, director as well as co-writer of the film, “When I joined GCU a few years back, I could not miss the Gothic architecture of the building that was so similar to Hogwarts’. My friends agreed with me, and as time passed we planned to produce this fan film.
“It wasn’t easy [making this movie], as we had to keep the storyline distinct and yet be able to attract Potter fans. There were times when we thought it would not be possible as things got difficult during the filming. We were working with a very small budget, and shooting with a professional DSLR.”
Akram reveals that the film is in post-production, and should be released on YouTube soon.
When asked if they let the novelist know about their film, Akram says, “Yes, we sent an email to her, intimating her [about the film]. Though, we’ve yet to hear from her. We hope to get back to her again once the film is ready.”
The film’s other writer, Umer Dar, who also plays an important character, says: “The main difference between commercial dramas and a fan film is that we could mould it as we wanted to. It’s our baby. We’ve grown up on Harry Potter, and worked excitedly on the film.”
Lead actress Mariam Hussain Naqvi seconds him, “I’ve always been interested in acting. I was president of the GCU dramatics’ club, and earlier worked in a few short videos of Khayaali Production. But this project was a dream come true!”
Props & Costume Head was Wajeeha Abid and the movie is Powered by Digital Realm.
Meanwhile, the trailer of The Last Follower and the Resurrection of Voldemort, which runs a little over three minutes, is making waves across the Internet. Pakistani fans of Harry Potter, in particular, are celebrating the quality of screenplay, the camera work, the fluid transition between scenes, and the special effects that a local, amateur production has shown. It’s clearly set a benchmark.