Is there anything Osman Khalid Butt cannot do?
The funnyman has now put on his dancing shoes to choreograph dance sequences for Hareem Farooq's upcoming venture Parchi.
"Dance is an art form that's always fascinated me. Watching intricate choreography through Bollywood cinema and through live performances (I got a lot of exposure to the arts because of my father, Dr. Khalid Said Butt, then the D.G. of PNCA), the passion to pursue this personally was always there," Osman told Images.
Although Parchi marks his debut film as choreographer, this is not the first time the actor has choreographed for the arts.
"I started off by choreographing for theatre back in 2006 in Islamabad; this continued into the theatrical productions I directed myself. I always wanted to choreograph for film because the scale is massive and it's much more technical. It's not just about preparing the dance steps; it's about conceiving the entire storyline and board, the shots and angles; working on expression and timing and synchronisation."
One wonders whether Osman has a role in the film, but he denies it: "No, I'm not acting in the film. A cameo was planned, but it couldn't work out because it was integrated into the plot of one of the dance numbers and we were running short on time."
"Hareem Farooq and Imran Kazmi of IRK Films, two of my oldest and dearest friends, and the producers of Parchi. The three of us have been on many a mehndi battlefield together; they trusted me with their film and for that I am humbled. They also gave me complete creative licence as Director of Choreography," he added.
When asked whether he could disclose the songs and dance sequence, he said he "can't reveal much at the moment, but what I can tell you is that it's a situational comedy about this group of misfits that gets entangled in a series of misadventures. There are some fantastic characters, some intense drama, wonderful one-liners and an engaging plot."
"The music of Parchi is a surprise package; you don't expect a film so gritty to have instant-chartbuster music. A lot of big names attached as singers (can't reveal more!) - one of my favorites is the title track."
Speaking about his debut, he said, "Yes, this being my first foray into choreographing for film, we were presented with one major challenge: that of time-constraints."
"Storyboards were revised on the spot; dance moves had to be changed, but I have to tell you: WHAT a supportive team, from the light crew to the DoP (Usman Mukhtar; a brilliant actor AND DoP), to the art director (who allowed me to meddle so much), to Azfar Jafri (who imparted a lot of professional advice and was with me every step of the way.)."
And Osman couldn't help but praise the effort that the cast put into the film: "The actors rehearsed their behinds off; I can safely say that Hareem Farooq, especially, is going to set the screen on fire. It's an avatar of hers people really haven't seen before, neither on stage nor on film."
"Ali Rehman and Ahmed I've worked with and choreographed in theatre before, so I knew they were going to ace it. And boy, have they. Shafqat Khan and Usman Mukhtar were also incredible and really patient performers."
Parchi will see Ali Rehman Khan, Hareem Farooq, Usman Mukhtar, Ahmed Ali Akbar, Shafqat Khan, Mahenur Haider Khan and Shafqat Cheema in lead roles.
The upcoming film has been penned by theatre playwright Shafqat Khan and directed by Azfar Jafri, who previously directed Janaan. Parchi is slated to release this winter.