After a series of delays, Midsummer Chaos, a coming of age web-series about a group of teenagers in Islamabad, is finally ready to air.
The show was supposed to be aired in March but the director and writer of the series, Ahmed Sarym, told Images that the project had to be pulled back because "the day of the first episode’s release back in March, a few actors who played leading parts felt as if the series, particularly its concept, wasn’t in line with their personal beliefs," leaving them with no option but to step back.
"At the time, shelving the project perhaps made more sense than redoing it, especially at the point that I’m at in my career; I’m just starting off and it genuinely came as a major setback. But I think it was only under such grim circumstances that the realisation of how much I believed in content that is progressive, real and raw, was reinforced," he explained. "Only a few days after, we’d started recasting and filming, and here we are, hours away from when it finally gets to see the light of the day."
The team recast some of the actors with whom they had creative differences and are now ready for a release today (June 12). Around 90% of the series was re-shot due to the changes.
But for Sarym, the cast change was a blessing in disguise. "I think all of us got an opportunity to try and correct errors we saw in the earlier version; we got actors on board who were absolutely gifted and invested into the world that we are attempting at creating, they believed in the story and their characters. The energy on set was completely different, in the best way possible."
Some members of the original cast — Mehar Bano, Saman Ansari, Mustafa Babar, Kamila Aazeen, Nael Aamir and Zainab Ejaz — reshot the series with the characters that they play. The new cast members include model Khushhal Khan, whom Sarym described as a brilliant actor who is the "next big thing", Mamia Shajaffar and Hiba Ajaz.
The plot of Midsummer Chaos hasn't changed. Sarym told Images in an earlier interview that it was about "a group of teenagers in Islamabad that have just gotten done with high school and their shenanigans over the summer before college". He wanted it to be an authentic representation of the Pakistani Gen Z.
The changes did allow Sarym a chance to tweak the script a little and work on the dialogues more. "We’ve added a few more scenes to further the character development and arc, but it is still very much a coming-of-age, teenage drama that centres seven high school graduates and their shenanigans over summer before college, shedding light upon subjects often brushed under the carpet."
The show will be available on the Qissa Nagri YouTube channel from today (June 12).