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The Mercy Chronicle: Issue #3

BEHIND THE SCENES

This week's behind the scenes we explore the Toronto set of Little Mosque on the Prairie. Janak Subramanian is an intern with WestWind Pictures. Janak along with an eclectic mix of students, researchers and crew from other productions were invited to an afternoon on set of Little Mosque on the Prairie, this is his behind the scenes disclosure...

As an office intern at WestWind Pictures, my day is divided between crunching numbers and filing papers. Don't get me wrong, I love what I'm doing, but I don't get to see much excitement and action. When I heard the office was putting together a tour of Little Mosque (one of my favourite shows!) I was anxious to hop on board; and am I glad that I did! Visiting the set of a big budget television show is an amazing, eye-opening experience for anyone who wants to get into television, or is just really interested in seeing what the studio looks like behind the scenes.

The action started before we even parked the car. I looked out of the window to see a huge trailer with a car on it, two cameras, a director's chair, and all the other gear you would find on any set. The assistant director explained that this was for a driving scene between two characters, and that rather than have them try to drive and act, it would be easier to mount them on a trailer, drive a truck and pull them around. This scene would probably be only 3-4 minutes, for one episode! The amount of work and preparation that went into that was unbelievable, and I knew right then and there that these people were seasoned pros, and this was the real deal.

Seeing the sets in the studio was very revealing. Seeing Amaar's office with the Torontonian artifacts, or Yasir's tiny little office filled with local Saskatchewan business cards, and even Baber's house – with the Arabic calligraphy, and the beautifully designed Persian rugs; I could only think of one thing: the research. When I think of the aesthetic elements of a show, I think of the camerawork, the editing, the music, sound, etc; I never think about the art direction of a show, and this one had me thinking! The artistic directors must have sat down and said, "What would a young Muslim lawyer from Toronto decorate his office with?" or, "How would a conservative Muslim contractor who runs his business out of his mosque maintain his workspace?" All these questions are answered so accurately, that we the viewers watch without ever noticing something wrong. I grew up with Muslim friends, and standing inside Baber's house took me back to my Pakistani friend's house, as his mom made us paranthas.

The day capped off meeting Baber Siddiqui (Manoj Sood). Contrary to his on screen persona, Mr. Sood was very gentle and polite with us. He only called me an infidel three times! - (kidding). We also met Layla (Aliza Vellani) whose bubbly personality made the day that much better. Mr. Sood was kind enough to give me his autograph, and talk to us for a little bit. After the day was I over, I left with a new appreciation for this show, as well as a T-shirt.


WHAT'S NEW?
Little Mosque on the Prairie Facebook Trivia Challenge – Starts today August 12!

The contests consists of one quiz per week, for six weeks, each trivia challenge features ten multiple-choice questions. Players test their knowledge against the clock and a public leader board tracks the highest scores each week. Each week's top score wins an exclusive PRIZE PACK! Items include an official Little Mosque on the Prairie fashion hoodie, sports cap, cast autographed poster,plus Season 1 DVD box set, all inside the must-have bag of the season, the Little Mosque on the Prairie satchel.

Don't have a Facebook profile? You can still take part in the trivia challenge by signing up at www.facebook.com to create your own free profile. Once you have a profile, add the Little Mosque on the Prairie Facebook Trivia Challenge application, which can be found (starting August 12) on the official Little Mosque on the Prairie Facebook fan page.