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Jamal Daood

Jamal Daood

Filmmaker / Owner and Founder of Djouphoto, 2017

“There is something new every single day that leads to a more demanding market like social media, TV, internet, smartphones and virtual channels,” he explained. “Hence, customers need faster performance and better videos.”

01 February 2017

Jamal Daood: Filmmaker / Owner and Founder of Djouphoto

Jamal Daood was studying Civil Engineering at the University of Damascus when he realised that his biggest passion was towards directing and filmmaking.

He later learned about Limkokwing University through a friend who was studying in Malaysia.

“I searched the University and found out that it was a pioneer in visual art, fashion, architecture and sound engineering,” he said.

He then joined Limkokwing and graduated in 2013 after completing his Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Digital Film & Television degree.

After graduation, he founded his own company called Djouphoto and has built his career on producing various film projects. During his career, he has worked with various media organisations including Mazzika, the biggest production company in the Arab world.

His company has directed and produced commercials, documentaries, as well as music videos. Some of his projects include Ana Almoshtaq (I Am The Lover), Shoufi Mafi (What’s Up?), Waktash Teoud (When Are You Coming Back?) and Ahasees Banat (Girls’ Feelings).

For him, his greatest achievement was the production of his short film ‘The Path’, a short narrative documentary about a painting by Syrian artist Nour Zantah. The film explains her personal experience as a traveller and immigrant from Syria to Malaysia.

‘The Path’ was officially selected for the Sacramento Film and Music Festival on 13 September 2015. Few days later, it was selected for the International Peace & Film Festival where it received the International Award on December 2015.

Currently, he is working on a documentary film about a Syrian refugee girl. The film was shot and made in Turkey.

“It is in the last stages,” he said. “I did the shooting and will be almost done.”

He explained that the film follows a 7-year old Syrian girl as she travelled from Syria to a camp in Turkey. The story showed how she learned to become a Sufi Dancer through records of live performances and music videos of a famous Syrian Sufi dancer.

“My next project is another documentary film about a man who is also Syrian refugee,” he said while revealing that the person was involved with the Syrian revolution.

He hopes to be able to make a long feature film or a documentary as an independent producer.

Looking back, he credited Limkokwing University for helping him become involved with the industry through his hard work and experiences in Malaysia. For him, Limkokwing University enabled him to find the passion he had been aspiring since he was a boy.

“I loved cinema, movies and writing since I was little,” he said. “My preference towards writing made me put these scripts into action.”

Studying at Limkokwing University gave him the opportunity to prepare for the industry. The University provided him with the exact knowledge that he wanted. As a student, he learned to utilise filming facilities and form a team to handle various filming projects.

He also received tremendous guidance from his mentors in the University which enabled him to gain practical skills such as photography, scriptwriting and creating documentary films. He also learned the importance of teamwork through task distribution and proper planning to meet deadlines and client demands.

In November 2014, he received the Golden Award during the Documentary and Short International Movie Awards in Jakarta, Indonesia.

This award further reinforced his motivation towards filmmaking. “It was a great motivation as it touched the talent hidden inside me and gave me the chance to use everything I need to make a visual scene,” he said.

He also shared his insights on academics and industry.
“There are two main differences,” he explained. “The quality of customers and the competition.”

He explains that teachers are the customers in college and they are the easy ones since they understand the problems that students will face.

He also expresses that customers are always looking for a good product with the cheapest price and finished within a very short time.

“They don’t care how the work is done and this is really hard to achieve without experience,” he said.

At the same time, he describes the media market as immensely connected to technology.

“There is something new every single day that leads to a more demanding market like social media, TV, internet, smartphones and virtual channels,” he explained. “Hence, customers need faster performance and better videos.”

He advises students to never give up and be persistent as practical experience is the most important key to success.

“We have to balance between research and practical experience in cinematography, production and handling the camera,” he said. “We need both theoretical and practical experience to be able to deal with our surroundings.”

“Watch lots of movies,” he added while naming both good and bad movies to learn from.

 

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