Wearethemovies.com approached Xero Error Director Ashraf Ghori for a candid one on one to shed more light on recent developments on the indie CG film.
Ashraf Ghori is known to many residents here as the creator ofÂ Xero Error, the first CG animated short film to be produced in the United Arab Emirates. Some may even nostalgically recall Ashraf Ghori as the guy that did those amazing illustrations for Khaleej Times (if you grew up in the UAE and had a subscription to the childrenâ€™s magazine Young Times, you know it, friendo!).
Born in India, Ashraf was very little when his family moved to the city of Dubai, which he considers â€œhis hometown.â€Â Ashraf completed his college at the University of Houston in 1994, founded Tempest Comics, and won several accolades in the United States including being the featured artist at the 1994 Dallas Comic Con. Ashraf returned to the UAE in 1994 and has since been working on independent 3D animation and design projects. In 2007, he began the animation studio Xpanse CGI, and the very next year started work on his labor of love,Â Xero Error.
WearetheMovies.com loves and supports independent filmmakers in the Middle East.We asked the very talented Ashraf Ghori aboutÂ Xero Error, Dubaiâ€™s potential for independent film production, andâ€¦three people heâ€™d like to have dinner with (apparently, Megan Fox made the list!)
WearetheMovies.com: Who or what first inspired you to become a CG artist and storyteller?
Ashraf Ghori: It all started off with comic books. The mix of fantastical storytelling and mind blowing graphics had its toll on a young impressionable mind. Naturally, I did the next best thing and started doing my own comics. Now with the advancements in CGI, it is possible to bring those ideas to life.
WearetheMovies.com: Name three of your favorite movies of all-time.
Ashraf Ghori: There are just so many good movies; it is really hard to choose. But, to narrow it down:Â Fight Club,Â Lord of the Rings trilogy andÂ Star Wars.
WearetheMovies.com: You learned your craft in Houston, Texas. Your current project Xero Error is billed as the first CG animated short film to be produced in Dubai, UAE. Why the city of Dubai?
Ashraf Ghori: Iâ€™ve been drawing as far back as I can remember. Houston was an eye-opener to the real world, other artists and new concepts. Dubai is my hometown, so I moved back after my studies. Iâ€™ve always wanted to create something cool and unique which could gain wide acceptance â€” Xero Error is the result. It also happens to be the first time that this kind of project is being done in Dubai.
WearetheMovies.com: What is the current status of Xero Error? Can we expect to see it at the upcoming 2009 Dubai International Film Festival?
Ashraf Ghori: Xero Error is currently in the early production stage. Weâ€™re not as far ahead as we thought weâ€™d be; allow me to explain:Â Last year (2008) I started doing the preliminary concept and character design, co-wrote the script, got the voiceover recordedâ€¦we thought weâ€™d merrily sign up a sponsor and be on our way to fame and fortune! 2009 was supposed to be nothing but production, and we had planned to premiere Xero Error at the 2009 Dubai International Film Festival. This would have been the ideal scenario!Â What actually happened was something very different: we could not find any backing for our production. The economic recession certainly did not help either.
Sponsors who showed interest offered only to promote/publicize the film. This slowed us down. Without funding I would not have the dream team I wanted. So, self-funding my animation studio Xpanse CGI, we instead began looking for volunteers to help us. We continue to persevere and are happy to launch the first teaser of Xero Error this weekÂ (Editorâ€™s note: watch itÂ here.) Weâ€™re also networking in the US to get some backing for our film, and are aiming for a 2010 release.
You can read the whole story here:
Ashraf Ghori presents an XPANSE CGI production "XERO ERROR" Directed by Ashraf Ghori Produced by Xpanse CGI.
All names and characters appearing in this film including Xero Error, XE7, Facet, Bushman, Retrospectre, ACYD, The Admin, Levity and Virtual Geographic © Xpanse CGI 2010. All rights reserved.