Pakistani entertainment media finally finds its way to the international streaming platform. Pakistani web series Clickbait will be streamed on Amazon Prime.
The series, produced by Imagine Nation Pictures, is premised in the world of YouTube content creation, telling the story of a rivalry between two creators, Sara and Asad. Writer-director Rida Zahra stars as Sara, while Sami Rehman, who gained great fame via his association with Bekaar Films, plays Asad. The rivalry is shown to be fuelled by toxic fandom and ruthless numbers, highlighting just how ugly it can get in the competition. With the ever-increasing popularity of YouTube in Pakistan, creators on the platform have become integral agents in contemporary Pakistan’s pop culture, and their lives have become subject to much public interest and attention.
The series is only available on Amazon Prime in Japan, the US, the UK, and Germany. Everyone else can watch the show on YouTube.
The web series was shot in Pakistan and Thailand. It was initially released on YouTube last year, and features cameos from popular YouTubers Ali Gul Pir, Mooroo, CBA (Comics by Arsalan), Junaid Akram and Kashaan of The Idiotz.
The show’s writer and director, Zahra, said,
“We’ve seen a lot of web series on YouTube but we’ve never seen one about YouTubers themselves,” Zahra said, adding, “We thought it would be cool if people could see what goes on in their [YouTube creators’] lives behind the scenes.”
Zahra went on to say,
“Some people might think that YouTubers have it easy; that making a video and uploading it isn’t exactly hard work. Not only do viewers get to see how hard and tirelessly these creators work for the platform, but they also get to look at how things are once they’re no longer in front of the camera.”
She discussed the toxic race to be internet’s next viral trend,
“In Clickbait, you get to see how two top YouTubers battle it out on the trending page and end up becoming sworn enemies due to an unintentional feud, fuelled by the fans.”
“The only way ‘digital fame’ is different from traditional fame is how these celebrities engage with their respective fan-bases. Influencers or YouTubers, in general, are much more approachable,” explained Zahra.
Recognizing the difference in the content of television and internet Zahra said,
“The type of content being created for TV is a little done-to-death and it would be nice to see more relatable stories, especially for the youth. More than 63% of Pakistanis are under the age of 30 and if we can create content targeting them, it would only allow us to push our boundaries even further.”
“The future is digital. Almost everyone in the world has switched to creating work for digital platforms and although Pakistan is a little behind, it will catch up soon,” she said.
Zahra, Rahman and their team remain optimistic about Pakistan’s developing digital media space, believing there is much to be done and achieved.