Ms. Marvel Director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy On Recreating Photographs Of Partition And Avoiding The Yellow Filter [Interview]

I know this mostly applies to next week’s episode but even at the end of this one, getting to Partition and showing the horrors of what happened: Did you feel, because of your background, because of your documentary work, that you were more uniquely suited to portray these events in this episode and in the upcoming one?

I have spent the better part of two decades collecting oral histories about 1947. It is something that speaks to me. And so when this episode was given to me, I thought about how I wanted to take authentic oral histories, and I wanted to take photographs from that time. And I wanted to recreate those photographs frame-by-frame when Kamala lands in Partition. And so when she walks onto the platform, I worked with Jules [O’Loughlin]┬ámy DOP, in taking each one of those frames and sort of recreating them so that Kamala is catching frenetic conversations, and she’s bearing witness to this history. And in that moment, she’s Kamala Khan, not a superhero.

On a lighter note, you also get to handle a lot of action and even different kinds of action in this episode. What was your favorite part of the production? What was the most challenging part? What was your experience like?

Well, our chase is shot over six blocks in Thailand. And so, I worked with the production designer and some of the team, and I was like, “Okay, all six streets have to look different, you know? [Laughs] And you have to sort of recreate this world.” And then [second unit director] Gary Powell and I sort of talked about how we wanted to use the environment, to use the trucks and the push carts and the soda trucks and, sort of, six people on a bike. You know, how we wanted to use the environment as an obstacle course for Kamala and the Clandestines to run through. And that was the most fun that we had. Everything that I wanted to happen, I put my wish list together, and we made it happen.

New episodes of “Ms. Marvel” stream on Disney+ every Wednesday.

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