Mohamed Nayer is one of very few script writers who created this new wave of ‘real’ entertainment. This kind of entertainment which makes you relate to the story, finding every character similar to a friend you have or a person you know. He wrote films like‘El Watar, ‘Eza’et Hob’as well as the hugely successful TV series‘Mowaten X’, aired last Ramadan. This year, Nayer is aiming to conquerour home screens with ‘Serr Alany’ and ‘Vertigo’, an adaption of Ahmed Mourad’s bestseller.
Nayer prefers to keep low profile despite his quite respectable resume at such a young age,“I don’t like TV interviews, I wouldn’t like people to recognize me on the street and be the center of attention wherever I would go”, he says. With ‘Mowaten X’having received very positive reviews and critics, Nayer believes that he has a much bigger responsibility regarding his following work.
“My target audience is the age bracket from 18 to 30 years and I don’t want to ever disappoint them. I want them to rely on me in quality productions so as when they see my name on a film or a series, they would know that they will watch something real, something that speaks to them in their language and characters they can relate to”, he adds, “these days, I feel that people are mainly interested in conspiracy theories, so I came up with ‘Serr Alany’. Egyptians tend to think that they live alone in this world; I wanted them to know that there are several worlds out there. In ‘Serr Alany’ we talk about how the whole world manipulates your own world, yet you are satisfied and happy. We talk about how war takes place. There are big countries that make all their money out of the war industry. We talk about how media plays with people’s minds and why education is hideous and how all these aspects are interlinked, so basically ‘Serr Alany’ is a big conspiracy theory and the characters are very adventurous”.
Not all script writers come out satisfied at the premiere of their movies, but Nayer thinks that he was very lucky working with some directors who translated his work perfectly on screen, “In ‘El Watar’, Magdy El Hawary did a great job with this psychological thriller that had a very complex plot tellinga story through treason and buried secrets”, he comments, “I like to work with directors who are more into commercial productions as it creates a balance to my artistic input”.
American TV grows on you; you can watch serials like ‘Days of our Lives’ or ‘The Bold & the Beautiful’ for 20 years and are still eager to know how the characters develop. Here in Egypt, the whole business is totally different, so what makes a serial survive decades? “First of all we need to know that America is an industry, Egypt is a trade. You put one pound, you expect a hundred on the spot. There is also a difference between series like‘The Bold & the Beautiful’ or ‘Lost’and a serial like ‘Mowaten X’. Writers who work on thoseknow from day one that they’llcreate a serial that’ll live with American families for two decades. American society is similar to our society, they like food, film and mall shopping. The ‘Bold and The Beautiful’was beyond successful in Egypt because of these social similarities, although their stories differ”, we are told, “I mean the father marries his son’s lover and stuff like that, but Egyptians find a good excuse for it and say that it’s ok because they’re Americans” (laughs).
Nayer respects the mind and intellect of his audience. He is always keen on writing something new and triggering and not just bound by what people are talking about these days, “Thescript must be up to date and hip, and in line with its screening time. When the Egypt and Algeria incident happened, some script writers were anxious to write something about it, that’s totally wrongbecauseat the time the script is finished, the whole thing would be forgotten”, he points out, “when one filmmaker talked about Egypt’s slums, everyone made their next film about it. Here in Egypt we have the theory of the Koshary shop, one opens, everyone decides to give it a shot. Movies about slums made money, so come on let’s all do slums”.
Turning a bestselling book into a TV series is a big challenge and responsibility; imagine turning the hero into a heroine must be an even bigger one, “Well I don’t think it’s that much of a challenge because ‘Vertigo’ tells the story of someone who took a decision to get justice for people who were murdered in cold blood. Doesn’t this sound familiar in our country? No justice was done the revolution martyrs or those who were killed in Port Said. ‘Vertigo’ triggers this exactly this thought. All the female characters in this series live with both, dominance and coercion at the same time. You know, I always liked the song ‘A woman’s World’ by Neneh Cherry and I think it’s very much related to Vertigo. ‘Manhood’ is a feature that doesn’t necessarily apply to a certain gender, it applies to both”, he notes.
was a male it’s nothing new but if it was a female, it’s humiliation to our men with moustaches who didn’t make a move to get people’s rights. The female characters in this serial live dominance and coercion at the same time.You know, I always liked the song ‘A Woman’s World’ by Neneh Cherry and I think it related to Vertigo a lot. Manhood is a feature that doesn’t necessarily apply to a certain gender, it applies to both” He notes.
Apparently, the woman’s world is all about TV. Research states that women are most likely to watch TV more than men, “80% of female audience are housewives. Men go online download serials like ‘Lost’ and watch a couple of episodes at work or something but they don’t follow up with a whole seasons. I don’t own a TV at home, I used to watch ‘Mowaten X’ online”, he tells.
“If someone knew what women want he might be a genius or just insane. There are two aspects which have an impact on women, timing and security. I studied pharmacy and based on that I realized that women are hormonal creatures. Hormonal factors have a great impact on a woman’s life. There are lots of psychological factors that control females and these factors are changeable throughout the whole month.
A guy can wake up with a good mood and everything is fine so he decides to tell a woman that he loves her, even if this woman has a good day, she is bound by hormones at this time of the day at this day of the month that can lead her to rejection or approval!”, he wraps up.