Silver screen to touch screen: Abdulaziz Ibrahim Khuja hits box-office on TikTok - GulfToday

Silver screen to touch screen: Abdulaziz Ibrahim Khuja hits box-office on TikTok

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A clip from the film ‘The Brothers Sun.’

Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer

KSA-based TikTok content creator Abdulaziz Ibrahim Khuja is a go-to person for everything related to cinema. With two million followers and counting, he is an advanced film critic who shares the latest insights on movie trends. He is zezoov7 for TikTokers, particularly those who like their film reviews in the Arabic language. The films he has reviewed on his TikTok page include Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes; Fallout; Night Swim; The Brothers Sun; The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare; Dune 2; The Ones Who Live and Killers of the Flower Moon. Khuja creates a reel of answers for Gulf Today

What inspired you to start creating film-related content on TikTok, and how has your journey evolved over time?

What inspired me to dive into creating film-related content on TikTok was my deep love and passion for movies. I spent a good five months researching how to create compelling and concise reviews in under a minute to acquire the skills necessary to capture my audience’s attention and differentiate myself from other film buffs on other platforms. It was a risk initially, given the unconventional format; but TikTok’s platform provided the perfect accessible space for experimentation. After breaking through my initial scepticism, I found that my content exceeded expectations, set new records, and sparked engaging discussion among the wider TikTok community, and film lovers specifically. As time goes on, I keep tweaking my approach, listening to what my audience wants, and trying out new stuff to keep things interesting and relevant to our growing community of film enthusiasts.


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How do you think content platforms have changed how do people choose what they want to watch?

People love simplicity and ease: everyone wants content that is clear, straight-to-the-point, and entertaining. Platforms such as TikTok have transformed how people choose what to watch by paying close attention and noting these changing preferences and then adapting to what the audience wants.  The bite-sized videos and engaging format on TikTok offers a constant stream of fresh content that caters to your taste, and with campaigns such as #WhatToWatch, it makes it easier and accessible for us creators to see the impact of our content, whom it’s reaching and the engagement from the community, all in one space. Personally, I find that people love hearing reviews from their favourite creators because it feels a lot more personal and relatable then, especially since viewers can engage and interact directly with the creators through comments and live interaction. This personal connection significantly amplifies their viewing choices, making content selection a more interactive experience.

  Abdulaziz Ibrahim Khuja is based in KSA.

How do content platforms help people appreciate media differently?

I think content platforms help people appreciate media differently by providing personalised recommendations based on their preferences and viewing habits. These platforms use algorithms and advanced technology to show you content that aligns with your individual taste - which ultimately makes it a lot easier for users also to discover new genres and styles they might not have found out about otherwise. It’s kind of like word of mouth, but on a global scale, and at the speed of the Internet.

How do you think TikTok has shifted the way fandoms interact with each other?

TikTok has definitely revolutionised the way fandoms interact by providing a platform for fans from around the world to connect, create, and share content. I think the app’s short-form video format allows fans to express their enthusiasm through creative means such as challenges, duets, and stitches. This has allowed communities to instantly share reactions, theories, and fan art. The platform’s algorithm also helps us discover content and connect with communities with similar interests, creating a strong sense of belonging and collective excitement.

In your opinion, what are the key factors that make a film or series go viral on platforms such as TikTok?

There are several factors that contribute to a film or series going viral on TikTok, especially in this region. A key element is having culturally trendy aspects, such as a popular song or a memorable scene that can be easily adapted into short-form content. Films and series that tap into current trends, feature catchy elements, and spark user interaction and interest, can quickly achieve viral status.

How do you balance creating content that reflects your personal tastes with the types of films and shows your audience wants to see?

Finding the balance between what I like and what I know my audience wants to see isn’t always easy. But with consistency and authenticity, I manage to find my voice. I like to think of it as if it’s inviting friends over to watch your favourite movies together. It’s all about being yourself and saying, “Hey, this is what I love, and I think you might like it too!” It’s a good way to connect with your audience, swap recommendations, and maybe even find some new favourites together.

Finally, what are some shows or movies you’re excited about this summer?

The House of the Dragon series, of course! TikTok is a short-form video-hosting service that platforms user-submitted videos, which can range in duration from three seconds to 60 minutes. It can be accessed with a smart phone app. In 2020, TikTok surpassed two billion mobile downloads worldwide. The popularity of TikTok has allowed viral trends in food and music to take off and increase the platform’s cultural impact worldwide, says Wikipedia.

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