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Halifax photographer brushes shoulders with Netflix's Umbrella Academy

Akram Hamdan got the opportunity of a lifetime when he was asked to shoot behind-the-scenes of hit Netflix series the Umbrella Academy
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(Photo provided, credit: Akram Hamdan)

Photographer Akram Hamdan got the opportunity of a lifetime when he was asked to shoot behind-the-scenes of hit Netflix series the Umbrella Academy.

Netflix Canada chose Hamdan to be Canadian Grammaster North after his Instagram photos won him the contest.

"It was so great to happen for a guy from Halifax. Now the show is out, people are enjoying it, and it's a Netflix hit," said Hamdan.

He was flown to Toronto, Ont., given behind-the-scenes access to do photos, and got to meet the cast of the show about a disbanded group of superheroes brought back together by a death.

Among the Hollywood cast were hip-hop artist Mary J. Blige, Black Sails alum Tom Hopper, and fellow Halifax native & movie star Ellen Page.

"I didn't know what to expect from the celebrities. However, they were all so lovely and kind," he said.

"Ellen Page chatted with me. She had an intense scene, but she came over and said 'hi' and then went back into character."

He is thankful for the Grammaster, and the opportunity it presented.

"It was a program focusing on Canadian talent, and they wanted photographers to enter to work on the Netflix set of the show. All you had to do to enter was hashtag a photo, which I did with a year-old one," he said.

"I never thought I'd be picked, but I got a DM and then got the interview. I flew out a week after, in June, and really enjoyed it."

He said that seeing things before CGI was put in was strange.

"There were green screens and some sets were built from scratch. It does spoil the show a bit, but it gives insight into everything," he said.

Hamdan is thankful to Netflix for the opportunity he received. His work is now displayed on their Instagram.

"Working with a company like Netflix Canada can open doors, and it's huge in the industry. This allows me to try to make a living off my photography, and this was such a nice thing to be a part of."




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About the Author: Jordan Parker

Jordan Parker is a freelance journalist & public relations student. He's been a movie nerd since he was old enough to walk, and the first movie he saw in theatres was Beauty & the Beast.
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