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A short video highlighting the wonderful Arabian Stallion Momtaz Ezzain.

Links:
http://www.vimeo.com/9562544
or
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2E8H2G8eKpE

Directed by: Ahmad Al-Awadi
Produced by: Moving Blue
Director of Photography: Sulaiman Al-Salahi
Script by: Ahmad Al-Refae
Narrated by: James Herron
Music: Used with permission from Mazlum Cimen
Editing and Color Correction: Ahmad Al-Awadi

Tools: Shot with the Canon 5D Mark II. Edited on Final Cut, Motion and After effects for compositing, Magic Bullet Looks for the color grading.

I hope you enjoy it :)

Final_Stages2

I’d like to announce my boutique animation and visual effects studio “Moving Blue”.

At Moving Blue we provide 3D Animation, Motion Graphics and Visual Effects for a wide range of markets including and not limited to education, medical and scientific fields, business sectors, the entertainment sector, and of course in advertising.

What we offer at Moving Blue:
• 3D Character Animation: Professional quality animation for your next character-based project.
• Motion Design: Complete motion graphics solutions for  your company or brand such as logo animaton, or graphics for your  TV show (show openers, lower thirds, credits .. etc)
• Compositing and Visual Effects: The mixing of video     with animation, as well as the additition of realistic visual effects.
• TV Commercials: Fully animated  commercials (in 3D or motion graphics) as well as the production of regular video commercials keeping visual effects in our minds to give your advertisement that extra edge

Site: www.movingblue.com
I’ll be showcasing my personal showreel at the Ebda3ati expo. If you happen to be around drop by !

What: I’m participating at booth number #82 @ the Ebda3ati expo
Time: For 3 days, Starting from Thursday 3rd to Saturday 5th December, 5pm to 11pm
Place: Movenpick Royal suites, Free Zone, Kuwait.
For more info and RSVP please visit this link:

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Finally finished Class 4, only 2 classes left now

Today I joined Al-Yarmook Sports Club, and for the first time I tried thier 50m pool, it was amazing !

Now I only need to do like this, 23 strokes in about 26sec, then I’d be happy :P

One of my favourite hobbies is swimming, I go to Platinum Gym Kaifan to swim nearly everyday in thier 20-something meters pool, but I hate it now, it’s getting so crowded, I can’t swim a proper lap without bumping into someone or without lifting my head up to see if the path is clear every time, plus I need a larger pool anyway. So I decided to leave Platinum before the end of this month and join a real pool, a 50m olympic sized swimming pool.

I’ve been asking my freinds who have been swimming on sports clubs before, if they know any 50m pools, either public or private, I’ve also done some digging myself.

So here are my findings so far, (all 50m size pools) :

I started visiting Khaitan Sports club – Khaitan, its an open pool, not my taste. Monthly subscription 25kd, open for anyone.

Al-Yarmook Sports club in Mishref – much better, same subscription, open for anyone.

I also visited Qadsiya Sports club – in Hawally- but didn’t took any pictures unfortunately, but it looked newer than Al-Yarmook club. 3 days per week only, and I have to pay for a trainer, I passed it.

Update: Today I checked Al-Arabi Sports Club in Mansouriya, the place is quite nice, but open only from sat-wed, here are a few pictures:

I heard that other olympic pools are in Al-Tathamun S.C, Al-Jahra S.C, Al-Naser S.C, but I haven’t visited them yet. I also heard that Khazema S.C are building a new olympic pool due in 2010 maybe. But I’d like to note that some clubs only accept people under 18 like the case with Kuwait sports club in Kaifan – stupid I know.

There aren’t any commercial olympic sized pools (50m) in Kuwait other than the ones at the sport clubs as I’ve heard later on, I will keep this post updated with more findings however.

As for now I will join Al-Yarmook S.C since thier opening times suits me the best, everyday exepct friday.
(Update: I also might consider Al-Arabi too)

If I forgot to mention a sports complex with a 50m pool, I’d love to hear it in the comments below, thanks !

I know its been a while since I last updated, I’d like to talk about several things that happened since last time I posted. First of all, I watched Journey to Mecca, finally ! As a whole I would give it 8/10, I didn’t like the art direction and staging so much especially when they made the Ka’ba so clean during Ibn Battuta’s times, also I everyone is making the tawaf around the ka’ba ( he built ka’ba), but nobody was praying at the back, there were just lanterns ! Moreover, I would have liked to see children, or at least teenagers in the background during the time when Ibn battuta visited the markets, it wasn’t just a grown-ups age, same thing for the Haj scenes, I would beleive it would give it a much closer feel to reality if they had done that. It would’ve also been better if they had mixed races when they casted the extras, especially since there weren’t so much asians and europeans, if not at all. The story, acting and overall message was great in my opinion.

After that I got interviewed by Al-Watan TV “Sabah Al-Watan” in April for my participation in the film, along with 2 others, co-producer Alzain Al-Sabah and Deema Al-Ansari. It was my first time live on TV,  I was really amazed how the set was so small compared to what we actually see on TV.

On June I uploaded my class 3 showreel from my school at Animation Mentor, you can see my showreel below, this time I added music to the showreel, I liked that feature in Youtube called Audioswap, where I can add to my already-uploaded video any music track for free, which is kinda neat.

I’m expecting to graduate hopefully on March 2010

I also attended the second Pecha-Kecha night, this time it was in Al Qibliya School Cultural Center, in my opinion the presenters weren’t better than first time except Ahmad Al-Refae (Owaikeo), even the attendees were less than before, but the environment was more casual.

Now I’m currently searching for olympic sized swimming pools in Kuwait, because I’m thinking of joining one next week, I’ll be showing some of my finding soon on a dedicated post.

Following my previous post on that movie, I checked the site and it shows that the film will be released on Thursday 26th of March, that’s 3 days from now, I can’t wait to see it !
 

Today I attended Kuwait’s first Pechakucha Night at Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, pronounced as pu-chak-cha, or بجكجه in Kuwaiti.

Pechakucha means chit-chat in Japanese, it started in Japan by two architects in 2003, and to this day there over 179 cities with pechakucha events around the globe, pechakucha is famous for its 20×20 approach, and it’s basically a forum with speakers from different fields, each speaker has only 20 slides, each slight 20 seconds, so that’s a total of 6 minutes and 40 seconds to present each idea or speech. I came a bit early because they told me the place will fill up quickly, which in fact did. There were a total of 7 presenters and most of them did great, in my opinion my best two are Ghada Alkandari and Abdulaziz Al-Humaidhi, Ghada is an artist and she presented a painting which she explained the meaning of each part in a story like fashion, while Abdulaziz showed us some great concept ideas from his architectural firm.

For those of you who missed it, or didn’t hear about it, you can still attend it as this event happens 4 times per year, the next one is around a few months from now, subscribe to this RSS feed for up-to date news on PKN Kuwait.

In my last post a reader asked me when Journey to Mecca is going to be launched in Kuwait, I haven’t forgot your question (Catism) but I was bit occupied with my 3d animation course. As for the latest updates, I called our IMAX theater in Kuwait several weeks ago but they didn’t have information regarding the screening, they even didn’t hear about the film even ! Anyways, I think there is information on this link regarding the release schedule for the film:

http://www.journeytomeccagiantscreen.com/theatres.php

And if I have additional info I’ll post it here too.

journeymecca

You wouldn’t believe it but I was saving this post for over a year, I couldn’t post it until now ! (due to an NDA agreement with the film producers). So the movie finally premiered on Abu Dhabi this month, I received an invitation to come over, but didn’t find a flight to take me there on time.. yeah unfortunately, but I’ll surely see it when it hits our IMAX theater in Kuwait next month, can’t wait !!

Journey to Mecca tells the story of a young scholar, Ibn Batuta, who leaves Tangier in 1325 on an epic and perilous journey, traveling alone from his home in Morocco to reach Mecca, some 3,000 miles to the east.

The film was shot in two locations, Saudi Arabia for the Haj scenes, and Morocco for the remainder of the movie, hamdella I had the privilege to work on the haj part as a 3rd assistant camera with the Steadycam team during Haj in December of 2007. The Haj part was some what a challenge to the producers, because as it is known only Muslims can enter the Mecca, so a team of Muslims were trained on the IMAX cameras in the US long long before the Haj period just to get them ready, and a few months before the actual shooting, a quick preparation period took place to wrap vital necessities, such as location scouting, transportation, budgeting..etc. Including hiring some people as assistants, and that’s when I got the chance to be a part of the crew.

So I thought now of sharing my filming experience with you..

FIRST DAY:  HOTEL ARRIVAL – Tuesday 4th- Wednesday 5th December 2007

That was my first day on the job !! I was so excited, I rested at a hotel in Jeddah, I recieved my call sheet under the room door – it felt like a mission which was quite cool – and the following day we had a training session in the warehouse to make sure our equipment is set and know how to use them properly, since they are IMAX equipment and should be treated with more care, we had technicians from Canada with us just incase something goes wrong, as it did during our shooting in Mecca. We were grouped into 3 teams, unit A that did the helicopter shot, long shots and time-lapse shots, unit B that did the misc shooting, and unit C (the one im in) is the steadycam team, the one that moved on it’s feet.

My room is just after that corridor

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Getting the equipment ready at the warehouse

HAJ AIRPORT: Thursday 6th December 2007

So at that day we started shooting some planes in the Haj Airport arriving from different parts of the world to Saudi Arabia to attend the Haj, we were a bit late due to the driver being sent to jail for speeding or something, but we arrived eventually, but they only allowed 10 of us to enter inside the airplane track  due to airport security reasons, fortunately I was one of the 10 that got to enter.

That’s our Director Bruce Neibaur, he also directed Mysteries of Egypt, an IMAX film, and now he’s directing the movie “Beyond the Horizon” with Stephen Hawkings himself

From left to right, me (3rd assistant Camera), Bruce Neubaur (Director), Afshin Javadi (Director of Photography), Kambiz Koushan (1st Assistant Camera). The day was really hot for the shooting as you can see

DAY OFF – Friday 7th December 2007

Yipeee !! day off

BUS RIGGING TEST: Saturday 8th December 2007

On this day, our saudi production manager fist fought with the driver because

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