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Category Archives: filmmaking

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:

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

dsc_0072_300x201shkl

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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Film Vs Digital

First of all Eid Mubarak everyone, im finally back to blogging.

According to this article it says the Steven Speilberg (Director) has refused to shoot the 4th Indiana Jones sequel in digital format, instead he’ll be shooting in Film. George Lucas (movie Writer) insisted to shoot on Digital, he’s one of the pioneers of digital filming btw – but steven Speilberg joked saying that he is the last person in Hollywood still cutting the film negatives.

My take is that the gap between film and digital is getting very close, most digital films add grain effects just to match the grainy film look, before the dynamic light range of whites/blacks holds better in film, but today Digital has proven to capture more dynamic range than film. It’s hardly makes a difference to a the average guy/gal to notice what format the movie is shot in,. Spielberg learned the old-skool way of cutting film negatives, and still insists on making movies that way – he didn’t use an Avid system yet (one the most popular Non Linear systems) But at least he could’ve used easier methods, new tools because the technology is advancing.. he’s an old-fashioned guy for sure .. I’m with George on this one – ma 3endek salfa ya Steve :p

Format wars and debates are always happening and won’t stop so soon. As I see it, what matters in the end is the story, and what someone has to tell and say.

Unda-Da-Sea

I was testing the Panasonic HVX200 last week, and while looking at the footage I’ve shot, I came up with an idea to quickly edit a portion of it in Final Cut Pro..

I named it Under The Sea, shot in High-Definiton 720p …

Starring:

ClownFish

clownfish
Shrimp

shrimp
Fox Face
foxface

Technical:
Mac: iMac 24-Inch 2.16Ghz, 2GB ram, 256mb graphics

imac
Camera: Panasonic HVX200

HVX200
Sofware: Final Cut Pro 6

finalcut
Song by: Alen Menken © Disney

It’s shaky in some shots, coz Im holding it in my hands, the thing is really heavy

Link (File Size: 25MB): http://www.ahmad.tv/videos/Unda-Da-Sea.mp4

Enjoy!

xray bulb

Back from holiday :) I want to start blogging again on filmmaking, let’s hear your ideas on topics you would like me to write about during the following months ..

Kuwaiti Film

 

 

تعلمون أنه ما عندنا سينما محلية والفن محصور ما بين المسرحيات اوالمسلسلات، وفي بعض التجارب السينمائية لكن برأيي فاشلة ..


انزين تخيلو معاي هالسيناريو …


محاولة جادة في عرض فيلم كويتي في السينما، يتمتع بالخصائص الآتية:


١. قصة متميزة ليست متكررة فيها قيمة مضافة (اخلاقية، اجتماعية ..الخ)

٢. جودة انتاج عالية – من حركات الكاميرات الى الإضاءة والصوتيات .. الخ

٣. تميز في أداء الممثلين


وكان التنفيذ عالي المستوى، والممثلين كويتين ومو بالضرورة معروفين


هل تتوقعون عمل مثل هذا ينجح في السينما أو لأ ؟ وليش ؟


ودي اسمع رايكم بكل صراحة.

 

finalcut box

Today I’m very excited because I finally received Final Cut Studio 2 .

The box is really heavy, it weighs about 16 pounds !!.I started opening it, then took the cardbox that supports the package off ..

Box finalcut

The package consists of 5 manuals, 4 for Finalcut Pro, and one dedicated for the color correcting tool Color, as well as a package for the main software and supplemental material ( project files, templates, training DVD)

Manuals

Finalcut studio contents

For a glimpse of what Final Cut Studio is about, and what it can do, (for non-techy readers out there :) ), it works like this:

1. Edit. Use Final Cut Pro 6 for native editing of virtually any format — from DV and SD up to HDV, XDCAM HD, DVCPRO HD, and fully uncompressed HD. Or use ProRes 422, a new post-production format from Apple that offers uncompressed HD quality at SD file sizes. Drag clips with different formats and even different frame rates into the new open format Timeline.

2. Animate. Create stunning 2D and 3D motion graphics in real time with Motion 3, the fastest and most intuitive way to animate and express your creative vision. Just drag and drop to make dramatic particle effects explode into 3D space; form vector-based paint strokes with the swish of a pen. New Motion master templates let you edit text and drop in video without leaving Final Cut Pro.

Mix with Soundtrack Pro 2.

3. Mix. Record and edit dialogue, add music and effects, and complete your mix with ease. Soundtrack Pro 2 lets you work faster than ever in its new, streamlined interface. You can even produce in surround sound using innovative visual tools. If you make changes to your edit in Final Cut Pro, you can rapidly update your audio mix with the powerful Conform feature in Soundtrack Pro.

Grade with Color.

4. Grade. Give your production a signature look or create a consistent feel for shots from different sources. Color is the newest member of the Final Cut Studio family, offering professional color grading that can elevate the quality of any production.

Deliver with Compressor 3.

5. Deliver. Use Compressor 3 to create pristine-quality output for a wide range of delivery formats — including the web, iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, and broadcast servers. A streamlined new interface lets you batch-process encoding with point-and-click ease. If film is your destination, use Cinema Tools 4 to output film lists that combine timecode and keycode in a single list. Or use DVD Studio Pro 4 for professional DVD authoring and mastering.

Source: Apple.com

 

I started using Motion 3, mainly because I really wanted to use a motion graphics applictaions that uses the graphics card more efficiently and gives me real-time playback, as apposed to Adobe After Effects. I liked the templates that comes bundled with the app, as well as the animation behaviors, thats a killer feature if you compare it to After Effects .

 

I didn’t test the other applications yet, I think im going to stay at home this weekend and start using them one by one !

 

 

 

Looking For a Job (2003)

Project Date: May 2003

Produced by: Innovation House, Wael Al-Omani, ahmad.TV

Client: National Association of Kuwaiti Students – Kuwait University

Directed By: Ahmad Al-Awadi

Director of Photography: Wael Al-Omani

Edited by: Ahmad Al-Awadi – Wael Al-Omani

Visual Effects, Sound Design, Screenplay: : Ahmad Al-Awadi

The Video:
2mGEul0h77w

How I began:
This was my first paid project, before that I worked on several personal projects, short clips in which I did some stunts for testing purposes, each time I’m done with a project I start to show it to my family, and then send it to friends in msn. One day I received a phone call from someone who saw my work from my one of my msn contacts -word-of-mouth playing its role:), he told me “flan” someone is looking for guys interested in Media production, so I took off and went to their social gathering, we exchanged opinions and such, at the end I showed my work to someone from the gathering, at that time he was running a company by the name Innovation House, and during that time, Innovation House was responsible for the 1st Job event conference, the project included a video intro for the conference. He offered me to Direct the video, I immediately accepted without any hesitation because It was a golden chance for me to work on something real, something that can be shown in a big event.

The Idea:
I sat down with the production team, did some brain storming, and came up with the idea, I came back home and drew the storyboard, sketching it really fast, check it here, it looks funny:

lfaj1 lfaj2 lfaj3 lfaj4 lfaj5
I need some drawing courses coz I’m the worst storyboard artist ever :P

The idea goes like this, it’s a story of a man who graduates from college and starts applying for a job, it presents the obstacles that a graduate faces when he applies a for job in Kuwait, but somewhat to an extreme.

Production Notes:
We shot the entire project in one day, I edited in in my old pc in 1.5 -2 days along with the sound effects, and delivered the next day, it was done really fast because we had a very tight deadline.

But at the end it wasn’t that bad, I was happy that the audience liked it, plus they requested that we present the video one more time, which we did.

Here is a video comparing the storyboard to the final clip:
Ep1epgIq7Tg

Toolkit:

Hardware: Canon Xl1 camera, 2X Lights, Regular PC (2.5Ghz, 1Gb ram)

Software: Premiere – Photoshop – After Effects

This project was one the first projects I worked on back in 2003, Although its pretty old but I feel that it’s special in a way, probably because I was really excited to work on it at that time. If you have any comments/opinions/suggestions I’d love to hear them, just drop them down below.

Al-Watan Logo

Last Thursday I was at Souk Sharq, volunteering for Al-Watan Promo, the production company is ZEE FILM established by the Director of this promo Ziyad Al-Husaini, also with the help of a production company called Flying Cam – awarded an Oscar for Technical Achievement for the helicopter, they worked on several films including Harry potter 1-3, Van Helsing, Mission Impossible to name a few.

One of my friend’s told me that they needed volunteers for the Promo, and I wanted to be on set especially because I never saw a remote controlled cam-attached-to-a-chopper before. So I arrived on set at around 11:00am, it was hot, the sun was burning, thank god I bought my Ferrari baseball cap with me:), So after a short Read More »