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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:

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


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


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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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 …




Fox Face

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

Camera: Panasonic HVX200

Sofware: Final Cut Pro 6

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):


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:

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:


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.