I’m super excited to release my latest short film. Titled Hakawi, it’s a destination film about the stunning city of Luxor, part of a bigger project I worked on for Canon end of last year. The Luxor project started with refreshing their image library but evolved into creating this beautiful short film using the Canon C300 Mark 2. I worked with the C300 last summer shooting Khareef and really enjoyed it.
[Hakawi – short destination film]
I found it particularly supportive in my run and gun style of film making. It’s small enough to shoot handheld and the follow focus with the EF lenses is brilliant. Speaking to ‘old school’ DOP guys, they prefer manual focus but coming from a photography background I’ve learned to trust the system.
Luxor is quite simply a truly amazing city. It has so much to offer, the sights are breathtaking, the people are super friendly and the hospitality so welcoming. It’s hard to really grasp just how far their history dates back to. Visiting these tombs that are thousands of years old can’t fail to touch you. Their silence is mesmerising and their stories tell such wonderful tales.
We met with the Governor of Luxor on our first scouting trip to discuss the project and he gave us carte blanche access. In reply to our question about what should be included in the film he said, “We’ve been sharing our history for many years and the stories always look the same. Why don’t you visit Luxor and create your film around your experience, something unique and different.” Surely, that’s the ultimate in open briefs. I story boarded the creative and pretty much ended up shooting what I had in mind.
We flew in with a small crew from Dubai, joined up with a bigger crew and talent in Cairo and finally in Luxor, threw in the local entourage. Before we knew it, we were a ‘small’ production family of 25+ for a week of cruising around town.
Nothing happens without a little help to open doors and Mohamed Osman played an incremental role in doing this for us. From finding rare mountain bikes and building Bedouin camps in the mountains to accessing private hot air balloon rides and looking after us at his amazing own Marsham boutique hotel (http://www.marsamluxor.com), we asked and Mohamed Osman delivered. My heartfelt thanks for all his support.
My thanks also to the team at Serena, who were responsible for post-production. They turned many hours of footage into the engaging edit. Shooting in Canon C-log 2 means shooting RAW film footage, which in pre-production has a flat muddy feel until you put it in the hands of a good colour grader. Post-production is vital for a strong final product.
[behind the scenes]
To get a feel of what happened on tour, have a look at the behind the scenes video below or put more aptly, a behind the scenes of the behind the scenes, as this is the uncut RAW version showing what it really takes to run a big production. Safe to say, it’s probably one of my funniest videos of its kind to date…