Human Architecture Story
The past three years have been a stress carnival, between the roller-coasters of projects and ticking anxiety of looming deadlines, it seemed almost impossible to break the pattern and stop and smell anything but my fried brains.
Living in a busy capital city like Cairo is a heavy weight you carry on your shoulder. Dealing with everyday traffic, streets, buildings and traffic lights is always a burden. Through the last two years, I've tried to travel to calmer/peaceful cities in order to force myself to lose stress. I discovered that the nature of the city you live in controls your temper and perception. Some cities include you and consider you as a human being, you feel it through the design of the streets, buildings and alleys, and some cities view you as a small part of a big machine, you are one out of hundreds walking, living and fighting to survive.
I've been thinking about this comparison for a long time, and I decided to create a short film comparing those two feelings — light vs heavy and empty vs busy. I chose Iceland and Hong Kong for this comparison.
Iceland because of the few numbers of actual residents in the country and the wide space of emptiness.
While on the other hand, Hong Kong as mentioned online " The Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China." Busy, Vibrant and fast paced city.
I rolled up my sleeves and started studying all the potential paths that will lead to the result I am seeking, and decided to make it a journey, not just a film with high-calibre production.
I started filmmaking since 2006 during high school, and I've been professionally active since 2011. I work as a professional film director. However, I learnt filmmaking by grabbing the camera and going out to shoot people, streets and old buildings. I used to shoot, record sound and edit. I decided to treat this passion project with a guerrilla-style solo without having a bigger crew. I wanted to be solo because I wanted the space to pour my own emotions onto it.
I planned my trip from 22nd of March until the 30th of March.
9 Days - 37 hours of actual flying time - 30 hours of transit - 4 cities.
I decided to shoot this project using a drone. I wanted to shoot wide shots showing spaces and distance, and a drone with a wide lens is the way to translate my idea into a visual.
In Iceland, I rented a car with a driver from www.iceland-highlights.com. It was a great experience meeting Marius, and he was a great help for me. He guided me to all the locations I wanted to shoot around Iceland.
While moving around Iceland and shooting, I mounted my GoPro on the car to record the road. Two songs stuck to my mind while driving in Iceland and I decided to put them on the video and include them in this blog.
The first one is for Eddie Vedder "Long Nights."
The second one is for John Mayer " Stop This Train."
In Hong Kong, I used to move using the subway and walk around. I hiked to the top of Victoria Peak in Hong Kong to shoot the city from above.
On my way back to Egypt, I started the post-production process while flying back to Cairo. What to wait for? I handpicked exceptional talents who are not only good at their jobs but also as passionate about the project as I am. From the first day, I was working with Jana El Sokkary on the script and backstage ideas and she wrote a beautiful piece.
In the post-production process, I worked with Ahmed Essam on grading, Fady Garas on the sound design and Khaled El Kammar on the music.
Finally, I owe this experience a lot. I owe filmmaking a lot, I am blessed with the love of filmmaking. It's the one and only thing capable of liberating me.
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