23 June 2010

City of Life

It's sad to see the state of Arab film production in general; Egypt caters for a lot of it, and unfortunately almost every movie that comes out of there is a comedy that speaks absolutely no message. Gulf movies, on the other hand, if any, come out with deep dramas that are basically extended version of the TV episodes we see in the Gulf; they all seem to deal with loss of morals, divorces, rising property prices, and someone always seems to die in the end. Coupled with a ton of crying & fake make-up.

Over the past two years or so, while working on whatever projects i've been involved in, i've been working more and more on video productions. As a kid i've always been into filming stuff, I was the guy who walked around with the video camera in our family, and I even managed to film a short movie (no real script, and not exactly a high budget feature film, but it existed) when I was 10 or so. It's always been my area of interest, and slowly, i've been putting more thought into producing videos/films that take whatever local topics we have in the Middle East and pushing them out with a globalized edge. It's almost hopeless expecting anybody else to do it, until City of Life came along.

I managed to hear about this movie a little under a year ago from a friend of mine who lives in Dubai. He mentioned his friend who "produced" City of Life. Didn't really pay much attention to it since we were involved in a much more heated discussion about something else, but eventually more and more was being said about it.

Turns out City of Life is a full feature movie filmed right out of Dubai, with an Emirati director/producer. Great. Then I saw the trailer, and I must say, very few trailers I see would actually make me stare in awe. See for yourselves:

Yes, it seems we've finally managed to put out something that could easily be pushed to cinemas around the world. This is a paradigm shift right here, and it has just moved the standards of film making in this region to another level. The movie was released in UAE about 2 months ago, and is out in Bahrain, Oman & Qatar starting on the 24th of June, make sure to catch it, and support Arab talent. For more details on release in Bahrain, as well as links and more info about the the movie, click here.

16 June 2010

Filming You N' Eye

Whew what a week; in between rushing for a Social Media conference in Dubai, launching the June issue of the magazine, and a bunch of other projects, i've been working on filming and editing a music video for a hiphop artist out of Kuwait.

Remember Army of One, the first artist group out of the Middle East who actually had the first professional non-conventional music video aired on TV? This video was basically filmed with one of the members (Dub G), although pretty much the whole crew was somewhere or the other in the video. I drove to Kuwait with a few ppl to do the shoot, and they all ended up being in the video.

Anyway, the video was pretty much filmed on no budget, so considering that, take a look at let me know what you think. Most of the scenes were pretty straightforward except the pitbull scene; almost got severely bitten a few times but the actual shot was worth it :p There are a bunch of other 'ammaro Productions' video projects coming up very very soon though, so keep your eyes open!

(Video is embedded here in a compressed size, if you're looking for a better quality version click it and go directly to YouTube, and for even higher quality see the 480p version)

1 June 2010

A Cheesy Situation

(Warning; the following post is very superficial, and probably a waste of a good five minutes you could use to do something useful like save the dolphins, finish up some useful work, or randomly browse YouTube)

Subway's always been a great place to get a sandwich. Turkey subs, grilled chicken, roast beef, etc etc, all in a healthy light package (assuming you don't fill the whole thing up with a load of mayonnaise of course).

The one thing that ticks me off about Subway though, (Second Warning: If you're a regular reader of ammaro.com and you're used to my intelligent, witty and clever analysis of major global issues, you probably want to skip this post) is how they lay their cheese down on the sandwich. Subway cheese is, to put it very simply, cut into triangles. Laying triangles opposite each other means that you can literally cover the whole body of the sandwich in cheese, without leaving empty spaces.

Does Subway do that? Noooo. They place all the triangles facing the same way, meaning you get some areas doused in extra cheese, while some are depressingly left without any cheese on at all. (If you have no idea what i'm talking about, keep reading for explanation below. Or stop reading, because this post really is a waste of time). Total Subway #Fail.

I thought I was alone in this depressing realization, but sigh as I may, nothing was to change. I did some online research about why Subway would do such a horrendous thing, and what could be done to persuade the dark corporation that serves healthy meals to change their policy, and I managed to come across this cartoon that made me feel like I, well, belong (and explains very well the situation I was in):

Oh wow, what a day! It turns out that there was actually a group of people who shared the same concerns, and that the Subway cheese problem was actually a global epidemic. Further research came up with conspiracy theories about Subway doing this to get you to spend more...

And even t-shirts that commanded the attention of the situation:

It always feels great to belong.. But.. The situation with Subway didn't change, and as the days, weeks, and months passed, our cause was slowly forgotten.

Until yesterday, when I went into Subway to order a sandwich and I saw this:


It was happening! There was some sort of paradigm shift in the universe, that has caused this Subway to put the cheese on the right way around! :o

What was happening? Are aliens taking over? Was judgment day close and this was a sign of the end? What's the deal???

I decided to quickly do some research to find out, and I came across a bit of fresh air; Yes! Subway have finally submitted, and decided to fix up their sandwich making process, to put the cheese around the right way!! Hurray!!

Life is now much better, things are a lot happier, and I see rainbows again. Thank you to all those who protested the subject and helped make this a reality. On to the next cause, and why KFC doesn't fill their coleslaw containers to the top.

(If you've managed to make it this far, congratulations. Those 5 minutes you could have spent saving the dolphins or whatever are long lost in the midst of time, and you can never, ever have them back. I warned you. Twice.)