The Glassmakers of Egypt
Glassmakers may be a dying breed, yet far from being extinct. They nevertheless remind us that the Egypt of today isn’t just pyramids and sand. For the most part, glassmakers, and glassmaking generally, has fallen prey to market forces. It is a country with a young generation of energetic, creative entrepreneurs. Filmmaker Abdelrahman Gabr and his team can count themselves among this venerable group. Abdelrahman is half Korean and Half Egyptian, born in Queens, New York. He is now based in the beautiful city of Alexandria, in Egypt. He is the founder of Qube Productions and Koree Films.
As a filmmaker and photographer, Abdelrahman has inspired thousands with his engaging style, subjects, and work with a range of media. Although his work has a strong commercial side, his artistry is most evident in his features of Egypt, and its ancient, natural, and urban landscapes. His expose of glassmaking in Egypt is an artistic feat that illuminates a craft that holds strong in an otherwise rapidly globalizing Egypt.
To film his expose on the glassmakers of Egypt, Abdelrahman Gabr used a Canon EOS 7d, lenses: Ef 70-200 mm 2.8, Ef 50 mm 1.4, and Sigma 10-20 mm. It is easy to agree that the degree of effort put into the short film is simply incredible, with the framing and colors perfectly intact to capture the mysticism and beauty of the craft. One can easily imagine ancient Egyptians making glass and fiance vessels back in the days of the pharaohs, just as the glassmakers of modern Egypt do today.
The Glassmakers of Egypt
In this film, Abdelrahman chronicles the work of a former Egyptian professional boxer, turned glass blower. Hassan Ahmed Ali was known as “HodHod” and is one of only a few people in all of Egypt who still makes glassware, and maintains the time-honoured tradition since the time of the Istanbul-based Ottoman empire. The filmmakers wish to create a documentary mini-series about craftsmanship in Egypt, and its tremendous cultural value in Egypt.
Abdelrahman has becomes especially famous in the film community after the release of Egypt HD, a short 3-minute spot on Egypt’s beautiful settlements, deserts, and ancient sites. His upcoming project, Faces of Egypt means to showcase the incredible people of the country, and who are the heart, the soul, and the custodians of one of the world’s oldest civilization. Abdelrahman’s short films come at a critical time for Egypt which seeks to revive tourism and deal with youth unemployment and an otherwise struggling economy.
Cinematographer, Director & Photographer
Fayrouzat Somuha Building 5, Apt #803, Alexandria
Phone: +20 (122) 221-4063
Filming in a climate such as that of Egypt requires a lot of sweat and tears. Abdelrahman and his team had to scout out locations and people in the early mornings, manage their equipment and data, and only long afterwards, process the raw footage into what we see today. The Koree Films equipment for the shoot consisted of medium-format camera and lenses known as the Leica S system, specifically, the Leica Summarit-S 70mm f/2.5 ASPH CS Lens, and the Leica Summarit-S 35mm f/2.5 ASPH Lens.
Some of the light gear used on the shoots included the Profoto Pro-B3 1200 AirS Power Pack, the Profoto Pro-B Plus Flash Head, the Elinchrom 39 Rotalux Deep OctaBox, the Elinchrom Octa Light Bank 74, and the Avenger Turtle Base C-Stand. Any professional filmmaker and photographer knows that lighting is the one factor that can make or break a field expedition. We can all consider ourselves fortunate that Abdelrahman’s experience in Egypt led to such expert execution of the sights, culture, and daily life in Egypt.
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