Monday, November 25, 2013

The Last Export

Last week was really a very TOUGH week. We had to export the film to send it to DIFF and we all hate this process especially Mohamad El-Hadidi who always becomes very nervous when he hears the word "EXPORT" even if it's just for a 10 min video :) After the test screening in Bibliotheca Alexandrina, we wanted to fix some issues in color grading and sound mixing so we were camping in Rufy's for a whole week.

Since we have only one computer and we needed to finalize everything in a very short time, we had to bring in more computers. Thanks to Ahmed Nabil and Mark Lotfy who were generous enough to give us their personal computers as well as Tamer Nady who brought his monitor, we were able to finish on time :) We divided all the computers we had as well as our personal laptops into separate stations in different rooms. At some point we were working on 5 computers at the same time in parallel. We also had to rent a projector to see how things are on a big screen and even went to Bibliotheca Alexandrina for a second time to make sure everything is ok. I think pictures will speak louder than words to describe this week :)

Tamer Nady is working on the film's color

Offline Media Everywhere

After a long week, Ahmed Magdy is having a nap on the couch

"The End of The Mice Room" drawn by Nermeen Salem

After exporting the film we had the dilemma of how to send it to DIFF. We wanted to send it in DCP but it was totally out of our budget and we couldn't afford it so we asked the festival if we can send a digital file on a hard drive instead and they agreed which was GREAT :) We were a bit worried about shipping so we tried to secure the portable hard drive as much as possible. We bet DIFF has never seen a film wrapped is such creative and bizarre way like ours.

This wierd package has the work of 3 years and a half

Who else could share this moment with us other than Ed Wood ?

Mark Lotfy

When we first started writing the screenplay back in 2010, we had no idea that anyone would be interested to work with us in this film. We still remember Mohamed Zedan when he proposed the idea of talking to Mark Lotfy about the project and asking him to help us with equipment from his video production studio Fig Leaf Studio. It was quite a surprise for all of us when Mark agreed and was very excited even to work with us himself. Mark was not only the executive producer in this film but also the biggest supporter in the last three years in all artistic, financial and even emotional aspects. 

Mark Lotfy & Ahmed Magdy in one of the editing meetings

Mark's notes about the film's cut

During the film's journey there were many people who promised us things and made us believe in them but eventually let us down. Yet, it was people like Mark and the rest of the cast and crew who gave us hope and made us more determined to finish the film. Mark Lotfy, thank you for keeping all your promises. Thank you for believing in the film, supporting it all the way and doing all your best for it to be where it is now. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

World Premiere

After 3 years, 6 months and 2 weeks we are more than happy to say that the film is FINISHED :) It is going to have its world premiere in Dubai International Film Festival or DIFF in less than two weeks in the Muhr Arab Feature competitionThe film is going to be screened on Saturday December 7th at 9:15 pm in MOE 12 and on Monday December 9th at 3:45 pm in MOE 6.

We were really over the moon when we saw the film's page on the festival's website. For a moment we couldn't believe our eyes. It was quite a journey that started with a simple dream of the six of us wanting to write a screenplay together in October 2009 and ended up with actually making another film and being best friends, partners and family. Along the way many people joined us and dreamed with us whom without we couldn't have gone so far :) Thanks a million we'll be forever grateful.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Test Screening

Last Tuesday we had a test screening in Bibliotheca Alexandrina where only the film's crew were invited thanks to Ahmed Nabil; a dear friend of us and one of the 1st ADs who organised such event. It was such a strange feeling to watch the film on a big screen. It IS actually very strange to finish the film after all these years. It is more like waking up one day and realizing that your child is now a grownup !! 

It was really great to share this moment with the crew especially with the fact that some of them were only present in the early stages of production. We couldn't have made this film without each one of them. We also wish we could have Anna (our music composer living in the US) and Maria (our poster designer living in UK) with us that day but who knows maybe one day we'll all meet somewhere eventually.  It was also such a pleasure to share this moment with Islam El-Azzazi; an independent Egyptian filmmaker who has been supporting this project since the beginning. 

The first picture for most of the film's crew together

It was very important to have this test screening now after the film is FINISHED. We've been working on back-lit computer screens where everything looks good all the time so it was very different to watch it on a big front-lit screen. It was very important for color grading and sound mixing. We took some notes and realised that we need to change few things. I myself preferred to just watch it :) No more notes .. no more final touches :) Once someone told me that films are never finished, they are always abandoned. Maybe it's time now to abandon The Mice Room.

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