Monday, January 30, 2012

Shooting tourism video in Amman for InterContinental

December 5th, 2011 I travel to Amman, the capital of Jordan, to shoot a concierge video for InterContinental Hotels & Resorts. The video is a new episode of a series of touristic guides that the brand have of the most important cities where they own hotels. I already worked in one of them in Madrid, but this is a completely new experience, as I'm traveling to a country I've never visited, and in a moment where the region lives a complicated situation.

Avoiding the tripod

I'm flying with turkish airlines, and the communication with the airline has been frankly difficult. After a long conversation where they tried to make me understand I couldn't bring any big object because of its weight (they wouldn't have an answer to "what's more heavy, A kilo of paper or a kilo of lead?"), I decided to just leave the tripod and shoot the video without any stabilization.

The Turkish hologram

To fly to Amman from Paris, I change plane in Istanbul Ataturk Airport, and there I'm very surprised to find out that turkish have got the hologram! Of course is a trick, but for the few seconds you don't realize it, it's awesome!

Arriving to Amman

Latest weeks the arab spring has been constantly mentioned in newspaper and tv. The Spanish ministry of home affairs website targets Jordan as a country with not known problems, but it also says that risk to travel to the region is high and that any precaution taken was good, which actually I don't know how to interpret.
I arrive to Queen Alia's airport, where a guy called Ali receives me, and tells me that everything is arranged. With a smile to every controller, the security measures pass very fast, and in five minutes I've got my visa and we're out of the Airport, where InterContinental's concierge Anas is waiting for me with another guy from the hotel and Mansur, the man who's going to drive us all around Amman city for the video shooting, with his characteristic kufiyya.
After the warm welcome, Mansur drives us to Amman, 40 km. from the Airport. I can't avoid to connect the road crossing the desert, the sand-coloured houses, the driver and the sound of everybody's accents with those images I had seen all the previous days on the tv, It's like being inside the tv-news. I ask them about the arab spring, they say these days they're receiving refugees from Syria, but that Jordan still lives a calmed situation. They seem to be more interested on talking about Barça v.s. Madrid match that takes places next weekend, like Al-Jazeera is discussing at the moment I get my room in the hotel and I turn on the TV. Maybe it's football the nowadays opium of the masses!

The shooting

It takes three days to shoot the video, and I'm taking some additional shots on Friday morning. Among the greatest locations:

The Royal Automobile Museum: A wide collection of cars and auto-motives from King Hussein of Jordan, from old cars to a new Lamborghini.

Wild Jordan: A complex devoted to preserve natural heritage in the country.

Restaurant Abou el Abed: Which name's identity comes from the Lebanese comedian character who holds credit for most of the arabbian jokes.

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