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Tarik Abdel-Gawad Talks ‘Gravity’, Creative Tech & NDS

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How mind-bending projection mapping landed him a place on Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors’ Showcase

Tarik Abdel-Gawad Talks ‘Gravity’, Creative Tech & NDS

When you watch ‘Box’, it really is near-on impossible to imagine it being captured in camera. But it is. Through a series of robotics and projection mapping, creative technologist Tarik Abdel-Gawad created a staggering visual feast that leaves you wondering past its finish, and that landed him on a place on this year’s Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors’ Showcase. Ahead of the reel’s New York and Los Angeles screenings, LBB’s Addison Capper spoke with Gawad to find out more. 


LBB> Where did you grow up and what kind of kid were you?

TA> I grew up in Half Moon Bay. It’s a small coastal town just south of San Francisco, mainly known for a big wave. I was a shy, kind of nerdy kid during school, but made time for plenty of adventures with a good group of friends. I was the one that never got in trouble but hung out with enough trouble makers to keep things interesting. 


LBB> You work as a creative technologist - how do you channel that craft into filmmaking?

TA> Filmmaking has always been a technological process. I started exploring technology as a means to an end of creating films, but soon became equally curious about the technology itself. I think that's why I don't always follow traditional approaches to production. Most often filmmakers shoot something then manipulate their footage digitally. I like finding new ways we can use computers to generate unique physical environments and interactions to be captured in camera.


LBB> You worked on the set of Gravity - can you tell us a bit about your role on the film? How was that experience for you?

TA> There were three of us on set from Bot & Dolly responsible for the entire robotics system. We were in London for months, but I didn't get out much. We spent most of our time in a dark room with a large robot and an LED box. It was a great experience that exposed me to new levels of creative and technical thinking. 


LBB> How did it feel to be featured in the new director’s showcase for Box?

TA> It's an honour to be part of the New Directors’ Showcase and to have had the opportunity to collaborate with an outstanding team at Bot & Dolly as the project’s Creative and Technical director. 



LBB> Considering it’s all captured in camera, it’s completely mind-boggling to watch and comprehend. How did you manage it?

TA> Animation, robotics, and projection-mapping were all part of bringing ‘Box’ to life. 


LBB> What projects are you working on right now that are exciting you? What does the rest of the year hold for you?

TA> I can't talk specifically about new work at the moment but I just released an older project, ‘Francesca da Rimini’, that focuses of synchronising ballet performance with robotic motion. There are two parts of the project, the resulting film and a process video. 


Little Black Book is proud media partner to the Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors' Showcase, which is set for global screenings. The next two are set for New York and Los Angeles. 


For more coverage, ticket details and info, please click here.


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Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors' Showcase, Thu, 17 Jul 2014 13:48:08 GMT