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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 15 November 2018

Petrodune: Stop-motion UAE

Still from the short stop-motion film Petrodune by Gabriela Maj and Mat Schramm. Courtesy of the artists
Still from the short stop-motion film Petrodune by Gabriela Maj and Mat Schramm. Courtesy of the artists

It’s a view most of us in the UAE have seen countless times, the spike of the Burj Khalifa piercing the sky but, here in Petrodune, there is something to make you look again.

Petrodune is a short, stop-motion video made by Gabriela Maj, a formerly Dubai based photographer who has worked for SIPA Press, Frontline, Bloomberg News and Getty Images.

Mostly composed of images of the recognised landmarks in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the film is a series of time-lapse frames set to an eerie, post-apocalyptic soundtrack, which make you question the nature of living in these cities as well as the frenetic rhythm of life.

Expertly produced by Mat Schramm, an executive producer based in Dubai and the man responsible for the hypnotic sounds, the combination of talents makes for an interesting watch.

The clever title also deserves pondering. For just over two minutes of your time, it is definitely worth the watch.

* Gabriela Maj

Gabriela’s work has been published in the New York Times, Esquire Magazine, National Geographic Traveler, The International New York Times, The Daily Beast, Der Spiegel, and the LA Times among others. She has covered stories in Iran, Qatar, Kazakhstan, the United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Exhibitions of her work have been held at the Thomas Werner Gallery in New York, the Toronto City Hall in Canada and Pitti Uomo in Florence Italy. Her first book; Almond Garden, to be published by Daylight Books will be released in April next year. http://www.gabrielamaj.com

* Mat Schramm

Executive Producer and partner at Air3 Creative, Mat has been living in Dubai for seven years. He’s had the pleasure to work with high profile directors such as Ron Fricke on the film Samsara, the sequel to the masterpiece Baraka. Mat’s first feature length screenplay has been ranked in the top 30% of the Academy Awards screen writing competition, Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, the world’s most esteemed screenwriting competition. With a mix of creative, innovative technology, production & post production skills, Mat’s on-going cross platform project delivery success speaks volumes. His specialties include creating sharable digital content & new media. http://www.air3.tv