Ahmed Ezz and Karim Abdel Aziz in one of the epic scenes of Kira & El Gin.
Since its early screenings, “Kira & El Gin” by Marwan Hamed, managed to catch the audience’s attention and generate high revenues.
In addition to that, it is set to break records as the highest grossing film.
One of the reasons behind such success is Ahmed Al Morsy’s great cinematography and excellent image quality, which is evident in a slew of scenes in the film.
Such clever and challenging scenes place Al Morsy on the list of the most prominent D.O.Ps in Egypt and the Arab world.
1-What Happend at the Camp?
“The explosion of the British camp” scene was one of the most challenging scenes for any D.O.P. However, Ahmed Al Morsy managed to make the scene look smooth to the audience.
The first challenge was the lighting in an open camp at night in a way that doesn’t seem fake or unrealistic.
The second challenge was the camera movement that chased the actors amidst the fight and gun fire, then choosing the right angle to shoot horses running in the camp; in addition to the numerous side fights happening in the same scene, and revealing their different styles. This was all captured skillfully by Al Morsy, who managed to maintain a foggy atmosphere in the whole scene.
2-Romance inside Cinema theater ?!
Cinemas during the period in which the film revolves around don't look like cinemas nowadays. So How did cinemas look back then? And How could we watch Karim Abdel Aziz and Razane Jammal clearly in a romantic scene inside a dark cinema while making it sound realistic? This was the most romantic scene in the film and one of the reasons behind its success was for the way it was shot by Al Morsy. We saw the same place twice with two different techniques. A technique for shooting the place while the two were having dinner and another while the two were watching a movie for Charlie Chaplin. Though they were two different techniques, the scenes appeared romantic and light in an atmosphere of battles and resistance.
3-Down with the Occupation!
One of the biggest challenges that faces any D.O.P is shooting an action scene, full of battles, gun fire and plenty of main actors and supporting one, with two sides of war ( Egyptian revolutionists and British Military Soldiers). In this case, how could a D.O.P maintain the same degree of day light and transfer the emotions in the scene through close shots and long shots? However, he did it! He did it while considering the continuing movement of actors (plenty of them), the intense battles and the necessity of coordination with the rest of the crew to accomplish such different tasks. And though the scene was not filmed in only one place, according to Al Morsy’s statements, he managed to maintain the unity of image of a long and vibrant scene in the film.
4-Let’s Meet the Characters!
One of the most important main scenes in Kira & El Gin is the scene through which we recognize the main characters in the film. It might seem easy shooting this scene, but there was a challenge here: the main characters were all gathered in a narrow basement; hence, this hampers the movement of the camera, which is better off moving seamlessly from one character to another. But this was an easy task for Al Morsy! On a further note, in this historical period, there were limited sources of light. So the challenge here was to illuminate the basement in a way that doesn’t seem artificial? To overcome this, Al Morsi used some tricks to make it seem as realistic as it was in the scene.
5-Chasing El Gin
Identifying characters in a narrow place can seem difficult, but what if the chase is happening in a narrow and dark place? The scene, in which El Gin (Ahmed Ezz) is chased, was in the middle of narrow houses where more than one technique was used (the fast camera movement while running and the slow and steady one while hiding and tricking). In addition to that, another technique was used to make the camera look like it falls from an upper floor to the ground, in parallel with the actors. All this added great realism and vibrancy to the scene.
Kira & El Gin is a film inspired by real events dating back more than 100 years, mainly during the 1919 revolution, when Egyptians, led by Saad Zaghlul, were resisting the English occupation. The resistance included two characters Kira (Karim Abdel Aziz) and Abdelqader El Gin (Ahmed Ezzz). The film also offers a close look at Egyptian society at that time.
In addition to Karim Abdel Aziz and Ahmed Ezz, Kira & El Gin features a wide array of stars, including Hend Sabry, Sayed Ragab, Ahmed Malek, Huda El Mufti, Razane Jammal, Lara Scandar, Aly Kassem and Mohamed Abdel Azim.
For more than 20 years, DOP/Director Ahmad Al Morsy has been working in the filmmaking industry making more than 50 films and over 2000 TV ads as a DOP, and recently as a director. Throughout his career, Al Morsy won 23 national and international awards for his work. Currently, Al Morsy is a member of the Canadian Society of Cinematographers (CSC), in addition to the Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) that granted him a total of 9 awards, since joining it in 2018.
His latest works as a DOP also include Kira & El Gin by Marwan Hamed, which has been released in Egypt and the Arab world and is one of Egypt’s biggest budget films ever. Prior to that, he took part in Action film Al Aref: Awdat Younis that dominated the Egyptian box office in 2021, and for which Al Morsy received a fair share of critical acclaim for introducing unprecedented forms of actions to the Egyptian film industry. For his work in the hit film, Al Morsy won Best Cinematography Award at Cairo Film Society Festival in 2022.