Oman tourism: New adventure documentary captures glory of Eastern Hajar Mountains

Oman Sunday 20/March/2016 00:30 AM
By: Times News Service
Oman tourism: New adventure documentary captures glory of  Eastern Hajar Mountains

Muscat: ‘Valley of Giants,’ an adventure documentary featuring climbers scaling giant rocks of a remote canyon high up in the Selma Plateau of the Eastern Hajar Mountains in Oman, is receiving accolades.
The documentary, which captured the breathtaking journey of Read Macadam, a 32-year-old Canadian climber, and Dan Bates, one of Macadam’s climbing partners, scaling new heights was released at an adventure film festival last November, prior to a public release online at the end of February this year, and has been screened in eight countries on three continents so far.
“Feedback from viewers has been very good and it is a treat to receive so many inspired messages from all over the world and also from some very respected people in the adventure film industry,” Macadam told Times of Oman.
Miguell Willis, a professional cinematographer who often films in Oman, filmed the documentary. The group set out to explore a remote wadi (valley) in the Selma Plateau and discovered a canyon called, ‘Valley of Giants,’ because after eons of flash floods only the most massive boulders now remain. The crew took two separate five-day trips in January 2015.
Willis, who had also filmed the Empty Quarter crossing, used a Panasonic GH4 and Sony f5 and GoPro cameras to shoot the footage, which took Macadam two months to edit.
According to him, a documentary production for a climbing trip is a bit different from a normal movie. “You are not staging anything, but you are trying to capture each moment as it is happening,” Macadam said, adding that the experience was tremendous.
“It is a privilege to be able to spend so much time in such special locations. A large part of my inspiration for these adventures is to immerse myself into the wild landscape. The Valley of Giants epitomises this—climbing first ascents, the first people to ever set foot and hand on these boulders — amongst such a vast landscape. Incredible,” Macadam said.
Internationally the film has already been screened in many countries, including Peru, Colombia, Tunisia, United Kingdom, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi, and it is going to be screened at the mountain festivals in Slovenia and Italy this month. On making the documentary, Macadam said he have been living in Oman for eight years and, now as a professional climber, he wanted to showcase the amazing place he calls home.
“I have always loved adventure storytelling, though my writing, photography and filming, so it was the natural progression. It’s almost a means to solidify the experience for myself and also an opportunity to share it with the community,” Macadam added.
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