Slava Ukraini !

The horrific events regarding Ukrain, remind me of the people I got to know whilst working on a commercial shoot, back in 2014. They must be living through hell, as I write these words, and for the foreseeable future — hour by hour, day by day…relentlessly.

Mostly, my thoughts go to an excellent location handler who spent most of the week looking after all my photographic requirements — Roman. At the end of one very cold day (no lunch break as daytime for outdoor photography was precious in January) Roman invited me for a late afternoon “lunch” his mother has already made for us, in his parent’s flat, few stories below the precarious roof we were standing on — a typical block of flat in Kiev which provided me with the perfect panorama. This generous invitation gave me an opportunity to better understand real Ukrainian way of living. It was a memorable experience.Knowing I am Jewish, Roman also took me to Babi Yar and allowed me few minutes, on my own, among this enormity of snow-venerated, silent whiteness and trauma (few days ago, this site was bombed too, killing 6 civilians). Roman also provided an additional bit of imformation regarding the Jewish-Ukraine links — explaining to me the important influence of Jewish humor on Ukrainian culture. That influential Jewish humor was apparently originated in Odessa (my grandfather is said to have left Odessa, secretly, when escaping the Communists to Istanbul in 1929).

When the UK vfx crew arrived at the centre of Kiev — January 2014 — we were welcomed by a Ukrainian tank in the middle of the square, outside our hotel, and a crowed listening to a patriotic speech by their, then, president. The UK producer told us the following morning to always carry our passports with us, as we may be asked to evacuate to the airport at a very short notice. Arrogantly, I belittled this. Little did I realize, then, the enormity of the Russian threat, and its realness — then 100km away from Kiev (so I was told).
It was during that time in Kiev that I learnt the shout ‘Slava Ukraini!’ and when we parted ways — I was given a present from the driver who took me around: the “Putin toilet paper” and the butterfly in the Ukrainian national colours. A sticker-symbol for their resistance. These are kept, ever since, on the shelves of my basement office in the comfort of my London home. I never thought they would mean so much to us all in the free world.

So, in case any of you, Roman and the rest of the Ukrainian friends out there, even have a chance or inclination to read this — my thoughts are with you, your families and friends.

Slava Ukraini !

A call for equality and justice

The Israeli identity is attached to my name — even in professional context and commercial circumstances. Therefore, I cannot remain ‘politically silent’.

Inspired by the Palestinian and Jewish activists in Israel-Palestine who have come together to protest the occupation and violence and call for equality and justice, I’m attending a Na’amod rally on Wednesday (19th May 2021 7pm BST) to call for Freedom from Violence, Freedom from Occupation for all in Israel-Palestine.

https://actionnetwork.org/events/freedom-from-occupation?source=email&

This, to show solidarity with Palestinians under occupation and to call for an end to the violence inherent in that occupation, from which all in Israel-Palestine suffer.

It is time to amplify and support the Palestinian call to uphold their human and civil rights and end the Israeli occupation — the source to this moral crisis.

We need bold and decisive world leadership based on shared humanity, compassion, and the fundamental belief in the equality of all peoples. When faced with the choice between supporting violence, dispossession and occupation, or any form of segregation on the one hand, and supporting freedom, dignity and human rights for all people, including ‘the other’ — we choose to stand for the latter.

The Bourne Stuntacular receives a VES award

Earlier this week, the Bourne Stuntacular won a VES award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project. Congratulations to all who took part in this project — in particular, the teams that supported our on-location adventures.

Aviv Yaron had the pleasure of providing extremely high resolution background environment photography, as well as photogrammetry and textures photography, whilst  traveling across Morocco and Turkey (pre-Brexit, pre-COVID19).

Season’s Greetings

…If the experience of the financial and COVID crises teaches us anything — it is humility.
We cannot anticipate every risk or plan for every contingency, but we can, and must, plan for failure. That means creating an anti-fragile system. A system that can withstand both the risks we see and those we do not…’
Mark Carney / The BBC 2020 Reith Lectures (How We Get What We Value)

The Bourne Stuntacular receives a Thea Award

Universal Studios Florida’s new stunt show, The Bourne Stuntacular, received a Thea Award for outstanding achievement. I had the privilage of working alongside VFX supervisor Salvador Zalvidea — providing high resolution background environment photography, photogrammetry and textures (locations work across Morocco and Turkey).

Read more about it here: https://www.cartoonbrew.com/theme-parks/wild-rides-a-look-at-the-burgeoning-business-of-animation-for-attractions-197460.html

The Bourne Stuntacular

On ‘The Bourne Stuntacular’ Aviv Yaron photographed, in both Turkey and Morocco, very high resolution environment and texture elements for a CG background — later, to be projected via a 130 feet (40m) wide and 28 feet (8.5m) tall LED screen, as part of ‘…One of the largest structures ever created for a Universal show…’