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Sand Dunes

Empty Quarter Teaser Video

“I knew instinctively that it was the very hardness of life in the desert which drew me back there – it was the same pull which takes men back to the polar ice, to high mountains, and to the sea.”
– Wilfred Thesiger

Into The Empty Quarter is available as a DVD, an HD Download, or a DVD and Download bundle. Running Length: 52 minutes.

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    1. Looks fantastic. I’ve been itching to see a glimpse of some of the footage from this expedition. I wasn’t disappointed.

    2. Al, great desert footage but I dont think the Arab hip hop really did it justice, didnt really help convey the peace, solitude and harshness of the place.

      Also footage of hotels etc provided a dramatic contrast but since the desert scenes themselves are pretty alien looking to most of us I’m not sure it was really necessary.

      Probably sounds a bit corny but maybe some more tribal sounding music and a bit of howling wind?

      Dont get me wrong, this looks like an epic adventure from the teaser and I’d want to see the full length but I think in this case less is more.

      Just sayin. I like your work and am very much intrigued by the concept of microadventure – it makes the concept of ‘adventure’ accessible.

      Cheers, T

      • Alastair Posted

        Hi Tom,
        Thanks a lot for your thoughts. I completely agree that the music won’t be for everyone.
        But I tried doing it with ‘normal’ traditional music (and a bit of howling wind!) and it sounded really cliched.
        I chose this music to try and emphasise that the expedition was far more about “modern” Arabia than the usual stuff about camels and sand dunes…

        • Now I get it. Thesiger himself complained about how Arabia was changing and clearly your movie is going to reflect a very different world from the one he knew (but just like the one he feared it would become).

          Trailer gives a wonderful feeling of ‘Mad dogs and Englismen’!

    3. Super video . I have been following your blog for quite sometime now.
      Keep up the good work friend.

      Co-Founder at Himalayan Explorers Club

    4. Great teaser Al. Looking forward to the full feature. Not a fan of ‘Arab Hip Hop’ as such, but I thought it worked perfectly with the footage and to my mind it didn’t detract at all from the viewing experience; only added to it.

    5. Andy Jones Posted

      Loving the video but not as much as the swanky new website – someone has been busy!

    6. A beautiful video with gorgeous actors! 🙂

    7. Love the video, and the Arab hip hop is great! It really puts you in the action! Excellent job Al!

    8. Just to add the new website is a fantastic improvement, really contemporary design. Not so keen on the hip hop but the btl explanation makes a lot of sense. Lets see more!

    9. Love it, Al. This really resonated with me as to the dichotomy of the Arab world– harsh, barren landscape contrasted with ridiculous sums of money displayed through brands and sparkles. You’ve presented a mini-display of how it appears to outsiders– awe-inspiring in both wonderful and bad ways. There is definitely no where else like it and the “tent-living-bedouin-to-glass-skyscraper-businessman” change is as fast as the changing of the dunes in the desert. This teaser makes it appear that you have captured that concept in the movie. Can’t wait to see it!

    10. Wow, great job. I’m really impressed.

    11. David Jones Posted

      Looks Fantastic Al, I hope you can come to Scotland (Inverness) to talk about it!

    12. Really like the tight editing of your teaser and the clean look of your new site design (Summerton?) – I only wish it was mine 🙂

    13. Love it Al. Great video. Very much look forward to the full version. A teaser in more ways than one! I spent time in the Sahara and Wadi Rum many years ago and this (very briefly) brings a little of that time back to me. Now where’s those wrap around shades of mine …

    14. This looks absolutely fantastic! I for one really enjoyed the beat and music. I am excited to see the full documentary!

    15. Love it. Looks like you guys had a real adventure in every sense. Just going out there and having ‘fun’. I’d watch the full length doco.

    16. Ahhhh …looks like you followed your own tips on film making this time round ! I like the music …it’s different and like some of the images, gives a constrast and is not what you might “expect”. Look forwards to seeing the finished story.

    17. It was interesting…..and great….. with whatever you were pulling out… must be so hard to pull in the sand… are always crazy, aren’t you? Ha.ha.ha…..
      How do yo always come up with this crazy ideas? I am very inspired by you, but it is very difficult to catch up with you…..I thought I was quite crazy myself, but not at your level at all. Really refreshing to know someone like you is out there doing very, very interesting thing……Thank you….
      Oh….the photos were beautiful on your web site……I love the nature again from your photos and I had better check those places next time. Good luck to you…..and please keep posting your talk. I would love to come to listen one day. I just missed last one….sadly…..well, next time

    18. David Wearn Posted

      Love. It.

    19. George Olver Posted

      Truck very close to head… Excellent craftsmanship! Wonderful.

    20. Great cutting work, it looks so professional!

      But why do Brits have a weakness for manhauling? I thought since Amundsen reached the pole it was proved that there are more efficient ways of travelling… 😉

      Still, looks like a great adventure! I’m envious!

    21. I thought it was a great contrast of old and new, empty deserts and bustling cities. That’s what Saudi Arabia is, so it’s a valid presentation.

      An interesting perspective would be to show how the country will be forced to return to those empty deserts in the future, because Manifa is the last big oil field left to be developed in Saudi Arabia, due to open in 2015. It will merely make up for declines from other historical fields, for about a decade, after which it’s all downhill. There are no more significant deposits of oil left in Saudi Arabia after that.

      To me, Saudi Arabia is a vivid case study of how modern society has totally overshot the carrying capacity of the planet and is doing virtually nothing to develop alternative energy to the scale needed to continue powering humanity.

      After Arabia’s fossil fuels run out, they will be forced to develop solar energy infrastructure, since there is nothing else available, which will of course utilize those vast empty deserts. The question is: will they be able to pull it off in time? This is the same problem the world as a whole is facing. Based on our current trajectory, seems unlikely.

    22. Margaret Bowling Posted

      Maybe a bit more of a transition from desert to city. Adding a shot of you hauling through a city would add a lot for me, if you have one. The shots at 37secs and 38secs are great. I just wanted to see more of that contrast between the two extreme environments. It gives a visual answer to your statement about this not being what you expected. Music works for me, just play around with the cuts and really smooth them out so they flow with it perfectly. If I were cutting this the only other thing I’d be looking for is a clip of some locals on the road asking you what you’re doing and you answering just to give it place. If they give you a ‘you’re mad’ type reaction even better. But all tv feedback is very subjective so if you like it that’s what matters.

    23. Margaret Bowling Posted

      That was my nit picky feedback. I agree with Clark though, I love it and I’d watch the film.

    24. Pat Audoy Posted

      Nice video! Slim tires ,hard job standing the desert by walking with huge pack.
      Congratulations .please send the whole film.



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