‘Some would say it’s foolish to go to a country purely because when I saw it on a map it said ‘Oh Man’! That’s Liam Edward Brennan an award winning cinematographer and film-maker from Australia who finally landed in Oman.
As one who earlier had never heard of the Sultanate, Liam now sings praises about the natural beauty it offers.
Liam works globally to produce key advertising assets that suit the multiple formats and needs of today’s digital landscape. A resident of Brisbane, he has a background in documentary, travel and fashion.
Accompanied by his wife Rachael, the couple travelled to Oman for a two-week holiday when she was 22-weeks pregnant with their first child, ‘before the birth and unknowns of parenthood,’ as he puts it.
A full time film-maker working in the advertising industry with travel clients like Tourism Australia, Liam even on holidays likes to make films, as it gives him a chance to push his creativity to different levels.
“I wanted to visit a country in the Middle East, a place we had never travelled to before, and wanted to film somewhere that had not yet been over shot by other travel film-makers and YouTubers,” he explains.
The Sultanate popped out at Liam from the map. After searching for images online, he was blown away by its natural beauty.
Prior to leaving Australia, Liam made a 12-day driving itinerary. This was shaped around the locations he wanted to film in Oman. They hired a car and drove around the interiors, staying in a mix of Airbnb’s, hotels and camping at Jabal Shams.
Towards the end they got two days to relax at the Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa in Muscat, so that they could enjoy some downtime before their long haul flight back to Australia.
He later compiled a full itinerary of their travels, and a guide that was posted on their Instagram page.
On the plane ride back home Liam edited the film. It took him a week of moving the film around before he found a direction that he was happy.
He concludes that the Sultanate has three different areas which needed to be featured namely ‘The Sea, The Mountains and The Desert.’
Each of these areas are key to Oman and so totally different, visually and tonally.
Liam’s work can found at https://liamedwardbrennan.com/travel/
At each location, he met amazing people who were unique to each area.
He explains that by the sea, one can experience the most amazing blues.
“Even in a big city like Muscat, the Muttrah sea front water is so clear that one can see fish swimming just below the surface. Locals would return smiles and waves as they walked past. There are mountains throughout that rise sharply from the land, pocked by herds of friendly, curious and cute goats that roam freely.
“In between mountain ranges there are seas of date palms offering cool shade and a contrast of soft green against the harsh rock of the mountain side,” he explains.
They drove up the mountains into Jabal Shams and met local guys who invited them for coffee and dates, and introduced him to amazing date bars that Rachael and he got addicted.
They talked about Australian camels, the world and the importance of families. The desert provided them with adventure and relaxation all in one day.
A sunset 4WD dune bashing tour was the highlight of their time, taking them to the top of some sand dunes for an unforgettable sunset. While the desert nights were peaceful and calm, they were able to sit out under the stars, watching the tall sand dunes around illuminated by the moon.
Something that highlighted their time was the friendliness and generosity of the citizens. “So it only made sense that the Omani people should feature heavily in this film.”
Omani citizens are calm, worldly, and enjoyed the long deep conversations he had with many of them. “The people we met made Oman a truly memorable destination,” he reasons.
Liam hopes to work with the Ministry of Tourism and other Middle Eastern countries in future.
He would love to visit Salalah during khareef, and visit the Pink Lakes, with his new born son Tom and Rachael.
He concludes saying that there is still so much of Oman that he would like to film and hopes one day he will come back to work on newer projects.