Producer Ash Hasen Makes History an ‘Engaging Experience’
Producer Ash Hasen Makes History an ‘Engaging Experience’July 16, 2017
In this series, WeWork’s director of digital community selects a WeWork member to get to know better, sharing her fun findings with the rest of the community.
We’ve all seen those amazing Egyptian historical documentaries on BBC, National Geographic, PBS, and elsewhere. But who shoots them? Ash Hasen’s production company Blue Pyramid. Read on to learn all about the Los Angeles-based WeWork member’s passion for history, travel tips, and the most unique locations he’s ever visited.
What inspired you to start Blue Pyramid?
It was in San Francisco while working on my thesis project and collaborating with this brilliant composer and sound designer in London, and later coordinating almost effortlessly in visual effects work worldwide.
Blue Pyramid International is basically a global production company now based out of Hollywood, California with an established sister company in London and most recently in Dubai, where we plan to have it as our Middle East and North Africa hub following Reunion’s worldwide premiere at the upcoming Dubai film festival.
Behind Blue Pyramid is a simple concept that has been our approach to every single project since its inception. We’re always trying to tell the best stories utilizing the rapidly evolving technologies and avant-garde trends, while still being rooted in classic cinematic techniques. Our logo and name reflects our ideology and production approach to best fit each project. This unique marketing positioning (especially recently) has taken us to the most unusual locations, like Doha, or being in the midst of the Egyptian revolution in Tahrir Square.
Has history been a lifelong passion for you?
Nothing is more dramatic than past historical events, regardless of how it is recited as dramatic stories or by the artifacts and clues interpreted by our modern experts today. The quest to find the real truth about what really happened is usually a thrilling journey rewarded by finding the closest version of the truth, but the ultimate challenge is to make that version the most engaging experience for our audience. The characters of these stories or historical accounts are really what fascinate me the most.
One of my favorite characters in history is Alexander the Great. Before facing the mighty Persian army, he traveled south to Egypt across the Mediterranean Sea and thousands of miles through the harsh Sahara desert, only to see the oracle of Amun in Siwa Oasis, where he was finally crowned as a Pharaoh and then hailed by the Egyptians as a liberator. Now as a half God with a small army, he defeated the mighty Persian army and eventually conquered the whole known world then. On the History Channel show Chasing Mummies, we investigated three possible locations for his hidden burial site in Alexandria, Egypt. I hope to prove where it is now and the whole story behind this shrouded mystery.
History, as a study of the past, should give insights to future events. The ancients left clues of their wisdom for future generations. History is not just entertaining narratives, but clues from the ancients who walked this earth before us.
What are some of the most unique locations you’ve had the chance to see during one of your productions?
Without a doubt, witnessing the discovery of The Valley of the Golden Mummies in Bahariya Oasis was really exciting, but also the eeriest burial site I’ve ever been admitted into. I can never forget going inside tomb 56—which was just unsealed days ago—to film for the first time ever. I know that I’ll be back to Bahariya Oasis hoping to make sense of this monumental and purely accidental discovery with an initial estimation of 10,000 Greco-Roman golden mummies. The questions still remain: What really happened there? What Greek dynasty would mummify their dead? Could this be the lost royal dynasty escaping the mighty Roman army after Cleopatra and Mark Antony’s naval battle defeat?
Do you have any travel tips for our readers?
Traveling light is always liberating. Plan ahead, but always be flexible and inquisitive, and being genuine is key to non-verbal communication. Learning a word or two is always appreciated in any culture. Read as much as you can on your destination—their cultural norms, but most importantly their history.