The Last 2 Years Flew, but What a View!

It’s been more than a year since I’ve posted what is supposed to be my yearly review. Oops!! The last 24 months have been an absolutely exhilarating rollercoaster!

Mid-2018 I decided to go freelance again. Although scary at first, in hindsight it was definitely the right decision both creatively and in starting my entrepreneurial journey.

Having graduated with my Postgraduate Diploma in Management and Marketing through the University of Cape Town in April 2018, I was hungry to use the business skills I learnt more readily.

UCT Graduation

Since making the jump, I have been afforded a lot more freedom in the types of work I do, clients I service, and capitalised on the time in my day.

Therefore, I’d like to share some highlights of the work I have done in the past 24 months!

 

Long-form Reality Television

Still one of the top genres I flourish in, Long-form Reality Television is certainly a space where you either can manage or not. I enjoy how as a colourist, you can be given 16 cameras for a 44min show and you have 2 days to match all of these cameras consistently over the show, as well as give the show a kick-ass look!  This is certainly not a task for the faint of heart. My clients trust me with their show and I need to make the right calls for the look-and-feel with the tight deadlines that come with broadcast television.

 

I kickstarted my freelance journey in 2018 with My Kitchen Rules South Africa S2. I certainly love my cooking shows. Making the sets and food pop with colour is very visually pleasing! Another big part of what makes the shows rewarding is the team we get to work with. Working with the director, Jane Kennedy again on MKR was great. She really has good intuition into storytelling and shaping good content for audiences.

 

Following this, there were some fun shows I graded for Oxyg3n Media for international broadcast – namely SOSWine Dine & Stein, Eat Grow Love, Abnormal Load, and Greenhouse Effect.

 

2019 was kickstarted by a great collaboration with Rapid Blue on The Bachelor South Africa S1. A first on the continent, this internationally renowned show was a great success with local audiences. As Online Editor and Colourist, it was the first time I had done such a large show solely in Premiere Pro. However, with the right equipment, I found the workflow quite hassle-free and efficient.

 

Alongside 1 M-Net show already, I was grateful to also be the colourist on The Voice South Africa S3. The sheer volume of cameras on this show was certainly a good challenge that I happily tackled.

 

I also worked with the gents at NV Studios again on their beautiful international cooking show From Scratch which is hosted by David Moscow, a well-known actor. This show is yet to be aired, however, I don’t doubt that some of the locations and dishes captured on this show will wow audiences.

From Scratch

 

Long-form Drama Television

 

In the past 24 months, I have had the opportunity to complete 2 seasons of Lockdown. This is certainly one of my favourite drama series on South African Television at the moment. The DOP Gaopie Kabe and Director Mandla N ensure that the mood, lighting and camera-work make this suspenseful show a pleasure to put my grading flair on!

 

Documentary

 

Another highlight for the year was being able to collaborate with Jacqui-Lee and Aliki from Elafos Productions. We all studied together at the University of Witwatersrand some years back. They brought a really great project in for me to grade – namely the #YoursInPower Gender Activist Series which they are working on with ONE Global. You can watch the series here.

YoursInPower

 

Awards

 

Last, but by no mean least – I’m happy to share that 2 of the shows that I worked on won at the SAFTAs (South African Film & Television Awards) in 2019. They were as follows:

  • My Kitchen Rules South Africa S2 = Best International TV Format
  • Lockdown S2 = Best TV Drama

Being apart of great teams and enjoying wins like this are always great affirmation to keep up the hard work!

 

Thank you to all my clients and colleagues for the pleasure of working on the content we have. I appreciate and enjoy it all!

I can’t wait to see what the year ahead holds!

2017 took hard work, but 2018 is ripe with promise!

It’s another year under the belt and I have to say that although there were some very tough weeks where the candle was not only burning on both ends, but in the middle too – I have persevered and come out on top! However, I could not have done this alone. I have to thank fore-mostly my partner, my family, friends, fellow UCT Postgrad students and work colleagues for supporting me, in all their unique ways.

2017 marked the completion of another milestone in my life, and that was successfully obtaining my Postgraduate Diploma in Management and Marketing through the acclaimed University of Cape Town. I’m excited to receive my official certificate in the next few months and hang it proudly alongside it’s Wits University predecessor. I also hope to integrate this latest educational endeavor of mine into expanding my career horizons and continue to make my mark on the world and the lives of people I encounter!

My work year was a rollercoaster ride with so many projects that I worked on which ranged from Long-form Reality Television Shows, to Long-form Drama, to Feature Films, Commercials, Behind-the-Scenesan Independent Short FilmCorporate Videos, Documentary, and even some Online Media. If you’d like to get a closer sneak peak at snippets, trailers, and other tit-bits, then check out my showreel pages.

 

Long-form Reality Television

I started the year off with completing the grade on two New Vision Studios’ long form television productions namely High Alert and Rumble and Hum.

 

High Alert is a reality show that follows the lives of three brothers who operate their own security and protection company.

 

Rumble & Hum is a reality tattoo and lifestyle show that follows the life of SA’s most awarded tattoo artist, Lewis Williams, and his team of tattoo and piercing artists. Later in the year, they were both successfully licensed for distribution on CBS Reality.

The latter part of 2017 saw two big collaborations with Black Brain Pictures and Mzansi Magic. Firstly, on Change Down – Hosted by comedian Skhumba and Boity Thulo, viewers were taken across the country in this motoring show which showcased the flavour of South African motoring.

 

Long-form Drama Television

Secondly, the iconic No.1 local drama – Lockdown – Set in a women’s prison where power and survival mean everything, the tense and fast-paced drama takes viewers into the lives of the inmates as they battle demons that hold them prisoner in every sense of the word.

 

Feature Film

Mid-year, was educational as I edited a Zimbabwean film called Chinhoyi 7 – A movie about the legendary ‘Chinhoyi 7’ Chimurenga fighters who held off a battalion of Rhodesian soldiers for a whole day, marking the start of the war of liberation. This history was new to me and very enlightening to work on amidst current political shifts in Zimbabwe. Chinhoyi 7 was written and directed by Moses Matanda, and was produced in association with the Zimbabwe Defense Forces, the Zimbabwe Republic Police and Zimbabwe Prison Service.

 

Archive Film

This year, I was also involved with countless film negative transfers. Whether these were archive films that hadn’t been seen since the 60’s or recent rushes for local productions, I’m always humbled by the pure professionalism that this medium demanded. With every foot of negative you shot costing much more than today’s digital options, the permanence of each take meant filmmakers were intentional in every facet of their shoot. I am sad to see that many important progressions of the film era have been lost on new entrants, which almost lends itself to a post modernistic re-discovery of the language.

 

Commercials

Although this aspect of the industry is in decline due to the changing nature of how we consume media, I was still privileged to work on some great pieces for my clients.

An old faithful, Nickelodeon, never ceases to bring the kid out of me – cutting promos for shows like Shimmer and Shine, Tad, the Lost Explorer and even My Little Pony.

It was also the first time I worked with Prima Toys, where I edited their Baby Love Television Campaign.

I also graded a few other promos and commercials like the Lays Cheese Gratin TVC. I’m still insisting the client needs to bring me samples so that I can fully experience the colour! What do you think? At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! *wink wink*

 

Behind-the-Scenes

It’s been a while since I worked on one of these and was happy to get my hands dirty! Turner Studios in London and Cartoon Network’s Imagination Studios collaborated with industry locals to create an unforgettable experience for 4 young winners in Africa that participated in a conceptual and creative Superhero Duo Drawing Competition. I merely captured the magic in edit and grade. Watch the full Behind-the-Scenes here!

 

Independent Short Film

It was also good to collaborate again with Creative Producer and Director, Chris Green from Lucky Bean Media on an independent short film called The Long Shot. I last worked with him on MasterChef South Africa in 2014/2015. The Long Shot, a web short, entirely self-funded, tells the story of a young South African basketball player and his dream of making his long shot. You can watch the piece here.

 

Documentary

Arguably one of my favourite genre’s to work in, there was sadly little doccie work through the doors this year. However, I really enjoyed working with Nqaba Ngoyi from Fort Films in capturing a small slice of life of his famous Great-Grandmother and freedom fighter, Lilian Ngoyi.

 

South African Editor’s Guild

This year, I was also involved as an Executive Member of the South African Editor’s Guild (SAGE). Basically, SAGE is a voluntary, non-profit organisation which represents film and video picture editors, assistant editors and sound editors. Since its inception in the early 90s, SAGE has become a recognised player in the local film and television industry. With more than 100 active members, the guild represents most of the best talent in the feature film, TV drama, documentary, insert, on-line and sound editing in South Africa today. If you’re interested in learning abit more of them or even joining – you can check out their website here.

2016: My Year in Review

2016 was another great year for the Film and Television industry in South Africa with increasing international productions entering our shores and collaborating with local talent on co-productions. Personally, I had the opportunity to work on many great Films and Television Shows as well as a steady stream of TV Commercials and the occasional Agency / Corporate AV.

My first big project of the year was “GoggleBox South Africa” – gogglebox-south-africaan international Reality TV format based on the award-winning UK show. With the support of my talented co-workers at The Refinery, we worked with Gary King from Picture Tree and Stephan Le Roux from Eject Media to produce this unique and voyeuristically hilarious show for a weekly broadcast on the Sony Channel on DStv.  The tight turn-around and momentous process of stitching story to order would not have been possible without the calm, motherly, and experienced direction of Jane Kennedy. This was the second time that I was privileged to work with Jane since “Celebrity MasterChef South Africa” and “Feast” back in 2014/2015.

Hot off the reality production chain, I moved onto a wildlife series called “Keeping Up with the Kruger“. This show is the brain child of New Vision Studios founders Graeme Swanepoel and Damien Brown. Whether it’s treating animals for injuries, tracking rhino poachers, conserving the park’s pristine habitat, treating guests to once-in-a-lifetime animal encounters or operating vital local outreach programmes – this is the story of the daily lives of the staff that keep this vast park running, discovering the tremendous effort it takes to make the Kruger the park it is today.

 

The Mummy Poster

 

The latter part of my year was highlighted by my involvement as a Dailies Colourist on-set for the African leg of “The Mummy being filmed in Swakopmund, Namibia.

This Universal Pictures film, due to release in June 2017, is an action-adventure reboot for the Mummy franchise. Directed by Alex Kurtzman, it stars Hollywood heavy weights Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe. It was such a privilege to work with such a pleasant and humble cast and crew.

 

 

Back at home, I worked on the grade for Zallywood’s first feature film “Thembi“. A local crime-drama based on a female protagonist caught in a struggle between internal and external prisons. I also worked on a music video with Fresh2Def Productions for Da L.E.S. “Real Stuff” featuring AKA and Maggz.

 

the-siege-of-jadotville-movie-poster-01-1200x900

In September, Netflix released another one of their original feature films, “Siege of Jadotville” This film was shot in South Africa and my company, The Refinery, handled their dailies workflow. This was another great opportunity to work with quality footage as a Dailies Colourist using Blackmagic’s Da Vinci Resolve.
queen_of_katwe_poster

 

In October, I was excited to welcome the release of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe“. The African premiere of the film was hosted at Montecasino in Johannesburg North. My involvement in the project was as a Dailies Colourist during the production phase in 2015.

This film is visually beautiful with an authentic, heartfelt storyline. The film is based on the true story about Phiona Mutesi, a Ugandan chess player, who worked herself up to greatness from humble beginnings.

 

 

Black Lives Matter Poster

 

The year also saw some controversial content come through the doors with Director Joseph Oesi’s Feature Documentary “Black Lives Matter” that premiered at the 2016 Durban International Film Festival. The film explores how the mineral wealth, rightfully belonging to the people of South Africa, has been sold to capitalist interests for the enrichment of a few elite and at the expense of the country and how traditional communities have been divided in this process.

 

I ended off the year working on two more promising Reality TV shows – Rumble and Hum, and High Alert in collaboration with New Vision Studios.

Rumble & Hum is a South African reality tattoo and lifestyle show that follows SA most awarded tattoo artist Lewis “Vudulew” Williams and his team of tattoo and piercing artists, Cole Moebius and Adrianne Black through their everyday lives.
While High Alert is the 2nd season of popular reality show Night Guard. This crime docu-series follows a SWAT-style reaction unit, a family-run operation, as they protect and serve the people of Gauteng, South Africa. Both these shows are still finishing up post-production going into 2017.

 

Finally, I ended the year by accepting a nomination to be an Executive Member of the South African Guild of Editors (SAGE). SAGE aims to promote the art of editing. They are a voluntary, non-profit organisation which represents post-production workers’ interests at industry and government levels. My designation on the board is focussed on marketing and as such the objectives for the year will be to facilitate an effective marketing strategy.

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