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| IN THIS ISSUE
6 MALIAN TELEVISION SERIES SNAPPED UP FOR LOCAL MARKET
PRE-PRODUCTION BEGINS ON DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES AFRICA
AFRICA’S FIRST DANCE MOVIE FINALLY HEADING TO LOCAL SCREENS
42 AFRINOLLY SHORT FILM COMPETITION 2014
GOOD PROSPECTS FOR SA STUDIOS
SPECIAL FEATURES AFRICA MAGIC VIEWERS’ CHOICE AWARDS 2014
Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards 2014........................................ 22
Good prospects for SA studios....... 23 Future looks bright for Atlas Studios........................................ 24 One-stop studio space...................... 24 Sasani expands on already impressive studios............................... 25
SPORTS BROADCAST Continued growth for sports broadcasting......................................... 26
DISCOP AFRICA DISCOP AFRICA 2013 – some thoughts from the sponsors............. 31 Generating export-ready African content.................................................. 33 Creating documentaries that sell.... 33 Zuku identifies basketball market in Kenya.................................. 35 The upside of co-production........... 35 A journey into East Africa’s ‘ silicon savannah’.................................. 37 Thinking beyond product placement.............................. 37 Drawing on the appeal
of African animation........................... 39 Tracking global TV trends.................. 39 Why formats travel............................ 40 Forget Hollywood – Nolly and Bolly are king.................... 40
NEWS A new beginning for Nu Metro Cinemas............................... 2 Film treaties with Australia and New Zealand strengthened......... 3 SA agencies top international advertising rankings............................... 3 Screen Africa welcomes new editor............................................... 4 SA costume designer wins prestigious international award.......... 4 Malian television series snapped up for local market............... 6 The votes are in: SA’s best music video of 2013.......................................... 6 Dudley Saunders: Legendary SA cameraman dies........... 8 Isidingo star passes away...................... 8 Industry bids farewell to broadcasting legend............................... 8
ADCETERA Thank you, Woolies, for showing us the light............................... 9 Advertising for the financial sector.10 Smart TV for dummies ..................... 10 Have fun with it!.................................. 11 The copy number cruncher.............. 11
JFF2014: Promoting and supporting local filmmakers.............. 12 Africa’s first dance movie finally heading to local screens.................... 14 DIRECTORS SPEAK: Ryan Peimer. 16
High in the Sky.................................... 17
TELEVISION Polished Survivor series returns to SA screens........................ 18 Murder under the sun....................... 20 Reclaiming our public broadcaster in 2014........................... 20 HEVC – the key to unlocking greater image quality.......................... 21
LIGHTING The art of making lighting work: Part 2..................................................... 28
Digital Prophet.................................... 29
Examining the fine-tuning process.. 30
AFRICA Afrinolly Short Film Competition 2014.............................. 42
Pre-production begins on Desperate Housewives Africa............... 43 Africa is rising… but monopoly has to end............................................. 43
TRACKING TECHNOLOGY Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve 10.1......................... 44 AJA Corvid Ultra................................ 44 Panasonic AJ-PX270........................... 45
WEB NEWS SA government reviews film rebates to keep local industry competitive.......................... 46 Writers’ Guild of SA TV and film nominees announced......................... 46 Africa’s VOD subscriptions to increase by one million in 2014....... 46 New Afrikaans film rakes in over R1 million............................... 46 Cine Prestige expands in SA............ 46 SA 3D Documentary TV series selected for World Design Capital..47 SA filmmakers to attend Berlin EFM through ATFT................. 47
Production Updates................48 – 51 Events..................................................... 51 Social...................................................... 52 New Appointments............................ 52
FROM THE EDITOR Africa ascendant Many of the stories in this issue speak to African film and broadcasting industries that appear to be steadily on the rise. We look ahead to the second annual Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards, set to take place in March. These awards are not merely a forum for industry professionals to come together and pat one another on the back. They are intended to stimulate both quantitative and qualitative growth in the content being produced across the continent. Although it is still too early to tell, it appears be serving this purpose rather well. On the level of quantity, Nigeria’s output has always been huge. Now other production hubs around the continent, such as Kenya and its east African neighbours, Tanzania and Uganda, are upping their productivity in a bid to be serious contenders with Nollywood. At the same time, there is a distinct improvement in the quality of the work coming out of the continent, as content creators up their game to compete with their peers. The classical economic principle of creating prosperity through competition in an open market certainly seems to hold true within the context of Africa’s motion picture and television businesses. We also report back on some of the key issues addressed at last year’s DISCOP Africa conference. There is a common thread running through all the speakers’ topics, namely what needs to be done to increase Africa’s competitiveness in the global market: how do we create work that is “export-ready”? How do we use co-production treaties, both among ourselves and with the rest of the world, to the greatest possible advantage? How can the continent capitalise on such staples of the international industry as television formats or animation? These and other topics have stimulated widespread discussion, which hopefully will yield tangible results in the year ahead. Our February issue also traditionally features a focus on South African studio facilities, a sector of the industry that is looking particularly bullish at the moment, with a number of the country’s larger ones having just completed sizable additions to their offerings. Also read Martie Bester’s article on South Africa’s first ever dance film and Ian Dormer’s investigation of brand new, locally developed camera technology that can enable previously unseen angles in wildlife documentaries. Altogether, a picture starts to emerge of a continent that is constantly, and quite rapidly, improving its capabilities and outputs as producers, technical innovators and broadcasters. On a personal note, this is my first issue of Screen Africa and it really is an honour to have joined the team and to be working on a publication with such history and reputation. This comes with its pressures of course but they pale in comparison to the joy of immersing myself in an industry about which I have always been passionate. Warren Holden
A new beginning for Nu Metro Cinemas
A COMPLETE EXPERIENCE: An audience enjoying a movie in Nu Metro’s ‘Scene’ VIP cinema In January, Nu Metro Cinemas, one of South Africa’s two major movie theatre chains, announced that it had been sold by its long-time owner, Times Media Group (TMG). The new owner is Subcocept (Pty) Ltd, a purpose-built company funded by private equity business One Fifty Capital. The change of ownership, said One Fifty Capital’s Commercial Director, Julian Kannigan, transforms the cinema chain from a “non-core asset” into an “owner-managed business”. This could mean a fundamental change in the way in which the wellestablished movie theatre brand is operated and marketed. The effects of the management transition, says Nu Metro’s General Manager, Luke Roberts, will manifest to the public in two phases. “As Nu Metro has been a business that hasn’t had the most attention from its previous owners, there is a back-to-basics approach being taken, where improvements around the simple ‘hygiene’ factors need to be made. To provide a good cinema experience, factors such as customer service, cinema look and feel and cleanliness, are being addressed and then we can move into phase two, where we enhance and develop the overall cinema experience. “For us to compete against other forms of entertainment – both in-home and out-ofhome,” Roberts continues, “we need to create a complete, end-to-end experience, one that starts the moment you decide to book your ticket online and share it with your friends via social networks, to the experience in the foyer, where long queues are a thing of the past because you have your ticket on your mobile device. Added to this, concepts such
as our new VIP cinema ‘Scene’, where people have their own private bar and lounge, and can enjoy their film with a glass of wine and various food options, give our customers a different big screen experience. “While the rest of the world has been digital for some time now,” Roberts says, “South Africa only became a fully digital territory at the end of last year. With digital comes a state-of-the-art, increased sound and visual experience never before seen in this country. On the horizon there are plenty of other initiatives such as IMAX, luxury seats, outdoor cinema, and live sporting and music events that will take the cinema well into the future.” Nu Metro also plans to expand its footprint across the country, including moves into areas that, historically, have had no access to cinemas. “We are currently only servicing about 25 per cent of the population,” Roberts says. “As is the case with other cinema chains in emerging markets, cinema footprint growth is the quickest way to build this business. While no specific areas have been targeted yet, viabilities on a new cinema model are at a very advanced stage so development can happen as soon as the right property is secured.” Finally, what about local content? “For South Africa really to grow as a territory there certainly needs to be a focus on local content,” says Roberts. “We will continue to help and push local content onto our screens but, additionally, will be looking at other initiatives to help produce more quality productions from within our borders.” – Warren Holden
SCREENAFRICA PUBLISHER & MANAGING EDITOR: Simon Robinson: firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR: Warren Holden: email@example.com JOURNALIST: Martie Bester: firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTORS: Andy Stead, Ian Dormer, Anton Crone, Carly Barnes, Carol Mohlala, Jakkie Groenewald, Danette Breitenbach
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Film treaties with Australia and New Zealand strengthened In November 2013, the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) sent two of its representatives and a South African delegation of filmmakers to Australia and New Zealand to strengthen coproduction treaties between the three countries. Chief Financial Officer Karen Son and Manager of Film Certification Terrence Khumalo led the delegation on behalf of the NFVF, while director Vincent Moloi (African Metropolis, The Lab) and producers Mike Auret (Spier Films) and Danie Bester (The Film Factory) were chosen to represent the South African film industry. Moloi, Auret and Bester were canvassed from filmmakers who have projects which may be of relevance to the Australian and New Zealand markets. The filmmakers, who had not previously participated in NFVF-hosted coproduction forums, but who have relevant experience in the industry, were given the opportunity to negotiate and sell their material. Says Khulekani Shandu, communications coordinator for the NFVF: “South Africa has co-production
SA agencies top international advertising rankings The Midas Awards, a competition judged by 30 international client and agency leaders, which recognises global excellence in financial advertising and marketing, has revealed that South African agencies are international leaders in their field, by awarding them the coveted top two positions in the rankings. The rankings are based on the Midas Report, which recognises and positions the most successful companies in the financial and marketing communications industry worldwide. According to points
treaties with both Australia and New Zealand and the visits to these countries succeeded in entrenching and building viable business opportunities for South African filmmakers through creating business-to-business co-production platforms.”
Shandu comments that the objective of co-production treaties at a political level is to encourage collaborations and promote cultural and economic exchanges between South Africa and other countries. While the signing of treaties is the responsibility of Paul Mashatile, South African Minister of Arts and Culture, the NFVF’s objective at film sector level, is to expose local filmmakers to these treaties and create platforms for filmmakers to access opportunities that such treaties bring in terms of funding, creative and technical resources from participating countries. During their visit, the filmmakers engaged with various stakeholders from Australia and New Zealand and established relationships with their counterparts from these countries. The programme essentially included interactive sessions and engagements between the South African delegation and stakeholders in both countries. It also included pitching sessions, networking functions as well as screenings of local films. The delegation also attended the Screen Producers Association of
Australia Conference. From 11 to 16 November, the South African High Commission in New Zealand hosted a South African Film Week in New Zealand, with the filmmakers in attendance. Felix, which has won numerous awards on the international festival circuit, gritty Cape Flats documentary The Devil’s Lair, romantic comedy Fanie Fourie’s Lobola, Afrikaanslanguage thriller Wolwedans in die Skemer and noir masterpiece Of Good Report screened during the week. Adds Shandu: “For treaty agreements to produce the desired results it is important for filmmakers in participating countries to have platforms where they can engage on an ongoing basis and this trip achieved that objective.” Co-productions, by their very nature, provide better access to various funding mechanisms, as governments of participating countries normally put incentive programmes in place to encourage filmmakers to co-produce. The visits to both countries were co-ordinated with the assistance of the relevant government bodies. – Martie Bester
earned for winning entries, King James in Cape Town holds the number one position for the second year in a row, followed by The Jupiter Drawing Room in Johannesburg, which came second by only a few points. Alistair King, Group Chief Creative at King James, says they are thrilled with the achievement: “Advertising is an exhausting and demanding game to be in, so the occasional nod from a jury can do wonderful things for your energy levels. The great thing about the Midas awards is that it focuses on one sector, so it’s a good way to measure how good you are in a global context in that sector. This year, we can at least pause briefly over a good single malt whisky and say ‘we did good’. Then, back to work.” Though the agency typically submits their work for Allan Gray, the latest campaign was unable to meet the entry deadline and so all awards were for Santam campaigns. King James won two gold and six silver Midas awards as well as two Midas certificates in a number of categories and mediums including film, print, outdoor, radio and digital. “There were many creatives involved
including myself, Devin Kennedy, Matt Ross, Paige Nick, Karen BarryMcCormack, Dan Berkowitz and Ivo Brodnik. The TV ads were shot by Dean Blumberg who did an excellent job on our previous Santam campaign with Sir Ben Kingsley,” says King. He adds: “We generally like to do smart, intelligent advertising, and the financial sector obviously allows us to do that. I guess we just have a knack for it, but I think Allan Gray and Santam are both clients that love to do interesting, provocative advertising. Clients like that make it all possible. There’s nothing more motivating than a client who wants to do work that matters.” Tom Cullinan, Executive Creative Director at The Jupiter Drawing Room, which was awarded two gold and four silver Midas awards along with seven Midas Certificates, says they are disappointed at missing the top position by a mere three points but are still delighted with the ranking. “We have always been consistent at the Midas awards. Creating world class work is testament to our fantastic relationship with our client Absa and our
delivery of great financial category work. It’s fantastic to be in the top rankings with work that has been awarded in nine different disciplines. It proves that we have the creative firepower and flexibility and a client that is not afraid to be untraditional,” says Cullinan. The Absa Sponsorship campaign, titled Human Spirit, The Democratic Republic of Design campaign for Absa’s sponsorship of Design Indaba and The Marshmallow Test television spot for Absa Savings and Investments are the campaigns that afforded The Jupiter Drawing Room their collection of awards. Cullinan, along with Dana Cohen Cullinan, Mpumi Guliwe, Wakhile Sithole, Tracey Ducci, Charles Rupare, Jeff Tyser, Monde Lobola, Jacques Shalom, Darren Kilfoil, Nicola Berry and Ivor Forester were key creatives involved in the projects. Alisun Armstrong, Executive Director of the Midas Awards for the world’s best financial advertising, says: “We had a lot of really exciting work this year. It’s no wonder the rankings were so competitive! It really shows the innovative and creative work going on in these specialised communications.” – Carly Barnes
NEW OPPORTUNITIES: Terrence Khumalo, Vincent Moloi, Karen Son, Michael Auret and Danie Bester
Screen Africa welcomes new editor At the end of 2013, Screen Africa bid farewell to its editor, Joanna Sterkowicz, who decided to set off on a new venture after 16 years with the publication. This month, Screen Africa welcomes its new editor, Warren Holden, a writer and editor with a passion for the film, television and broadcasting industries. The 34-year-old is a graduate of AFDA Johannesburg, where he took his degree in Motion Picture Medium with specialisation in Writing and Directing. He worked for a number of years at Studio Zoo Broadcast Communications, writing, producing and directing promos for DStv. After deciding to try his hand at the publishing industry, he took up a position as a sub-editor and in-house journalist at Classicfeel, a magazine covering all aspects of South Africa’s arts, culture and lifestyle sectors. There he wrote extensively on subjects ranging from classical music and visual art to theatre and, of course, his abiding passion, film. He spent five years at the magazine, working his way up to features editor.
ONWARD AND UPWARD: Warren Holden
“I have a deep love for all aspects of the communications and creative arts sectors,” Holden says, “but film and television are the media that I hold in the highest regard. I am an unashamed ‘fanboy’ of great cinema and TV. The elements of this industry are so disparate and numerous – writing, acting, cinematography, directing, music and sound, editing; creativity meets business and cutting-edge technology. It’s no wonder then that when these all come together just right, the results are often breathtaking. “Screen Africa is a well-established brand with a 25-year history and a loyal and committed readership,” Holden adds. “My predecessors have set an extremely high standard, which I will do my utmost to maintain. Thankfully I have joined a very strong team who are all dedicated to ensuring that Screen Africa remains the very best publication in its field. I look forward to working with them to take the magazine onward and upward.”
SA costume designer wins prestigious international award Prolific South African costume designer Diana Cilliers received the Women’s International Film & Television Showcase (TheWIFTS) Foundation International Visionary Award for her work on the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. “I am truly honoured by this award and think it’s amazing to be recognised in this way. However, working on the costumes for the movie was a collaborative effort with Ruy Filipe, for whom I have the utmost respect,” says Cilliers. “We had to do very specific research to make the costumes appear as natural and realistic as possible and designed clothes spanning over decades. But it was easy creating costumes for Nelson and Winnie Mandela’s characters, as they were both fantastic dressers in real life. It was a costume designer’s dream to design almost a century’s clothes,” she adds. Cilliers studied theatre design in Pretoria in the late 1970s and worked in the medium for six years before starting her career in film. Collaborating with late director and screenwriter Manie van Rensburg and then working closely with director Katinka Heyns (for whom she still designs costumes), Cilliers started on her renowned visionary journey – not merely designing and clothing actors but making their wardrobes an integral part of who and what their characters represent. Working tirelessly on her craft, Cilliers has designed costumes for more than 100 film and television productions. “Like everything in film, costume and set design has become more sophisticated,
4 | SCREENAFRICA | February 2014
which enables me to have a wider scope, especially in terms of colour and pattern,” comments Cilliers who was also nominated for an Emmy Award at the end of 2013 for her work on the British television movie The Girl, which was filmed in South Africa. Cilliers latest body of work includes, in quick succession, other international productions filmed locally such as Young Ones, The Salvation, The Giver and Chappie (by US-based South African director and writer Neill Blomkamp), of which shooting wrapped in January. Cilliers says of The Giver, shot in November and December 2013 in Cape Town: “Due to the film’s dystopian nature, it was the most challenging movie on which I’ve worked. It was extremely rewarding but initially difficult as the clothes had to be quite futuristic and convey very strong messages about the characters’ personalities, and had to reveal a lot about them,” says Cilliers. For The Giver, she designed costumes for Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes, Alexander Skarsgård and Jeff Bridges. Locally, Cilliers praises the work of co-designer Filipe (Hotel Rwanda, Wild At Heart) and Nadia Kruger (Tsotsi) while international costume designers such as Colleen Atwood (Memoirs of a Geisha, Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and the Huntsman, Arrow), Sandy Powell (The Departed, Hugo, The Wolf of Wall Street) and the late Eiko Ishioka (Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Cell, Mirror Mirror) serve as creative references.
DRESSING FOR SUCCESS: Award-winning costume designer Diana Cilliers Cilliers, who is completing her master’s degree at Michaelis School of Fine Arts in Cape Town, says her work is often inspired by paintings and researching works of art, which conveys the emotional language of her costume designing. “I have a fantastic and satisfying career. It is a privilege to work so closely with
creative people in the industry. Working with South African crews is immensely satisfying as they are commended by international filmmakers for their tenacity, hard work and ability to make innovative plans no matter what the situation,” concludes Cilliers. – Martie Bester
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Malian television series snapped up for local market In a first for South African television, The Kings of Ségou (Les Rois de Ségou), a French-speaking historical series by director Boubacar Sidibé and producer Nana Kadidia Toumagnon of Brico Films in Mali, was bought by local pay television channel M-Net at DISCOP Africa in November 2013. The series tells the ancient saga of the Bambara kingdom, legendary Malian warriors. Says Kadidia Toumagnon: “Initially, budgetary constraints seemed overwhelming as it took careful planning with regards to props and costumes when reviving historical characters, especially a cast of 250 actors and extras from Mali.” Sidibé says: “Mali was the birthplace of
ANCIENT SAGA: A still from The Kings of Ségou (Les Rois de Ségou) several empires and many kingdoms. In the series, the kingdom of Ségou is at its peak and shines in splendour. But the sages teach that the vagaries of war and the vices of life would lead to the collapse of the empire, which it did. We tell the history of our ancestors so that their lives serve as an example for us because the world is old, but the future often lies in the fate of the past.” He continues: “The themes of many African series focus on ideas and contemporary realities. Far from dispersing the entertainment and
intellectual properties these series provide, as an African filmmaker I often feel frustrated. “Frustrated and even disgusted because we never see series examining our history, where did we come from and why are we here now? I did advanced research on African history and the Bambara kingdom of Ségou. I wanted to share this saga, which lasted over a century, with African viewers.” Comments Kadidia Toumagnon: “Producing television programmes is a powerful tool for local development and
an excellent way to highlight African culture which suffers due to a lack of a proper market circulation, and a shortage of digitising works for archiving. “It is important to tell African stories in order for the cultural development of our children who shouldn’t be exposed to foreign productions only. In the future, we may discover ways to see and understand things differently and therefore act differently. And that is what we hoped to achieve with the filming of The Kings of Ségou,” she says. Concludes Sidibé: “I speak of Mali and Africa in the past, the present and the future in order to convey a different image often represented in the media. I love my country and I am sure that modern broadcast and audio-visual techniques are instruments for humans to find each other, communicate and understand love.” It took four months to film The Kings of Ségou which consists of 41 episodes of 26 minutes each and was shot on the Panasonic DVCPRO. Filming took place in the Tienfala forest near Bamako, the Malian capital, and in N’gami village. The Kings of Ségou is a co-production between Office de RadiodiffusionTélévision du Mali (ORTM), Brico Films and Samara Films. It will start airing on M-Net this year. – Martie Bester
The votes are in: SA’s best music video of 2013
HITTING A HIGH NOTE: A still from GoodLuck’s music video ‘Trickery’, directed by Ryan Kruger
As the countdown to 2014 began, MTV (DStv Channel 130) asked viewers to cast their votes for the Best Video of 2013, which was announced in the countdown on New Year’s Eve. From a list that boasted the top videos from local and international artists, South African director Ryan Kruger came out on top, with his video for ’Trickery’, performed by the South African electronic band, GoodLuck. Competing against the likes of Miley Cyrus and Jay-Z, Kruger had another two videos nominated, Ross Jack’s music
6 | SCREENAFRICA | February 2014
video for TVs in the Swimming Pool and Prime Circle’s video for Time Kills Us All, which landed the number two and number three spots respectively. Says Kruger: “I am very lucky that I have people who follow and support my work who voted. And also of course the bands have their big followers who helped and voted.” Kruger’s production company, Enigma Ace Films, shot the winning video over two days in Cape Town with cinematographer Christian Denslow and producer Anastasia Tsobanopulos. The
video features a classic underdog story. “It’s basically about a kid who’s lost his brother in a skating accident and he’s become the invisible boy at home. He wants to skate just like his brother but nobody believes in him. His brother’s skater gang won’t let him skate with them until he skates in a disguise and beats them all,” remarks Kruger. Kruger says of working with three-time South African Music Award (SAMA) nominated group GoodLuck: “They were great and really chilled. We did some pick-up shots they wanted but they were
very laid back and trusted me a lot.” Originally from the UK, Kruger moved to South Africa seven years ago after a number of visits to Cape Town gave the young performer and director acting opportunities in television and film for overseas productions. After starting off with small, low-budget productions, Kruger is now shooting music videos for most of the biggest artists in the country. Kruger says he is excited about the win, especially with the 2014 SAMAs just around the corner. – Carly Barnes
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Dudley Saunders: Legendary SA cameraman dies Busisiwe Ntuli, executive producer of Special Assignment, said: “The son of SABC journalist Cliff Saunders, and already an SABC news veteran in his 20s, Dudley was one of the principal cameramen for Special VETERAN FILMMAKER: Respected cameraman Dudley Assignment from its Saunders (1968 – 2013) inception in 1998. The Dudley Saunders, renowned South love and respect he African cameraman (45), died on 31 showed both for his craft and colleagues December 2013 while filming in Soweto, was exemplary and he was dedicated as Johannesburg. much to the joy of life, as he was to the According to news sources, the veteran discipline of work.” filmmaker was shooting cut-away footage for British company Arrow Media’s production of World’s Most Extreme when he was hit by a train. Saunders had an illustrious career spanning more than two decades and worked extensively for the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on the Lesego Motsepe, best known for her investigative journalism programmes portrayal of Letti Matabane in the popular Special Assignment and 3rd Degree; as soap Isidingo, was found dead in her well as Carte Blanche, the long-running home on Monday 20 January. She died of magazine show on pay channel M-Net natural causes. on DStv.
Industry bids farewell to broadcasting legend On Saturday 18 January, after a short illness, South African broadcasting pioneer Ronnie van Wijk passed away suddenly. Well liked and respected throughout the South African broadcasting and communications industries, Van Wijk is remembered fondly and his death was a shock to all. One of the founders of M-Net, he later went on to work at Sasani Studios and then Global Access. Screen Africa’s Andy Stead, who knew van Wijk for some 35 years, says: “This is how I will always remember Ronnie. His passion for business, correctness and flight. Many were the times we flew together. He taught me a lot. He inspired me. He will always be remembered.” Amelia Thiart, head of television
broadcasting at Global Access, says: “As a visionary, Ronnie van Wijk dedicated his life to improving and driving change in the broadcast industry of South Africa. His passion for broadcast, his passion for planes, and passion for people has left an indelible mark on us all.”
SOAP STAR & AIDS AMBASSADOR: Lesego Motsepe
The 39-year-old actress, who was a member of the Isidingo cast for 10 years, announced in 2011 that she was HIV-positive and that she had been living with the disease since 1998. She became an AIDS Ambassador and fought hard against the social stigma that people with the disease face. In addition to her acting work, she was also a poet and storyteller. Motsepe is survived by her mother, brothers and nephews.
Isidingo star passes away
INDUSTRY PIONEER: Ronnie van Wijk
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8 | SCREENAFRICA | February 2014
Thank you, Woolies, for showing us the light Anton Crone realises the true motivation behind Woolworth’s ‘flash mob’ tribute to Nelson Mandela.
A flash mob Mandela tribute at Woolworths
I handed the free range rump in its multi-layered packaging to the Woolworths cashier. “How are you doing?” I asked. “Okay,” she replied demurely, “What’s the weather like outside?” “Hot and getting hotter. How do you like it? Hot or cold?” “In between. But I’m getting thirsty. I can’t afford a drink.” “Don’t they sort you out here, give you a discount?” “No, I can’t even afford a Coke,” she said, handing me my change. I wondered if she was playing on my sympathies and angling for a tip. But then I realised what this was. It was a mini flash mob, part of Woolworths’ political campaign to remind us just how divided our nation is. Their first flash mob was outstanding. It was filmed by what must have been an army of cameramen hiding in strategic locations in a ‘Woolies’ store. It started like a regular ‘Woolies’ day – workers packed the shelves while customers ambled about not knowing
quite how to spend their money and a cashier swiped stuff at a till while a bored customer leaned against the counter and watched. 7 December 2013, 10.15am, a title proclaimed, just two days after Nelson Mandela’s death. Then one of the workers looked around, stopped wiping the cafe counter, and broke into song. “Asimbonanga…” he sang (we have not seen him). And all the workers stopped what they were doing and joined in. “Asimbonang’, uMandela thina,” they chorused (we have not seen Mandela). “Laph’ekhona. Laph’ehleli khona.” (In the place where he is. In the place where he is kept). It was sung with emotion obviously inspired by Madiba’s passing. The customers looked up from their skinny cappuccinos and guilty nibbles and the cameramen caught those essential parts of every flash mob film: WTF moments of onlookers. There were enough Woolworths Ws on worker’s aprons and shop walls for a hundred WTFs. But the customers’ expressions soon turned to
smiles as the workers strolled through the store, singing away. You got a real sense of the emotion and excitement and the song reached its crux when the workers moved towards the exit where the majority of onlookers stood blocking their way and they extended their arms and pointed at them singing: Hey wena! (Hey you!) Hey wena nawe (Hey you and you as well). Siyofika nini la’ siyakhona? (When will we arrive at our destination?) And the customers smiled, because they didn’t have a clue when the workers would arrive at their destination or even what that destination was, but they had the foresight to capture this poignant moment on their smart phones so they would never forget how important this question was. (It was so close to their hearts that they kept it for themselves because, despite a phalanx of phones that rivalled the audience of a school play and people’s proclivity for sharing absolutely everything online, it’s nigh impossible to find any footage other than
that filmed by Woolies.) The workers sang the chorus once more and finished off defiantly by raising their fists as a salute to the struggle. The customers raised their hands in applause. It was genius. It was brave. Who expected a supermarket chain could be so politically motivated, so selfless that they would stage divisions within their own store to represent the divisions in our nation. How motivated must they have been to spring into action immediately after the death of Nelson Mandela, the world’s foremost icon of equality and compassion, to use this sad event to mine our collective sense of irony and show South Africa just how far we are from Mandela’s vision. More recently I stopped at a service station to fill up. Across the road, three homeless people were fighting over a supermarket trolley filled with dirty blankets and other paraphernalia. They were all drunk. There were about 10 men watching from the service station and nearby shops, but they stood immobile. Some laughed. One customer was clearly disgusted. She said to a petrol attendant: “Why don’t you go and do something?” I felt bad so I got out the car and started over there. I called to the petrol attendants to come and help, but they didn’t budge. Then a big guy jumped out of a dilapidated tow truck and joined me. “Lets go fuck them up,” he said. “No one’s fucking anyone up,” I said. “We just break it up, okay?” “Okay,” he said. “But you better buy me a Coke.” I guess it was another flash mob.
February 2014 | SCREENAFRICA | 9
Advertising for the financial sector In 2013, the Cape Town-based advertising agency King James beat competitors from all around the world to take the top spot in the Midas Award rankings. These awards are specifically designed to recognise excellence in advertising for the financial industry. Screen Africa asked the agency’s Group Chief Executive, Alistair King, to share his views on this highly specialised advertising field and the two campaigns with which King James won the award. Alistair King The financial services category is notorious in our industry for being a difficult category to operate in and so the work that comes out of it is often not very provocative. However, our experience with Allan Gray over the past 11 years, and subsequently with Santam over the last three; has been very different. Both clients are very respectful of the creative process and the value we bring to their business and that is an amazing place to start out from. Both clients have witnessed how powerful advertising can change their business and drive their numbers, and when that happens it’s like watching a light go on. They start to demand more and more from us and that is the kind of position we want to be in. A hungry client is what makes great advertising. What has been a massive contributor to our relationship with Santam in particular is our integrated structure and the kind of advertising that leads to. We not only do their advertising, we do their design, their digital development and their social media, and that very definitely
Smart TV for dummies Erin Brooks
– Creative Director, Draftfcb Johannesburg
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changes the kind of solutions we come up with. Once you have a good idea, you have lots of places for you to build and enrich it and that is why we’ve got the structure we have. Driving an idea across a number of platforms is ultimately what gives a campaign real depth and volume. I’ve often thought that advertising in the insurance sector in particular is quite cheap and tacky. In their attempt to offer you cheaper premiums and more rewards, their communication has lost its style and dignity and they always seem to be yapping at you with a better offer. As an insurance customer you’re always left asking: “How can you offer me a discount when you don’t even know me or my circumstances? What’s the catch?” It hardly evokes trust in a sector and we felt we could change that with Santam. We also decided to stay away from the category cliché: “Shit happens. Make sure you’re with XYZ Insurance.” It all seems a little predictable and a little puerile given the importance of the service they deliver. We simply suggested that, as the market leader, Santam should behave like
a leader, and the client agreed with that. It was a key decision that led to the kind of elegant work we have done with them. If a Santam ad doesn’t make you think or make you realise something, it’s not really doing its job. Regarding Allan Gray, I think we also made some key decisions that set the tone for the kind of work we do for them. Instead of making lofty claims about making you money, we chose to talk about the company and the kind of things it believes in. At the time, it was a radical departure for advertising in the sector and I think it was very successful in placing Allan Gray firmly into consumers’ hearts, and not just their immediate consumers but also future consumers. I heard an anecdote about six years back: teenage boys in Johannesburg had started to describe girls who showed potential as an ‘Allan Gray’. The implication was simple – give her time, she’ll be hot later. I’ve always thought that to become part of teenage lexicon is a hell of a tribute to the advertising, and I believe the saying is still strong in schools
around the country. That’s the power of a single ad and making another ad as powerful as that one remains the ongoing challenge. It’s a challenge we relish greatly. I’ve heard many people say King James’s advertising is very emotional in nature. I can say that we don’t purposely set out to imbue our advertising with emotion, but I think it might just be who we are as people. We always look for ideas that are provocative and meaningful and that might translate into ads that pack a bit of an emotional punch. It’s certainly not our formula though. We always look to make a unique, meaningful observation about the categories we work in, and as long as it moves you, intellectually or emotionally, to find out more about our client, we think we’ve done our job well. Most advertising simply washes over consumers. Getting them to notice you is half the challenge. Making them feel something is the other half.”
My TV is headed for recycling. Not because it’s broken but because it’s obsolete. My four-year-old Full HD LED TV is outdated. In 2014 I need a Smart TV because the internet is going into everything, and TV is going online. As a result, television is fundamentally changing, including how and where we watch it, and before long, how we advertise on it will have to change too. No sooner have we grasped ‘thirdscreen behaviour’ (FYI: first screen is TV, second is PC and third is mobile), now we have to wrap our heads around internet TV. While South Africa is still a little way off due to the speed of our internet connections, it’s coming and it’s going to forever change how we approach that jewel in the crown of above-the-line advertising, the television commercial. Since 1941 (or since 1976 in SA), television has helped companies take their products straight into the living rooms of millions of customers. Although the conversation was entirely one-sided, brands were born, lived and died by their TV ads. Then came the PC with internet and suddenly customers could talk back to companies, and marketing got a lot more social. Then our cellphones got smart, and now having internet in my pocket 24/7
feels like a human right. If I’m watching a TV ad and I want to know more, I just pull out my smartphone and boom. Buy. I’ll be in Woolies and see a special on baby leeks. I pull out my phone, search ‘leek recipes’ and boom. Quiche. Now it’s TV’s turn to change and that change is just over the horizon. Let’s start with our viewing behaviour. Binge-watch was a 2013 finalist in the Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year. Why? Because we’re all doing it: gorging ourselves on all 12 episodes of our favourite show in one sitting. It’s become a favourite weekend pastime for Jozi’s overworked professionals. And one distribution company was ahead of the curve in meeting this demand. Last year saw Netflix do a full season release of shows such as House of Cards and Arrested Development. It must have worked for them, because they’re releasing House of Cards Season 2 the
same way. So how will TV advertising change when we’re all watching our Smart TVs stream day-long sessions of our favourite shows? It’s probably going to have to get a lot better. Currently, internet TV advertising is an un-exciting mix of banners and video ads, although some sites in place of commercial breaks, play a single 30-second commercial. No pressure. More than ever, we’re going to have to make TV ads that people want to watch, ads people talk about and share. That’s why at Draftfcb we rate our ads according to ‘shareworthiness’, because in a 14-hour marathon of House of Cards, we’ll not only have to get customers to watch our ad, we’ll have to ensure they remember it too. I’m off to buy a new TV before the weekend.
“Television is fundamentally changing, including how and where we watch it, and before long, how we advertise on it will have to change too.”
Have fun with it! Lee Hunt, who has worked with more television brands globally than any other strategist, presented his annual round up of New Best Practices at PromaxBDA Africa. “Media brands are different to consumer brands. Media brands are dynamic – that is, they are constantly changing; always moving forward. A consumer brand remains the same, but a television network changes continuously, week by week, series by series. It is always evolving and expanding. The paradox is that media brands must be fresh, and reliable and consistent, but it makes what we do very inspirational,” said Hunt at the start of his presentation. So what is dynamic branding and what does it look like? Hunt demonstrated using an hour of USA Network
Lee Hunt programming as an example. “USA Network thought about this hour and how to make the viewer experience as engaging and entertaining as possible. Putting all the elements together created a bigger picture and that’s dynamic branding. The lesson here is that if you take care of the small details then the big issues take care of themselves,” he added. Hunt emphasised the fact that television lends itself to social media multi-tasking more than any other activity. “It is the social numbers and conversation that is impressive so we know that social television is important.” The reason? It can increase ratings. “Premieres and
finales are even more susceptible to social television. It can make people watch a show, ie. after reading about it then going onto the internet to get more information. It leads viewers to new shows. It engages them.” Social media and television also works for advertisers as it allows them room to do more, for example create a website or an app. “With the advertising model crumbling, social television is an important development,” he added. “There has been a real change in storytelling and audience viewing. Now it is not just about what you watch but how you watch it. Free on-demand television is growing. Viewers are watching content without watching a channel, going to where the content is and not caring about the identity of the channels at all. All these are changes in viewer behaviour. So how do we measure it? TiVo, the Digital Video Recorder pioneer, conducted research and analytics on 78 broadcasts in 350 000 households, including live television, DVR viewing and time shifted viewing. One of the objectives of the research was to determine which was more popular – promos or commercials? According to Hunt, the research showed that, viewed live, commercials are initially more popular than promos but within a 72-hour period, promos edged commercials out. Within the seven-day period promos continue their advantage over commercials. Promos have a longer shelf
life than commercials and a rating advantage over commercials. “Promos continue to be our most effective tool in the marketing world.” So what can channels learn from all this? Firstly, keep your channel brand relevant. Recognise that you’re more than a distribution vehicle. Find ways to blend your channel brand with your content brand – on your own air and everywhere else. And keep your brand focus. Secondly, understand the new ways that people watch television – whether it’s time shifting, ‘binging’, or watching ahead – and use your advertising and promotion to exploit those opportunities and challenges. But, at the same time, don’t forget to promote and enhance the unique attributes of our ‘old media’. Thirdly, learn the new metrics of our business, whether it’s C7, second-bysecond, or big data, and let that knowledge inform your strategy, tactics and creative. Another point is to take a good hard look at every platform and how you can make your advertising and promotion work better and harder in that environment. Don’t assume that, because it works in one place, it will work everywhere else. Finally, have fun with it! While all these new changes may seem overwhelming at times, they should inspire lots of new, different and breakthrough creative, solutions no one has ever considered before. – Danette Breitenbach
The copy number cruncher A great idea can be the seed of something spectacular, but how do you refine and nurture a concept so that it receives the adoration it deserves? Linda Button, copy connoisseur and Brand Personality Expert at Tooth+Nail, sums it up in artistic arithmetic. Zero This is the number of original ideas left in the world, and Button believes that inspiration can be snatched from what has already worked. “Steal smart. Only take the best ideas that really speak to you. Pull apart and dissect what makes them good – you
want to learn how to get it right,” said Button, who referenced how a common concept like Men Behaving Badly has been re-invented and worked into so many ad campaigns and narratives.
10 000 A scientist named K. Anders Ericsson wondered what made a person an expert and discovered that the secret was practice and that it would take 10 000 hours’ worth for someone to call themselves a pro. Button maintains that once you allow yourself to blunder through an idea, you can start to get inventive, break the rules and then apply precision and fine-tuning. Said Button: “An expert is a person who makes more mistakes than anyone else. We don’t see the hours of mistakes, all we see is their greatness. A group of people who show a trail of mistakes are artists.” Button referenced the evolution of original sketches for the Star Wars character, Jabba the Hutt which went through many transformations before reaching the gruesome slug like creature that appeared in Return of the Jedi. “Be willing to try things out, experiment, explore… you may find something original. Charlie Kaufman, the
Linda Button speaking at ProMaxBDA filmmaker who wrote Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind says he writes five pages to get two great lines,” she added.
10 “Next time you’re stuck, just set the timer for 10 minutes and you’ll have 50 ideas in no time,” said Button, who recommends having a brainstorm session wherein you write down as many crazy ideas as you can, within 10 minutes. With no restraints, you are able to free yourself from your inner critic and allow free flowing creativity to decorate the page.
24/7 “24 ideas. Seven scripts. When your boss requests concepts for a promo, he will
want a lot of ideas, variety and flavours,” remarked Button, who referenced an array of Axe commercials from different countries. She points out how each commercial made use of a unique hook and delivery, though they all promote the same product and target the same consumer.
One “Using the zero, 10 000, 10 and 24/7 methods can lead to greatness, but number one represents you and your uniqueness. “Demand more of yourself, do more idea generating and more work. Steal more, explore more, and don’t accept setbacks,” Button concluded. – Carly Barnes
February 2014 | SCREENAFRICA | 11
JFF2014: Promoting and supporting local filmmakers
By Martie Bester
From 21 to 23 February Johannesburg cinema audiences can once again enjoy a wide variety of quality films at Jozi Film Festival (JFF2014), now in its third year.
A FEAST OF FILMS: Die Lang Kat, a film by Janhendrik Burger
ozi is well represented at JFF2014,” says Lisa Henry, founder and organiser of the festival. “Our opening night film, iNumber Number by Donovan Marsh, is an action heist movie with Johannesburg as the backdrop. Shotgun Garfunkel, The Fastest Film Ever Made, will also screen, which is another real Jo’burg film about 30-somethings trying to relive their glory days. Director Andrew Worsdale’s ‘killer romance’, Durban Poison, is also included in the line-up.” Continues Henry: “Our short fiction entries, both local and international, offer some serious, funny, quirky and bittersweet moments on film. Some run for a few minutes, some just under half an hour.”
International and national line-up “We think South African entries Scapegoat and The Morning After Spill will have audiences laughing out loud while the beautifully shot Afrikaanslanguage entry, Die Lang Kat is a poignant, tense, well-acted and unique production with incredible attention to detail,” comments Henry. Other South African productions Past Tense and Security screens, while Love at First Sight and The Possum Drop from the UK and US respectively will also show. Feature-length doccies are strong and cover a wide range of topics. Riaan Hendrick’s The Devil’s Lair (SA) will screen
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A scene from iNumber Number, being screened at JFF 2014
alongside Much Ado About Knotting (India) with Finding Hillywoood (Rwanda / SA) and Le Savoir est Une Lumiere (Burkina Faso) also part of the line-up. Conservation films this year include Unfair Game: The Politics of Poaching (Zambia / Swaziland / USA) as well as Guardians of the Wild. Henry says: “It’s exciting to have international films in our line-up for the first time but what never fails to keep us motivated is the support we get from local filmmakers who need this platform to get their works screened.”
Panel discussions Warwick Allan of Mushroom Media in Johannesburg has come on board to help to run a panel discussion around the post production side of the film industry. He will be tailoring a seminar that covers cinematography, grading, online editing and music, and what it takes to achieve an international standard in the overall look and finish of a film. And once again, Trish Malone will be talking scriptwriting and script development. As was the case in previous years, Q&A sessions are lined up post screenings.
Venues JFF2014 screenings take place at The Bioscope Independent Cinema in the Maboneng Precinct in downtown Johannesburg, CineCentre at Killarney Mall and The Rand Club, which will open its doors to Jozi film fanatics on Sunday 23 February. Moviegoers can enjoy lunch,
A scene from Security
followed by a choice of two screenings. Jahmil X.T. Qubeka’s Of Good Report will screen as well as a wrap of the best short fiction films from the festival.
explains Henry. “Finalists will be announced at the start of the festival and the winner will be selected at the awards ceremony.”
JFF2014 Mobile Competition
Promoting local filmmakers
Adding another opportunity for creativity, enjoyment and accessibility for anyone with a smart phone, the JFF2014 Mobile Competition has been announced. Sponsored by carelnolte.com and urbanespresso, prizes on offer include five R1 000 cash prizes. “Keeping it simple to ensure broad participation, the format this year is limited to six-second Vine vids shot around the theme ‘Unexpected’,”
“As always, we continue to offer a huge variety of films which reflect our diverse city, the people living in it and their wide range of interests. We will continue to support and promote our local filmmakers as a priority but are pleased to be able to offer some international gems, which we hope broaden our audiences’ horizons and offer a different voice on issues that affect us all as human beings,” concludes Henry.
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Africa’s first dance movie finally heading to local screens
By Martie Bester
LOCAL JIVE: A scene from Africa’s first dance movie Hear Me Move
Hear Me Move is the first film showcasing South African dance and portrays local youth embracing their identities 20 years after democracy.
riter and producer Fidel Namisi, director and producer Scotness L. Smith and producer and actor Wandile Molebatsi of Coal Stove Productions in Johannesburg are determined to make their dreams come true. Their tenacity as a team got them through the long wait to finance and develop their debut feature film Hear Me Move.
The power of sbujwa The first film to showcase South African dancing, Hear Me Move, incorporates many local forms of dance, of which sbujwa is the most prominent in the movie. “Sbujwa is about where we are now, where our youth is now. It originates from the dance form pantsula or, in other words, where we come from,” says Namisi. Comments Smith: “We don’t exclude other dance forms because the movie opens with a hip hop sequence, and we incorporate pantsula and contemporary dance. Sbujwa originated in the late 1990s and early noughties, encompassing various dance forms such as pantsula but infused with house beats.” In the movie, sbujwa frames a narrative around this dance form that is inherently
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South African. Smith continues: “Twenty years after democracy, young people are able to express themselves through this dance movement. Dance as a subculture is huge in our townships, other urban areas and even here in downtown Johannesburg.”
Good advice Says Smith about the process of making a movie in South Africa, for which aspiring filmmakers are often ill-prepared: “Young filmmakers are deeply intimidated by the amount of bureaucracy we have to go through in order to make a film. Although the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) are set up to assist filmmakers, it takes time and patience to realise ideals.” From January 2009 to May 2013 Coal Stove Productions applied for and received funding from the NFVF, the dti and the IDC with the assistance of executive producer Danie Bester, signed a distribution agreement with SterKinekor and started auditions in July 2013 with world-renowned choreographer Paul Modjadji on board for five months to put the dancers / actors through their
carefully managed dance moves. Smith mentions that during preproduction: “It became clear to us that the film’s dancing was going to make it exceptional so our aim was to get dancers who could act, which seems like an easier thing to do than it actually is. That was a big challenge.”
Deep issues Namisi says, “I really wanted to make a commercial film to which people can relate. On the surface it seems like a popcorn flick, but we explore very deep issues.” The movie centres on dance as an expression for the characters’ emotions as they deal with matters such as absent fathers, brotherhood, family and teamwork. “The movie is colourful, young and vibrant and quick-paced. But absent fathers in the context of South Africa is deeply explored. The two lead actors go in search of their own identities which, in the end, force them into conflict,” mentions Smith. Namisi says managing the tight budget proved to be difficult at times. “We wanted this film to be a representation, a snapshot of South African popular music between 2013 and 2014. In the end we managed to secure music deals with visionaries in the industry for the 18 dance numbers we feature in the film.”
Inspiring and confident Remarks Smith: “Was I going for the poverty grade in movies such as Tsotsi
and Yesterday? No, I wanted vibrant colour, sweat, glistening skin and we were actually shooting during the bloom of graffiti in Jo’burg. The film exudes energy and its look is inspiring and confident. Hear Me Move was shot over five weeks for six days on the RED 1 and the Phantom. We had straight and circular tracks, a Steadi and drone cam and car mounts.” The movie was principally filmed in the Johannesburg CBD with Cheryl Etok as line producer and cinematographer Justus de Jager. Joburg graffiti culture features prominently in the movie, as does iconic pop culture imagery. Hear Me Move is currently in post at FiX Post Production in Johannesburg. Namisi concludes: “Our message with Hear Me Move is that the youth is taking ownership of the new identity that they are defining for themselves. They are cognisant of where they come from and positive about what the future holds. It’s time to get over being ‘previously disadvantaged’. Those should only be words on paper, but not a state of mind.” Hear Me Move features Nyaniso Dzedze as Muzi, Mbuso Kgarebe as the antagonist Prince and Bontle Modiselle as Khanyi. Other principal cast members include Lillian Dube in the role of Gogo, Wandile Molebatsi as Thami, Makhaola Ndebele as Shoes and Sthandiwe Kgoroge as Lerato. Thembi Seete, Trevor Gumbi, Lorcia Cooper, Amanda Du Pont, Boity Thulo, Alfred Ntombela and Khanyi Mbau have cameo roles in the movie.
DIRECTOR SPEAK Ryan Peimer
– SAMA Award Winning Director Most of South Africa first heard the name Ryan Peimer when he won a SAMA award for the Parlotones’ music video, ‘It’s Magic’. A director and producer with a broad array of production experience, Peimer’s real passion is narrative filmmaking, which he is now putting into practice on a number of developing television projects and a feature film. WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE A CAREER IN FILMMAKING AND HOW HAVE YOU GONE ABOUT LEARNING YOUR CRAFT? Since the age of 12, I started making home movies across the genre spectrum from action, to drama to horror. While all the other children were out playing soccer, I was behind the camera euphorically fulfilled. Shooting and making little movies gave me a sense of creative expression and gratification that no activity could compete with. It was my favourite extramural, my hobby and soon to be my life-long passion. As I progressed through my school career, I grabbed every opportunity to be on high-end film sets. After producers started seeing my innate excitement for the process of filmmaking, I was offered small jobs on the sets in different departments which started giving me an overall understanding of how everything works and how it all ‘magically’ comes together. I spent tens of hours chatting to different directors on all the sets, quietly soaking in everything I could about the craft. When I got to my matric year, while all my peers were deciding between perusing marketing, law and accounting after school, there was no doubt in my mind that it was my inherent life’s purpose to follow my dream of becoming a director. After taking the road less travelled, studying directing, screenwriting and editing for three years, my natural talent was transformed into a well-nurtured, viable craft. AMONG THE HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR IS THE SAMA-WINNING MUSIC VIDEO YOU DIRECTED FOR THE PARLOTONES. HOW WAS THE CONCEPT FOR THE VIDEO GENERATED? FROM A TECHNICAL POINT OF VIEW, HOW DID YOU TACKLE THE EXECUTION OF IT, PARTICULARLY THE ANIMATION WORK? DO YOU HAVE A BACKGROUND IN ANIMATION? Ironically, I have no animation background, which is what made this project a daring challenge, and daring challenges excite me! We were approached with a general concept and outline for the video by M-Net and I then fleshed it out, converted it into a script format and then devised a plan to bring the concept to life effectively. The idea behind the video was to create a magical environment around The Parlotones while origami creatures come to life and interact with the band. The video builds to its peak when a magical invisible force creates a powerful whirlwind as all the origami creatures and petals come together and the entire world disintegrates, leaving the band wondering whether this was all real or in their imagination.
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NATURAL TALENT: Ryan Peimer on the set of his SAMA-winning Parlotones music video Considering I had never worked with 3D animation before this project, it was a huge learning curve for me to understand the technical intricacies and production requirements that come with such challenging animation work, not just as a director but as a producer as well. I was under intense time pressure to shoot everything in one day, considering the complexity and timing of all the shots. Directing The Parlotones to react to objects that aren’t actually there was a challenge in itself. However, every shot was very carefully storyboarded to accommodate the creatures. I also had to draft a timing script that would cue The Parlotones to react to certain objects within their environment at specific points in the song, using lyrics as their cue. We also created certain eye lines so that they would know where to look and I had a microphone headset so I also communicated with them during the shoot to cue their eye lines. WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU BUSY WITH NOW? We are currently in development for a high-energy comedic reality show with a well-acclaimed celebrity, a live talk show, two seasons of a crime drama TV series and my first action drama feature film. In addition to the above-the-line projects on the go, we continue to service our below-the-line clients with corporate videos, live multi-camera productions, events, launches etc. YOUR FIRST FEATURE FILM, HOS, IS CURRENTLY IN DEVELOPMENT. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING ON IT AND WHAT HAS THE RESPONSE BEEN TO THE TRAILER AND PILOT
THAT WAS RECENTLY PRODUCED IN YOUR BID FOR FUNDING? HOS is a unique culturally relevant action drama that encapsulates the complicated humanity and contentious relationships that lurk within the depiction of criminal minds in South Africa. Without revealing too much about the story, the film follows our humble protagonist Lerumo, who is urged into criminal action in an attempt to provide for his girlfriend and his unborn baby. We have been working on this masterpiece for about five years to date and we were lucky enough to secure a private investor to fund our 24-minute pilot, which has made astonishing, lasting impressions on top industry producers. Every industry professional who lays eyes on the pilot or trailer seems to have one of two things to say: “This feels like an international film” or “This absolutely has to be made into a movie – I’ve never seen anything like this in South Africa!” We’ve been extremely focused on mapping out the story to date and while we have been pursuing conventional avenues for funding, we have not yet received viable offers to kick-start production. I am all about production value – to the script, to the look, to the style, to performance, to the cut, to the score. Being a director who takes immense pride in my craft, I would rather be patient for the right budget and direct an incredible film, than settle for what I can get and make just another South African film. Having said that, we have tons of private investors and executive producers lined up for this year and I have absolutely no doubt that this film will take off in 2014. It’s time to raise the bar! The trailer can be found on YouTube under ‘HOS Trailer.’
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR COMPANY? WHERE TO FROM HERE? Our company’s objective is to originate and execute new, exciting and innovative productions that are currently absent for South African audiences. Flash Forward consists of a young, passionate team highly knowledgeable and competent in the field of filmmaking. We have a strong, grounded understanding of story as a vehicle for entertainment and we have clearly pinpointed the gap in the market for new, fresh and exhilarating stories that will keep viewers glued to their seats. Furthermore, while story is our forte, our company caters for every area of the motion picture medium, from corporate videos, events, launches and multi-cam productions to commercials, music videos, reality shows, documentaries and high-end animation. My goal is for Flash Forward to evolve and develop into the central hub for high-end film and television production in South Africa; a company that follows through on its promises and constantly impresses clients, broadcasters and the South African public by exceeding expectations with every new exciting project we undertake. We strive to maintain our high standard of storytelling and cinematic execution while building solid ethical relationships with our clients and contractors and in doing so, we aim to uphold our consistent reputation. Contact: +27 83 976 5088 Email: email@example.com Website: www.flash-forward.co.za
New technology is continually making it possible for filmmakers to explore novel ways to get unusual shoot angles and generate exciting new, never-before-seen content.
By Ian Dormer
AQUAVISION TELEVISION PRODUCTIONS
High in the Sky
AERIAL BOUNDARIES RAISED: Drone pilot operating the Radio Control MovieKopter PHOTO COURTESY TERRA MATER FACTUAL STUDIOS
our years in the making, BBC’s Africa series was a milestone in television history. A co-production by the BBC Natural History Unit and the Discovery Channel, it focuses on wildlife and wild habitats in Africa and utilised the most innovative technology available to get some of its award-winning shots. For me, the breathtaking aerial photography was the winning formula; each aerial is worth 1 000 words. Without them the documentary would have been… well, just another wildlife series. South African wildlife filmmakers, Aquavision Television Productions, have always been at the forefront of technology. Recent acquisitions of 4k camera equipment has allowed Aquavisions producers to look at a new and fresh approach in filming wildlife. Movement is always the key to good cinematography and movement up in the sky, to make a shot more dynamic and give a different perspective, aka the aerial shot, is a key shot for Aquavisions CEO Peter Lamberti. “Aerials have always been an issue,” says Lamberti. “Due to the remoteness of the places we go, it is expensive to transport helicopters – let alone fly them. We have tried filming from microlights with some success but the results are not good enough for today’s market – aerials are required to be rock-steady and beautiful.” Lamberti has been watching the market and recent developments of GPS guided drones, which are easy to control and quite affordable, at under R100 000, prompted him to collaborate with Johannesburg-based AR Media to build a custom designed six-bladed Radio Control MovieKopter with a unique camera gimbal. All built with the latest electronic components to deliver the required smooth video footage. Completely gyro stabilised, the MovieKopter can withstand winds of up to 35kph and has unique features such as a video downlink for the cameraman to see what he is filming and, thanks to GPS technology, an automatic landing system that returns the MovieKopter to its launch site. The key to filming with this drone is the three-axis, three-gyro gimbal, which keeps the camera rock-steady for the
The INCA camera system on an eagle perfect shot. Drones are capable of obtaining footage at a quality comparable to that achieved by manned aircraft. Combined with the fact that drones can be used closer to the ground and nearer to people and animals than manned aircraft, this means that they are becoming an incredibly versatile tool for filmmakers across a wide variety of genres. Drones are being used to replace dolly and jib shots in awkward locations and can be used for dramatic lift and zoom shots as well. Lamberti used the system recently on a shoot in Zambia, filming hippos. The resultant shots are mind-blowing.
“Because the drone has quiet electric motors, we are able to fly close up to the animals giving us a different perspective, taking the viewer in among the animals. We have even used the drone to fly through thick bush and forests. These shots are great and the broadcasters are excited about what they are seeing,” adds Lamberti. ”We are taking drones on every shoot now, and getting shots never seen before.” In the northern hemisphere, an Austrian film company is using wildlife itself to help capture the aerials they were looking for. An eagle carrying a camera on its back during its airborne manoeuvres, captured breathtaking
images in the mountain peaks of the Alps – allowing viewers to experience an eagle’s flight as if they were flying like an eagle. The Way of the Eagle, a cinematic nature drama, was produced by Terra Mater Factual Studios of Red Bull Media House and will premiere in European cinemas later this year. The camera system named INCA, originated in the labs of the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Erlangen, Germany. Fraunhofer engineers used cellphone technology for their project taking an on-board camera from a phone and repackaged some of the components on custom boards. “The idea three years ago was to use the very powerful processor used in cell phones or tablets for other applications, like professional cameras and different markets like surveillance, broadcast,” says Michael Schmid, a researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits. The camera, a flyweight at 70g, did not impair the bird of prey’s flight and at only 25 x 120mm this tiny camera system is packed with features. It withstood extreme weather conditions during its flight – even snow at 2 500m above sea level – and delivered cinematographicquality images from sunrise to dusk. Inca is not just a camera but a complete image processing system. It includes an Android operating system and its high computational processing power enables it to compute complex algorithms on the camera itself. The eagle cam contained a camera module, processor, memory and could communicate over Wi-Fi or LTE, so it was possible to stream real-time video from the back of the bird and record the video feed on an external recorder.
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CREAM OF THE CROP CREW: Camera crew all set to shoot Survivor South Africa: Champions
Polished Survivor series returns to SA screens
By Martie Bester
After an absence of almost four years, Survivor South Africa returned to screens in January 2014 on pay channel M-Net, with the tagline Champions applying to team leaders, contestants and crew involved in the production.
ccording to Anton Burggraaf, head of entertainment television at Endemol, the company tasked with bringing Survivor to local screens, new production elements were introduced to make this the most exciting season yet about castaways battling for the R1 million prize money. Commenting on the success of the gruelling shoot, which took place in South East Asia during October 2013, Burggraaf says: “The reason the production ran so smoothly is that we had the cream of the industry working on the show. We had a lot of involvement on a multinational level, including crew who worked on the American versions of Survivor, and had the opportunity to use top-of-the-range equipment supplied out of Los Angeles.”
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Post-production on the island Burggraaf says that about 120 crew members ensured that the 27-day, non-stop shoot was executed with precision. “We had an incredible technical set-up on the island, as we were able to do post-production for the first time on location.” This innovation made the head of content’s work much easier and shaved time off filing the vast volumes of material which came in on a daily basis. In another first, the series was recorded in 5.1 surround sound on the island and taken through into final mix. Regarding the editing process, which started on the island, and the Baselight grading programme was fully integrated with Avid allowing editors to cut on the same timeline, saving on time and resources.
Challenges Although logistics proved to be a challenge at times, no major glitches occurred thanks to careful orchestration. However, the weather in South East Asia, unpredictable in nature, behaved particularly well, with the only surprises being two days of rain and the expected long stretches of heat hovering around the 31°C mark. Another consideration was to ensure that the natural surroundings remained undisturbed. “As the shoot took place in a marine park, a lot of care had to be taken to be mindful of the wildlife there, not disturbing the natural ecosystem,” comments Burggraaf. Filming in a malaria-free area contributed to health and safety precautions (despite the onslaught of mosquitos armed only with buzzing abilities) and five medics were on hand in case of emergencies. “By far the most challenging aspect was keeping up the morale of the core team members who worked 27 days without significant breaks,” says Burggraaf – and that is where their stamina matched that of the contestants.
Strategic move Introducing South African sporting legends Corné Krige, former Springbok rugby captain, and Mark Fish, who played soccer for the national team and at club level internationally, was a strategic move on the part of M-Net. “It was a great idea to do a fit with another genre such as sport. You don’t have to be an avid sports fan to realise how very similar the game play of Survivor is to sport,” continues Burggraaf. “The captains did a wonderful job in
uniting their respective teams. Krigé and Fish know how to play a strategic game and both are sensational for their own reasons and bring completely different characters to the audience. As they are also competing for their own separate prize of R50 000 with the added bonus of immunity, it is interesting to see how their different value systems surface and in which ways they get their respective teams ‘to follow the leader’,” he says.
Upping the game Burggraaf says that Survivor has grown tremendously in stature and maturity and he thinks South African audiences are going to be pleasantly surprised with the level of intelligence at which the game is played. “Audiences will be impressed with the diversity of people and how well equipped they are to play Survivor South Africa: Champions. Contestants make real choices with assuredness and authenticity which shifts the entire series into a new gear.” He emphasises that Endemol is upping the game in entertainment reality television by finding the most essential ingredient: the right characters for the series. “Our goal was to find people who were unique and sincere, had lovely personalities and would make audiences appreciate who they are. “In terms of content development, unscripted reality television is a backengineered drama in that we are focusing on making it more meaningful for people, especially on a level where they can empathise with contestants. We succeeded in that, providing audiences with variety and integrity,” Burggraaf concludes.
Film & Television Awards
4 â€“ 5 April 2014 Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand, South Africa
Murder under the sun By Warren Holden
The newest series in e.tv’s growing line-up of local content is the crime drama, Traffic! Inspired by the international success of Scandinavian crime fiction, this 26-part series is set to deliver twists, turns and thrills while also addressing one of South Africa’s most pressing social problems.
rime thrillers are a staple of television entertainment almost everywhere in the world. For whatever reason, regardless of cultural differences, we all enjoy a good murder mystery and watching the detective as he or she works through the evidence to track down the killer (usually while also dealing with a complicated private life). South Africans are no exception, despite the fact that the genre has not exactly been prolific as far as our homegrown content is concerned. Local viewers continue to lap up internationally produced content on crime and murder mystery themes. Surely the market is wide open for a few good local exemplars of the genre?
A working mother Writer, director and producer Roberta Durrant certainly thinks so. Having recently won acclaim with the release of her feature film Felix, a feel-good, family movie about a Capetonian teenager who dreams of becoming a jazz saxophonist. Durrant and the film’s writer, Shirley Johnston, decided to take their next project in a completely different direction – one influenced by an admiration for Danish television, in particular the serial crime drama, Forbrydelsen, better known by its English name, The Killing. Together they created Traffic!, a story about a tough and dedicated female detective in Cape Town who begins to investigate the deaths of two teenage girls from opposite ends of the Mother City’s social strata, soon discovering that this dual tragedy is only the tip of the iceberg. At the same time, she struggles with the daily trials of single motherhood and other personal challenges. Durrant says of her lead: “I think there will be a strong identification with her as a working single mother who faces the extreme demands of her job; while also trying to keep things together on the domestic front.”
A worrying social backdrop A notable element in much Scandinavian crime drama is the treatment of serial murder as an extreme illustration of the problems of the sexual divide, particularly female objectification and misogyny. Traffic! also deals with this theme. It could
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MURDER MYSTERY: Bonnie Henna, Kagiso Rakosa and Bongo Mbutuma – the three lead cast members in e.tv’s new crime thriller series, Traffic! be argued, in light of the country’s record with regard to sexual violence, that it is a theme that South African storytellers ought to be tackling more often and more boldly. “The stats in this country on the disappearance of teenage girls and young women are horrendous,” Durrant says, “and that is what we’re dealing with here.”
An international genre with a local aesthetic One of the hallmarks of the northern European murder mystery / police procedural is its coldly beautiful settings, complete with steely grey skies and unmistakably Teutonic locations – both urban and rural. These are so closely associated with the genre that one might wonder whether Durrant and her team have adopted the look and feel. But of course, this would be entirely synthetic and unrepresentative of South Africa. The events of Traffic! unfold in the glaring sunshine and long days of a Western Cape summer. “Our colour palette does have a lot of blues and greys though,” Durrant says, “but also a lot of white and a lot of ‘electric’ colours, because a lot of it takes place in clubs. Then on the other hand, we have scenes in a domestic environment, which we tried to contrast with the other scenes by making it very warm.” The series was shot by veteran lensman Mike Downie. “He’s very particular with his lighting and he comes from a film
Reclaiming our public broadcaster in 2014 By Carol Mohlala With each New Year, the custom is to making a clean start, creating a new set of old resolutions and hoping we’ll not repeat yesterday’s embarrassing mistakes tomorrow. One would expect that the SABC would also take this approach, but much like the rest of us, it falls into the same old habits – and fast. Of course, the difference between us and the SABC is that we’re accountable to no-one but ourselves when we slip up on our resolutions, whereas the SABC, being our public broadcaster, is entirely accountable to us, its users. So what should we expect from the SABC, both now as we enter into an election year as well as beyond? A central pillar of public service broadcasting is reflecting the diversity and daily realities of the people it serves. It is inherent in that it initiates robust debate and inspires change, as well as bringing communities together through dialogue. Especially now as we approach the general and provincial elections, the SABC’s biggest task is to provide unbiased, critical and hard-hitting news and current affairs programming which not only reflects on the successes and failures of all those that govern us, but to also hold all those with power accountable. This will, unquestionably, go a long way in helping all South Africans to cast an informed and well-reasoned ballot. Key to quality, user-oriented public broadcasting in the elections period, the SABC must bear four basic, yet fundamental principles in mind: News and current affairs programming must be issue-driven, and those issues must be set through conversation with all the people of South Africa and not only a select few sectional interests; Coverage must not be solely focused on metropolitan areas but speak to and about all of our nine provinces equally; The SABC must actively solicit more public voices on issues rather than political party representatives; this will help the SABC to move away from political agendas and enable the public to set the agenda. The culture of censorship and yes-man, ‘good-news’ news-making, which has ostensibly beset the SABC, must be actively rooted out in order to promote an informed and engaged society that is ready and able to claim its rights – the very raison d’être of any public broadcaster worth its salt. These principles are not only crucial to public broadcasting in an elections period, but also to an SABC that works for its users. Right now, as the SABC undertakes its editorial policy review, we, its users, have an ideal opportunity to reclaim ownership of the national broadcaster and make it work for us once more. In this seminal moment – our fourth general election, and in our 20th year of freedom – we can free the SABC, set its agenda and define for ourselves how we want it to tell the story of our lived realities two decades into our democracy. 2014 can be a watershed year for the SABC and, indeed, all of the people of South Africa. It simply requires us to reclaim and take ownership of our public institutions – not least of all, our public broadcaster, and to hold it to its annual promise to serve us.
Carol Mohlala is the coordinator of the SOS: Support Public Broadcasting Coalition. Follow them on Twitter @soscoalition and on Facebook. Visit: www.soscoalition.org.za.
background,” Durrant says. “We strove to get as close to a filmic look as we could using the resources we had.”
Limited resources Downie used a Canon 5D for the job – the current industry standard for independent film crews trying to get as close as possible to a cinematic look on a tight budget. While e.tv has demonstrated a commitment to the creation of local content, it is only able to offer a limited budget to production companies that respond to its brief, meaning that the crews have to show extreme resourcefulness to pull off a good product. Traffic! had a 10-week
window in which to shoot all the episodes and, studios having been ruled out due to the costs involved, the shoot took place entirely on various Cape Town locations. The series is produced by Penguin Films, of which Durrant is the Creative Producer. Durrant is the show runner, with Johnston credited as the story creator. Leading the cast, in the role of Detective Lungi Mlaba, is Bonnie Henna. The 22 episodes were divided among three directors – Heleni Handt, Jenna Bass and Mandilakho Yengo, while storyliners Kaye Anne Williams and Justine Loots worked with Johnston to write the scripts. Episode one will air on e.tv at 9.30pm on 12 February.
HEVC – the key to unlocking greater image quality By Ian Dormer With the Soccer World Cup upon us again later this year, for the unlucky fans who can’t make the pilgrimage to Brazil, there is technology out there that will make it possible for them to witness the beautiful game in Ultra High (33 megapixel, 8k, ie. 8192x4320) resolution and live the moment as if they were sitting in the actual stadium. Thanks to the Joint Collaborative Team on Video Coding (JCT-VC), the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) video compression format has made transmission of 4k and 8k imagery a possibility and has far-reaching implications for the acquisition of 4k images in the near future. Higher resolution televisions are already filling the shelves of home entertainment stores. While they have not achieved a resolution of 8k yet, they have a 4k display (also referred to as 2160p format) and these sets have four times as many pixels as commonplace HD televisions today. The previous standard for encoding
data and transmitting it from television station to television set is known as H.264/MPEG-4AVC. This standard would theoretically be able to handle the flood of data in 4k transmission, but considerable costs arise when transmitting higher resolution video. An additional channel would be needed for television transmissions and internet servers would require larger bandwidths for internet streaming. Leading electronics manufacturers put their heads together and jointly
developed a new transmission standard called High Efficiency Video Coding, or HEVC, now more commonly referred to as H.265. In the course of its development, the preliminary requirement was the capability to have a bit rate reduction of 50 per cent at the same subjective image quality, compared to the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC and computational complexity ranging from 1/2 to 3 times. So theoretically, HEVC will double the data compression ratio compared to H.264/MPEG-4 AVC at the same level of video quality. It can alternatively be used to provide substantially improved video quality at the same bit rate. It can support 8K UHD and resolutions up to 8192x4320. The advantage of HEVC is that twice as many pixels can be transmitted for the same bandwidth and thus greater detail as well. The quality that the viewer currently experiences in HD looks better and brighter, and has more contrast. “Many of the components of H.264 were carried over and optimised in
HEVC,” explains Benjamin Bross, leader of the HEVC project. “One example is the block size. Where H.264 divides the image for transmission into blocks of 16x16 pixels, HEVC breaks it up into variable block sizes of up to 64 by 64 pixels. The larger blocks can be encoded more efficiently.” Development of the codec was completed back in January 2013 and was approved as an ITU standard in April of the same year, but it wasn’t until 25 November 2013 that the HEVC standard was formally published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). In future new equipment such as televisions, smartphones and PCs will contain decoders able to convert data encoded as HEVC to high-resolution television images. The HEVC standard for 3D films should follow in about a year. Perhaps the biggest industry to take advantage of the development of HEVC will be the video telephony market. The increased image quality is ideal for live news crossings in remote areas, for example. So, gear yourself up for some spectacular imagery from Brazil, with HEVC – it’s a gooooooooal!
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Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards 2014
By Warren Holden
The second annual AfricaMagic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) is set to take place on 8 March 2014. Biola Alabi, managing director of M-Net Africa, and Femi Odugbemi, AMVCA executive judge, are determined to build on the success of last year’s event.
WINNER’S SMILE: Ivie Okujaye receiving her 2013 AMVCA for Trailblazer of the Year
Towards the future
Over 1 000 entries were considered by the jury this year, spanning productions from The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Leading the final nominations are Contract from Ghana, with nine nods, including Best Movie. Nigeria’s Living Funeral comes in second with seven nominations, Tanzania’s Siri Ya Mtungi with seven, Kenya’s Nairobi Half Life with seven and Last Flight to Abuja, another Nigerian production, with six.
When it comes to the future of the industry, which AfricaMagic is ultimately working towards, and which the AMVCAs are designed to build, Alabi, aside from the strides being made in terms of content, emphasises the importance of expanding broadcasting infrastructure. “I would like to see online and mobile spaces develop faster,” she says. “The opportunities offered by these technologies are huge,” Alabi continues, “both for consumers and producers. The faster we are able to roll out our own infrastructure to take advantage of that, the better for the continent. I am also looking forward to the migration from analogue to digital broadcasting across Africa. “This, again, is going to revolutionise the content space, giving more opportunities to more people to both create and view a wider range of content. It will also allow for increased diversification and customisation and ultimately for a greater flow of information and entertainment.” From the point of view of content, Odugbemi says that the industry has done well in terms of expanding the quantity of content being generated, and that the focus should now be on improving the quality, “so that these productions are able to cross cultural borders and find audiences within non-African countries. Our storytelling needs to find universal appeal in its imagery and technical competence… “That’s the vision for our content production and, with programmes like the AMVCAs encouraging and nurturing quality in storytelling, maybe that future isn’t so distant after all.” The AfricaMagic Viewers Choice Awards ceremony, organised in association with MultiChoice Africa, with Amstel Malta as its headline sponsor, will be held on 8 March and be broadcast live on AfricaMagic’s channels across the continent. For more information on the nominees, or to cast your vote for the winners, visit www.africamagic.tv.
Creating icons and brands Biola Alabi – managing director of M-Net Africa
he first ever AMVCAs were held in 2013 in Lagos, Nigeria. The awards had long been in development by the M-Net Africa team and the success of that first event, according to Biola Alabi, exceeded the expectations of its organisers. “To say that we were overwhelmed by the attention and positive response that the awards generated, would be an understatement,” she says. “African audiences, the African film and TV industry and African corporate sponsors… were profoundly supportive of the concept and then extremely welcoming of the event itself. We were very happy with the response the awards drew, so of course this year, we are focusing on learning from last year and making the awards bigger and better… We guarantee that it will be a night to remember. We have more viewer voted categories this year, we’ve introduced the exciting New Era Award and we’re working on having a line-up of top musicians to provide the entertainment.”
A reward platform When Femi Odugbemi, the respected documentary maker and the driving force
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Femi Odugbemi – executive judge of the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards behind numerous Nigerian television shows, was asked to lead the jury last year, he immediately saw the event’s potential to help develop the industry. “I was delighted to take on the assignment simply because of the potential of the awards to fast-track the growth of the content industry across the continent, if done right. I have always felt that the industry needed a reward platform like AMVCA, that covers all the aspects of content production, which includes film, television, web-based work, etc, across the continent. While there had always been such award events in different parts of the continent, it needed a big broadcaster with presence across Africa, like M-Net and Africa Magic, to bring the right kind of larger-than-life profile and efficiency to the table. It was therefore an assignment I took very seriously, and thankfully I have found it quite fulfilling, given the generally positive reaction to the inaugural edition.” Odugbemi leads two separate juries for the awards. The first selects the nominees, then the second decides on the final winners in some categories, with viewer votes also being the determining factor in others.
The awards themselves, Odugbemi believes, play almost as crucial a role in African production and broadcasting development as the generation of content itself. “The true impact of the AMVCA will begin to unfold fully in a few years,” he says. “This is only the second edition but, judging simply by the change in quality of entries from the inaugural 2013 edition to the 2014 edition, the quality arrow is definitely looking up. Especially in the technical areas, where we have always struggled, you can see that better attention is being paid to quality – particularly in sound and photography. “Also, because AMVCA awards and benchmarks superior quality content, the economic opportunities and advantages that come with the vast exposure of winning the AMVCA offers a huge incentive to content providers to up their game… We are really creating icons and brands in the African creative industries, both in front and behind the camera, which will sustain and enlarge our audiences. We are focusing attention on quality and incentivising the right approaches to creative content development and creation. The impact is bound to be positive and growth-driven for content providers across the continent.”
Good prospects for SA studios
By Warren Holden
EXPANSIVE MOOD: A TV show in production at Sasani Studios
The beginning of 2014, in contrast to the same time last year, finds South Africa’s film and television studios in a generally expansive mood, even though the past few years of economic recession have seen several fall by the wayside. The future seems bright for those who remain, although there are one or two challenges on the horizon.
s 2013 began, South Africa’s studio facilities, like many of their colleagues around the world, faced tough times. With the economic downturn, not only did the number of local productions demanding studio space decline, but so did the number of international productions taking place within our borders. The economic conditions meant that facilities in other countries – including inside the US itself – dropped their prices, making themselves more attractive to Hollywood production houses, who also saw the opportunity to cut back on the considerable travel costs of bringing their units out to Mzansi. Of course business still went on and several major international shoots came to our shores, including Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Dredd and many others. Now the country’s major studios are not only still standing but have actually grown stronger, if the spate of infrastructure expansion recently seen in the business is anything to go by.
Defying the recession During the course of 2013, as the entire world struggled to ride out the recession, several major South African studios found themselves in a position, not only to survive, but actually to expand their facilities. Studios such as Sasani and Telemedia, for example, built brand new, fully equipped studio spaces of over 900m2 each. Both identified a demand for large studio spaces and took steps to
cater to it. Sister pay TV broadcasters M-Net and SuperSport took this expansive spirit beyond South African borders with the construction of an integrated production facility in Nairobi, Kenya. The new studios provided space for the production of a new drama series called Kona and also for the coverage of various east African sports. The complex includes four studio spaces, four edit suites and five sound editing suites (one of which can also be used for final mix). It also has space for a multichannel control room (MCCR).
Majors versus minors These are some of the success stories. However, one unfortunate characteristic of recent years in the studio facilities industry has been the relatively high rate of attrition, with several smaller studios having to give in and shut up shop. This inadvertently turned out to be beneficial for their larger competitors, who were able to take on the markets previously catered to by the minnows and thus sustain their own growth. The collapse of smaller companies and the absorption of their business by the larger ones, is one of the factors that has led to the emergence of a handful of major studios who are sufficiently competitive to snap up the major share of work in their particular field. Sasani once again serves as a good example. The studio now produces most of the country’s best-loved soap operas, as well as major reality series like Big Brother
Mzansi, putting it ahead of the pack in terms of television production. On the film side of the industry, Cape Town Film Studios still stands monolithically unopposed in its particular field. While it is certainly not the country’s only film production facility, Cape Town Film Studios is still alone as the country’s only major Hollywood-style dream factory, with the infrastructure and market share to cater to huge international productions at a very attractive price (by global standards). With Sasani taking a big bite out of the television market and Cape Town Film Studios dominating international filmmaking in the country, these two appear to be emerging as the country’s biggest complete-solution production studios.
One-stop shops versus specialists Looking at studios around the country, there is a general distinction between those that offer the full scope of facilities, from studio space to admin offices, to all the necessary gear, and those that offer space only. Obviously it would appear that the more comprehensive, better equipped ones – some of which enable crews to set up self-contained production units that can see their projects through from pre- to post-production within the facilities provided – would be in a better position than those that only have room for rent. This is not necessarily so; it depends on the needs and budget of the production company in question. The offerings of studio facilities are fairly varied and between the two extremes are a number of differing combinations of services.
Looking forward On the whole, South Africa remains an attractive production destination. We have the perfect climate, a varied array of
exterior locations, modern infrastructure, well-trained, capable and famously hardworking personnel and of course, the Department of Trade and Industry’s (the dti) rebate system. The recent decline in the value of the rand will only make the country even more alluring to international producers. It is likely that the year ahead will see an increase in international productions for this very reason. Film and television studios, like other exporters of goods and services, are thus not likely to be too unhappy with the exchange rate crisis. A spokesperson from the City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee was recently quoted as saying that the Mother City had received 907 bookings for film shoots around the metropolitan area in the first 10 days of 2014 alone. All things considered, the forecast is good for the industry. There is one possible challenge to this prospect however. As of April 2014, the United Kingdom is set to change its system of incentives to make it more attractive to international filmmakers. Alarm bells have gone off for those with a stake in the local industry, including the dti, who are reconsidering their own rebate scheme in order to stay competitive. Among the amendments on the table is a change in the minimum requirement of the percentage of the production budget spent in the UK from 25 per cent to only 10. This is opposed to the dti’s prerequisite of at least 50 percent of principal photography having to take place within South Africa in order for the production to qualify for a rebate. While the exchange rate has the potential to offset the competitive edge that the UK may gain, developments will have to be watched closely by government and local studio heads to make sure that the recent gains in South Africa’s content production sector are maintained and built upon.
February 2014 | SCREENAFRICA | 23
COMPILED BY MARTIE BESTER
Future looks bright for Atlas Studios According to Jonathan Gimpel, owner of Atlas Studios, which is situated in the creative hub of Milpark, Johannesburg, business is steadily improving from last year’s slump in the industry. “My gut feel tells me that this is going to be a busier year as we’re only in the second week of January and have had several requests about our studios, including someone who has just been commissioned to produce a 52-part series for the SABC,” comments Gimpel. Of the seven studios, only two are available for rental in 2014. “We’ve had a good run as most of our studios are fully booked,” says Gimpel. “We are about to install an infinity curve in Studio 7, which is most popular for use as a newsroom and talk shows and is ideal for filming commercials.” Studio 7 will be fully refurbished at the end of February and ready to accommodate prospective industry players. Studio 4, a venue suitable for screenings (it currently plays host to the popular First Wednesday Film Club which shows movies to the public for free), event organising and live productions, such as fashion shows, and can also be utilised for chat shows. “The facility is also perfect for
BUSY PREDICTIONS: Atlas Studios
One-stop studio space Telemedia, a leading Johannesburgbased provider of a range of media broadcasting services, has just added a new building of 950m² to its existing studio offerings. The new addition accommodates two studios comprising 180m² and 85m² respectively. The brand new space, which is available to let immediately, consists of three large control rooms with access flooring, double volume lighting grids, an audio voice-over booth with properly acoustically treated rooms, dressing rooms, a boardroom, canteen, reception open plan area, seven separate offices, and roof space for satellite antennas. National sales manager of Telemedia, Quentin Barkhuizen, emphasises that the company strives to fulfil clients’ needs in every possible way. “The facilities in the studios are very much customer-centred. We can provide whatever our customers need, for their production requirements.” Set management is easily achievable due to adequate access doors, while the bigger studio can accommodate an
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corporate activities and conferences,” adds Gimpel. The remaining studios house the long-running soapie Villa Rosa which screens on pay-television DStv’s kykNET channel. Other studio spaces are taken up for educational purposes. “We’ve been doing dry-hire rentals for 12 years,” says Gimpel. “This means that we don’t supply any equipment, but instead, provide specialised studio spaces designed for the creation of film, which means that our spaces can be used in a way that makes economic sense to people who bring their own equipment, such as cameras and lights. “If you know what you’re doing, shooting at Atlas Studios is very cost-effective. Plus we have all the necessary infrastructure that crews require,” concludes Gimpel. Atlas Studios is centrally located near the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance (AFDA) and the South African Broadcast Corporation (SABC). It is also in close proximity to Melville, a suburb where many individuals involved in the South African film and television industry, reside.
Telemedia could manage effortlessly,” comments Barkhuizen. In addition, prospective tenants would have full-time 24-hour access to engineers who remain operational on the premises seven days a week. Telemedia is centrally located in Rivonia and is a 30-minute drive from the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), 20 minutes from MultiChoice, half an hour from most production houses in Johannesburg and 45 minutes from OR Tambo International Airport.
NEW OFFERING: Telemedia studio audience of approximately 100 people. The studios are also suitable for live events with Telemedia in charge of feed management. This is a similar process as the one followed in Telemedia’s existing studio facility from where Tellytrack, the exclusive channel on South African horseracing on pay-channel DStv, operates. Adds Barkhuizen, “Tellytrack utilises a number of sets that it uses for magazine programs and daily horse raing content is run through external feeds facilitated by Telemedia. Satellite dishes situated on the main building and on Tellytrack’s rooftop builing constantly bring in live
feeds from countries all over the world.” Should it be required, the entire newly built studio space can be used as a fully functional independent production house. “Everything could be run from there as there is no reason to split up operations. Apart from supplying back-up power facilities, we also provide the following services: internet connectivity for FTP and streaming applications; satellite and fibre connectivity and a data centre which acts as a vendor neutral co-location for connectivity for broadcasters, satellite service providers, ISP and telecommunication providers which
“Telemedia’s fibre connects to all major broadcast facilities enabling transfer of data and video at the speed of light. Ideally, Telemedia would like someone to occupy this space long-term. However, in the beginning, we will be proactive about accommodating anyone regardless of how long they plan to lease the building. “Once we have set up everything according to customers’ specifications they can be completely self-sufficient. The studios are shells ready to be adapted, while we do everything in our power to ensure that operations run smoothly,” Barkhuizen says. Echoing the sentiments of many industry players, Barkhuizen is of the opinion that the eventual and highly anticipated roll-out of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) in South Africa will be beneficial to Telemedia too, as studios will become more lucrative because of an increase in the production demand of local programming.
Sasani expands on already impressive studios With the lion’s share of soap operas in South Africa being filmed at Johannesburg-based Sasani Studios, the facility is expanding its existing studio offering with the building of a new 900m² space ideal for accommodating another soapie. Says Eileen Sandrock, managing director of Sasani Studios since 2007, “Because I am running short of studio space and there is a requirement in South Africa for a nice big studio, we have made the decision to expand our current offering.” The new studio’s construction is anticipated to be complete in mid-March and will deliver completely soundproof,
WELL SOAPED UP: Sasani Studios full high-end HD facilities with level floors and an eight-metre height grid. Adds Sandrock, “The new studio will meet international standards in terms of production and post-production criteria, which also pertains to international and local delivery. Our digital control room is going to be fully HD and will be a world-class suite.” She continues, “The studio will have ample space for set storage and leading off that is a reception area with all the required amenities, including restrooms for gents and ladies, a covered catering area and enclosed wardrobe and make-up facilities.” Already consisting of studio space in excess of 5,500m², Sasani offers one of
the biggest television facilities in Sub-Saharan Africa. The studio in the suburb of Highlands North comprises Stage 1 in which the Big Brother house has been situated since 2007 (and which is currently being utilised for Big Brother Mzansi, which started airing on 2 February on pay-channel M-Net); Stages 2 and 5 for long-running SABC3 soap Isidingo; Stages 3 and 7 for Scandal! broadcast on e.tv; Stage 6 for Rhythm City, also broadcast on e.tv; and Studios A and B that Sasani trades for productions such as Gospel Gold on SABC1. Popular soap 7de Laan on SABC2, makes use of Sasani’s additional studio space situated in Lonehill
in Johannesburg. Immediate and confirmed plans for the new studio, which will be known as Stage 8, is the finale of M-Net’s new reality television series Survivor South Africa: Champions. Comments Anton Burggraaf, head of entertainment television at independent television production company Endemol South Africa, producer of the new non-scripted reality series, “The entire workflow of this season of Survivor South Africa is delivered in HD and the new studio at Sasani was a natural choice for the finale as we wanted to make use of the latest HD technology that the studio offers. We also have a lovely working relationship with Sasani, so it made sense to have the finale there.” Concludes Sandrock, “As it is such an expensive endeavour, the one area that is difficult for the industry to enter into is studio construction. At Sasani, we supply the whole solution to creatives, including everything from office space to full support in terms of engineering and all the equipment the production teams need. “The only service we don’t offer at Sasani is content. The producers come in and create the programming. From there, we see to providing the support infrastructure right from the initial pre-production offices to the final broadcast transmitters.”
February 2014 | SCREENAFRICA | 25
Continued growth for sports broadcasting By Warren Holden Sports broadcast is a big business and, even as the costs of the enterprise continue to rise, broadcasters and developers of broadcast technology continue to pour considerable resources into making sport coverage bigger, better, more entertaining and more interactive.
t the beginning of 2014, the international auditing and risk management firm Deloitte published its set of predictions for the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) sector, in which it predicted that the value of broadcasting rights of premium sports would increase by 14 per cent in 2014. This amounts to an increase of $1.9 billion (roughly R28 billion as per the current exchange rate).
Uncertain effect The prediction is based upon new agreements signed between major broadcasters and Europe’s football leagues, as well as the American football leagues in the United States. While the predicted increase seems high enough in absolute terms, it is when one views it from a relative point of view that one sees how staggering it really is. The average increase in these fees between 2009 and 2013 was only five per cent and, crucially, the projected increase in global pay TV revenues for 2014 is only four percent. From a South African point of view, this applies only to the international sport we watch on our screens, most notably the European football tournaments, which enjoy a large audience here. There are other variables at play; at the time of going to print, it is unclear how the coverage of Super, local and international test rugby will be affected or, for that matter, local and international cricket. The net effect that the increase will have on broadcasters’ overheads, as well as the overall impact on subscribers, is undetermined at this early stage.
Tendency towards expansion Although an increase of this kind must surely have an effect on operation costs, outward appearances indicate that
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ALL-SEEING, MULTI-EYED GIANT: Inside one of the MCRs at SuperSport’s Argus facility broadcasters are not too concerned. The overall trend in terms of sport broadcast is always to add more – increase the infrastructure, improve delivery, take full advantage of new technology and enhance the viewers’ experience. Broadcasters thus continue to demand technological upgrades, and suppliers of broadcasting equipment work to fill the demand, constantly developing new innovations both to make the broadcasters’ work easier and more efficient and to add more value for the end user. So even as costs rise, broadcasters such as SuperSport – which holds the lion’s share when it comes to premium sports rights in South Africa – pour considerable funds into growing and improving their facilities.
Project Argus The most obvious demonstration of this expansive trend is SuperSport’s new playout facility at the pay TV giant’s Randburg headquarters. Some time ago the decision was made to change M-Net and SuperSport’s playout from the existing router, which has been in operation for over a decade, to a brand new one. So a new facility was built, which began running the SuperSport channels about a year ago. The facility is referred to as Project Argus. The name was coined by SuperSport’s systems architect Ian Peacock and was taken from the figure in Greek mythology, an all-seeing, multi-eyed giant. This is an extremely apt name for a set-up that includes 13 single-channel control rooms (SCCR) and four multichannel control rooms (MCR) with 97 video monitors and 94 PCs. Partnering with two of the country’s leading suppliers of broadcast technology, SuperSport created a cutting edge equipment room with some broadcasting innovations that are the first of their kind in South Africa. Inala
Broadcast worked with SuperSport to install new ingest, storage and playout servers with master control and branding, audio, and test and measurement solutions. Concilium Technologies supplied the video and audio processing equipment, including loudness control, the automation and the new router that essentially holds everything together. Combining these elements, SuperSport, in consultation with their technology partners, constructed a fully integrated broadcast system that has improved the efficiency and quality of its operations. Among the innovations the system brings is the capacity for dual illumination, that is the ability to broadcast a single schedule in both high definition (HD), and standard definition (SD) simultaneously, removing the need for separate HD and SD channels and thus saving money and time. The router has all the multiviewer technology built into it, eliminating all external equipment that would previously have been needed to fill the same requirement. SuperSport thus saves on rack space, wiring and monetary costs. The system also provides vastly improved turnaround times and workflow, ensuring the quick and fluid movement of footage and other materials between edit and broadcast as needed. The Argus project is ongoing, now entering its third phase. The M-Net family of entertainment channels are set to move into the facility soon.
Robotics and augmented reality Aside from the constant expansion in playout and media management in sport broadcast, exemplified by the Argus project, there are also constant improvements on the production side of the sport value chain. One of the latest developments in this regard is the combined use of robotic cameras with augmented reality (AR) and virtual studio
(VS) technology. Several major developers of broadcast and production technology now market AR and VS solutions. Although the technology has been in the market for a few years now, its possibilities are still being explored and many broadcasting industries, including here in South Africa, have yet to make full use of it. With AR and VS solutions, graphics can be overlaid onto live footage without any need for a green screen. The data generated from the motion of the remotely controlled camera is fed into the motion graphics generator, which then places the graphics into the picture, 100 per cent in sync with the camera image. The kinds of graphics generated could include miniature screens into which video clips or stills from other camera sources could be placed, or threedimensional visual aids, such as a recreation of the field of play, on which commentators can isolate, demonstrate and discuss key plays from the game. All of these elements appear to the viewer as completely integrated and “real”. The technology could also be used in an outside broadcast situation, with AR elements being inserted live onto visuals from the field itself. Back in the studio, in-show graphics like stats boards can be also be integrated as AR elements. Sponsorship branding and advertising can be added in exactly the same way. South African fans are serious about their sport and are generally willing to pay the premiums necessary to see their teams in action from the comfort of their homes. Costs may rise but sport remains one of the major attractions for many television viewers and one of the primary drivers behind technological innovation in the production and broadcast fields. As a result, returns for everyone with a stake in sports broadcasting – financial and otherwise – seem likely to remain robust.
The art of making lighting work: Part 2
By Angus M Clarke
– TV lighting design and audio consultant
TV lighting and studio consultant Angus M Clarke sheds some light on the South African and African lighting design industries, and touches on what we’re doing right and what we lack.
outh Africa leads the way by far when it comes to updating its TV studio lighting technology to stay abreast of the times. Yet despite recommendations offered to many TV studios across the continent, as a consultant, I find many stations’ management staff do not appreciate what good lighting can do for their on-air look. They tend to view all lighting fixtures as ‘a unit into which power is applied at one end and light comes out at the other, so can be used anywhere’. This is particularly true of the ubiquitous par-can which is used in every possible lighting situation. This cannot be farther from the truth, as we have a range of about 30 differing light sources that can be used to perform different functions in the TV environment today. What many people fail to comprehend is that a professional light’s complexity and specialisation is synonymous with their cost over a wide range.
The range of lights From Fresnel spotlights of differing sizes to soft lights; from the range of open faced lights known as Blondes and
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THE LIGHTER SIDE OF THE INDUSTRY: Par 64 lights Redheads through dedicated Cyclorama lights to flood lights; from static to moving-head effects lights; from Tungsten to HMI to HID to Fluorescent to LED sources – the range is extremely vast. Every single lighting unit has been designed to fulfil a specific application and, if used incorrectly, can cause untold problems and have weird on-air consequences. Often the psychology of using the wrong light source in an inappropriate position can have the opposite effect of what was intended by the story writer.
Managing people and projects In my operational history as a consultant
to the industry, the bane of my life has often been the phone call I receive from a disgruntled church pastor complaining that he just had his whole church video, audio and lighting overhauled to try and improve its quality and now that he has state-of-the-art equipment installed, he cannot understand why the pictures are not looking good. Usually just one quick question is all I need to get to the bottom of the problem: “Is the pastor walking in and out of light when moving around on the stage area?” The response is usually affirmative. My response will be: “I suppose the stage is also very hot?” which is greeted with a: “How did you know that?” Usually the ‘consultants’ who advised on the project, are sales people who only
wish to move product, and actually do not offer the best advice on how to achieve the goals of the church. They sell the pastor the most amazing stories of how all the equipment is high tech, expensive and essential to the success of the environment. They then put in the best possible audio and TV equipment and even convince the client to use an expensive dimmer set and control console to control the lights. With very little budget over and realising that they have not included proper TV lights for the project, they resort to supplying ‘coffee cans’ containing hi-power globes (sometimes known as par-cans) as an excuse for ‘TV lights’. The par 64 light and can was NEVER intended as a ‘people’ light, as it had all the wrong light characteristics required from a TV light source, yet across Africa (SA included) these inefficient light units are used extensively as they are very cheap. This cheapness is proved by its poor quality of light output, as it has a very hot centre and a drastic light fall-off of the centre line. In addition, their power utilisation is the most inefficient of any light source known. These lights are often used as coloured dressing lights, but owing to the vast amount of heat generated, the colour filters do not last. Check out next month’s issue for part three of Clarke’s feature.
| NEW MEDIA
Digital Prophet • David Shing, America Online’s (AOL) ‘digital prophet’, closed PromaxBDA Africa, with his presentation ‘Are We Clear?’, in which he shared, in his dynamic and inimitable style, his vision for the future of the digital landscape. The three things we need to worry about the most, Shing says, are technology, content and distribution. “You must experiment and be intriguing enough to be passed on,” he says. “It must move like liquid. Storytelling is alive and well, but it is evolving and changing. Storytelling must evoke emotion. This is the connected generation, but despite having all these devices, they have never been so alone. Brands must bring the heart back. “So have a budget for stuff that fails, encourage a remix culture, find the right people, harness the power of pre-existing communities, co-create, and fail and embrace that failure. Fail fast and often then you will get to success sooner. It’s a fail forward foundation.” Here are some key takeouts from Shing’s presentation: • Content is competing with popular culture, not advertising. • Creativity has to be redefined.
• Brands want to participate in this space. • Digital first: it’s the only space where you can own and do breaking news now and first. • Ideas are big, new and fast. • Everything is one click away. • Personal expression is now in the public space. • We consume content online. • You are a curator of conversation and context matters. It must be at the right time, and the right place. Coca-Cola is an example of a brand that gets it right. • People buy products emotionally and then justify it rationally. As human beings, we respond to the emotional stuff first. • People’s behavior is influenced by their peers. On average, people recommend five to nine brands a year both digitally and physically, influencing the buying decisions of others. • There is an acceleration of fragmentation. • Attention is the new currency. Get your mind space right and then you will get market share. • We will use fewer apps. We have 40 on
• • • •
DIGITAL PROPHET: David Shing and Vanessa Sheldrick our phone but only use four. • Men currently use tablets more than women and they outspend women. • Celebrity power is still alive and well today and seven times more likely to be viewed. • The use of Augmentated Reality (AR) in retail will grow. • Create brand methodology behind your brand. • Blatant branding vs. subtle branding. It will not matter which one you do as long as you build good content. If you build good content, people will come. • Television, the internet and gaming are blurring. • Online advertising needs a revolution. Click-through is rubbish. Advertising is
• • •
• • •
about context, not clicks. You need video, apps, social and ecommerce all on one page. The path to purchase is web to mobile re-targeting. The digital footprint is vast, worry about brand harmony. Brands need not have campaigns and chatter, rather have conversations. Be reactive, relevant, remarkable. Move from information to social and then into interest and context. We are entering a time of ‘curated nicheness’. Ecosystem marketers: screens will work together: you will view the television advertisement then go to your tablet to seek the brand. Wearable technology will be a trillion dollar business in the future. Wearable devices, such as social denim. Quantification of others. Parents will check where their children are by following them through devices. Sound will be amazing and a central part of phones. We will embrace 3D printing. People want to build stuff again. We will rent everything and own nothing. We make conscious decisions about what we purchase and make them collectable. Video will be everything. – Danette Breitenbach
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February 2014 | SCREENAFRICA | 29
Examining the fine-tuning process
By Andy Stead
ON A GOOD NOTE: Adam Howard in his studio
Internationally it seems that the audio production studios industry is entering into a decline phase as studios struggle to adapt to the new digital marketplace. Revenue is forecast to decrease over the next few years as key downstream markets struggle to maintain growth in the face of digital music sharing and as television, film and advertising industries take more of their sound recording operations in-house.
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irst let’s define what we mean when we speak of the audio production industry. Firms in this category provide facilities and technical expertise for sound recording in a studio or suite. The industry provides audio production or post-production services for producing master recordings and may provide audio services for film, television and video productions. After recording, studios often perform post-production services to fine-tune music recordings. Composers, sound libraries, publishers and the like are also included under this heading. The industry in South Africa, according to a cross-section of companies we approached, appears determined to buck this trend. Indeed many claim to be in a growth phase and audio post services companies like Howard Music are expanding their offerings to include a second mixing and voice-over suite. “I believe we have the workload to justify this,” claims Adam Howard, who is an expert professional musician and music director. Other facets of the industry are equally bullish. It would seem that South Africa is reaching out to the rest of Africa in search of work, and meeting with success. Most targeted is west and eastern Africa, and there has been a major increase in demand for music composition/ production/post and final mix from these regions. A beneficiary of this is RobRoy Music, which has garnered work from advertisers such as Globacom, Econet, Knorr, Royco, Star Beer, Safari Lager and Always. “We get briefed to compose a music soundtrack relevant to the particular country,” says RobRoy’s Rob Schroeder, one of South Africa’s top composers.
“This can range from Ethnic to Hip Hop and usually includes vocals. On occasion the advertiser/agency will arrange to fly in top artists such as P Square or D’Banj for the recording. Recent recordings for Globacom Nigeria/Ghana have included artists such as Burna Boy, Bez, Irene, Omawumi, Flavor, Asem, Chee, M.I., Waje and Naeto C. “There is no question,” adds Schroeder “that South Africa offers audio services on a par with the rest of the world in composition, recording, musicians and production. We are continually upgrading equipment and have recently purchased two Avalon channel strips and a Maschine Studio by Native Instruments, which is a groove production workstation.” While South Africa has quietly slipped out of services related to processing and printing of film, audio post-production for film and digital, offering the latest technology and world class services, remain in the form of Area 5.1 and others. Refinery’s Area 5.1 is one of the few remaining facilities to offer a complete motion picture sound experience, from ADR to Foleys to final mix; Area 5.1 boasts the only licensed Dolby 5.1 motion picture facility in the country. “We have completed quite a few upgrades and are busy,” says Refinery’s Tracey Williams. Music libraries also seem to be on an upward trend and some are now exporting music around the world and investing heavily in South African talent. One such company, Lalela Music, is in a continual expansion phase. Likewise Gallo Music Publishers offer up-to-date international trends, using RECUE and more recently The Harvest online platforms from where music users can remotely download content, use it
and submit electronic cue sheets straight out of their edit suites and final mixes. There are also a plethora of conventional sound post-production and recording studios throughout the country. A general trend seems to be to have an association with a larger television post-production company, therefore assuring a revenue stream via the larger facility but at the same time cater for any client requiring audio services only. Flexible and less formal working patterns are likely to increase across the sector, particularly with the increase in small entrepreneurial companies that are decentralised. All of the changes have significant implications for training and education in the sector and their role in skills development. Emergence of new roles will put a demand on new skills and knowledge. There is an expected demand for people with web design and specific software applications skills. It could be said that locally the audio production studios industry is in the mature phase of its life cycle. Technological developments in recording software and hardware enable individual musicians, radio broadcasters and video producers to develop their content without the need to pay a professional studio. However audio production studios provide valuable post-production services that are typically beyond the skill level of amateur artists. So to conclude, while it may be said that this industry sector has good prospects, the need to adapt to new technology and constantly improve software skills will be on-going requirements in order to ensure future growth and profitability.
| DISCOP AFRICA
DISCOP AFRICA 2013 – some thoughts from the sponsors
Mike Dearham, Senior Vice President of Côte Ouest “We need to change and influence our destiny in the African audiovisual market and elevate our position in the value chain. We have the opportunity to leapfrog cycles of industry development into the digital revolution and DISCOP is a virtual platform to achieve this objective. It is a practical forum, where industry players can get together and debate, have vibrant discussions and exchange ideas as sellers or buyers toward trading a finished catalogue. Besides the final product, concepts are important in developing the business of formats. DISCOP is also a converging forum for production and TV talent. There was a definite improvement this year and we’ve come away with an understanding that our involvement is worthwhile and beneficial. It is a platform for our message that we are a serious and efficient participant in the market that delivers excellence.”
The key highlights for me from a subject matter perspective were discussions around VOD and the various non-linear projects that have either launched recently or will be launching in the near future. It is also exciting to see that there are a lot more Pay TV platforms breaking into the market, especially in West Africa. All these platforms present opportunities for us at Wananchi Programming. With Wananchi Programming’s drive to monetise our assets, it is vital to see what else is in the marketplace and what the trends are. DISCOP Africa is quickly becoming an essential part of any content buyer / seller / producer’s calendar and it is definitely critical for those in Africa or those interested in doing business in Africa. Another aspect I really enjoyed at this year’s DISCOP Africa was the DISCOPro presentations. It was great to see key industry experts present what they think is critical in driving the content business forward and at the same time, the fact that the audience was fully engaged and opinionated about the various topics that were discussed and presented. It was also good to see discussions around the obstacles that content producers / creators are facing, such as funding, and to hear about the creative options available to them to help bridge the gap in financing. Finally, the pitching competition was a pleasure to attend. It’s good to see the kinds of raw talent that exist across Africa – from Ghana to South Africa to Kenya and beyond. All the people who presented were passionate about content and for me, that’s what DISCOP Africa is about. At the heart of what we do, we have to be passionate about the content we produce, buy and sell.”
Charles Murito, Chief Commercial Officer, Wananchi Programming Ltd “Attending DISCOP Africa this year was important for me because I have recently joined Wananchi Programming / Zuku and therefore it was critical that I introduce myself to new potential partners and reintroduce myself to old friends in my new capacity. It was really a great place in which to do so, especially since a lot of the suppliers and clients of Wananchi Programming / Zuku were present in one location over a short period of time. DISCOP was therefore a very effective and efficient event. It was also important for establishing contacts.
Hannelie Bekker, MD of Wananchi Programming “While in Jo’burg for DISCOP Africa I found myself reminiscing with a long-time industry colleague and friend about the first ever Sithengi, DISCOP Africa’s predecessor. “I still have the poster,” she said. “Seriously?! What year was that anyway?” I asked.
“1996, would you believe it?” she said, and then followed the predictable few moments of horror as we contemplated how the two bright-eyed girls of the mid-90s now qualified as industry veterans! Alongside the mock horror I have a sense of continuity and history that can only come from participating in an industry over a sustained period of time, bashing away at its shortcomings and delighting in its successes, however patchy and sporadic. The rise and fall of GTV, HiTV, SmartTV and TopTV characterised a period when tentative optimism flickered from one part of the continent to the next, only to be extinguished time and again. But now ’patchy’ is turning into ‘promising’ and optimism seems to be exactly what is called for. Indeed, according to a conference strand at MIPCOM this past October: “Africa’s time has come!” StarTimes, Zap and Zuku are showing staying power, with a few newer West African players rounding out the picture. Online platforms are proliferating, many of them specifically designed to carry African content to diaspora markets and beyond. All together these entities create an ecosystem where competition fuels choice for both entertainment-hungry consumers and content creators. In this context, instead of being fodder for one broadcaster’s schedule, good shows can become valuable commodities with a long and (eventually) profitable life cycle. It is fitting that DISCOP Africa notched up outings in Senegal, Nairobi and Accra before settling in Jo’burg last year. It’s a well-travelled young market, with a sophisticated grasp of both its context and its role. Its South African address is a matter of convenience, not conviction: on the market floor, in the conference room and in the pitching sessions the continent is robustly represented. My team and I come to DISCOP specifically to cultivate networks across the continent – with buyers and sellers, producers and financiers and broadcasters like ourselves. International validation is nice, but success starts at home. DISCOP Africa is alive to this fact and this year, more than ever before, it created an environment that enabled discovery and connection – and the joining of the dots that will make a real industry out of the work we all love.”
Nico Meyer, CEO of MultiChoice “We have always participated in DISCOP at various levels, however what was significant this year was that we
participated as a key partner in the entire conference. Content and the development of the content industry is key to our business, more so as our investment in the development of quality local content continues to increase. We were pleased with the level of engagement, in particular, the celebration of Africa’s 20 Years of its broadcasting legacy. We presented the next-generation PVR decoder – the DStv Explora, at DISCOP which launched in Africa on 15 November 2013. This move heralds an exciting new era for digital television which allows viewers to gain more control and personalise their DStv viewing experience.”
Richard Bell, CEO of Zuku TV “Zuku believes passionately in the bigger picture. Having a successful marketplace for exchanging, buying and selling content and ideas in Africa is key to growing the industry overall. It is a fundamental building block of the industry, every bit as much as Internet Exchange Points are to the internet. Hence I see it as important that as one of the leading agents of that growth in Africa, Zuku participates fully. What we achieved at DISCOP this year was to demonstrate the strength and breadth of what the Wananchi Group is doing. We have achieved an enormous amount in a short period of time and very few people realize the extent of our achievements. DISCOP was an important opportunity to showcase those successes as building blocks for the future. We were able to do significant deals at DISCOP, but cannot comment on them at this time as details are still being worked out.”
February 2014 | SCREENAFRICA | 31
STATE HOUSE State House is an original modern day political drama that traverses the unseen world of the head of stateâ€™s residence and office, peeking into an arena that is constantly rife with political intrigue and scandalous relationships. State House follows the servants who run the house, the Comptroller that rules it and the guests, politicians and diplomats that fill its corridors.
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| DISCOP AFRICA
Generating exportready African content At DISCOP Africa experts in content production and distribution discussed how to harness the raw talent, enthusiasm and untapped narratives of Africa into packaged productions that have the capacity to travel, both within the African continent and abroad. An international panel consisting of Mike Dearham, Senior VP of Cote Ouest Ivory Coast, Steven Markowitz, CEO of Big World Cinema South Africa, Chike Maduegbuna, CEO of Afrinolly Nigeria and Mo Abudu, CEO of Nigerian-based multi-broadcast network Ebonylife TV, presented varying perspectives on the export readiness of African content. Abudu began by highlighting the prospects that exist for Africa, in the very near future: “With migration to DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television) on the horizon, it opens up opportunities for filmmakers. There are so many African stories that need to be told.” The potential for industry growth and international recognition is as enticing as
it is perplexing, and there are clear challenges to face in building the capacity to do this, aside from developing lawyers, producers, scriptwriters and IT infrastructure that could skilfully and successfully support it.
Bridging the gap “Developed countries have gone through many cycles and phases to get to where they are today, and Africa is in a position to leapfrog straight into the digital world,” said Dearham. “Export readiness is a loaded term that signifies a firm has the capacity, the character and the courage to enter international markets. We need a paradigm shift in order to change the reluctance to do this,” continued Dearham, who believes that a lack of skills and competitiveness, along with ineffective marketing strategies and operations has contributed to local content remaining within its own borders.
TRAVEL CAPACITY: Steven Markowitz and Mike Dearham
Audience is king Dearham maintained that future content should be prepared and produced to suit traditional as well as emerging platforms such as television, online and mobile and he concluded: “Content is currently defined by audio visual, but one day it will be defined by meta-data. Producers who do this will be the most export ready in the future.”
Innovative production models Markowitz, who has produced content that has travelled internationally, thinks
Creating documentaries that sell democracy and how this may bring older material back into relevant focus. “Documentary films have the opportunity to re-invent audiences. Filmmakers can capture moments in time that an audience can relive and relate to. You could find that there is a whole new audience that relates now, to something done years previously. Fiction can’t do that.” EDUCATE AND TRANSFORM PERCEPTIONS: Frances-Anne Solomon, Neiloe Whitehead, Rehad Desai and Azania Muendane
Documentary films have the ability to educate, to transform perceptions and to portray the compelling truths of our world, but in a market crippled by recession how do you package and pitch a story that will stand out and ultimately sell? Though there may be distinctly different journeys for normal films and documentary films, audience expectations remain on an equal playing field. People want to watch entertaining stories of a high production value, no matter what the genre. Among local and international industry players, there is still a debate as to how commercially viable the art of documentary filmmaking can be. While some believe African-made documentaries are moving in a positive direction, others pull no punches in cautioning filmmakers of the highly competitive and rarely profitable business. Frances-Anne Solomon, a producer at
Muendane said that the commercial success of a film and securing distribution was heavily dependent on a clear business strategy. Desai, who is the festival director of the Tri-Continental Film Festival said there was a lack of commissioning documentaries in South Africa and that a large majority of documentaries abroad were made by wealthy filmmakers, or what he called ’Trust-afarians’. “This is not the case in South Africa; the old model of having one channel commissioning filmmakers to make documentaries is over. You have to have many sources and most people have a hybrid financing model. One way to start is to approach organisations which deal with the issues featured in the documentary. “Finding your market is very important. Ask yourself in the beginning; is it possible to fund this film? You need to know what you are getting into and think seriously about it.”
Hero Films Ltd in the US, Neiloe Whitehead from documentary development at the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) in South Africa, Rehad Desai, CEO of Uhuru Productions in South Africa and Azania Muendane from Basic Lead in South Africa shared their views at DISCOP Africa 2013.
Carefully planned content “Many documentaries are boring and preachy; it’s hard to find ones that are informing, entertaining and interesting. Films I have been able to sell are co-productions that implicate or involve the place that it is being sold to,” said Desai. “Just like fiction, any work now has to be highly exceptional,” he added. Whitehead maintained that documentaries had the ability to repurpose content, referencing South Africa celebrating its tenth year of
market consideration at the inception of a production is imperative, and said: “What we are not doing enough is partnering with sales agents and distributors from the start. We need this expertise early in the development stages, to cater for respective markets.” In a new digital age, Markowitz said that producers would have to start thinking more innovatively, and stop relying solely on older models that have limited potential. He continued: “We have to find a way to generate content for a new generation of viewers and look at new models that are commercially sustainable.”
“In building an Africa-centric model, it starts and ends with audience,” remarked Maduegbuna. He continued: “We have to look at what we can successfully produce locally, for it to gain international appeal.” With the majority of African content being generated in only four countries, Maduegbuna touched on a fundamental observation: “A starting point will be to create content that works in other high population African countries. When you have an audience, 50% of the work is done.” – Carly Barnes
Building an audience “The cost of productions has gone down radically, it’s now easy to make good films with a great story and easier to connect to and build an audience on the internet. That is what investors can bank on and it’s key to distribution and production. Internet has offered us a direct audience gauge,” said Solomon. This couldn’t be truer in South Africa, where documentaries are not always given theatre releases and can therefore find a direct access to viewers online. Neiloe added: “From NFVF projects, the documentaries which have been the most successful have completed development and have already established internet interest.” Solomon concluded: “Test and build a product on the internet. Measure your audience. All the tools for marketing and distribution are in the hands of the independent producer.”
An industry fuelled by passion “As a documentary filmmaker you take a sworn oath to poverty but if you have a few titles, they can earn you R300 000 to R400 000 a year,” remarked Desai. Whitehead concluded: “What makes a documentary so compelling is that even if it doesn’t do well in theatres, it stays with viewers. It has longevity much stronger than fiction. That is the reason to make documentary films, to impact on society. Most people are not in it for profit.” – Carly Barnes February 2014 | SCREENAFRICA | 33
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Zuku identifies basketball market in Kenya “We have nine Zuku branded channels that we own, develop and manage, and these, together with our originated content, create our Unique Selling Propositions (USP). We focus a lot of attention on a range of signature projects, if we don’t have access to ready-made premium content, we have no choice but to create it ourselves!” said Hannelie Bekker, Managing Director of Zuku TV.
A SLAM DUNK: Hannelie Bekker An example of this move into a unique broadcast space happened with the first edition of Kenya’s University Basketball League broadcast on Zuku TV, in which 33 universities, hundreds of players and thousands of supporters participated. Zuku identified a gap in the market regarding basketball in Kenya, so immediately seized the opportunity. Bekker continued, “The Zuku University Basketball League (ZUBL) is a property
that we’re really proud of because it has touched so many people in Kenya. With the basketball initiative, we rolled up our sleeves and rewrote the rules of participation. We had the league manual rewritten, provided training for coaches, administrators and players, as well as journalists writing about the subject. In addition, we also rolled out uniforms, established a website and commissioned a weekly magazine show, Baqe, to
support the league.” She continued: “By the time we aired the finals of the League in October 2013, the engagement was amazing. Basketball features lots of emerging young stars and viewers want to know who they are, where they come from, and are curious about their aspirations. And behind every player there are friends, family, a community, a university and a town. Sponsors are excited because it gives them access to a very desirable, yet hard-to-reach demographic and the involvement of business means better resources and accelerated growth.” Said Bekker: “This exciting approach is not just for Zuku’s benefit. We are opening up new spaces and finding ways of engaging local audiences while creating commercial potential at the same time.” According to Bekker, after launching basketball on Zuku, pay TV channels SuperSport and StarSat cottoned on to the popularity of the game, and also started broadcasting programmes centred on the sport. “Putting a sport on television is so beneficial – the more the merrier,” she concluded. – Martie Bester
The upside of co-production One need only look at the latest Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom stats to see the successes a film partnership can yield, and with Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) migration on the horizon, coproduction offers an opportunity to fill the need for new, good quality content. From a Pan-African point of view, filmmakers are still hesitant to enter into collaborations, preferring to do everything independently. Though there are criticisms for producing within this model, which include the potential for increased costs, the negation of cultural integrity and a loss of control, observations tell us that the upside far compensates the downside. Speaking at DISCOP Africa, authorities in the industry weighed in on the business of co-production. Alex Kwame Boadi, President and MD of the Ghana Producers Guild, believes that this way of thinking is behind the times and that the continent needs to catch up. “When people pull together, they produce better quality. They can move forward, tell their stories and make money,” he commented. South Africa has been involved in a number of international co-productions that have gone on to receive high acclaim, such as The Bang Bang Club which was co-produced with Canada, Death Race which was a German co-production and most notably
COLLABORATORS: Terrence Khumalo, Che Che Mazoka and Nelly Molokoane
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom a co-production with the UK. Christopher Foot, Chairman of the Kenya Film Commission, said that taking advantage of international co-production treaties can provide a number of benefits to a production. “Financially and creatively, going into a co-production with another country can allow access to all the benefits and incentives of that country. It can provide access to their markets, which is hugely beneficial. It provides access to stars who are otherwise unaffordable, and access to bigger budgets. It should also offer an element of cultural dynamic which could assist in
building local content. For example, with the movie The Fifth Estate, part of the film had to showcase a part of the culture.” There are also a variety of ways to engage in co-production with local broadcasters. Che Che Mazoka, Head of funding and partnerships at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), said: “The time is ripe to get together and produce content for the rest of the continent and the world.” According to Mazoka, the SABC is looking to collaborate on productions and encourages the submission of proposals for review by the co-production team. She referenced the award-winning drama series Intersexions, which had
good enough content and subject matter to obtain a contribution from the SABC. “We are looking for ideas and financial models that resonate with the SABC, and we can offer productions exposure,” she added. However, Terrence Khumalo, Film Certification Manager at the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), said that it was important to do the research and planning before taking on a coproduction partner. He concluded: “Co-productions are not a blind date. Make sure that you check your potential partner’s credibility and assess how the partnering will benefit your production.” – Carly Barnes
February 2014 | SCREENAFRICA | 35
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| DISCOP AFRICA
A Journey into East Africa’s ‘silicon savannah’ Richard Bell, CEO of East Africa Capital Partners, which founded the Wananchi Group, has been involved in East Africa’s technology, media and telecoms (TMT) industries for over 20 years. In that time it has started, bought, grown and sold many of the leading brands in those sectors, in addition to establishing many of the key institutions at the heart of Africa’s internet and information technology industries. Bell explains the history behind how the region has become such a vibrant
TECH SAVVY: Richard Bell TMT hub, what he believes the growth engines of future development are likely to be, and to articulate some of the challenges. Bell looks at the opportunities for the next generation of TMT entrepreneurs in Africa. “We are focusing mainly on the internet,” he says, “as opposed to the mobile phone industry.” He goes on to explain that the Wananchi Group have built the first fixed line residential fibre network in Africa, provided the first multichannel satellite uplink facility, and are the first multi-channel pay TV content
producer on the continent, outside of South Africa. “The East Africa region has developed from having no undersea cables to four in the space of five years, thus reducing dramatically the costs of bandwidth in Nairobi. Uganda too is following suit. Beyond infrastructure and bandwidth however is growth of content. The advent of pay TV is resulting in greatly increased resources that are channelled towards local content. “We predict there will be five main growth engines of the ‘silicon savannah’ and they all relate one way or another to content. These are government services, education, daily lives, creative – arts and media, and outsourcing and the IT industry.” While these five engines have the potential to power massive growth in what Bell refers to as the ‘Silicon Savannah’, he also identifies a number of key challenges that the industry will need to face to maximise this growth. These include infrastructure, as bottlenecks still remain; content regulation, with pay TV operators needing to have equitable access to sporting content; intellectual property and patents, where there is a need for robust and vibrant copyright and
patent regulations; investment, a complex issue, the solution of which revolves around how to attract investors in a sector whose assets are generally defined as ‘soft’ and shunned by potential funders. The final challenge is digital migration, which is surrounded by uncertainties. When discussing opportunities, Bell continually refers to East Africa. “It’s where our future lies,” he says. “It’s not a matter of Kenya doing better than Tanzania or Tanzania stealing a march on Uganda. It’s about the region positioning itself to take advantage of the underlying advantages that we already have… Given the right stimulus our silicon savannah can be every bit as rich and vibrant as our natural savannah,” he says. “The opportunities are out there waiting for us.” “The technology, media and telecoms industry sector is going to take off not so much in traditional outsourcing of call centres and software like India, or electronic products like China. Our growth will be in the creative economy and in the use of technology within the economy in our daily lives. In other words our growth will come from consumption of technology and data as well as content.” – Andy Stead
Thinking beyond product placement Integrating brands into content is an age old marketing tool. But in an evolving digital landscape, traditional forms of advertising may not have the same impact as they used to. Soaking content in a brand can be off putting according to Dorothy Ghettuba, CEO of Kenyan-based production company, Spielworks Media Ltd. Speaking at the DISCOP Africa conference in Johannesburg, Ghettuba, along with a panel of industry marketing experts, debated the new practice of branded entertainment. “We are changing as an industry and we have to be able to learn, unlearn and relearn. From a production perspective, we encourage brands to buy real estate in content that isn’t obvious or in people’s faces,” said Ghuttuba, who believes the era of the 30-second ad break, may be reaching its sell by date.
Becoming PVR resistant “Brands want to sell products and commercial advertising against other mediums. TV is still the most successful way of doing this. The most revenue is generated from TV commercials and the responsibility lies with creators to make adverts more entertaining and appealing,” said Fahmeeda CassimSurtee, Marketing Sales Director for DStv, South Africa. “Creatively produced commercials, like the Santam advert that featured a waiter subtly changing his clothes in the
BRAND POWER: Dorothy Ghettuba, Fahmeeda Cassim-Surtee, Risuna Mayimele and Charlotte Frost background of the commercial, are exciting and engaging enough that viewers will want to rewind and take another look,” commented Cassim-Surtee. She referenced, as another example, the interactive BMW TV ad which sped up 15 seconds of footage, which featured the new M5 model and encouraged viewers to rewind and watch again in slow motion with their PVR remote.
Aligning values Charlotte Frost, Marketing Director for Copper Monkey, a consultancy that specialises in brokering promotionally driven marketing partnerships between brands and movies, says a supportive marketing campaign is key to successful
brand exposure. Frost has a valuable perspective, having managed partnerships with brands on various movies including Die Hard 4.0, Star Wars, Ice Age, Avatar and more recently South African animated feature film, Khumba. “Brands are looking for a return on investment through sales, advertising and brand awareness and this has to align with the values of a particular production,” said Frost. Risuna Mayimele, Marketing Manager at the SABC agreed, highlighting a campaign that was implemented on local soapie, Generations. “Within the show we featured a couple that visited an HIV clinic, a prevalent issue in South Africa. In this instance by using integrity and socially responsible product
placement it lead to positive behavioural developments in society,” she commented.
Holistic marketing Mayimele maintained that there are methods of tackling second screen watching and many avenues to give clients added value for their brands. “We can take advantage of new platforms when it comes to product placement, for example Bonang Matheba, a presenter on Top Billing, has 500 000 followers on Twitter. When a brand is featured on the show, it gets tweeted to another audience of followers as well. “It’s not a homogenous thing, where there is only one way to do it,” concludes Mayimele. – Carly Barnes
February 2014 | SCREENAFRICA | 37
DISPLAYS & MONITORING
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POST-PRODUCTION GUIDE TO FILMING IN SOUTH AFRICA
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| DISCOP AFRICA
Tracking global TV trends
TV GURU: Avril Blondelot
Despite advancing technology and increased access to content on internet platforms, television continues to captivate international audiences by evolving with the times. Avril Blondelot, international sales director for television research company, Eurodata TV, highlights some of the trends that keep daily television viewing time on the rise, increasing from 2011 to 2012 by a whole minute. “What we are presented with is an international audience that is fragmenting – wanting to see different content on different screens,” says Blondelot, referencing statistics that show US cable television networks like AMC, which produces shows such as The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad, are competing in the same playing field as major networks. “This shows us that new channels are addressing the audiences of tomorrow,” comments Blondelot. She emphasises the misconception
that sites like YouTube are ‘cannibalizing’ TV and says that in actuality, global television viewing is healthy and unhindered by new media platforms: “For every minute a viewer spends on YouTube, they are spending an hour watching television and in fact the two mediums are complementary. “Research shows us that social strategies build enriched TV experiences. We are seeing online streaming sites like Netflix starting to partner with big TV players and shows gaining more viewing time from being tweeted about.” Rising Star, an Israeli reality singing competition which features viewers voting for their favourite performers live via an app, is a TV production that is successfully participating in social media. “Talent shows with a twist are gaining momentum on global screens,” Blondelot continued, referencing the Israeli format, Marathon, which was recently sold in Canada. The competition features five
ordinary people, who, through coaching and a specialised training programme; complete a 42km marathon in just eight months. Blondelot says that shows which contain emotional and physical involvement, like the French format, Anything Goes, are gaining worldwide success because they are humourous and engaging. The series, featuring actors and comedians competing in a number of performance related challenges, was recently bought by Fox and will feature Steve Carell as its host. She added that locally produced fiction, particularly Nordic formats like DR Borgen, Real Humans and Mammon, are doing well in international markets. “Another country that is executing this well is Turkey,” remarks Blondelot, who believes the country is currently producing high quality programmes.
Drawing on the appeal of African animation Panellists discussing ‘African Animation is Great’ all agreed that more African animation is needed on screens, especially animation aimed at children. The South African widescreen production Khumba has proved that African stories can be successful internationally. Apart from drawing large audiences in South Africa, the film is a roaring success overseas. African stories are the most successful in countries like America, Japan and France. Another success story originating from South Africa is Supa Strikas, created by Strika Entertainment. The series, which relates the adventures of the world’s greatest football team, first appeared as a comic in 2000 and was later developed into an animated TV series. Richard Grenville, representing Strika Entertainment, said the series had to be internationalised and therefore it was developed to “speak different languages”. Although some of the characters might speak in a Canadian accent in the dubbed versions, the product still has an African (and specifically) South African identity and all the characters are black. “A production such as this must be defined by the place where we live,” says Grenville. “Africa should get more mature in animation –
the DNA of productions should be African.” Stuart Forrest, CEO of Triggerfish, the South African studio that produced Khumba, says that animated productions such as these should not be limited to the continent of Africa. “The world should be educated about who we are and what we are all about. We must try to push out the myth of the savannah which is perceived worldwide to be Africa. That’s one of the reasons why Khumba’s story takes place in the Karoo.” An important aspect of animation per se is that animals should be included in the storyline. This seems to add universal appeal, ensuring that a production can cross borders. Numerous successful productions by the likes of Disney and Pixar attest to this. Animation for adults has a small niche market since the medium is generally perceived to be aimed at children. However when adult animation productions are dubbed into different languages, it can have great cross-cultural appeal. Another benefit of the animation medium is the opportunity it offers to extend the longevity and marketability of the brand through the creation of toy lines and other related merchandise.
INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS: Khumba poster Animation therefore not only offers creative and business opportunities in its own right, but also opens the way for supplementary revenue streams – all the
more reason for Africa’s studios to explore the medium. – Jakkie Groenewald
February 2014 | SCREENAFRICA | 39
Why formats travel Not all TV formats can travel. TV producers planning to produce a show which could be sold on an international level should take various aspects into consideration to ensure possible success. A TV expert from Brazil, Franklin Martins, says producers should ask themselves six questions: “Do you believe in your format?”, “Does it have an identity?”, “Is it clever but still simple?”, “Is it universal?”, “Does it travel?” and “Is it locally adaptable?” What is of importance is that producers should have a passion to get good shows on air and this can only be done if they believe in their product. The identity of a show must be the object and centrepiece of the show and be instantly recognisable. Producers must also ascertain that a show has an identity and it must not be too clever. A broad audience must be able to identify with it.
ON A JOURNEY: Peter Gird
As far as possible a show must have a universal theme and a strong story and, if possible, take a journey in which dreams come true. If the show just focuses on local aspects, the producer could have a problem. A broader audience should be kept in mind. Shows must also be adaptable to local tastes and cultures. Japan, for instance, prefers that shows are presented by celebrities, whereas the Australians do not. In Africa, viewers prefer top models. International cultures should also be taken into consideration. In Africa nudity is a cultural norm and can feature on screen, but it might not be acceptable internationally. A product could also be successful if it is renewable or could be repeated.
Comedies and animation, in particular, fit into the latter category. It has been proved that reruns of these genres are quite popular. Producers should also focus on the saleability of the product by ascertaining whether other countries would be interested in it and if it will be worth their while buying it. According to François Thiellet, CEO of Thema TV in France, one option which producers have to help them ensure that a format can travel, is by specialising in partnerships with other ethnic channels worldwide. An example is that Nollywood films are dubbed into French for the French market and a series, Films d’Afrique, is also aired. In addition, TV subscribers in Europe can reach more
than 20 African channels. Peter Gird, producer of Cooked in Africa Films, stated that his company’s show, Ultimate Braai Master, has had 100 million viewers around the world and it is presented in no less than 22 languages. According to Pascal Schmitz, CEO of Amariam Productions in South Africa, producers have a new challenge on hand. Currently everyone is relying on traditional distribution – formats are made for cinema and TV, and therefore producers will have to start thinking about formats for mobile phones. A possibility that could be explored is to create products for mobiles, which could later be converted to TV and cinema. – Jakkie Groenewald
its production and globalisation also affected the nature of the content. What followed was a focus, not only on India, but also the rest of the world, bolstered by input from the Indian diaspora in all parts of the globe. The wide range of news on TV has also changed viewers’ perspectives. People are now more open to a wider spectrum of content. Zack Orji, CEO of Zack Orji Films and a veteran Nigerian actor, shares Moosa’s view and adds that films have to be treated in a way with which viewers can identify. “Our productions contain elements such as love, envy, hate and jealousy – which are received universally. Our stories are built around value systems.” Nollywood has been criticised for producing low quality films but Orji says that the production values of Nigerian film has improved. “We started off by filming on video because film was too expensive. When shooting on film, we could not change lenses, had no mixers on location, no regular power supply and the noise of generators impeded the quality of the production. “Producers also wanted to spend as little as possible to earn back on their investment. But as our audiences grew, so did income and the quality improved due to producers being able to afford better gear. With all the challenges we faced, our technicians’ skills improved.” Being able now to film digitally further enhanced this development. “We are
now shooting for cinema and the content changed for the better.” Moosa agrees that shooting on 35mm is very expensive, but costs today are more acceptable and affordable. “Specific leading Bollywood actors have a worldwide following and our wholesome love stories appeal to people around the world. We focus on morals and life’s values and realise that people in poverty want to escape from their own world. “Our core audience is in India, but we are also connected to a unique South African generation which is more Africa orientated, as well as a second generation in the UK – therefore we add a traditional Indian feeling as well as a universal appeal to our films.” The Nollywood industry has, of late, experienced quite a boost, since many films are made through co-production deals with other countries. The Nigerian government also now funds productions, mainly due to the fact the Nollywood film industry has become a major contributor to the country’s GDP. Bollywood’s main focus is on cinema. “Cinema-going is a social experience. Today’s technology affects young people’s ability to socialise – they do it all on their cellphones. We have a need to socialise and cinema serves that,” says Moosa, to which Orji adds: “We must share experiences. Cinema has a different appeal than DVD. We must get out of the drudgery of sitting at home.”– Jakkie Groenewald
Forget Hollywood – Nolly and Bolly are king
UNIVERSAL APPEAL: Zack Orji
The Bollywood and Nollywood film industries are possibly the most prolific in the film world today. The two industries churn out an average of more than 1 000 films annually. The Nigerian film industry, nicknamed Nollywood, has only been producing mainstream productions effectively for
the past 20 years, whereas its Indian counterpart (aka Bollywood) has been making movies for more than 100 years. According to Aboobaker Moosa, representing the Bollywood industry, Indian films used to focus mainly on local content, but the American TV series, Dallas changed Bollywood’s approach to
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Afrinolly Short Film Competition 2014
NAMIBIAN WINNER: A still from Florian Schott’s short film Everything Happens for a Reason, winner of the 2014 Afrinolly Film Competition in the short film (narrative) category
By Warren Holden Films from Namibia and Nigeria took the top prizes at this year’s Afrinolly Short Film Competition. An innovative crime comedy entry from the southern African nation won the narrative film competition, while a heartfelt examination of the lives of emigrants from the northwestern country scored top marks in the documentary category.
he Afrinolly Short Film Competition, held annually, is an online competition designed to expand dialogue on African issues, among Africans. The competition is open to all young filmmakers living on the continent, as well as Africans living abroad. It has two categories: one for narrative films and another for documentaries. The final winners are decided by public vote, once the panel of judges has created a shortlist from the hundreds of entries.
Representing Namibia When the voting stage for the latest competition came to an end in January
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2014, it was a surprise to see a Namibian entry at the top of the narrative film list – as this is not a country often noted for its film output. The winning film was Everything Happens for a Reason, a cleverly constructed crime comedy involving a (seemingly) innocent protagonist, who only wants to get to the girl he loves; a pair of diamond thieves; angry taxi drivers; and a case of mistaken identity. It all plays out on the streets of Windhoek – giving rare cinematic treatment to the Namibian capital. The film was written and directed by Florian Schott, a German national now resident in Namibia. In his native country he worked his way up in the industry from trainee to script supervisor, to first assistant director and began working on international productions, which brought him to Namibia in 2008, where he has since married and settled down. Everything Happens for a Reason is his first film as director.
Perfecting the long take The most notable aspect of Schott’s film is the shooting style and story treatment. The entire scenario was shot in a single, extended, 15-minute take with the action and the camera in constant motion, moving along sidewalks, streets and parks, and in and out of cars that move the story from one part of the city to another. “I’ve always been fascinated by ‘long takes’,” Schott says, “the famous shots by Martin Scorsese, Paul Thomas Anderson, Joe Wright or Alfonso Quarón.” Interestingly, in a further innovation of this style, the film does not play out in a single, uninterrupted shot. Rather, it starts at a certain point and then, at key moments, the director chooses to ‘rewind’ to an earlier part of the story to reveal a detail that the audience had not seen before and which changes our view of the story substantially. “I wanted to make a film in which you can never be quite sure if the protagonist is actually the
good guy or the bad guy,” Schott says. Shooting on a Canon 5D Mark II, Schott and his director of photography, Bernd Curschmann, abandoned their original idea of using a Steadicam (“we needed something smaller to get into and out of the cars,” Schott says) and opted to go handheld. This required a considerable amount of rehearsal. For a week Schott rehearsed the movements with Curschmann and lead actor Chops Tshoopara. Then the entire cast and crew undertook a complete run-through the night before the shoot. Finally, on the day, the crew shot for less than three hours to get the footage they needed.
Groundwork for a feature film Schott is currently preparing his first feature film. “It’s an independent Namibian action-drama called Katutura, named after the township in Windhoek. Katutura was written by Obed Emvula, who is also the producer of the film with his company Tulinane Entertainment. The cast is fully Namibian, the crew will be mostly Namibian, with some South Africans and Germans as HODs.” It will go into production in the next few months, to be completed before the end of the year.
The Nigerian diaspora The winning entry in the documentary category was a piece made by Victor Okoye, a Nigerian currently resident in Ukraine. His film, Creative Minds, examines the lives of three of his fellow expatriates in the eastern European nation and, in so doing, scrutinises the “grass is greener on the other side” mentality that he believes is prevalent in his home nation – and is to be found in many nations across Africa. Okoye is a medical student in Ukraine, where he has lived for five years among a large Nigerian expatriate community. The thesis of his film is to dispute the
perception many Nigerians have that emigration to Europe will solve all their problems. “Every now and then I get a distress call from my parents in Nigeria on how terrible they feel situations are in the country and the need for them to emigrate,” Okoye says. “I often try to convince them that it’s almost the same everywhere but the majority of the time, they argue, and sometimes seek an alternate ear to listen to their plea for an invitation to what they believe would be a glorious land for them. It was the need to share the experiences of people whose lives have been termed perfect, and what they have to do to survive in the so-called pride lands, that drove me to make the documentary, and maybe it will save someone out there time and money.”
Self-taught filmmaker Okoye learned filmmaking on an entirely amateur level without any formal training. “I’m just a medical student who finds fun in making films,” he says. “It’s more like a leisure activity for me. I didn’t attend any film school, I just did extensive research on filmmaking, read a few books and watched many films. That’s how I got to this point.” As Okoye’s film demonstrates, Nigerians living in Ukraine have to be entrepreneurs to get by in the country. Okoye is no exception. On arrival in the country he set up a sideline business taking passport photographs with a small digital camera he bought at the airport. After saving up for a while he was able to upgrade to a DSLR and then to a cine camera. Okoye has also made a short film called A Man Scorned and is currently in pre-production on a feature which he plans to shoot on his summer break. The two winning films, as well as the second and third place productions, can be viewed at www.afrinollyshortfilmcompetition.com.
NIGERIA | AFRICA
Pre-production begins on Desperate Housewives Africa Near the end of 2013 it was announced that a deal had been struck between Disney and Nigerian channel EbonyLife TV, to create an African take on the hit US television show, Desperate Housewives, the award-winning drama series about the lives, loves and misadventures of a group of American suburban women. The CEO of EbonyLife TV, Mo Abudu, speaking at DISCOP Africa, said that the decision to acquire the rights to the format came after the need was identified to create strong alternatives to some of the channel’s acquired programming. “With some of our acquired content, we’ve had to take it off the air because we’ve had so much bad feedback about it. Our viewers do want to watch American shows but they don’t want to watch them on EbonyLife TV.” Based in Cross River State, Nigeria, EbonyLife TV is marketed as Africa’s first global black multi-broadcast entertainment network and is dedicated
to pan-African content. “What people want to see on EbonyLife TV is the best of homegrown entertainment,” Abudu said. But even in generating this local material, Abudu and her team reasoned, there is no harm in acquiring an existing American format and tailoring it to the local audience. Indeed, television history does feature a number of successful precedents in this regard. “What we are basically doing is taking that format and localising it,” Abudu said. “I was recently interviewed on BBC Radio and they asked me, ‘why Desperate Housewives Africa? This is an American concept.’ And I said, ‘why not? Do you not think that Africans have the same aspirations, the same obsessions and the same passions?’ It’s important to start taking these formats because there’s no point in reinventing the wheel. This is one of the most successful, top-selling, award-winning series ever produced – let’s take it and make it our own.”
Africa is rising… but monopoly has to end Although Africa is rising in terms of the development, production and panAfrican distribution of television and online content made in Africa (as highlighted at DISCOP last year) a monopoly in the pay television broadcast industry, threatens to slow down the process of bringing varied content to as many audiences on the continent as possible. “Africa is a complex continent, and it has its own challenges when trying to roll out programming in a bigger context,” said Richard Bell, Vice Chairman of the Wananchi Group, the entity behind Zuku. At Discop, Bell argued that across the
AFRICAN FORMATS: Mo Abudu, Founder and Chief Executive of EbonyLife TV
The deal with Disney was finally concluded near the end of 2013 and the announcement was made with much fanfare at MIPCOM in October. In November, EbonyLife TV put out a call for head writers, series writers and script editors to get moving on generating storylines for the series. In January, auditions were held. At the time of going to print, no announcements had been made regarding casting decisions. Although still in its early stages, this production is set to be a major event in African television. It is also intended to be a prototype for what Abudu hopes will be a sustainable production model. “This is where EbonyLife wants to play – in the format business,” she said. The channel’s aims with regard to these formats is both to create original, homegrown adaptations of internationally tried and tested formats, like Desperate Housewives, as well as to generate brand new entertainment concepts that have the ability to be exported, not only to the rest of Africa but also to the world. – Warren Holden
continent regulatory frameworks fail to enable creatives who want to deliver content to the rest of Africa. As Bell put it, “the elephant in the room”, is the lack of competition in the pay television space, especially in terms of premium sport offerings. “If you (any existing or potential broadcaster in Africa) want to grow a pay-television business, you must have access to premium content. The audience won’t buy your product unless you have, for example, rugby or cricket as an offering, but the regulators have fallen behind, making it easy for DStv to dominate access to premium rights.” He continues “There is no doubt that DStv is very accomplished, but a backlash can’t come as a surprise if other players in Africa’s broadcasting landscape are not granted access. Some may say I’m stirring the pot, but the pot needs stirring.” “In Kenya we are very lucky to have our cable infrastructure and to be able to offer triple play, so we can afford to last the course”, Bell added. “But in other countries, companies are finding it hard to keep their heads above water. Pay television is where essential revenue streams come from to pay for the valuable material and co-productions that are vital for the survival of broadcasters – but without competition, the creative industries are stifled.” – Martie Bester LACK OF COMPETITION: Richard Bell
February 2014 | SCREENAFRICA | 43
Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve 10.1
Blackmagic Design has announced the release of DaVinci Resolve 10.1 software which adds new editing and 3D stereoscopic features as well as support for Final Cut Pro™ X 10.1. DaVinci Resolve 10.1 is available now for download free of charge for all existing DaVinci Resolve customers from the Blackmagic Design website. The update adds innovative editing features such as: • Allowing users to preview and align multiple camera takes while editing, so they can quickly switch between takes to show their clients shot options live from the timeline. • A functionality enabling editors to copy individual clips in the editing timeline with a simple drag and drop, making it easier to use the same footage in different parts of the edit. • Support for trimming frame based clips such as DNG and DPX that reduces time in transferring clips for even faster workflows. • Rich Text title support which allows every character’s size, position and colour to be adjusted individually directly from the edit page. • XML import enhancements for both FCP X 10.1 and FCP 7 customers. Compound clips from FCP X 10.1 with separate A/V elements are now split into individual clips and imported FCP 7 XML’s include font properties and timeline markers as well as being able to bring across sizing, cropping and composition parameters. • Enhanced 3D stereoscopic tools including a full stereoscopic multi track editing timeline, enhanced convergence adjustments and automatic alignment.
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AJA Corvid Ultra The Corvid Ultra is a high-performance I/O and processing engine designed for high data rate workflows such as 4K, high frame rate (HFR) and stereoscopic 3D. It has the capability to work with HFR material at 48p or 60p, full resolution 4K or 3D files and features onboard Debayering support for RAW workflows. The key features of the Corvid Ultra include: • Extensive I/O: 3G SDI, 4K HDMI output, embedded and AES audio (two-channel analogue audio monitoring). • The capacity to support all video formats from SD to 4K at up to 60 frames per second. • Colour depth up to 16-bit half float RGBA with full colour space conversion. • Powerful, onboard Debayering for RAW workflows. • High-quality AJA TruScale™ for high quality, arbitrary image scaling. • Two 4K-capable expansion slots for additional I/O processing. • Fast 8x PCIe 2.0 host connection provides 2500+ MB/s in each direction. • 2RU form factor. • Comes with AJA’s TruZoom™, which allows real-time 4K recording, scaling, playback and Region of Interest selection.
| TRACKING TECHNOLOGY
Panasonic AJ-PX270 Panasonicâ€™s latest handheld camera is the first to feature the AVC-ULTRA codec family, microP2 cards and wireless LAN connection. It also features a newly designed, compact, 22x zoom lens that covers from wide 28mm to tele 616mm. The lens includes three manual operation lens rings for zoom, focus and iris. The AJ-PX270 comes with the new 1/3 type 3MOS image sensors, which achieve sensitivity, low noise and 1920x1080 Full-HD resolution. The camera offers a wide range of recording bit rates using the AVC-ULTRA Codec family. AVC-Long G50/25 and AVC-Intra 100/50 codecs are provided as standard, while visually lossless images can also be achieved with the optional AVC-Intra200 codec. Low bit-rate needs are also provided for with AVC-Proxy, which is suitable for network use. The wireless connection allows tablet or smartphone linking via an optional wireless module and the network function speeds up the broadcasting workflow from shooting to on-air transmission. The AJ-PX270 has two microP2 card slots. The microP2 card offers the same reliability as the P2 and can be used without an adaptor. With the two card slots, simultaneous recording onto two media cards is possible, allowing secure back-up.
4 Camera SD OB Van (Triax)
8 Camera HD OB Van (Triax)
HD DSNG Vehicle
Various Multi Cam Mix Kits
4 Camera SD Flyaway Kit
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February 2014 | SCREENAFRICA | 45
SA government reviews film rebates to keep local industry competitive The United Kingdom has developed a new incentive scheme to attract Hollywood film crews to the UK, which means Cape Town will have to up its game to attract foreign film productions. According to an article that appeared on timeslive.co.za the new scheme, which will be effective in London from Nico Dekker April, has resulted in the South African government reviewing its rebates to ensure that the local industry stays competitive. The new UK incentives will include a 25% rebate on the first £20m (about R360m) spent, with a 20% rebate after that. This is likely to be changed to a flat rebate of 25% in 2015. Additionally, the minimum UK expenditure requirement has been revised from 25% to 10%. This
means that only 10% of a film’s total expenditure would need to be spent in the UK. Nico Dekker, CEO of Cape Town Film Studios, commented that the UK amendments included above-the-line costs such as actors’ and scriptwriters’ salaries, which does not apply to South Africa. Currently, South African rebates allow for films to claim back 20% of their qualifying South African expenditure as a rebate if more than R12m is spent. This only applies if at least 50% of the principal photography is completed in South Africa over a minimum period of four weeks. If post-production is also done locally, the incentive increases to a maximum of 25%.
The 2014 nominees for the inaugural Writer’s Guild of South Africa Awards have been announced. According to the WGSA, ‘the awards will be an annual event that recognises and celebrates the integral role played by performance writers in the South African film, television, radio, stage and new media industries’. TV Comedy Anneke Villet: Rugby Motors Season 1: Episode 10 Anneke Villet: Rugby Motors Season 1: Episode 4 Fidel Namisi: Tooth and Nails TV Drama Joshua Rous: Borderline: Episode 101,
Quiet Desperation Joshua Rous: High Rollers: Episode 101, The Prodigal Minky Schlesinger: 4Play Sex Tips for Girls: Episode 2 Stage Play Gisele Turner: eLimboland Feature Film Shirley Johnston: Felix Philip Roberts: One Last Look Jahmil X. T. Qubeka: Of Good Report Spec Script Kelsey Egan: The Chemist (Feature Film) Sean Drummond: Five Fingers for Marseilles (Feature Film) Meg Rickards: Common Purpose (Feature Film) The winners will be announced at an award ceremony on Saturday 15 March.
Africa’s VOD subscriptions to increase by one million in 2014 TechCentral reports that the number of video-on-demand (VOD) subscribers in sub-Saharan Africa will grow by one million in 2014, despite the lack of broadband infrastructure in the region. This is according to findings published in Deloitte’s “Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions 2014”. Most of these new subscribers will receive their VOD-based services, not over broadband connections but over traditional satellite television services, which will push and store VOD content on
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Faan se Trein (Faan’s Train), the new Afrikaans-language film that started screening nationwide in South Africa on Friday 24 January, has already earned R1.4m at the local box office. According to Ster-Kinekor Entertainment, approximately 32,000 people went to see the movie over its opening weekend. The film overshadowed other new releases The Book Thief, Grudge Match and Paranomral Activity: The Marked Ones. Faan se Trein opened at number two on the Top 10, following hot on the heels of Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Oscar nominees Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill. Says Helena Spring about the movie’s
A scene from Faan se Trein (Faan’s Train) impressive start at the box office, “It is a truly universal story and I believe that is why audiences are supporting the film.” The film received nine festival awards at the 2013 kykNET Silwerskermfees, including Best Picture and the Best Actor award for Willie Esterhuizen in the title role. Faan se Trein also stars among others Marius Weyers, Cobus Rossouw, Deon Lotz, Anel Alexander, Nicola Hanekom and Sandra Kotzé.
Cine Prestige expands in SA
Writers’ Guild of SA TV and film
New Afrikaans film rakes in over R1 million
SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE: Over the next few months, Ster-Kinekor is expanding on Cine Prestige, its current offering of luxurious and technologically advanced cinema experiences. The first Cine Prestige was launched in April 2012 at The Zone in Rosebank, Johannesburg, shortly Bradley Knowles after cinemas in Australia, the UK and the USA, following a similar formula, started to emerge. In November and December 2013, Ster-Kinekor introduced two more Cine Prestige theatres at Cradlestone Mall in Mogale City in Johannesburg. Comments Bradley Knowles, General Manager of Marketing for Ster-Kinekor, “From a technological point of view, Cine Prestige gives viewers the best cinema experience possible. With a three-way sound system and 7.1 surround sound,
and a fully digitised 2k projection system with 3D capabilities, Cine Prestige is the ultimate way to enjoy social escapism. Here, audiences truly get to experience great moments at their greatest.” From February, two Cine Prestige formats will be available at The Grove Mall in Pretoria East, from midMarch, Durban audiences can enjoy Cine Prestige at Gateway Shopping Centre, Ster-Kinekor’s most successful cinema complex in South Africa, and in April Cine Prestige launches its largest, yet still intimate, format in Sandton City in Johannesburg. “I like to refer to Cine Prestige as ‘film agnostic’ as it doesn’t matter which movie we show, audiences go and watch as it’s very much about the immersive, exclusive experience that they are able to enjoy,” concludes Knowles..
products like MultiChoice’s DStv Explora personal video recorder (PVR). The report notes that only one per cent of people in sub-Saharan Africa have access to fixed broadband. For this reason, sub-Saharan Africa has, until now, “not participated in the wave of VOD adopting,” which has taken place around the world. But there is still a demand for VOD, especially in South Africa and Nigeria – whose citizens make up more than 50 per cent of the continent’s consumer spending. “In these countries, and in a growing number of wealthier capital cities across the continent, there is considerable buzz about the availability of
VOD services in developed countries. Satellite and DVRs can provide a solution that replicates a VOD experience.” Until such time as broadband services have been rolled out more extensively on the continent, Deloitte’s report says VOD services will have to operate within the infrastructure that already exists. Apparently this will not be an obstacle for around one million Africans eager to adopt the service this year. This prediction may indicate that, were broadband infrastructure to be made more extensive and cheaper on the continent, VOD and other broadbandrelated services would be likely to see an exponential increase in subscribers.
| WEB NEWS SA 3D Documentary TV series selected for World Design Capital
A scene from the The Zamani Project Documentary Zamani, 3-D documentary series set to go into production in mid-2014, and dedicated to documenting the World Heritage sites of the African continent, has been selected for the official programme of the World Design Capital Cape Town 2014. Zamani means “the past” in Swahili and “Zamani Project” is the original name given to the mission led by a team of four who have been documenting heritage sites for close to 10 years across Africa. Under the expert supervision of Professor Heinz Rüther, The Zamani Project was initiated in the Geomatics Division of the University of Cape Town, partly funded by the Andrew W. Mellon
Foundation and endorsed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The project is based on state-of-the art data acquisition and presentation technologies, including laser scanning and close range photogrammetry, which are used to generate Geographic Information Systems, 3D computer models and other spatial data. Production of the series will be officially launched during an event in the city mid-2014. Man Makes a Picture (MMaP), a Capetonian production company, has developed the Zamani Project documentary series concept. They are
SA filmmakers to attend Berlin EFM through ATFT The Association for Transformation in Film and Television (ATFT) was launched in South Africa in 2013 to provide a platform for individuals who are traditionally underrepresented, such as black and female filmmakers and people with disabilities in the industry. For the first time, and organised by ATFT, a South African delegation of filmmakers will have a presence at Berlin’s European Film Market (EFM).
Led by Dutch Indies’ chairman Hans Boscher and industry veteran Fred de Haas, ATFT held structured export market readiness workshops in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth) to prepare potential delegates for Berlin’s EFM. The film market takes place from 6 to 14 February.
currently promoting the series locally and internationally, to finance the projected R30 million production budget via sponsorships and international TV co-productions and presales. The series will uncover how the most interesting heritage sites in Africa came into existence and why, and also how they have transformed into complex “Cultural Landscapes”, through their role and meaning for the local population today. The Zamani Project Documentary
series will combine travel and adventure, following the Zamani geomatic experts Heinz Rüther and Roshan Burtha as they discover and document the sites, sometimes in very intriguing and remote environments, state-of-the-art 3D entertainment and interviews with historians and local residents. The Zamani Project Documentary teaser can be viewed at: http://www. youtube.com/watch?v=da5R2A73Fp.
February 2014 | SCREENAFRICA | 47
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IN DEVELOPMENT 80 MINUTES Periphery Films Dir: Simon Taylor / Julia Taal Feature A LION IN THE BEDROOM Two Oceans Production Prod: Giselher Venzke / Bertha Spieker Feature AT THE CREEK WITHOUT A PADDLE Zen Crew Prod: Laura Tarling Documentary BREAD AND WATER Periphery Films Dir: Simon Taylor / Julia Taal Feature Documentary
CAMPING Two Oceans Productions Prod: Giselher Venzke & Bertha Spieker Feature
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HHOLA HHOLA Vuleka Productions Prod: Julie Frederikse/ Madoda Ncayiyana Feature
THE DREADED EVIL EYE FROM PAST TO PRESENT AND ACROSS CULTURES Blue Marble Entertainment Dir: Eugene Botha Documentary
HOTEL SONGOLOLO The Media Workshop Dir: Benito Carelsen Series
THE HITCHERS: A GHOST STORY Blue Marble Entertainment Dir: Eugene Botha Short Film
IIQ Sukuma Media Dir: Bonginhlanhla Ncube Feature
THE MOUNTAIN OF THE NIGHT Nostalgia Productions Prod: Herman Mabizela & Brett Michael Innes Feature
KING SEKHUKHUNE Sukuma Media Prod: Leonard Sekhukhune / Bonginhlanhla Ncube Feature LEADERS OF AFRICA The Expeditionary Force Dir: Nicholas schofield / Alexis schofield Documentary LEKKERKAMPPLEKKE Grey Cloud Productions Dir: Jacques Brand Prod: Jarrod de Jong Variety MANCHE, THE AFRICAN SAINT Get the Picture Prod/Dir: Jacky Lourens/ Fiona Summers Documentary
THE REGGIES RUSH Nostalgia Productions Prod: Brett Michael Innes Feature THE SCORES ARE IN Current Affairs Films Prod: Jane Thandi Lipman Game Show TIENERWERELD Grey Cloud Productions Dir: Jacques Brand Prod: Jarrod de Jong Variety WEER DEBRA Khaki Productions Prod/Dir: Christelle Parrott , Wynand Dreyer Series WHIPLASH Get the Picture Prod/Dir: Jacky Lourens / Meg Rickards Feature
NEW BEGINNINGZ Sukuma Media Dir: Bonginhanhla Ncube Documentary
ZAKOUMA Two Oceans Productions Prod: Giselher Venzke/ Bertha Spieker Feature
CINDERELLA Two Oceans Productions Prod: Giselher Venzke/ Bertha Spieker Feature
PALACE OF THE FAITHLESS White Heron Pictures Dir: Themba Sibeko Feature
ZEN FILM CREW MANAGEMENT ZEN Film Crew Management Prod / Dir: Laura Tarling Commercial
DAISY Bamboo Media (PTY) LTD Dir: Marguelette Louw Feature
PASSARES (BIRDISH) White Heron Pictures / Casa De Criacao Cinema Prod: Themba Sibeko Feature
DIE VERHAAL VAN RACHELTJIE DE BEER Nostalgia Productions Prod: Brett Michael Innes Feature DIE VERVOERDER Grey Cloud Productions Dir: Jacques Brand Prod: Jarrod de Jong Feature ESCAPE Current Affairs Films Prod: Jane Thandi Lipman / Beata Lipman Feature EX PATS Current Affrairs Films / French Connection Prod: Jane Thandi Lipman Series FORSAKEN DO Productions Prod: Marlow de Mardt / Brigid Olën Feature GRIZMEK Two Oceans Production Prods: Giselher Venzke / Bertha Spieker Feature
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THE DANDELION ShootAway Production Prod: Patrick Walton Drama
MOM’S CHOICE Sukuma Media Dir: Bonginhlanhla Ncube Feature
CHILDREN OF FAMOUS ACTIVISTS Current Affairs Films Prod: Jane Thandi Lipman Feature
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HEAVEN – AFRICA 2 Two Oceans Production Prods: Giselher Venzke / Bertha Spieker Feature
PIPPIE SE TOWERKOMBUIS Grey Cloud Productions Dir: Jacques Brand Prod: Jarrod de Jong Variety PONTE Nostalgia Productions/ Black Irish Productions Prod: Jamie Ramsay/Brett Michael Innes Feature RACHEL WEEPING Nostalgia Productions Prod: Johan Kruger/ Brett Michael Innes Feature SARAH GRAHAM: BITTEN 2 Okuhle Media Dir: Chris Lotz Series SEBOKENG MPA (Motswako) Dir: Charls Khuele / Zuko Nodada Feature THE BLOOD KING AND THE RED DRAGON Current Affairs Films Prod: Jane Thandi Lipman / Mtutuzeli Matshoba Feature
IN PRE-PRODUCTION ABLAND PROPERTY DEVELOPERS FC Hamman Films Dir: FC Hamman Marketing Video ATTACHMENT PARENTING Blue Marble Entertainment Dir: Eugene Botha Insert DIE LAASTE URE: INCONNU FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL Grey Cloud Productions Dir: Jacques Brand Producer: Jarrod de Jong Short film DOMESTIC BLISS 2 Blonds and a Redhead Filming Prod: Anne Myers Advertising Funder Project EL ELJON PROJECTS FC Hamman Films Director: FC Hamman Marketing Video ESPAFRIKA PRESENTS THE CAPE TOWN INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL 2014 ESPafrika Prod/Dir: Rashid Lombard / Yana Lombard / John Bright Documentary
PRODUCTION FACE OF GEMINI Footprint Media TV Prod: Cheryl Delport Series GENERATION FREE Okuhle Media Dir: Jemima Spring Series HIDDEN HOLOCAUST IN THE DUNES: GENOCIDE IN NAMIBIA Blue Marble Entertainment Dir: Eugene Botha Series JUB JUB DOCUMENTARY (working title) Baxopath Media Dir: Nolitha Tshinavha Documentary
BIG BROTHER THE CHASE Endemol South Africa Reality BINNELAND Stark Films Prod/Dir: Friedrich / Elsje Stark Series BODA BODA THIEVES Switch Films Prod: James Tayler Feature BONISANANI Grounded Media Talk Show CARTE BLANCHE (INSERTS) Modern Times Prod: Sophia Phirippides News
LOVE MORE: POLYAMORY IN SOUTH AFRICA Blue Marble Entertainment Dir: Eugene Botha Series
CARTE BLANCHE SHORTS TIA productions Prod / Dir: Tarryn Lee Crossman News
MARRY ME IN MZANZI Blue Marble Entertainment Dir: Eugene Botha Series
COOL CATS Red Pepper Pictures Prod: Cecil Berry Children’s Show
SAFE IN THE CITY Imani Media. Series
CORTEX MINING FC Hamman Films Prod Man: Odette van Jaarsveld Corporate Video
SEATBELT MEDIC FC Hamman Films Dir: FC Hamman Commercial SLENDER WONDER INFORMATION VIDEO Grey Cloud Productions Dir: Jacques Brand Information Video
COME DINE WITH ME SOUTH AFRICA Rapid Blue Prod: Kee-Leen Irvine Reality CUTTING EDGE SABC News Current Affairs
STICKS+STONES (working title) Fireworx Media/ Tunc Prodcutions Prod: Bridget Pickering Telenovela
DINNER DIVAS 2 Blonds and a Redhead Filming Prod: Anne Myers Series
THE MASC Footprint Media TV Prod: Cheryl Delport Short film
DITOKELO TSA MEDUPI LMOL Production Dir: Lizzy Moloto Feature
THE MESSENGER Spirit Word Ministries/ Footprint Media Academy Prod: Annalise Van Rensburg Series
DIY MET RIAAN Prod: Riaan Venter-Garforth Magazine
WARD 22 TIA Productions Prod/Dir: Tarryn Crossman Documentary WORKERSLIFE NETWORK MARKETING FC Hamman Films Director: FC Hamman Marketing Video
IN PRODUCTION 3 TALK Urban Brew Talk Show 20 AND FREE X CON Films Dir: Munier Parker Documentary 50/50 Clive Morris Productions Current Affairs AFRICA 360 eNews News Head: Patrick Conroy Current affairs AFRO CAFÉ SEASON 7 Bonngoe Productions Prod: Pepsi Pokane Music ALL ACCESS Homebrew Films Prod: Paul Venter/ Hannes van Wyk / Tammy Anne Fortuin Magazine
EASTERN MOSAIC Red Carpet Productions Prod: Saira Essa / Mark Corlett Magazine EM PETROCHEMICALS TOP END Betta Beta Communications Prod/Dir: Tommy Doig Training Program END GAME Fireworx Media/ Tunc Productions Prod: Bridget Pickering Dir: Akin Omotoso/ Thandie Brewer/ Thabang Moleya Feature EXPRESSO (SEASON 2) Cardova Prod: Paul van Deventer Series FACILITY MANAGEMENT LECTURES (A4FM) Panache Video Productions Dir/ Prod: Liesel Eiselen Educational FORMIDABELE VROUE: ANNEKIE THERON Khaki Productions Prod/Dir: Christelle Parrott/ Wynand Dreyer Documentary FORMIDABELE VROUE: CISSY GOOL Khaki Productions Prod/Dir: Christelle Parrott/ Wynand Dreyer Documentary FOX NEWS CHANNEL Betta Beta Communications Prod/Dir: Tommy Doig News
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FRENZY Red Pepper Pictures Prod: Morena Sefatsa Variety GENERATIONS Morula Pictures Prod: Mfundi Vundla Series GOOD MORNING AFRICA Planet Image Productions SA Prod/Dir: Wale Akinlabi Magazine GOSPEL GOLD Engage Entertainment Prod: Vusi Zion (previously Twala) Music GROEN Homebrew Films Prod: Jaco Loubser Wildlife HECTIC 99 Okuhle Media Prod: Wilna van Schalkwyk Magazine HITACHI POWER AFRICA MEDUPI & KUSILE Betta Beta Communications Prod/Dir: Tommy Doig Documentary HOPE NHU Africa Prod: Vyv Simson / Donfrey Meyer Documentary HOUSE CALL Izwe Multimedia / Urban Brew Prod: Annalie Potgieter Talk Show
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IGNITE Footprint Media TV Prod: Cheryl Delport Reality IMIZWILILI Ukhamba Communications Music INKABA Urban Brew Studios Prod: John Kani Telenovela ISIDINGO Endemol South Africa Dir: Raymond Sargent / Johnny Barbazano Series JAN SMUTS: AN INTERNATIONAL ICON AHEAD OF HIS TIME Tekweni TV production Prod/Dir: Sandra Herrington / Neville Herrington Documentary KONA The Directors Team (Pty) Ltd Prod/Dir: Laurence Lurie / Cathy Sykes Series KOOLCON CORPORATE VIDEO FiX Post Production/ Marketing AV Marketing Video KWELA Pieter Cilliers Productions Prod/Dir: Pieter Cilliers Magazine LATE NITE NEWS ON E.TV Diprente Productions Prod: Tamsin Andersson Series LIVE Urban Brew Music LIVE LOTTO SHOW Urban Brew Game Show MANDELA’S GUN DV8 films Dir: John Irvin Feature
MARANG ESTATE: MIXED USED DEVELOPMENT NOV/ DEC Our Time Productions Dir: Jaun de Meillon Documentary MASHELENG1 LMOL Production Dir: Lizzy Moloto Feature
MASHELENG 2 LMOL Production Dir: Jonny Muteba Feature MASSMART CSI REPORT SummerTime Productions Prod/Dir: Roxanne Rolando / Sean Gardiner Corporate Video February 2014 | SCREENAFRICA | 49
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MATRICS UPLOADED Educational Improvement and Study Help (EISH) Prod: Lisa Blakeway Educational MILLIONAIRES Two Oceans Production Prod: Giselher Venzke & Bertha Spieker Feature MK CAMPUS Homebrew Films Prods: Jaco Loubser / Ben Heyns Series MOTSWAKO Carol Bouwer Productions Prod: Vesko Mrdjen Talk Show MUSIC MOVES ME Engage Entertainment Prod: Vusi Zion (previously Twala) Music MUVHANGO Word of Mouth Prod: Pieter Grobbelaar Feature
ROLLING WITH KELLY KHUMALO Red Pepper Prod: Cecil Barry Reality ROOTS Ukhamba Communications Music SAINT & FREEDOM FIGHTER Blue Marble Entertainment Dir: Eugene Botha Documentary
MZANSI INSIDER Bonngoe Productions Prod: Pepsi Pokane Magazine
SA’S GOT TALENT Rapid Blue Prod/Dir: Kee-Leen Irvine Reality
NET1 – SASSA Betta Beta Communications Prod: Tommy Doig Corporate
SCANDAL Ochre Moving Pictures Prod: Romano Gorlei Soapie
NEW LAND Plexus Films/ Four Corners Media Dir: Kyle O’ Donoghue TV Series
SCHOEMAN BOERDERY – MOOSRIVIER Khaki Productions Prod/Dir: Christelle Parrott / Wynand Dreyer Documentary
ONS MENSE Homebrew Films Prod: Jaco Loubser Current Affairs PASELLA Tswelopele Productions Dir: Liani Maasdorp / Werner Hefer Magazine PBS EXTENDED NEWS PROGRAMMING Current Affairs Films Prod: Jane Thandi Lipman Feature PHOENIX RISING... THE BUSINESS OF STYLE Phoenix Entertainment and Production Prod/Dir: Koketso Sefanyetso Reality POWER COMBAT ZONE Mixed Motion Entertainment Dir: Dieter Gottert Sport PROJECT MV Zen Crew Prod: Laura Tarling Music PSALTED Engage Entertainment Prod: Vusi Zion (previously Twala) Variety RANDS WITH SENSE 2 Blonds and a Redhead Filming Prod: Anne Myers Education RHYTHM CITY Quizzical Pictures Prod: Yula Quinn Soapie RHYTHM CITY INTERACTIVE Quizzical Pictures / e.tv Prod: Viva Liles-Wilkin Interactive Platform Media
50 | SCREENAFRICA | February 2014
ROER Homebrew Films Prod: Jaco Loubser Series
Sabido Productions Dir/Prod: Catherine Rice Documentary
NEWS NIGHT eNews Prod: Nikiwe Bikitsha Current Affairs
Unit 3, Harbour Place, 1061 Schooner Road, Laser Park, Honeydew
ROCKING FUTURE SummerTime Productions Prod: Sean Gardiner / Tanya Vandenberg Educational Video
SAKEGESPREK MET THEO VORSTER SEASON 4 Dirk Mostert Camera Production Prod/Dir: Dirk Mostert / Rudi Ahlstrom Magazine
MY NAME IS FUNEKA
RIVONINGO Asi-B Films Prod: Asivhanzi ‘Asi’ Mathaba Children’s Show
SELIMATUNZI Sikhoyana Productions Prod: Baby Joe Correira Variety SHIZ NIZ Red Pepper Pictures Prod: Allen Makhubele Variety SHIFT Urban Brew Talk show
STUDY MATE Educational Improvement and Study Help (EISH) Exec Prod: Lisa Blakeway Educational SWARTWATER Quizzical Pictures Prod: Bianca Isaac Dir: John Trengove/ Jozua Malherbe/ Denny Y Miller Series THE B-BALL SHOW SABC Commissioning Ed: Dinah Mahlabegoane Variety THE CHAT ROOM Eclipse Prod: Thokozani Nkosi Talk Show THE CODE BREAKER NHU Africa Prod: Vyv Simson / Donfrey Meyer Documentary THE COMMUNIST REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA Jam TV, Creative South Africa, Nkhanyeti Production Prod: Barthelemy Ngwessam Documentary THE JUSTICE FACTOR eNews Prod: Debbie Meyer Current Affairs THE LAST GREAT TUSKERS NHU Africa Prod: Vyv Simson / Donfrey Meyer Documentary THE LIGHTHOUSE RUN – 42 MARATHONS, 42 DAYS SummerTime Productions Dir: Tanya Vandenberg Documentary THE REAL GOBOZA 7 Urban Brew Entertainment THE REVOLUTION BETRAYED Shadow Films Prod/Dir: David Forbes Documentary THE RUDIMENTALS Periphery Films Prod: Simon Taylor Feature
SHORELINE 2 Homebrew films Series
THE STORY OF LITTLE FOOT Paul Myburgh Film Prod: Paul Myburgh Documentary
SISTERHOOD Red Pepper Pictures Prod: Andy Leze Variety
THE TECH REPORT Greenwall Productions Prod: Nicky Greenwall Magazine
SIYAKHOLWA – WE BELIEVE X CON Films Dir: Munier Parker Edutainment
THERE ARE NO HEROES AFDA Cape Town Dir: Kyle Stevenson Short film
SLENDER WONDER DOCTORS CONFERENCE Grey Cloud Productions Dir: Jacques Brand Prod: Slender Wonder Corporate Video
TOP BILLING Tswelopele Productions Prod: Patience Stevens Magazine
SLENDER WONDER PATIENT TESTIMONIAL VIDEOS Grey Cloud Productions Dir: Jacques Brand Corporate Videos SOCCER 411 Engage Entertainment Prod: Vusi Zion (previously Twala) Magazine SOCCER ZONE SABC Sports Head: Sizwe Nzimande Magazine STUDIO 53 M-Net Inhouse Productions Dir: Navan Chetty Magazine
TOP TRAVEL (SEASON 3) Cardova Prod: Bradley van den Berg Series TRANSFORMATION STORIES Media Village Productions Dir: Diane Vermooten Documentary TROOPSHIP TRAGEDY (working title) Sabido Productions Prod/Dir: Marion Edmunds Documentary TSHIPE BORWA MANGANESE MINE Betta Beta Communications Prod / Dir: Tommy Doig Documentary
PRODUCTION UNFRIEND Two Oceans Production Prod: Giselher Venzke & Bertha Spieker Feature
FORM 36 Sukuma Media Dir: Bonginhlanhla Ncube Documentary
SIYAYA Francois Odendaal Productions Prod/Dir: Francois Odendaal Series
VILLA ROSA Spectro Productions Dir: Luhann Jansen / Andries van der Merwe/ Leroux Botha/ Isabel Smit Series
FORMIDABELE VROUE: UNA VAN DER SPUY Khaki Productions Prod/Dir: Christelle Parrott/ Wynand Dreyer Documentary
SLENDER WONDER FC Hamman Films Prod: Odette van Jaarsveld Corporate Video
VOLKSPELE SOUTH AFRICA Grey Cloud Productions Dir:Jacques Brand Prod: Bertie Brink Documentary WEEKEND LIVE SABC News Current Affairs WHY POVERTY? STEPS International Prod: Don Edkins Series WORLDSOUTH Leago Afrikan Arts Foundation Dir: Sakhile Gumbi Documentary YILENGELO LAKHO Prod: Nndanganeni Mudau Current Affairs ZOOM IN Footprint Media TV Prod: Cheryl Delport Talk show
IN POST-PRODUCTION 4LIFE NETWORK Bragge Film & TV Dir: Guy Bragge Infomercials A BUSHMAN ODYSSEY Onetime Films Prod: Richard Wicksteed Documentary A DIFFERENT COUNTRY Sabido Productions Dir: Lisa Henry Documentary series A LOVE LETTER TO LUXOR Shadow Films Prod/Dir: David Forbes Short Film AFROX CO2 PLANT FC Hamman Films Prod: Odette van Jaarsveld Corporate Video AFROX FINANCIAL RESULTS FC Hamman Films Prod: Odette van Jaarsveld Corporate Video AFROX RAU INSIGHT FC Hamman Films Prod: Odette van Jaarsveld Corporate Video AFROX SHEQ INDUCTION FC Hamman Films Prod: Odette van Jaarsveld Commercial BUA NNETE Owami Entertainment Dir: Charles Khuele Short film CALAFORNIA: VALLEY CHRISTIAN SCHOOL TRANSFORMATION Media Village Prod: Diane Vermooten Documentary
FORMIDABELE VROUE: INA DE VILLIERS Khaki Productions Prod/Dir: Christelle Parrott/ Wynand Dreyer Documentary HALF OF A YELLOW SUN British Film Institute Dir: Biyi Bandele Feature HEAR ME MOVE Coal Stove Pictures / FiX Post Production Dir: Scottnes L.Smith Feature HOME OF THE LEGENDS L. Dukashe Productions Prod/Dir: Lumko Dukashe / Lulu Dukashe Documentary HONG KONG Media Village Prod: Diane Vermooten Documentary IQILI Impucuzeko Prod: Sharon Kakora Feature JAM SANDWICH Meerkat Media Dir: MQ Ngubane Music JULIUS HAS A DREAM Creative South Africa, Nkanyethi Productions,Jam TV Prod: Bathelemy Ngwessam Documentary LIFE UNDER THE FLAG Lifeundertheflag.Com Prod: Prince Angelo Doyle Documentary NORTHMEN Two Oceans Productions Prod: Giselher Venzke & Bertha Spieker Feature NYAOPE GANGSTERS LMOL Production Dir: Lizzy Moloto Feature PAD NA JOU HART The Film Factory Prod: Danie Bester, Ivan Botha, Donna Lee Roberts Dir: Jaco Smit Feature PERFECT SHISHEBO Quizzical Pictures Prod: Nthabiseng Mokoena Series PLAY MORE GOLF FC Hamman Films Prod: Odette van Jaarsveld Commercials PUSHI- PASSION LMOL Production Dir: Lizzy Moloto Series
CHALLENGE SOS 2 Blonds and a Redhead Filming Prod: Anne Myers Reality
SAFE BET Sukuma Media Dir: Bonginhlanhla Ncube Feature
DEAR SISTER Media Village Prod: Debbie Matthee Short film
SCHOOL E-WASTE INITIATIVE/ DESCO/ INCREDIBLE CONNECTION Philip Schedler Productions Prod: Philip Schedler Corporate
ERFSONDES Imani Media Dir: Peter Heaney Series
SLENDER WONDER MJ LABS FC Hamman Films Prod: Odette van Jaarsveld Corporate Video SOLO FLIGHT Two Oceans Production Prod: Giselher Venzke/ Bertha Spieker Feature SOUTH AFRICAN FIELD BAND FOUNDATION CHAMPIONSHIPS Panache Video Productions Prod: Liesel Eiselen Documentary SPUD 3: LEARNING TO FLY Rogue Star Films Dir: John Barker Feature STETSON HATS Fourth Dimension Films / Creative Photo Services Dir: Neil Hermann Corporate Video
U PDAT ES
JANUARY 16 – 26
SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL
Park City, Utah www.sundance.org/festival
FEBRUARY 01 – 05
JAIPUR INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Jaipur, India www.jiffindia.org
10 – 12
DIGITAL BROADCASTING SWITCHOVER FORUM
16 – 17
PAN AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL
Los angeles, USA www.paff.org
21 – 28
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso www.fespaco-bf.net
21 – 23
JOZI FILM FESTIVAL
TANZANIAN INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES Benchmark Productions Dir: Dermod Judge Corporate Video
MARCH 24 – 31
COLOURS OF THE NILE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
THE AFRIKANER BROEDERBOND It’s a Wrap Productions Dir: Eugene Botha Documentary
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia www.coloursofthenile.net
THE CHEETAH DIARIES SERIES 4 NHU Africa Prod: Vyv Simson / Donfrey Meyer Documentary
28 – 29
SHOWBIZ, ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTS (SEA) EXPO
THE CALLING LMOL Production Dir: Lizzy Moloto Feature
APRIL 3 – 7
THE 2ND ANNUAL FIRST TIME FEST
New York www.firsttimefest.com
THE LIGHTHOUSE RUN SummerTime Productions Dir: Tanya Vandenberg Documentary
5 – 6
SOUTH AFRICAN FILM AND TELEVISION AWARDS
Gallagher Estate, Johannesburg www.nfvf.co.za
THE MESSAGE Reel Edge Studios Dir: David Golden TV Drama Series
7 – 9
Cannes, France www.miptv.com
9 – 13
AFRYKAMERA AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL
Warsaw, Poland www.afrykamera.pl
THE TRANSPORTERS Sukuma Media/ Reality Motion Pictures Dir: Bonginhlanhla Ncube Documentary TO THE POWER OF ANNE FiX Productions Prod/Dir: Robert Haynes Series VALLEJO TRANSFORMATION Media Village Prod: Diane Vermooten Corporate VERITAS Media Village Prod: Debbie Matthee Documentary VKB LANDBOU BEPERK FC Hamman Films Prod: Odette van Jaarsveld Corporate Video WHEN I WAS WATER Shadow Films Dir: David Forbes Documentary XJ-1 Eternal Film Productions Prod: Marius Swanepoel / Dana Pretorius Feature Screen Africa relies on the accuracy of information received and cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions which may occur. E-mail production updates to: email@example.com
Unit C5 RobeRtville Mini FaCtoRies 255 nadine stReet RobeRtville RoodepooRt 1709
February 2014 | SCREENAFRICA | 51
PHOTOS BY JESSICA NEUMANN
The main stage for PromaxBDA Africa 2013
An audience experiencing ‘The Awesome Battle of Creatives’
Timothy Horwood and beatboxer jamming it up for the crowd
PromaxBDA Africa attendees enjoying snacks between sessions.
Vanessa Sheldrick with SABC-sponsored keynote speaker, David Shing
Kobus Kotzé, and Charl Joubert of Orijin – runner-up contestants for ‘The Awesome Battle Battle of Creatives’ prize
Tim Horwood’s sock prize, awarded to the winners, George Leong and Victor Hugo of Fairchild Creatives, at ‘The Awesome Battle of Creatives’
PHOTOS BY JESSICA NEUMANN
Patrick Jucaud (DISCOP)
Paul Mashatile (Minister of Arts and Culture)
Peter Machen, Tiny Mungwe, Toni Monty and friend
Korean Ambassador Mohale Ralebitso Group Chairman and Brett Morris Group Chief Executive Officer – Draftfcb South Africa Leading advertising agency Draftfcb South Africa has made a number of key senior appointments. Brett Morris, who has served as the group’s chief creative officer for 13 years, is now the chief executive officer. Advertising and marketing veteran Mohale Ralebitso has joined the company as its new group chairman. Morris said of his appointment: “I’ve always been interested in the broader aspects of the business because it all ultimately affects the work, so I’m really excited about the opportunity to collaborate with this team to deliver truly iconic South African campaigns for our clients.” Ralebitso said: “The opportunity to work with an agency of Draftfcb’s calibre and its blue chip clients is one that truly fires up my imagination.” 52 | SCREENAFRICA | February 2014
Jess Neumann (Screen Africa) and Addi Lang (Caitlin’s Casting)
Im Jung Sook (SK Broadband)
Hamid Jessey (DBN TV)
Nthabeleng Phosa (GFC) and Lerato Mokopanele (NFVF)
Charles Murito (Zuku TV)
Mahlogonolo Manchester Mahapa (Basic Lead)
GlobeCast’s Julia Richardson, Martin Brasq and Bazeli Mbo
G O L F
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Networking function prize giving:
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