BROADCAST, FILM, TV, COMMERCIALS, NEW MEDIA & TECHNOLOGY NEWS
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VOL 29 â€“ February 2017 R38.00
BRINGING STORIES TO LIFE. WHAT IS YOUR STORY?
Scout no further than KwaZulu-Natal for your next production. With provincial incentives, National rebates, film friendly locations and the most diverse and inspiring backdrops - our kingdom is your stage. See how to be creative and budget sensitive by visiting: www.kwazulunatalfilm.co.za 10th Floor, Musgrave Towers,115 Musgrave Road, Berea, Durban, 4001, South Africa. Tel: +27 31 325 0200
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@KwaZuluNatalFilmCommission @kwazulufilm @kwazulunatalfilm KZN Film Commission
2016/08/26 10:32:24 AM
| IN THIS ISSUE
16 SA takes on Hollywood with Last Broken Darkness
20 year journey from censorship to content regulation
Focus on lighting
SPECIAL FEATURE LIGHTING Focus on lighting...................................... 28 A reflective view….................................. 29 Change is always good............................ 31 The future looks bright.......................... 32 DWR Distribution lights up SuperSport studios............................ 33 Lighting the way: Thabang Moubane.................................... 34
News FOX Africa content grows in 2017..............................................4 Durban International
DISCOP Johannesburg announces Germany as guest country
Terence Neale’s second global adidas Originals campaign
for 2017 edition..........................................6 Norway makes history with
racks up views by the millions.............. 13
company profile........................................ 24
radio’s first digital switchover..................6 Amazon Prime Video extends
A glass half full.......................................... 14
STUDIOS AND PRODUCTION FACILITIES
The KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission looks forward to
Fire risk mitigation for film
an industrious 2017................................. 15
Green is the new orange....................... 26
SA takes on Hollywood
Sound in the New Year........................... 36
Axon showcases AZilPix virtual camera system ..............................8 COAX Connectors in South Africa.......8 Digital Sputnik DS6....................................9 Light & Motion Stella Pro 5000...............9 The Magic Lightbox Company has new products available for rental......... 10 ARRI SkyPanel S120-C........................... 10
why SA used for local series....................5 ShowMax partners with
in Sub Saharan Africa..................................6
Mtshali Moss Projects Africa
reach into South Africa..............................6
Film Festival 2017 call for entries...........4 Nigeria’s NBC investigates
SEACOM in East Africa.............................6 Pay-TV prospers
Terence Neale’s second global adidas Originals campaign racks up views by the millions
Vignette Media makes its mark with new Pepsi Sting spot........... 11
production houses................................... 25
with Last Broken Darkness................... 16 Director Speak: Daryne Joshua............ 18
FESTIVALS & MARKETS
BUSINESS, POLICY & LEGISLATION
of African film festivals............................ 37
20 year journey from censorship
to content regulation.............................. 20
Love in the limelight................................ 22
Stuck in your head................................... 12
FOX Networks Africa showcase.......... 39 Planet Earth the second coming.......... 40
From the editor
It’s an interesting space we inhabit currently as an industry – an
industry in a constant state of flux, with its diverse and growing
Chanelle Ellaya is a writer and a journalist. She completed her BA Journalism degree at the University of Johannesburg in 2011. While writing is her passion, she has a keen interest in the media in various capacities: In 2012 she co-presented the entertainment and lifestyle show Top Entertainment on TopTV and later that year she was handpicked as part of a panel of five dynamic young Africans to interview Winnie MadikizelaMandela on a youth focused television show called MTV Meets. Chanelle is an avid social networker and a firm believer in the power of social and online networking. Between writing and tweeting, she finds time to feed her love for live music.
production landscape. While we have ideas aplenty, it’s no secret that it is our skills base that is in urgent need of development. This poses as a giant opportunity for new production houses, commercial and otherwise, to enter the market and address this omnipresent need. In this issue we introduce you to one such of these newer additions to the production game, boutique commercial house Vignette Media. Vignette’s first gig is the vibrant new Pepsi Sting ad for the East African market which Screen Africa got to explore the making of (page 11). On the topic of skills development, the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission (KZNFC) has commenced its plans to facilitate the
growth of both the international and local film industry with
Cera-Jane Catton is a writer and journalist with years of experience in community newspapers, blogging and freelance journalism. She has migrated to Jozi from Durban to join the team at Screen Africa in the hope of sampling lots of free popcorn. Cera has worked in a cache of capacities, often finding herself behind or in front of the cameras, intentionally and less so. She has been a stunt double in two Bollywood movies, has worked in various capacities on a number of natural history documentaries, and other international productions shot in South Africa. She studied journalism and photography and is always eager to learn something new. She speaks up for the voiceless, is a dedicated movie lover and a wannabe doccie maker.
initiatives ranging from Film Induced Tourism, the Bursary Programme, Facilities and Location development, the Film Fund and Human Capital Development. It’s worth noting that since the inception of the KZNFC’s Bursary Programme two years ago more than 30 beneficiaries have received financial support to pursue a tertiary qualification. We touch on the commission’s past and delve into their future plans (page 15). In our television section, Screen Africa journalist Cera-Jane Catton got the inside scoop on the local version of the fascinating series Married at First Sight (page 22). While deemed a reality show, Married at First Sight is also a social experiment that sees hopeful singles allow a team of experts to select their future life partner for what is effectively
Greg Bester with 16 years in the audio industry and a penchant for the technology of things, has funnelled his accumulative experience into writing since 2007. An audio engineer by trade, he has worked in many areas of production such as live sound, music, post-production, location recording and film audio and his work has garnered several award nominations.
an arranged marriage. This month we put the spotlight on lighting (see what I did there). With six pages (pages 29-35) dedicated to bringing you the inside story on the lighting industry, from then to now, in the words of those who have worked in the industry themselves and hence know it best. From lighting to sound, we Sound in the New Year (and close off the issue) by chatting to audio experts on where they see the audio industry heading in
James Sey is a writer, academic and journalist with many years’ experience in business to business journalism. He is the current editor of Screen Africa’s sister publication, Pro-Systems Africa News.
terms of trends and new technologies (page 36). Until next time… – Chanelle Ellaya
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John Trengove’s debut feature The Wound makes global waves Urucu Media director John Trengove’s debut feature film The Wound made its world premiere in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival which took place in Utah, USA, from 19 to 29 January. The excitement had barely settled on the news of the Sundance premiere when the filmmakers received more good news that the film had been selected to open the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival’s Panorama section. The festival runs from 9 to 18 February 2017. “We could not be more thrilled with this amazing opportunity to premiere the film in Competition at Sundance and on top of that open Berlinale Panorama,” producer Elias Ribeiro commented at the time of writing. “We are even happier to have been able to bring our three principle cast members to the festival to savour this achievement first hand. They took such big risk coming on board this project and we would love to push them as far as we can into the international arena.” The Wound follows Xolani, a lonely Xhosa factory worker who joins the men of his community in the mountains of the Eastern Cape to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood. When a defiant initiate from the city discovers his best kept secret, Xolani’s entire existence
DANCING IN THE SUN: Still from The Wound begins to unravel. Co-written by John Trengove, Thando Mgqolozana and Malusi Bengu, and produced by Urucu Media, the film stars musician and novelist, Nakhane Touré in his debut film-role, alongside Bongile Mantsai and Niza Jay Ncoyini. It was shot on location in the northern region of South Africa with an all-male Xhosa cast. “The Wound is a testament to the incredible efforts of our collaborators and cast. We obviously couldn’t be happier about our premieres at Sundance and Berlin, but ultimately this film was created as a challenge to our own industry,” says
Trengove, “We know that The Wound will spark strong opinions among local audiences. We encourage this debate and hope that local filmmakers will dare to take greater risks and question the wisdom of existing models in South African cinema.” “What a privilege to have worked with this fearless cast and insanely talented team of collaborators. I am so grateful for the many Xhosa men who contributed in big ways and small ways, and, miraculously, trusted me to make this film. Whatever comes next, we made The Wound with our eyes and hearts wide
open,” Trengove comments. The film is a co-production between South Africa, Germany, The Netherlands and France and was developed with the assistance of The Hubert Bals Fund and ARTE International Prize. The Department of Trade and Industry and The National Film and Video Foundation supported production. The Wound has been presold to broadcasters ARTE France and ZDF in Germany. International sales will is handled by Pyramide in Paris. The film’s intended release in South Africa is July 2017.
VR is pitching on the sports field in SA
Virtual Reality (VR) content creation and development company, SenseVirtual is kicking off another platform to its banner: AthleticVirtual. SenseVirtual are known for conceptualising and creating a full range of 3D and VR filmed content. In the expanding and quickly advancing industry VR is taking off and SenseVirtual are giving its wings wind. For the first time in SA they are making 360 degree videos for sports teams. AthleticVirtual purely focuses on using sports to create virtual experiences. They are taking technology that is growing in popularity and honing it into a niche market where VR could soon be the
key to success. Founder of SenseVirtual, Tyrone Rubin spoke to Screen Africa about the strides they are making in the SA sports arena. He says that when they are filming 360 degree they mostly use the multi camera 360 GoPro rigs as well as having explored higher end cameras such as the Mini Eye 4 (4 Black Magic camera rig) and the Nokia Ozo. They also use existing headsets that they endorse, namely the HTC Vive and the Oculus. Rubin says that they were the first in SA to get developer kits of the HTC Vive and the Oculus nearly three years ago. SenseVirtual is currently building
relationships within the sports industry, working with a cricket athlete and the head analyst of an SA rugby team. The company decided to start tapping into the market after it was approached to create a VR app for the team of physiotherapist who were heading to the 2016 Olympics, the app entailed stretching exercises in VR. Currently SenseVirtual is developing content around sports training that offers an observational point of view, where the player can immerse themselves. That allows the player to mimic professional moves, like a golf swing where one can master their stroke. Where one can interact and get instant feedback and
furthermore where one can view sports in VR no matter where in the world it is taking place. Rubin says they are exploring live stream in sports and they want to be the first to do so in SA. SenseVirtual is also building the first VR app for Samsung Gear which will include numerous training experiences where you will have an array of lessons to learn from in VR. “For sports in general there is a massive amount of material out there,” says Rubin. “Sports teams can start exploring VR and getting results from it.” He says studies done by a company using it for immersing people into the sports show that it increases muscle memory and cognitive play. “It’s an incredible form of general education,” adds Rubin. “We are attacking education and training in a good way.” The company says it is early days for sports training via VR and they are starting from the ground up. Yet the idea of visualising results before an event is certainly not new. Some coaches even go as far as saying that sports are 90 per cent mental, and it is no secret that seasoned athletes already employ mental techniques. Famous studies and sportsmen uphold mental rehearsing so could VR in this arena be positive reinforcement on steroids? – Cera-Jane Catton February 2017 | SCREENAFRICA | 3
FOX Africa content grows in 2017 FOX Africa kicked off the new year with its Fox Networks Africa Showcase. The event was held at the 54 on Bath hotel in Johannesburg, where celebrity guests and media were treated to a preview screening of the pilot show Legion, along with a peek at its 2017 line up. FOX channels are promising viewers an award winning line-up landing on the continent this year. The event kicked off with general manager at FOX Networks Group Africa, Gary Alfonso sharing the groups hopes and goals for 2017. Alfonso, who joined the group as general manager in August last year says he has been hooked on the industry since he was a child. “I knew I was hooked on this industry when I was 12-years-old, after I started a radio station in a tree house in the small town of Clocolan,” says Alfonso. Joking about the small town in the Free State being one that few have heard of, this did not deter him from learning a fundamental lesson as a young entrepreneur. “I learned something about audiences very quickly,” he explains. “I changed my channel to speak at different times of the day to different people passing in the street,”
SHOWCASING FOX: Still from the show Savage Kingdom Alfonso says nothing has changed for him since 1975 as far as trying to curate excellent content for the right audiences. Alfonso briefly touched on the network’s video-on-demand content, while the group is keeping this info under wraps, he did infer that there will be 3 000 hours of premium content available through their platform. Following the launch of FOX Life in October 2016, Alfonso predicts further reach and growth in the coming months. FOX Networks Group Africa includes the
FOX channel (channel 125 on DStv), FOX Life (Channel 126), National Geographic (Channel 181) and Nat Geo Wild (Channel 182) which Alfonso says is now available across DStv’s Premium, Extra, and Compact ranges. Alfonso says this means that FOX Africa’s contact is now within the reach of the LSM five to seven groups, and across the pay TV spectrum. Furthermore the group now has a presence on the StarSat platform through the likes of Nat Geo Wild and its FOX channels.
Having contracts with the West African Football Union to broadcast local matches, and the World Boxing Association to host African championship boxing, the group is moving into the sports field. Alfonos highlighted the success of popular shows with Empire being renewed for a fourth season and The Simpsons now in its 28th season. He adds that the international success of Mars saw it being the most PVR’d show in history and the second most watched show on Nat Geo. He spoke of the success of Africa’s very own Savage Kingdom among the many international hits. FOX Networks Group SA director of sales and marketing, Khosi Khanyile then introduced the content and show highlights coming to screens this year. Notably the local shows on Nat Geo Wild, including that in March Big Cat Month takes place in South Africa, with shows Battle for the Pride, Soul of the Cat, Ultimate Rivals: Cat vs. Dog, Storm Cats, and Return of the Lion all featuring, amongst African adventure shows depicting the continents incredible wildlife. Notably, guests at the event heard that along with an international line-up there is reason to believe that there is strong global interest and demand in and for locally produced content. – Cera-Jane Catton
Durban International Film Festival 2017 call for entries The Durban International Film Festival submissions for the 2017 edition are open. The Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) invites filmmakers from across the world to submit their Short, Documentary or Feature Fiction films to screen in the festival from 13 to 23 July 2017. The 38th edition of the festival is organised by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts in partnership with the Durban Film Office, eThekwini Municipality, National Film and Video Foundation, KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission and other valued funders and partners. With screenings of cutting-edge cinema from around the world, with special focus on both South African and African films, the festival exhibits films in a range of diverse venues in and around the city of Durban. DIFF is a premiere platform for the launch of African films and a key gateway to the African film industry. The festival also includes an annual local and international awards component. This year the festival will shine a light upon the ever expanding trend in cinema highlighting the refugee or immigrant stories with Transit Tales. As the global society expands further every year, cinema has highlighted the stories of 4 | SCREENAFRICA | February 2017
subjects as they chase their hopes and dreams for their lives in a new and sometimes unknown land. The festival is looking for feature, shorts and documentaries that chronicle such stories from various corners of the globe. Only films completed in 2016 and 2017 will be considered, and there is no charge for entry. Submissions will be accepted via an online screener. All submissions must be entered via the DIFF Visitor Page
online. In order to submit a film, an account needs to be created if this has not already been done in previous years. The deadline for all entries (short films, documentaries and feature fiction films), including delivery of screeners, is on 28 February 2017. Each edition of the festival features an extensive Industry Programme with seminars and workshops comprised of both local and international filmmakers
and industry professionals. The programme includes the 10th Talents Durban (14 to 18 July 2017), presented in co-operation with Berlinale Talents, and the 8th Durban FilmMart (14 to 17 July 2017), presented in partnership with the Durban Film Office, as well as various other streams of programming. For more information visit the festival website (www.durbanfilmfest.co.za) or email email@example.com.
Nigeria’s NBC investigates why SA used for local series Big Brother Nigeria 2017 kicked off on 22 January and the fact that the second season was not filmed on location in Naija, but was filmed in the Big Brother house in South Africa has many Nigerians fuming. According to a statement from Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Lai Mohammed, the minister of Information, says his office has been inundated with complaints from viewers over the broadcaster’s decision. These complaints have prompted an investigation into the decision to film the show outside of Nigeria, stating this could be a case of “deceitful location fraud.” In 2006, Endemol South Africa teamed up with a Nigerian production team to produce Big Brother Nigeria. Since then Big Brother Africa has not returned to Nigeria, with the Mozambique and Angola versions using the same Johannesburg house.
The Nigerian government says it is investigating why the reality TV series Big Brother Nigeria, which was relaunched as Big Brother Naija, is being shot in Johannesburg. The NBC Nigeria is looking into if MultiChoice has breached the Nigerian Broadcasting Code in any way. “As a country of laws, only the outcome of the investigation will determine our next line of action,” the statement says. A statement issued by MultiChoice Nigeria says that decision was informed by the desire to deliver the same high
quality production that its subscribers are accustomed to on its platforms. “Staging the show in a Big Brother facility that already exists – and has been specially built for such purposes is not only cost-effective but has also allowed MultiChoice Nigeria to maintain the same excellent production values as with previous Big Brother editions whilst meeting tight timelines,” the company explains. The Big Brother Johannesburg house is already outfitted and technically rigged to suit the requirements of the show. The production demands
| News uninterrupted electricity, as the cameras need to be rolling 24 hours for 11 weeks on the reality TV show. “MultiChoice is a proud supporter and investor of local creative industries and currently has ongoing entertainment productions across the continent, including the much-loved Tinsel and upcoming AMVCAs which are filmed and produced in Nigeria and aired in several countries across Africa,” the statement concludes. Last year’s The Voice Nigeria and The Voice Angola were also filmed in South Africa. This was to enable contestants to make use of the existing South African set used for The Voice South Africa. South Africa has long been the preferred location for international film sets. It has set the scene of northern African countries like Sierra Leone in Blood Diamond, futuristic Scotland in Doomsday, the shores of Mauritius and New Zealand in The Perfect Wave, and even the US Avengers. South African film studios and locations have been turned into science fiction worlds on planets far away; in to small American towns, European villas, and Asian streets, to list all the countries that have been staged in SA would require a page on its own. This is not reason to fume; it is simply testimony to the high standard of the film industry in SA. – Cera-Jane Catton
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February 2017 | SCREENAFRICA | 5
ShowMax partners with SEACOM in East Africa ShowMax has partnered with SEACOM, a major pan-African data service provider and the first company to launch broadband submarine cables along Africa’s eastern and southern coastlines. The agreement provides for SEACOM to host ShowMax caching servers in Nairobi, allowing for peering to take place with local internet service providers (ISPs). Explaining what this means for subscribers, ShowMax head of Distribution, Mike Raath sys: “The net effect of placing caching servers in Nairobi is that customers can pull video content from much closer to home, which means faster response time and less buffering. This move also lays the groundwork for further expansion in East Africa as we continue to rollout ShowMax in new countries.” In addition to delivering an improved
customer experience, this agreement also brings benefits to local ISPs in the form of lower costs. Explaining this, Raath says: “By peering with local ISPs, they’ll now be able to get ShowMax content directly rather than having to pay transit costs from servers based thousands of kilometres away. This is yet another way we’re working to make sure that ShowMax is the internet TV service listening to the needs of consumers and partners in Africa.”
Pay-TV prospers in Sub Saharan Africa According to Digital TV Research StarTimes and its South African subsidiary StarSat have seen the most impressive growth of the three major pay-TV players – from 4.18 million subscribers at the end of 2016 to 10.61 million by 2022, the analyst forecasts. MultiChoice had 11.61 million subscribers across its satellite TV platform DStv and DTT platform GOtv by the end of 2016, a figure which will grow to 17.66 million by 2022, according to the research company’s new report. Vivendi had 2.32 million subscribers to its Canal Plus satellite TV platform and Easy TV by the end of 2016; with analysts predicting this amount to climb two million to 4.32 million by 2022. Of the 19.47 million pay-TV subscribers across 35 countries at the end of 2016, 12.14 million received satellite TV services and 6.76 million opted for pay DTT services. The pay total will nearly double to 36.72 million by 2022, with satellite TV contributing 18.36 million and pay DTT
15.84 million. At the end of 2016, SA accounted for 6.39 million of Sub Saharan Africa’s total pay-TV subscriber base. By 2022, the country’s pay-TV subscription level is set to rise to 9.14 million. The second largest market, Nigeria, will increase its pay-TV subscription base by four million from 4.46 million in 2016 to 8.45 million in 2022, researchers forecast. Sub-Saharan pay TV revenues will reach US$6.59 billion in 2022, up from $4.20 billion in 2016 and $1.65 billion in 2010. SA and Nigeria will contribute nearly half of the region’s pay TV revenues by 2022. In terms of platforms, satellite TV delivered 87 per cent of the 2016 pay TV revenues, but its market importance will shrink to 78 per cent by 2022. In contrast, pay DTT will rise from 11 per cent of the overall total in 2016 to 18 per cent by 2022 – equating to revenues of $467 million last year to $1 156 million in six years’ time.
DISCOP Johannesburg announces Germany as guest country for 2017 edition DISCOP Johannesburg announces a significant partnership with Germany at this year’s European Film Market taking place 9 to 19 February. As a way of celebrating the sustained and growing presence of German companies at DISCOP Johannesburg 6 | SCREENAFRICA | February 2017
since its inception, as well as other major strides within the German film industry including co-productions with South African producers, Germany has been named as DISCOP Johannesburg’s 2017’s official guest country. Alongside a three-day market set to
Norway makes history with radio’s first digital switchover Norway is the first country in the world to start digital switchover (DSO) from FM to DAB+. National FM networks will be switched off region by region – starting in Nordland and progressing across the whole country throughout 2017. The final regions, Troms and Finnmark, will complete the process in December. Other international markets are following Norway’s lead. Switzerland is planning for switch-over to begin in 2020 and a major promotional campaign to raise awareness starts this year. The North-Italian region of South Tyrol will start its FM switch-off in 2017. In the UK, the government has stated it will review the next steps for digital radio when its criteria for coverage and listening are met – expected to be
achieved by the end of 2017. Germany and Denmark have both recently announced second national multiplexes, the Netherlands continues to make good progress, France has announced continued geographic expansion, Slovenia launched national services in 2016 and Belgium has announced plans for a federal DAB+ launch across Flanders and Wallonia in 2018. Outside of Europe, Australia continues to lead the way. The Norwegian switchover applies to national radio stations and commercial local radio stations broadcasting in larger cities. Community radio stations and smaller local stations will continue to broadcast on FM for five more years after national switch off, at which point licences will be reviewed.
Amazon Prime Video extends reach into South Africa The video-on-demand (VOD) platform has been rolled out at no additional cost to Amazon Prime members in Belgium, Canada, France, India, Italy and Spain. For the remaining 200 territories, the service is available at an introductory price of $2.99 (then $5.99) per month for the first six months. Despite some local rights limitations, customers around the world will have access to Amazon’s original series including The Grand Tour, The Man in the High Castle, Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle and Tumble Leaf. The content can be streamed or downloaded for
offline viewing. The service, which is available through a single web-based platform for all the territories, is premiering along with a set of mobile apps for Android, iOS and Fire tablets and some LG and Samsung smart TV models. Targeting a multi-language audience, the originally-English platform has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and French, with most of titles subtitled (and some dubbed) into these languages.
welcome 2 500+ production, commissioning, programming and distribution executives from more than 90 countries, a special focus will be placed on relationships between South Africa and Germany, as both countries have signed a treaty for the joint production of film and television works. Amongst other initiatives, the Germany
Guest Country programme will also be marked by an initiative to pair compelling, future-proof, and cross-border television series ideas initiated in South Africa with German production companies and content distribution platforms seeking projects that can captivate global audiences.
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COAX Connectors in South Africa Axon showcases AZilPix virtual camera system At BVE 2017, Axon Digital Design will showcase its AZilPix Studio.One, a brand new virtual camera system for live video capture and streaming. Studio.One employs cost-effective, ultra-high resolution cameras with wide angle and/or fish eye lenses to capture every aspect of a live event from multiple angles. The system is designed to integrate into a traditional or IP broadcast environment and blend seamlessly with Virtual Reality video production, making it ideal for remote internet or broadcast live productions such as music concerts, sports events, church services and conferences. As a founding partner in AZilPix, Axon has created an interface for Studio. One that allows the system’s cameras to link to its Cerebrum control and monitoring software. Axon is also assisting with sales and marketing for the broadcast market, where it sees significant possibilities for this exciting new technology. Studio.One essentially consists of three tightly integrated components: camera, capture server and processing software. The server ingests the raw, wide-angle video data from the cameras and allows recording and live processing of this data into one or more rectilinear views and a view mosaic. Although framing can be conducted live, a key advantage of this system is that framing can be carried out offline at the viewing or post-production stage. Using software-based pan-tilt-zoom ‘virtual camera’ cut-outs, a single operator can capture perfect shots from multiple vantage points – something that would normally require the skills of a small army of cameramen.
8 | SCREENAFRICA | February 2017
Broadcast Lines has recently announced a new addition to their extensive product range: COAX Connectors. COAX are experts at manufacturing connectors solutions for very diverse applications by providing you with not only a wide range of standard coaxial connector products, but also the support you need to solve all your RF connectivity problems. COAX Connectors offer products suitable for those markets where performance and reliability are vital. With decades of connector experience, the COAX team has the ability to design unique solutions and make COAX Connectors an obvious choice for your RF and BNC connector requirements. At COAX Connectors the value of performance and the cost of failure are recognised, therefore quality is at the core of all activities. The ISO 9001/2008 accreditation means that customers can be confident that the supply chain is robust and all internal activities are controlled. Connectors are built using components that are sourced from approved suppliers then plated and assembled in-house or by strategic partners. Comprehensive testing and simulation during the development phase ensures robust connector designs. ‘Coax Connectors’ products are solely distributed in southern Africa by Broadcast Lines.
Digital Sputnik DS6 Similar to the light output of a 4K HMI Fresnel at full flood, but with a variety of useful features such as rotating light columns for focusing and 0-100% flicker-free dimming, the DS6 LED Modular Light System from Digital Sputnik may be viewed as an indispensable light for any studio or DP. The versatile DS6 offers 1500 – 10 000K with +/- green tint, full RGB with primary colour rendering, 840 watts at full power, WiFi, DMX, and wireless DMX. A long, 30’ cable connects the power supply to the frame, and the 90-260 VAC meets international power requirements. Included with the DS6 is a tough flight case with wheels.
Light & Motion Stella Pro 5000 Stella Pro is one of the most compact, powerful, rugged, portable, cord-free LED lights in the industry. The completely waterproof design has a built-in Li-ion rechargeable battery that runs for 90 minutes on full power. Stella Pro’s smooth, even, 120-degree beam can be easily shaped and modified to provide a light that renders colours beautifully with consistent, reliable, regulated output. With a wide range of mounting options, lighting modifiers, and portable power, you can do things not possible with conventional lights. Stella Pro is waterproof to a depth of 100 metres and can withstand repeated 1-metre drops on concrete.
Key features: • High Output “Chip on Board” LED • Certified TLCI 93, CRI 90, CCT 5000 Kelvin • Output up to 10 300 Lux at 1 metre (1 000 Lux at 3 metres) • Integrated Rechargeable Li-ion battery for 1.5-12 hours of cord-free operation • Sophisticated flicker-free firmware design • Regulated lumen output – does not fade during use • Dimming with continuous or stepped control • Fan-free thermal management for silent operation • Controlled focus from 120° down to 50° and 25° • Broad range of accessories including Profoto and Chimera adaptability • OLED Digital Display for precise readout • Runs off wall power, DTAP, 24V
I’m Gonna Let It Shine! We Now Stock: - Arri L7-C / L10-C - Arri Skypanel 120-c - Arri M18 HMI - Litepanel Astra 1x1 Bicolour - & a WHOLE lot more! PLEASE FEEL FREE TO DISCUSS YOUR NEXT PRODUCTION WITH US: www.magiclightbox.co | 011 463 7584 | email@example.com February 2017 | SCREENAFRICA | 9
The Magic Lightbox Company has new products available for rental New Year’s Resolutions can be notoriously difficult to stick to – but when it involves some shiny new lighting gear from our friends at Visual Impact SA, we’re committed all the way through! The Magic Lightbox Company now has the following exciting lighting gear available for rental:
• Arri L7-C The Arri L7-C is an LED Fresnel light fixture from Arri which gives you full control over colour temperature, tint & hue (adjustable from 2 800K to 10 000K) as well as RGBW colours & full plus or minus green. Light emitted from the L7 is specifically calibrated for optimal reproduction on broadcast and digital cinema cameras, ensuring pleasing skin tones and vividly rendered colours.
• Arri Skypanel S120-C We mentioned earlier that Arri recently added the S120-C to their line-up of LED Softlights. The S120-C retains the same great features and colour tuneability as its smaller siblings, but is noticeably brighter than the S60-C. The S120-C consumes less than 400W, and features a stunning light aperture allowing you to light even the trickiest of setups. The Arri Skypanel also comes preloaded with the full range of Rosco gels, and allows you full control over colour temperature, tint & hue (adjustable from 2 800 K to 10 000 K) as well as RGBW colours and full plus or minus green.
• Litepanel Astra 1x1 Bicolour Even though the Astra’s have been available for rental for a few months we simply can’t leave them out due to their popularity. The Astra 1x1 from Litepanels offers you full control over colour temperature from daylight to tungsten, and is 4x brighter than the original 1x1. All Astra’s are sent out with the Litpanel Chimera – which offers even greater control and flexibility on set.
• Arri M18 The M18 combines MAX Technology, True Blue features and a new 1800 W lamp. The result is an exciting new class of HMI that can be powered from most domestic sockets. The Arri M18 features a light output similar to a 2.4K.
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ARRI SkyPanel S120-C ARRI continues to broaden their LED line with the introduction of the wide-format SkyPanel S120-C LED Softlight. Supported by an aluminum yoke, the panel surface area measures 50.8 x 11.8” and employs interchangeable thermoplastic diffusers that range from Lite to Heavy to soften the light, and wrap its output around your subject. The SkyPanel outputs the approximate equivalent of a 2 000W tungsten soft light while drawing a maximum of only 430W. The SkyPanel S120-C is fully colour tuneable, allowing output of a warm 2 800K to icy blue 10 000K light and also uses the full RGB+W colour gamut with hue and saturation control for fine adjustments. Full minus green to full plus green is also possible, so if you’re lighting for blue or green screen, you can simply dial your chosen colour in. This wide degree of control is responsible for a very high CRI of 95 and a rating of 90 with the newer TLCI standard. All of these functions as well as 0-100 per cent dimming can be adjusted locally with the SkyPanel’s onboard controller or remotely via DMX or LAN. Besides inputs and outputs appropriate to these functions, the light also has a USB-A port for downloading firmware upgrades from a thumb drive, PC or Mac.
Vignette Media makes its mark with new Pepsi Sting spot
Still from the new Pepsi Sting spot
Established in 2016, Vignette Media is a high end commercials production company made up of five talented directors. The company kicked off with a bang when in their opening week they received a brief to shoot the new Pepsi Sting commercial for the East African market.
he Pepsi Sting Commercial was Vignette’s maiden production and what a way to start the company! This was as close as it gets to a model production, naturally a function of having a dream team of creative and production talent, like Tim Beckerling and other key right brains, awesome agency professionals from Net#work BBDO and of course a wonderful and open minded client,” says MQ Ngubane, director of the spot and founding member of Vignette Media. Ngubane says that the brief from Net#work BBDO was more of a copycat concept. The Pepsi Sting brand had previously produced an international commercial and Vignette was asked to draw inspiration from that spot. “But,
after cups of good coffee, and hours of creative deliberation, we knew that it was imperative for us to sell something new and unique. Something we believed could be different and relatable to the East African market,” he explains. In the commercial, a young woman having car troubles is stuck on the side of the road, along comes a young man, with a cooler box filled with Pepsi Sting energy drinks. All colours – besides the bottles of energy drinks – are washed out indicating a dull, bland environment. The young man takes a sip of his Pepsi Sting and begins to dance electrically, accidentally spilling some on the ground which ignites the picture, bringing it to life with vibrant colours and movement. Ngubane says that he wanted to
showcase a world in need of something…a world in a desperate situation…a world needing the power of the Sting. “Which then worked out well visually as the colour and life returns after a single drop lands on the ground,” he comments. “I’m a big fan of the bleach bypass look and feel. Naturally, being a Tony Scott fan (unashamedly), I love what he did on the film titled Domino, where he went out to research different ways of visually narrating the effects of drugs – almost a mature visual expression than that of Steven Soderbergh’s drug related features. And then of course, the same can be said for The Book of Eli directed by the talented Hughes Brothers. The bleach bypass look clearly sets this world apart and helps the viewers zoom into the extra ordinary environment,” he expands. Having done a similar bleach bypass technique before, the one difference with this treatment was that Ngubane wanted to incorporate another technical technique called Time Slice: “To best achieve this technique, I normally make use of Arri’s Phantom gems but this time around, the DOP and myself decided to go with the Red Dragon. Naturally, to achieve the frame manipulation technique where in one frame, you can speed up or
slow down various elements, it’s always best you go with a camera that gives you high frame rates. But I must say, this one was slightly tricky as not only did I want the time slice element, I also wanted the bleach bypass look, which then brought about the use of a 12x12 Chroma cloth, to allow for us to manipulate the background and really push that IN NEED environment.” DOP Clive Saacke shot the spot using the Red Dragon, keeping the lensing quite simple – “a 50mm, 80mm, and once or twice we actually went as wide as 20mm.” He continues, “With this camera, not only do you get high frame rates at 240 frames per second on 2k, you can capture at least 10x more pixels than HD and the greater the resolution, the greater the latitude in Online to push the look and time slice technique.” Nic Goodwin from Nova edited the Pepsi Sting commercial with Digital Union taking care of the visual effects. Adam Howard handled audio and Michelle Wilson added her colouring touch. Fikile Mogodi was assistant director on the spot which was produced by Tshogofato Phiri along with executive producer Zam Nkosi. – Chanelle Ellaya February 2017 | SCREENAFRICA | 11
Stuck in your head
Still from the Virgin Money Insurance commercial
Net#work BBDO and Gentlemen Films created a TVC for Virgin Money Insurance (VMI) with a mini musical that pokes fun at the serious side of making a claim.
MI entered the SA market in October 2016 and the tune of its commercial is easy to get stuck in your head. The TVC was created as a musical with lyrics that satirically play around with the challenges the insured face each day in South Africa. A number of scenes and characters illustrate how insurance companies appear to see their customers from the perspective of the competition. The TVC was shot in and around the city of Johannesburg from 13 to 15 August 2016. It was filmed using the Arri Amira Premium camera. Executive producer at Gentlemen Films, Vanessa La Trobe says the Arri Amira is beautiful. The musical feel was created using
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various lighting. The musical track was composed and recorded specifically for the TVC. “Our lead cast members were then brought into the studio to record their singing lines. The leads and the rest of the cast then rehearsed the dancing and singing sequences to the recorded track,” explains La Trobe. They shot to playback and no live sound was recorded on set. In the opening scene there is a car accident on a busy corner and the driver sings: “What a lovely day for you to hit my car; this is going to cost me quite a lot; even though it’s not my fault; Oh, I love insurance.” The TVC continues through myriad examples with this song and dance and chorus amusingly portrayed with awkward scenes of disappointing scenarios people have experienced when making claims. In one scene there is a family dancing in a house that’s been flooded and the father sings: “I love that my insurance won’t help me tonight; we found a hidden clause; give a round of applause; we love insurance.” The irony is not lost in this refreshing musical and one can only hope that this leads to insurers seeing clients in a different light. The TVC has lines in each scene highlighting an aspect of the insurance industry that people do not relish or require. All the while sung
anxiously by people in everyday situations, only marginally exaggerated by a flame on the head of a woman because her hair is on fire. The offline edit was done by LEFT Post and the grade by Upstairs Ludus Post. Nic Apostoli performed a remote grade from their grading suite in Cape Town to their grading suite in Johannesburg with a live feed between them. Nicholas Young, senior online artist at Upstairs Ludus was the lead online operator on this commercial with Gavin Hong and Schalk van Der Merwe as second and third online artists. “It was an online-heavy project and we needed all hands on deck to make this beautiful and to meet the deadline,” says executive producer at Upstairs Ludus, Joe Erasmus. “The VMI commercial was such a fun concept with some great compositing and effects work thrown in, which is always so good to work on,” says Young. “Creating the environments was an enjoyable challenge. We did some enhancement to really create the world. All the skies were re-generated and replaced to create a storybook look with the clouds. This look was further enhanced with perfectly manicured topiary which isn’t easy to find and shoot; but really added to the humour and feel of the whole commercial,”
explains Young. “The animation done by Rob van den Bragt in the fire scene and the opening scene really adds another great layer. It was such a great team to work with across the board and in the end we put out a fun and unique product,” says Young. Close attention to detail is paid throughout this canny TVC. Whether VMI actually changes the game in the insurance industry is not in the hands of the experts who finely crafted its commercial. – Cera-Jane Catton
Key companies and crew: Director: Greg Rom Executive Creative Director: Brad Reilly Art Director: Heidi Kasselman Senior Copywriter: Shane Durrant Executive Producer: Vanessa La Trobe Line Producer: Stuart Pittorino DOP: Willie Nel Off-line Editor: Evy Katz at Left Post Animation: Chocolate Tribe Online: Upstairs Ludus Post Choreographer: Debbie Rakusin Music Director: Marc Algranti Sound Engineer: Louis Enslin
Terence Neale’s second global adidas Originals campaign racks up views by the millions
Still from the new adidas Originals global commercial
Egg Film’s Terence Neale directed Original Is Never Finished, adidas Originals’ new global commercial featuring visionaries from the worlds of music, skate, sport, style and art. Shot in South Africa, with celebrity pickups in Los Angeles, Original Is Never Finished trended on YouTube on its release, racking up over four million views in under 48 hours.
eaffirming the notion that original is never finished, the film features a remix of Frank Sinatra’s iconic song, My Way, with a provocative, reimagined approach to today’s streetwear culture. “Everything we do for adidas Originals is a work in progress, as true creativity is never finished,” says Alegra O’Hare, VP of Global Communications, adidas Originals & Core. “We are constantly challenging ourselves and breaking down the boundaries that limit imagination; we hope to inspire all creators to do the same. We first raised this idea in 2015 through our superstar work, questioning the very meaning of the word. We then continued with the notion of the current dystopian future, by motivating consumers to take future into their own hands and create it. Now with original, probably the most important and centric concept to our brand’s ethos, we elevate the trefoil’s storytelling as we look into what it really means to be original, questioning its very essence.” Conceptualised under the creative direction of Johannes Leonardo, adidas Originals’ global creative agency of record, Original Is Never Finished explores this idea that if you push something far enough, it becomes original again. This philosophy carries through to the design language of the brand, which through collective memory continues to reinvent their past to create
meaning for a new generation. The campaign signals the launch of EQT footwear, a celebrated icon from the 1990’s, redefined for a new generation. “The past empowers the future. This is a philosophy that the Originals brand stays true to in everything they do. We wanted to bring this to life by exploring the rich creative past of all spheres of creativity, music, art, film and even sport,“ explain South Africans Wes Phelan and Matt Edwards, creative directors at Johannes Leonardo in New York with Ferdinando Verderi. “Original Is Never Finished is an open invitation to the new creative community. It’s a call to action to create by using the past as a canvas for new ideas.” Original Is Never Finished brings to life, through visual representation, the idea that recreating, in your own way, will always lead to something truly original. For example, in the scene, The Birth of Venus, artist/photographer Petra Collins reinvents a symbolic icon of beauty, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus. Collins’ subversive, striking visual sequence creates a new relevancy for a famous work of art. In another scene, rapper and songwriter Snoop Dogg recreates his very own Doggystyle album cover with a trippy chase scene, while also making a statement on gender equality in hip hop culture by swapping the roles of his original, iconic protagonists. BestAdsonTV selected Original Is
Never Finished as their best of the week globally, calling it, “A great celebration to originality… a beautiful spot with amazing craft and really truthful to what adidas Originals stands for.” Egg Films’ producer Rozanne Rocha-Gray says the South African crew deserve much of the credit for the film’s success, not just for the high production value but for its sense of style too. Art director William Boyes and wardrobe stylists Richard de Jager and Bridget Baker helped shaped the ad’s distinctive look, which was hailed as “cinematic brilliance” by HighSnobiety, “visually stunning” by Adweek ,and “sexy” and “stylish” by Creativity. She also praised the cast and casting director Scout’s Honour: “Countries like Mexico and Chile can compete with South Africa in terms of production cost, but the diversity of the talent available here was part of the attraction for Johannes Leonardo to shooting in South Africa.” Another South African, Iwan Zwarts, was the VFX supervisor and 2D lead on Original Is Never Finished for New York visual effects studio Blacksmith. The film marks Terence’s second collaboration with adidas Originals and Johannes Leonardo; last year’s Your Future Is Not Mine was ranked at number seven in Creativity’s countdown of the best ads of 2016, among other accolades. – Kevin Kriedemann February 2017 | SCREENAFRICA | 13
A glass half full
Behind the scenes with Flash Forward Productions on the TVC for Tetra Pak’s Milk for Change campaign
Tetra Pak partnered with Feed SA for the Milk for Change campaign to entice donations of long life milk for underprivileged families. They created a commercial highlighting a South African community hero who acts as a catalyst for change, with the aim to inspire people to make a difference through one small action.
etra Pak briefed Flash Forward to create this viral video that embraces their slogan “Protect what’s good,” explains Ryan Peimer, CEO, director and producer at Flash Forward Productions. They were responsible for the conceptualisation of the commercial, the scripting, pre-production, post and delivery. The result reached an audience of more than five million people, and raised nearly 60 000 litres of milk which could feed 80 000 South African children. “Flash Forward Productions originated the idea to create a story in the form of a viral commercial that revolves around an ordinary relatable young South African professional named Kabelo,” explains Peimer. “A middle class graphic designer who, throughout his journey, plays a huge
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role in brightening up people’s lives by doing small acts of good that have an impact on those around him. Having come from a previously disadvantaged background, he has worked his way into a stable middle class lifestyle; a man not only extremely talented in the world of design and conceptualisation but a man who understands that in order to receive, one needs to give.” Peimer wanted to create an inspirational and uplifting short that was driven by a first person narrative, the protagonist and community hero narrates the video by sharing what excites him and ignites him, subtly stirring a similar result in the audience. “The measure of who we are, is what we do with what we have,” his voice over says. Derived and sparked
from Peimer’s life journey, Kabelo touches on how too many people are focused on themselves, therefore they miss out on the magical moments that pass them by on a daily basis. “Sometimes it’s not all about us, it’s about noticing an opportunity to make a change,” Kabelo reads. “Our aspirational character embraces positivity at every turn and stands strong in his belief that the smallest gesture could brighten up someone’s day,” explains Peimer. The commercial was filmed over two days in Midrand, The Creative Counsel, and Cube apartments in Johannesburg. It was shot on the Sony F55. “I personally love the cinematic look of that camera; especially for high-end medium budget viral commercials,” says Peimer. For the exteriors the shoot was lit using 12 X 12 scrim frames to bounce natural light. For the interiors they incorporated a more practical light to add colour to the pictures. Peimer explains that no sound was recorded on set and all sound design was done in post-production. The offline and online edit was cut on Final Cut Pro. “Time constraints and unpredictable clouds are always a tricky factor when shooting exterior,” describes Peimer. “Especially when you’re aiming to cover your money shots over magic hour (sunset). Having said that; I’m extremely
passionate about emotionally moving pieces like this; so shooting every scene was an absolute pleasure for me, having the end product in mind throughout,” he concludes. The video depicts that despite hardship and adversity, Kabelo’s innate mission is to give back daily in some way. As the commercial progresses, you see that throughout his busy everyday life, he still has time for people in need, not only through kind financial gestures, but through the selfless giving of his time. The commercial reached 350 000 views in its first two weeks. It closes with the line: “The greatest lesson I’ve learnt in life, is that money is not my power, my power is my ability to inspire.” – Cera-Jane Catton
Key crew: Producer/Director: Ryan Peimer Writer: Ryan Peimer Production Co-ordinator – Faith Ziqubu DOP: Clive Sacke Lead Character: Selo Molemidia Online Editor: Ryan Peimer Art Director: Devin Riseley
KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission
looks forward to an industrious 2017 Operating in the province of KwaZuluNatal since 2014, the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission (KZNFC) is a provincial state entity, under the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) which endeavours to facilitate support for the local and international film industry by generating opportunities within the industry and thereby growing the KwaZuluNatal film industry.
n the years since its inception, the KZNFC has demonstrated its commitment to the growth and transformation of the province’s film industry by putting together strategic programmes and projects that work to address the current industry issues of funding, skills development and infrastructure development. These projects have grown to include the following initiatives; Film Induced Tourism, the Bursary Programme, the Film Fund, the Facilities and Locations Programme and Human Capital Development Programme. The Film Induced Tourism project aims to cultivate an integrated institutional approach towards facilitating and promoting film production and tourism, in order to stimulate film-induced tourism within KwaZulu-Natal. The project strives to ensure development and marketing of film-tourism products, tourism destinations, and film locations in order to
Accelerator Incubation Programme, Youth for Film Incubator, and Youth and Female Incubator. To ensure the effectiveness of projects shooting in the province, the Facilities and Location team remains committed to providing support and access to various locations, crew, talent and accommodation. The team further assists in securing licensing for various production components and operations.
attract both film producers and film tourists into the province by maximising key strategic focal areas outlined as Institutional Support and Facilitation and Product Development and Marketing. In 2014, the KZNFC introduced a Bursary Programme aimed at addressing the skills shortage in the province’s film industry. In the short time since its launch the programme has seen an excess of 30 beneficiaries receive financial support towards their tertiary education, with eleven of those seeing their studies through to graduation. Developed in accordance with the KZNFC’s mandate to stimulate the growth of the KwaZulu-Natal film industry, the Film Fund targets KwaZuluNatal based companies as well as companies from outside the province that are producing films in KwaZulu-Natal. For the fiscal years 2015/16 ending 31 March 2016, the KZNFC funded a commendable 79 projects; 48 in development, 16 in production, and 15 in fund mentorship. These included the TV series’ Earthbeat, Durban Beach Rescue, Code Green, Uzalo, feature films Keeping Up with the
Kandasamys, The Number, Beyond the River, The Killing Floor, the short film Gracie, the documentary How Long Park, the SA/Nigeria co-production Comatose, and the low budget feature films Umhlola, Family Matters and The Royal Assegai. The Human Capital Development initiative aims to develop and implement programmes for skills development and industry support. The initiative takes various forms including programmes that attempt to redress the current skills shortage by creating new skills within the film and television value chain thereby ensuring competitiveness within the region. The aforementioned programmes operate to enhance the capabilities of local filmmakers and increase the presence of KwaZulu-Natal-produced local content on local and international distribution platforms, which in turn will increase sustainable employment in the region’s film and television sector. Some of the training programmes that have been hosted thus far with various industry partners include Field Production, International Producers and Finance, Sediba Spark Scriptwriting,
In January 2017 the KZNFC launches its Film Cluster, which comprises a 42 seater theatre, a 100 seater training room, a resource centre, post editing suites and hot desks. Located in the heart of Durban, the 2 000m2 facility will operate as a production hub for visiting filmmakers working within the province. A first for the province, the cluster combines incubation and skills development for aspiring filmmakers by giving them access to professional working spaces and new technologies, whilst also providing temporary offices to-let for established filmmakers and businesses working within the region. During 2017, the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission will be predominantly focussing on developing local filmmakers through the KZN Film Industry Transformation Initiative – currently being developed. The initiative will work to grow investment in local film graduates over a two to three year period, in both scriptwriting and technical production, resulting in an increase of highly skilled African filmmakers. To ensure that the required level of skills is achieved, industry experts/mentors, and funding will be provided for the development and production of KZN-produced stories. “We are confident that this investment will see a shift in the production capability of the province and our ability to attract and ‘service’ production from both national and international companies. KwaZulu-Natal has always taken the lead in terms of producing incredible talents, it is now time to see those talents in key positions in the film industry,” comments a KZNFC’s CEO, Carol Coetzee.
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SA takes on Hollywood with Last Broken Darkness A global story, based in America and shot in South Africa with an almost entirely local cast, has been scooped up internationally. Last Broken Darkness (LBD), a post-apocalyptic Indie sci-fi feature film has been selected by Spotlight Pictures in the USA for worldwide release in 2017.
BD is a story of the world destroyed by meteor showers where few survivors remain, including the protagonist Sam (Sean Cameron Michael, Black Sails), who has lost his wife and son. Sam is forced to survive underground with his lifelong friend Troy (Brandon Aurett, Elysium, Chappie) and a young yet powerful Rose (Suraya Santos). They find themselves on the run with a crew of unkempt yet armed rangers while being
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hunted by mutated creatures, bandits and cannibals alike. LBD is about friendship, courage and the will to live. So convincing were our local talent that Dos Santos says “The actors did an amazing job in bringing across American accents and every sales agent who approached us for distribution rights was convinced that the film was shot in America with an American cast and crew.”
LBD was brought to life in conjunction with DS Films Entertainment and Karoo Films. It was shot entirely in and around Johannesburg, including Springs, Pretoria, Kempton Park and the CBD. Principle photography started on 6 May 2015 for 26 days with the majority of the shooting taking place by night. Director Christopher-Lee dos Santos takes us through the making of this film, which follows his début feature about South African pilots in World War II, which was released in twenty five countries. Dos Santos chose to shoot on a RED Dragon with Zeiss Primes as he says the combination gave him the perfect look for Last Broken Darkness. “Through extensive research it was found that the RED Dragon’s 6k sensor boasted a high dynamic range, and when equipped with the low light optical low pass filter, allowed for the film to be shot and lit with practical lights such as flashlights, lanterns or natural light sources instead of the conventional way
of lighting scenes,” he explains. “This allowed for the post-apocalyptic world to be captured in an authentic manner and not having to over light scenes,” Dos Santos adds. He was very specific in his choice of lighting characters with practical lights as much as possible and this camera allowed for that to be done. In addition, the RED Dragon was chosen for its ability to shoot at a high resolution which would assist in the addition of VFX and to ensure the highest quality of viewing. The film was primarily lit with practical lighting (flashlights, lanterns, diffused light bulbs, and china ball lamps) and natural lighting. “At times 1.2k or soft box LED’s were used to light backdrops to provide assistance where needed,” says Dos Santos. “The use of practical lighting was utilised so as to embrace the darkness of both below and above ground to create the illusion of a larger than life post-apocalyptic world,” he adds.
Behind the scenes on the set of Last Broken Darkness
ON TRACK: Still from the feature film Last Broken Darkness
Dos Santos describes that the look and feel of the film took on two opposing colour palettes for representing life below and above ground. Below the ground Dos Santos aimed for a post-apocalyptic look with a de-saturated colour palette. His original treatment was to take colour out, de-saturate the image and not crush the blacks but instead lift them slightly to create a milky texture in the darkness. “The use of varying hues of reds and oranges conveyed the urgency and danger,” he explains. When the characters emerge from below the surface Dos Santos chose to push the whites in the picture so as to give the viewer a sense that the characters had not been exposed to sunlight for a long time. “The use of a lighter colour palette and expansive landscape shots assisted in creating the feel of a large and empty world which although dangerous still held an undercurrent of beauty and hope,” he says. Dos Santos utilised leading lines both
above and below the ground to attract the audience’s attention unknowingly and create a sense that the world was far larger than what was taking place directly in front of screen. “This was done to create a living dynamic for the characters to play in,” adds Dos Santos. “The world was as much alive and a character as the characters that lived in it,” he says. These techniques combined give the film a cinematic look while encompassing the feeling of the end of the world, lonely and filled with dangers. The film was cut in Adobe Premiere on a 4k RED R3D raw timeline at 24fps using the original R3D files from the RED Cameras. No proxy files or ProRes were utilised. Dos Santos explains that the greatest challenge faced was being able to pull off an international standard comparable to that of a Hollywood film, while being constrained by an extremely tight budget. As is the case quite often in Africa, and in this case, Dos Santos says, “My challenge was to fight tooth and nail
to keep an international standard of quality in every decision from preproduction to post-production.” The purpose of the film, aside from creating a story to entertain and inspire audiences, Dos Santos explains, was to show that young up and coming directors from South Africa can stand toe to toe with their international counterparts even when provided a fraction of their budgets. “The reward and entertainment comes towards the end of the production as the film comes together,” adds Dos Santos. “The greatest reward has been the unbelievable response from buyers and distributors who clamoured to purchase the rights to distribute the film and their utter disbelief at the cost at which the film was made in comparison to international productions.” The film is attending the European Film Market at Berlin Film festival this February where it is being sold for international distribution by DS Films Los Angeles based sales agent, Spotlight Pictures. It
will also be premiering at the 42nd Annual Boston Science Fiction Film Festival this February with invitations for more festivals later in the year to confirm. Contrary to the film depicting the end of the world, it is fast putting a spotlight on SA talent. – Cera-Jane Catton
Key crew: Director: Christopher-Lee dos Santos, Producer and Executive Producer: Diony Kempen Music Composers and Sound Design: Geo Höhn and Richard Höhn Director of Photography: William Collinson On set Sound Recorder: Hendre Jacobs Art Department: Nerina du Plessis and Luarnae Roos Special Effects Makeup: Stella Kalymnios and Menio Kalymnios Wardrobe: Amalia Uys
February 2017 | SCREENAFRICA | 17
FILM | Director Speak
ne Dary a shu Jo
ones. Gambit Films producing Cape Town’s first Afrikaans soapie, Suidooster for DSTV and Kyknet. Lecturing on Cinema and Film Studies at Cape Peninsula, University of Technology. Writing the SAFTA winning short film Nommer 37. Directing my first feature film (Noem My Skollie). My first feature film being chosen as SA’s Oscar submission.
WHICH PROJECTS ARE YOU CURRENTLY INVOLVED IN? At the moment I am in prep with a film based on the true story of Ellen Pakkies (A mother from Lavender Hill, Cape Town who took the life of her own drug addicted son). We start shooting in February. I’m also involved in the feature film adaptation of the short film Nommer 37 – Nosipho Dumisa of Gambit Films will be making her feature film directing debut. And then last but not least – there is a US based science fiction project that I’m currently attached to. WHAT KIND OF CONTENT DO YOU ENJOY CREATING? That’s a difficult question. I guess anything that entertains and enlightens at the same time. Be it television or film. I’m also not genre specific. I love telling a good story – that is all.
South Africa’s official entry into the 2017 Oscars for the Best Foreign Language Film award is Noem My Skollie, the directorial debut of Daryne Joshua. His experience encompasses editing, animation, sound design, media and communications. He is patriotic and philanthropic with eyes that welcome the world and all it has to offer. This passionate young filmmaker is certainly setting the course for stardom. WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND AND HOW HAS THIS SHAPED YOU AS A DIRECTOR? I was born and raised in Cape Town and grew up in various parts of The Cape Flats for the first 30 years of my life. This in a way means I mostly grew up in and between middle to lower class so-called coloured and black communities. Which in a way means, I’m an expert on understanding the kind of problems suffered by them – because I was one of them. And I suppose this shaped the kind of content I’m attracted to as well as my genreal appraoch as a filmmaker/director. I love stories centred on the common South African man or woman finding themselves in extraordinary circumstances. DESCRIBE THE MOMENT WHEN YOU DECIDED YOU WANTED TO BECOME A DIRECTOR? My childhood was dominated by a few things – football, comics, TV and film. Weekends were basically – playing football on a Saturday morning and then going to the cinema for the matinee double bill at CINE 400 in Rylands where we (friends and cousins) watched the most recent Hollywood blockbuster coupled with some random B movie. It helped us stay out of trouble (which surrounded us on a daily basis). And I guess that’s where my love for cinema began. But I’m going to say the movie Jurassic Park made me want to make films. I think I was 13 years old at the time and I was just blown away by how real the dinosuars seemed! From that moment I just needed and wanted to know more about how films were made. But being from the Cape Flats I didn’t really believe I could become a filmmaker. It was only in my early 20s that it started to seem possible. 18 | SCREENAFRICA | February 2017
WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION? From everything and anything around me I guess – music, photography, books, art (in general), conversation, the internet etc. But if I must narrow it down – it’s mostly just by people. I love listening to people’s stories – from all walks of life. I’m a great listener, haha (my mother will argue differently). DO YOU HAVE ANY MENTORS? Not really in a film directing sense. I think it’s a real problem in our industry – and I only speak for Cape Town (as I’ve never really worked extensively in any other part of the country). But we at Gambit Films are trying to change that and have taken on some young aspiring directors that we will mentor over the next few years. Having said that – I did have mentors in a genreal film business sense. People like Rob Carlisle (founder of CFX), Jaco Loubser (founder of Homebrew Films) and Simon Hansen (founder of Inspired Minority) – I learnt a lot about the business from them in the ealry part of my career. Currently I’d count David Max Brown (producer of Noem My Skollie) amongst them. WHAT ARE YOUR PERSONAL CAREER MILESTONES? Graduating from film school (AFDA). Straight away starting a film and TV production company (Gambit Films) with a few of my favourite people in life. Turning it into a successful venture which has created almost a hundred permanent jobs in our local industry as well as many consistent freelance
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FUNNIEST MOMENT ON SET? I have too many lol. But there’s a story where one of the grips thought it was funny to, at random times, fart just as the AD said action. Then at one point I guess he was trying too hard and he passed a bit more than gas, if you know what I mean. To everyones amusement, he had to leave set promptly to clean up. IF YOU COULD PRODUCE AN AFRICAN VERSION OF A HOLLYWOOD CLASSIC, WHAT WOULD IT BE? That would be nearly impossible to answer if I chose to think about it. So, the first one that comes to mind without properly thinking about is – Raiders of the Lost Ark. No wait, The Godfather. Or maybe Heat. Okay, last one – Rear Window. WHO WOULD YOU CAST AS YOURSELF IN A TV SERIES? DJ Mouton of Noem My Skollie. I would’ve loved to cast some international A-lister, but none of them will pull off a coloured English accent, let alone a South African one. WHO IN THE INDUSTRY WOULD YOU REALLY LIKE TO WORK WITH? Locally, probably AKA. I’d love to cast him in one of my films. The man’s a star. I think he’d do well with the right material. Internationally – Daniel Day-Lewis and of course Charlize Theron. WHAT IS YOUR DREAM SHOOT LOCATION? AND WHY? Tokyo. I love the city and its people. WHAT OR WHERE IS YOUR HAPPY PLACE? On the beach with my wife and son. IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY FILMMAKER SUPERPOWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE? That’s easy. I would love to have the power where I can slow down or speed up time. Or better yet – the power to increase budget. – Compiled by Cera-Jane Catton
BUSINESS, POLICY & LEGISLATION
20 year journey from censorship to content regulation
ake for example the film eâ€™Lollipop that was nearly banned in the 1970s because the feel-good cult film was about an interracial friendship between two young boys in the racially divided South Africa. Fast forward to post-apartheid the FPB gave it an A rating meaning the film is suitable for all audiences. Another prominent example is the banning of Scope magazine in 1972, the then Censorship Board banned the weekly magazine but this was overturned by the Supreme Court. The Censorship Board banned it because it published a
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black man embracing a white woman. Today it is peopleâ€™s constitutional right to be free to choose what content they wish to consume. During the apartheid era, censorship affected the creative industry in different ways as it was based on ideological differences rather than telling a story creatively. The creative industry had to find ways to circumvent the problem by writing in different ways. Films, music, music videos and publications were banned by the then Censorship Board for containing inappropriate language, unacceptable sexual references,
promotion of a political party or movement, just to name a few. This was just done by pure interpretation of these elements by the ruling government in the apartheid era. With the birth of democracy, the FPB was formed in 1996 to classify content with the aim of protecting children and adults against exposure to inappropriate content. Today the classification process is aimed at informing the public about the content they consume and aims to guide them and enable them to make more informed decisions when consuming content like films or games for example.
The process is not aimed at stifling creativity, but rather to be used by content creators as a guide. The FPB is always available to guide or give advice to content creators regarding classifiable elements. Over the past 20 years of its existence, the FPB is continuing to grow and adapt to technological advancements. Innovation and technology is advancing at a rapid pace therefore the FPB must adjust accordingly. Content distribution has shifted from physical to digital platforms where a lot of content is available online. Both children and adults
| BUSINESS, POLICY & LEGISLATION The mandate of the Film and Publication Board (FPB) in the new democratic dispensation has evolved from a censor to a content regulatory system. The legislation in post-apartheid South Africa clearly anticipated a new system of classification to provide a clear balance between the constitutional rights of adults to choose what content they are exposed to and what content they consume. In so doing they can prioritise the exposure of children to inappropriate content.
need to be made aware of the consequences when uploading and consuming inappropriate content online. Online platforms are used for various reasons including entertainment and educational purposes, which then poses the question, how do we protect our children from being exposed to inappropriate content that is so readily available on so many platforms? These technological advancements have prompted the drafting of the Films and Publications Amendment Bill to enable the organisation to adapt to the increasing number of content distributed
online with the aim of protecting children from exposure to harmful content. The Bill aims at ensuring that consumers are not exposed to inappropriate content. They need to be empowered to make informed decisions so that when they watch a movie, or create their own content that is uploaded online or participate in multiple gaming experiences, they do the right thing without adverse effects they may not be considering. As part of celebrating 20 years of protecting young minds, the FPB has launched a print series of riveting images
to raise awareness about child exploitation through content negligence and the implications thereof. The images and campaign is a call to action for the public to make informed choices when it comes to the content that they and their families are consuming. It is an appeal to the public to adhere to content regulation guidelines set out by the FPB in order to protect young minds. The photo series of which two are showcased in this edition, was shot by world renowned photographer, Sacha Waldman from Infidels. Sacha is best known for a signature style that combines elegance
with meticulously controlled texture and palette, he possesses a rare ability to convert raw ideas into compelling exquisitely crafted imagery. Looking into the next 20 years, the FPB will continue to adjust its ways of working and in so doing amend legislation to keep up with technology, while working with industry stakeholders to ensure that we are adaptable to our changing environment.
February 2017 | SCREENAFRICA | 21
Love in the limelight
MEETING FOR THE FIRST TIME: Lihle Buthelezi and Ferdinand Fester
The local version of Married at First Sight (MAFS) has been commissioned by A+E for Lifetime Africa, and Oxyg3n Media has brought the show to life in South Africa.
e had an overwhelming response to our call for entries with close to 300 singletons all wanting to take part in the series,” says Rebecca Fuller-Campbell, executive producer and content specialist at Oxyg3n Media. MAFS is a social experiment that is proving to be a rating hit around the world, having been licensed to more than 25 territories. Their aspiring singles put their hearts in the hands of a team of
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experts to select a partner for effectively an arranged marriage. Three couples then meet for the first time at the altar. After the wedding and honeymoon, the married couples move in together and start their new lives. Cameras document every moment as experts analyse the relationships until six weeks later when the couples have to make a decision to stay together or file for divorce. The producers select a number of specialist experts who will work with the
individuals before, during and after the filming process. For the South African version, these include: Neo Tshireletso Pule – a counselling psychologist; Dr Shingai Mutambirwa – a recognised sexologist; Paula Quinsee – relationship specialist; and financial expert, Winnie Kunene. Unique to SA, Fuller-Campbell explains that the SA series is the first to include a financial adviser. Considering 40 per cent of all marriages fail for money concerns, it is an expert that surely the rest of the world will incorporate. Pre-production in this format takes a lot longer than filming, it began in May 2016, where over a five month period specialists narrowed down the finalists. The process is rigorous as this is a legal marriage and the production teams are not simply casting an entertainment show. FullerCampbell says there are interviews with all the specialists, blood tests, sexual health tests and myriad matching techniques and assessments before final selection takes place. Participants, despite agreeing to be on a reality show, are taking part in a social experiment. The series was shot on location around the country; with finalists from Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg. The location includes the couples homes and work as well as the 1Life offices and sponsored wedding venues: Chez Charlene Wedding Venue; Midrand Conference Centre; and Pheasant Hill Wedding Venue. MAFS SA was shot from September through to the end of November 2016. It was filmed using a Sony A7S Mark II, shot in 2K and delivered in HD. “The decision was made to shoot the entire series on the Sony A7S II, and it was a good one,” says DOP Chris Corbett. “The camera would capture a natural image for the day to day run and gun shooting, problem free, and could be pushed to its limits for shooting the high-end look to the weddings that we wanted to achieve.” A cinematographer with a drama background, shooting the weddings for MAFS with a similar high-key lighting approach was to prove an interesting experiment and process for Corbett. He explains, “You don’t have actors who can hit a mark in perfectly engineered light, or are able to call cut and readjust your set up for a close up on an emotional mother-in-law. Yet the approach that we wanted to follow was to ramp up production value as much as possible and have our audience transported into a scene from a film, but where real life was unfolding.” With previous seasons of the series as references, Corbett wants South Africa to have the best-looking syndication of the programme that has
ever been seen. In order to achieve this, Corbett says he took the approach of treating the weddings like their own mini feature films. Furthermore he acknowledged and aimed to solve the challenges in prep. “We recce’d our sites and took the time to design lighting plans that would work first time. We needed each of the venues to feel natural, and the lighting design was to mirror that. We needed to make a handful of HMIs and Kino-Flos work for 20, 30, 40 characters,” he says. Approaching each environment pragmatically meant that Corbett would move in hours before the weddings were to take place, set up according to their lighting plans and tweak thoroughly. “We had to allow four different operators to shoot in any direction; enough Sony A7S Mark II’s to cover the moments that we needed to without anyone missing a beat. From ceremony to reception, we had to strike our lights, and hustle to the next locale, the luxury of pre-lighting the reception venues was not one we had,” Corbett describes. “We motivated the sun, stuck our big HMI’s through exterior window sources and filled in the gaps through clever placement of Kino-Flo’s. Some of the practical lights were tweaked to allow for a better filmic quality, but for the most part we wanted to build the lighting from the ground up,” explains Corbett. The reception venues were shot at night, and presented their own set of challenges. “Creating moon-lit sources through softening 4k, 2.5k and 1.2k HMI bounce off soft-sided silver polly boards and adjusting with appropriate scrim and CTB gels meant that we could ensure a massive silver-blue exterior key source that would allow the operators on the night to shoot against it in any direction and still capture a quality image. Warm sources in the interiors from the heavily diffused Kino’s meant that our participants were glowing in the already beautiful wedding venues,” says Corbett. The series was edited in Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects. Fuller-Campbell explains that they used the graphic elements produced for the international format. This was the case with the music, 50 per cent was in line with the format created for MAFS and the remainder was sourced from Audio Network. A romantic at heart, Fuller-Campbell says “It was emotional interviewing people putting themselves out there to find love, and heart breaking that we couldn’t help them all.” – Cera-Jane Catton
media & entertainment technology trade show
SUN CIRCLE e x h i b i t i o n s
Mtshali Moss Projects Africa company profile Every industry has amongst it people who have made their mark and have paid their dues, sometimes for decades. The ones that endure in people’s minds are often fondly thought of as “the good guys” and their companies grow steadily and successfully with little upheaval. In our industry here at the Southern tip of Africa I can think of several but one that sticks out in my mind lately is Steve Moss of Mtshali Moss Projects Africa or MMPA
oss started in radio broadcast engineering by studying RAB (Radio and Broadcast) courses at the SABC which eventually landed him a job at Springbok Radio around the close of the 70s. He then joined Prosound in 1981 and enjoyed an illustrious and innovative 13 years with them, at that time one of the biggest professional audio companies in the country There, amongst other things, he helped with the development and manufacture of loudspeaker drivers, which greatly reduced importation costs and
positioned Prosound as the premiere audio equipment supply company in the region. Prosound also developed quality control test systems for drivers at that time and were the first to bring in a Techron TEF system for similar testing “Still, one of the best ways to get into this industry is to go through sound hire; go through rigging of equipment,” remarks Moss. “I toured in my early days and later on I was more based at the office at the [Prosound] hire company From there I got into sales but none of us were salesmen; we were all engineers In those days it was with Terry Acres and Simon Oates and in fact the person that employed me was Tony Oates, who is legendary in the world of live audio I also worked very closely with Mark Malherbe and I absolutely enjoyed my time at Prosound.” Moss is of the opinion that learning curves in the industry are directly proportional to the evolution of technology. “That’s why you can get an app that can do something ten times more powerful than you could do thirty years ago but you can learn it ten times quicker,” remarks Moss. “However, saying that, the one thing that hasn’t changed is the basic laws of physics.” Moss left Prosound in 1994 to start his own company, Steve Moss and Associates. This was not an easy decision and it took a considerable amount of time for him to make the move due to his partiality for Prosound and his colleagues there.
“I still remember having that chat with Terry Acres,” muses Moss. “It actually took me three months to make my decision to go on my own. I said ‘I’ve decided I want to leave the company and start my own’. He listened to me for about three minutes and he wished me well and said we’d work together in the future.” Steve Moss and Associates was a consulting company that worked mainly in the live sound industry. Moss then took some time off to hone his skills in acoustics, thereafter moving into the broadcast industry, coming full circle from his early days. After about a year Moss employed Karen Toffoli who was working at a company run by Dennis Feldman called EMS Africa. She eventually became his wife. They are still married to this day. The company grew and after about three years Moss met one of the most influential people in his career: Robin Prior, who was involved with RCS playout software used in radio studios. “Robin is probably the single hardest worker I have ever met and a first class person,” says Moss. Moss ended up project managing a few of Prior’s projects when Prior approached him and said that he was moving to New York to take up a position as vice president for the parent company of RCS. Moss was slightly dubious about this at first but decided in the end to give it a try and the following years saw Moss start a consortium of companies with his colleagues under the umbrella name of Otech Media Technology. These companies included Steve Moss and Associates, specialising in acoustics and project management; RCS, which handled playout software; a sales company called Tavo, run by his colleague Sean Long; the Digital Edge, run by Greg Mynhardt that dealt with digital studio technology; and NIC, run by Karl Britz and Jaco Cillier. In three years this consortium oversaw the construction and installation of several radio and recording studios such as Jacaranda, East Coast Radio, Radio Pulpit and Radio Algoa. Despite the good business and the growing success of this consortium, in the absence of Prior, Moss began to take strain under the heavy work load. This caused him to reassess his situation. “I was never cut out to
run a big company,” says Moss. “I thought the rest of the companies would do just fine without me and I guess I was getting homesick for my own. It might have been different if Robin had been here.” Moss took the decision to sell Otech Media’s shares in all the companies in the consortium and a deal was struck that Moss would mothball Otech Media for three years while running his own company in the meantime. In time, the only companies left were Steve Moss and Associates, RCS Africa and NIC, as the others had either sold up or moved overseas. “I look back and think that it could have been different but the fact is, financially, it was a highly successful business. It just became too much for me,” admits Moss Around this time, Moss took on a partner and opened up a new company called Mtshali Moss Projects Africa, the company he trades under today eleven years later. “MMPA has been a very successful and steady business through the years,” says Moss. “It’s taken on many high level projects such as stadia, theatres, recording, radio and television studios.” Moss defines MMPA as an acoustic and system engineering business that specialises in acoustics, project management, hospitality entertainment technology and live sound venue design. In his words they are “entertainment technologists.” “The word entertainment could also quite easily be exchanged with media,” he adds Moss has built his business based on a firm belief on keeping his staff count low – around 12 or so – but highly skilled and consistent, resulting in a very low turnover. As a result of this and his high level of experience, MMPA’s job count is well over a thousand, ranging from small to very large.
The wrap The one thing I learned from Steve Moss is that hard work, loyalty and keeping relationships consistent, professional and amicable is key to growing not only one’s own personal reputation but the success of any business. Combine that with a high level of skill and a dedication and passion for technology and you undoubtedly have a winning formula for success. MMPA and Moss’s story is surely a testament to that and it is indeed interesting to see what the future holds not only for them, but for the sectors they service here in South Africa. – Greg Bester
GATHERING NO MOSS: Steve Moss 24 | SCREENAFRICA | February 2017
| STUDIOS AND PRODUCTION FACILITIES
Fire risk mitigation for film production houses
Can your film production rise from the ashes?
ith blazing fires wreaking destruction across the Cape Peninsula, businesses and individuals have more or less familiarised themselves with the inherent risks that fire poses. This risk is however pronounced when venturing into the film production industry due to the extent of filming on various differing locations whether it be in the forest or in the house on the hill. “In the film industry, special effects often pose a significant fire hazard and can include car explosions, simulated bullet hits, burning buildings, flames, flash pots, in addition to computer and model simulations and a multitude of other situations. The most dangerous types of special effects involve the use of fire, pyrotechnics and firearms, which are often conducted by stunt doubles due to the inherent risk posed to the actors,” says Romy Nomis of Aon South Africa. Leading up to a film shoot, preproduction hazards such as the construction and painting of sets, which may use combustible materials to save on budget, can involve a wide variety of health and safety hazards. The risk of unique fire perils is further amplified due to filming and other activities taking place in temporary and varying locations. Examples include blocked exits and emergency routes, electrical and lighting hazards, accumulation of combustible materials, smoking, welding and cutting operations, hot surfaces, combustible tents and make-shift refuelling facilities. The consequential costs of fire for a film studio or producer are more complex, and underestimated. “Damage
to the structure of the building is one thing, but on a film set it could also impact sets, video and lighting equipment, editing suites and completed material awaiting editing – all of which represents a hefty financial quantum. It disrupts the entire production and has far reaching consequences. Delays could potentially also incur production penalties and lost contracts, due to rebuilding of sets, actors being unavailable and having to source specialised equipment to name a few,” adds Nomis. As risk advisors and specialist insurance brokers, with the added expertise of an experienced Risk Management team, Aon assists clients with practical knowledge of building codes, fire codes as promoted by various specialist bodies, as well as knowledge of construction materials, manufacturing processes, storage practices and the relevant dangers unique to specific industries – from assets to the business interruption implications. By linking this to an aligned insurance programme that covers virtually all the ‘what if’ scenarios of not only physical damage but the knock-on implications for business continuity, clients get to experience the real value of a comprehensive fire risk analysis. Consulting with the local fire brigade as well as a fire and safety expert on a regular basis is a must in planning, as is the hire of fire and safety equipment for specific scenes.
Some ways to prevent fire related incidents are: • An initial risk assessment, is crucial • Identification of hazardous materials
and the safe storage thereof • Instruct/train crew members on proper use of materials and all safety measures • Drafting an appropriate emergency response and evacuation plan • Evacuation of non-essential crew and cast prior to high risk filming Fire risk in the film production industry is not that different to that of commercial businesses, and according to Clayton Ellary, a senior account executive at Aon South Africa, fire is a hugely underrated risk. “Failure to comply with statutory requirements and codes of practice applicable to fire protection and health and safety can leave business stakeholders in severe financial crisis with potential legal implications. The costs arising out of the loss of life, assets and business interruption can amount to millions of rands in damages and liability claims. Despite the risk to business continuity, financial security and brand reputation, many business owners remain indifferent to the domino effect that a fire poses to their business sustainability,” he explains. A comprehensive fire prevention strategy linked to an insurance programme that fully addresses the needs of a business is critical. “A clear description of a business and its operational environment is central to the drafting of a well-conceived insurance policy as the type of materials that are kept on site greatly affect the associated fire risks. A comprehensive fire risk assessment will help to identify fire
RISKY BUSINESS: Romy Nomis
hazards and reduce the risk, in addition to determining what physical precautions and management processes should be in place. It’s also very important to have an accurate assessment of the replacement costs of buildings, contents, vehicles, IT, props and other assets, particularly in the event of a catastrophic loss,” Clayton adds. The services of a professional broker could well prove to be invaluable in evaluating your exposure to a catastrophic event, such as a fire. “A broker can ensure that you are in good hands in the event of a catastrophe and that there are no surprises waiting for you when you claim,” Clayton concludes. – Aon South Africa
February 2017 | SCREENAFRICA | 25
STUDIOS AND PRODUCTION FACILITIES
Green is the new orange Sustainability could play a leading role in the film industry as the fad for both local and international studios to incorporate green production practices that lighten their environmental impact is cast.
hile studios lead the way and set the tone, it is up to the individual to change the shape of the demand. One such individual is doing just that in KZN. After ten years of being in the film industry, Elle Matthews, producer at Green Shoot Films saw the immense waste that happens around productions, and in 2008, after watching An Inconvenient Truth decided to re-launch her production company Tidal Wave Productions as Green Shoot Films, an environmentally conscious film production company. “I needed to do my part within my own profession,” she says. Green Shoot Films works on local and international productions consistently conscious that every action they take, and inspire others to take, makes a difference. “When we undertook our new business plan for Green Shoot Films we decided to implement basic principles for greening our productions, including conserving fuel and energy, avoiding toxins and pollution, saving water and preventing landfill waste,” explains Matthews. “The most important change has been bringing about a massive shift in mind-set, so we started with our own production office. Email and electronic scheduling replace printing, and Skype or phone calls substitute driving and flying to meetings wherever possible. Energy efficient lighting replaces conventional globes, and recycling is key to everything we do from inks to electronics. We even stock chlorine-free toilet paper and paper towels.” print draft.pdf
They too advise all crew to keep that green mind-set throughout and therefore implement changes from individual to individual. “We also brief our film catering companies to make sure they source organic, locally produced products wherever possible, and have replaced plastic bottled water with a tap water dispenser and recyclable paper cups on shoots. Any fresh food left after a shoot goes to a local church or charity,” says Matthews. Even the Art Department is made conscious of reusing and recycling throughout the construction, rigging and wrap processes. “They are encouraged to rent sets, props and plants instead of buying, to choose wood from trees grown in sustainable forests when building, and to use eco-friendly paints, adhesives and cleaners during set construction,” says Matthews. Adding that the appointment of an ecoconsultant helps cast and crew implement sustainability practices by sourcing green vendors and products, disseminating information and resources and working with department heads to green their departments. “Before every shoot we consult with the gear hire companies to establish how they can work to ensure the most eco-friendly equipment during filming. The most obvious way is replacing film cameras with HD cameras. If you have to use traditional film, there is the option of shooting in 3-perf, which uses 25 per cent less film and processing chemicals.
Lighting is easier to green than Grips, although there is a lot the Grips Department can do in terms of recycling. With lighting, our favourite green source of light is the sun – we use natural light wherever possible and it always looks better. It’s been standard practice on our shoots for years to opt for CFL and LED lights, to turn off all lighting that’s not in use, and to use dimmers to reduce energy use between bright shots,” explains Matthews. Matthews says they too replace polyboards with environmentally friendly alternatives. For smaller productions this includes biodegradable foam board or recycled board painted white, along with foldable white, silver or gold reflectors. For bigger productions Media Film Service offers eco-friendly white board alternatives to polyboards. In the USA they’re using Myco Board as a green alternative to polystyrene. Regrettably going green is not yet simple, “And it probably won’t be until the film industry as a whole adopts more green practices,” adds Matthews. With a number of pending studio projects on the table, Green Shoot Films is looking for a green film studio for a feature film currently in development, “It would be amazing for us to be able to shoot in KZN in an eco-friendly film studio,” hopes Matthews. Internationally, Vancouver Film Studios claim they became the first carbon neutral film studio. They are an ecoconscious and self-sustaining enterprise
State of the art Television and Film studios
HD control room equipped with the latest high- end equipment
by recycling; by using less water and not buying plastic water bottles or straws; by using energy efficient LED lights; by incorporating a community garden; by composting; by going electric with vehicles and installing charging stations to encourage electric vehicle use. There are interesting case studies emerging from the growing pool of productions that choose to go green, and the result is always the same: reducing waste and seeing financial benefits in the process. One international feature film saved £18 000 simply by abandoning disposable plastic bottles in favour of water coolers. Universal Pictures and Focus Features are further international examples of film studios committed to reducing the environmental impact from filmmaking actions. NBC Universal developed a Sustainable Production Programme which empowers its film divisions to integrate sustainable best practices across their productions. Sony Pictures employed a full-time independent contractor, Earth Angel, on The Amazing Spider-Man 2 set and accomplished a 52 per cent waste diversion rate from landfills. This blockbuster is touted as the most eco-friendly film in the history of Sony Pictures and saved an estimated $400 000 by going green. It is unheard of to have a studio without a green room, could it soon be unheard of to have a film production that is anything but entirely green? – Cera-Jane Catton
Post - production : Collaborative video editing and final mix
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26 | SCREENAFRICA | February 2017
Photo by Duncan Riley
lighting 28 | SCREENAFRICA | February 2017
A reflective view…
Written by John Harrison,
Southern Lighting Solutions / MovieVision
We have certainly come a long way since I first started out in the film industry. Fifty years ago the light of choice was a carbon arc brute – brute in name and brute in size.
THE LIGHTER SIDE OF THE INDUSTRY: John Harrison
he front Fresnel lens was 650mm and the soft, even, light output has not, in my opinion, been surpassed even today. The unit comprised the housing, a mechanism to feed the carbon arc through, resistors, solid cables and A boxes. The power required to run the beast was 225amps! One light, one man. We used eight on Shaka Zulu. Some people would say that we have not changed much if we look at the 18k and 30k HMI units. We have gone from a simple unit to one packed full of electronics and costs. Not everything has changed. Still used to this very day are the tungsten units – a very simple concept of filament globes in a housing with a reflector. Units ranged from 10k down. These units have been work horses for over half a century and although their shape has been jazzed up they are essentially the same units used in the old Hollywood films. Modernity has seen both smaller and larger units introduced. These range from 150w up to the still very popular 20/24k. While the tungsten soft and cyc lights still play a leading role in TV studios and theatres, various methods of control were introduced to play with the output of the lights, and these ranged from the initial analogue dimmers through to today’s
“Some people would say that we have
not changed much if we look at the 18k and 30k HMI units. We have gone from a simple unit to one packed full of electronics and costs. – John Harrison
compact digital dimmers. As in the case of the brute, the power requirements of the bigger lights are large, and particularly if dimmers are used, the power is then multiplied by the number and wattage of the units connected to the dimmer. This meant lighting technicians in days gone by had to be very strong to manipulate the large cables, lights and stands required on set. The control boards linked to the dimmers have also undergone reconstructive surgery – from the clunky 0-10v analogue boards with limited channels we have progressed to stylish and modern DMX/artnet boards capable of controlling many universes of channels
on a single unit. However, while in the past it was quite simple to figure out how to control the lights, we now get in front of this multi-function board and have not a clue what to do next, often resulting in the hiring of additional staff to simply put the lights on! What tungsten lights have in abundance is simplicity – if it won’t switch on either the switch is off, the globe blown, no power to it, or the cable is faulty. Try fixing today’s electronically operated fixtures that way! Other units that have survived the test of time are the ubiquitous Blonds and Redheads, still in use many years after Mario de Sisti
pioneered the way with his designs. So whilst the tungsten workhorses were going about their business, in the background, factory engineers were going about producing brighter and brighter lights. The HMI lights were evolved! People were astounded by the output of these new sources, and they quickly gained a foothold on sets. They reproduced daylight! WOW! And today they are the staple diet of location shoots all over the world. These lights range from 100w up to the massive 30k, the globe alone is the cost of a small country’s GDP, but light output to wattage consumed was much better than tungsten, so bills were reduced and power cables became less heavy. However, it was back to a number of items per unit – housing, head to ballast cable and, of course, the ballast itself. So the more lights, the more assistance was needed for setup and de-rig. Savings were spent on labour and everyone was happy. The flavour of the month is the multi-faceted units with the 1.8k, 4k and 9k units leading the way. These units have taken off by producing much larger outputs than the conventional units. A 1.8k faceted PAR has the equivalent output of a normal 4k. On to the next big wave to flood the market – fluorescent. This was the beginning of something big and has changed the way a lot of DOPs work as it has enabled the use of smaller powered units to illuminate larger spaces efficiently. The tubes didn’t flicker on camera like normal units, nor did they have the dreaded green tinge associated with household units. Development had evolved utilising ballasts to control the frequency and cycle rates however this also added to the cost of the units, so once again we had heads, ballasts and head to ballast units. Built-in dimmers have enhanced the usefulness of the units. Tubes became available in daylight and tungsten so the set could be easily changed from warm to cold. Green screen and blue screen tubes were also added to the mix, which made it a lot easier to shoot this format. Apart from the normal 4ft and 2ft February 2017 | SCREENAFRICA | 29
BIG BRUTE: Carbon arc brute lights being used for filming Andrew V. McLaglen’s The Wild Geese in 1978
tubes we were introduced to very small units with tiny tubes, as well as the multibank units with 6ft tubes. There was something for everyone. The fluorescent fitting has undergone a metamorphosis lately with the introduction of LED tubes in the fixtures. Even more latitude is now available in that the tubes are a straight 220v, so by simply applying power at either end single tubes can be inserted anywhere on set. The fixtures themselves no longer have ballasts so the unit power cable just fits into a wall plug and has the tube dimmer on the cable. How easy is that? Tubes come in the colour correct daylight or tungsten keeping the flexibility of their conventional 30 | SCREENAFRICA | February 2017
predecessors. Other units are on the market using the 55w tubes to make the fixtures smaller and more compact. So where are we now? In the midst of another great shakeup in lighting: The LED revolution Everyone is trying to get into the LED market and fixtures are becoming brighter, smaller, and more flexible. And that’s the problem. No sooner have we bought an LED and unpacked the box, and it is superseded by another model. The benefits of LED are tremendous. The power requirement is minimal. You can plug the equivalent of five X 2ks into a single 15amp plug point. The heat factor is greatly reduced. LED’s still do get hot but they have a system of dissipating the heat which leaves the
housing cool to the touch. This is a joy to all the technicians who regularly burn themselves on conventional fixtures. Additionally because of the low power requirements the cabling is much lighter and more manageable for the number of fixtures required. Most LED fixtures are available with DMX control built in eliminating the need for heavy power draining dimmers and cables. There are many lightweight LED panels on the market which are battery powered and can be taken into the field. These panels normally come with the ability to swing between daylight and tungsten. However, this raises another query – aren’t we being short changed in that we only get half a light? We probably
have a 100w fixture but, at any one time, a 50w output. While this system is becoming very popular in the LED market, I cannot help feeling that most DOPs know they are going to shoot either 3 200 or 5 600 so why are we wasting the other half of the light? Of course, colour also comes into the equation. Initially we had red, green and blue. Now we have red, green, blue, white and amber or other combinations/ multiples thereof. This is fantastic but once again output is sacrificed for the number of variations. Simplicity of use in changing colours makes this all worthwhile, but is the same true in the tungsten/daylight options? – John Harrison
Change is always good
Written by Dave Howe,
gaffer and owner of Orbital Lighting Film and television lighting used to change at quite a slow pace (in the old days) The old days being before digital video that is. Incandescent lighting fixtures, carbon arc (before my time) and HMI lighting fixtures were the go to lights when all we really shot on was film. Then along came video and digital video cameras and the game changed. We as lighting suppliers, technicians and gaffers were somewhat buffered against the fast moving world of video, that is to say for quite a while our equipment that we used wasn’t changing as fast as the camera world was. Fluorescent lighting became more prolific, as well as advancements in brighter more efficient HMI fixtures, as can be seen with the Cinepar type lights. However as higher resolution cameras with faster and faster ISO’s were introduced at a rapid rate, so too did lighting begin to change at a rapid rate. I am talking about LED technology. With today’s cameras we are able to light with a lot less light, I don’t mean with fewer lights, I mean we don’t often need as bright a light any more. Today’s high end cameras have a far greater latitude and ISO than ever before, film lenses are also incredibly fast at the moment. For example, we would almost always film commercials, movies etc and never leave home without the work horse of the industry, the
ON THE BRIGHT SIDE: Dave Howe
18kw HMI, often two to three would be on set each day. These lights would of course need big 100 to 200 kva generators on the back of 8 ton trucks, as well as big, heavy expensive cabling. We are now starting to achieve the same look and feel with much smaller and more efficient lights, namely the ARRI Max lighting range and the Filmgear Faceted lighting fixtures. When we needed soft light for interiors we would bounce a 5 000w tungsten light or 4kw HMI. We now have LED lighting which can mix any colour temperature you like for a fraction of the power consumption, think Kino Flo Celeb or Arri Sky Panel. We now get away with smaller generators, often a 60kva trailer mount will suffice, smaller cabling, smaller distribution etc. All a potential massive saving to productions. Also, the cost savings to suppliers and productions is the incredibly long lamp life of the LED fixtures, often up to 50 000 hours, in stark contrast to the 650hrs to 900hrs of HMI’s. Orbital Lighting is keeping up to date with the advancement of these modern day lighting fixtures, investing constantly in this now rapidly changing environment. Exciting times for lighting and the film industry as a whole! – Dave Howe
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February 2017 | SCREENAFRICA | 31
future looks bright Written by Oliver Wilter, gaffer
The industry has seen huge technical changes over the past decade; the change from film to digital, the development of new technology and the introduction of LED’s to name but a few. These changes along with the impressive number of international commercials, television series and features that have been made in South Africa have influenced and shaped our local film lighting industry immensely. One just needs to look at the amount of gear available in SA, to realise our industry has grown rapidly, we can now service the biggest movies being made across the globe.
any people say that lighting for the digital medium has become easier and smaller – that you need less lighting for digital, for me this is not the case. Digital cameras are light sensitive and unforgiving. Therefore, in both available light situations (day exterior) and artificial lighting set ups a lot more care needs to be taken to control and mould the light. The contrast ratios are extreme. Large textiles, 60 by 60-foot frame with a silk or grid cloth for example, are being used more and more to control the sun and create contrast. It is very common to use large butterfly frames rigged to Manitou’s or flown on construction cranes. These kinds of rigs were not often used in the past, but with the influence of big movies and large budgets these massive setups are becoming very common. In my experience, it is not unusual to have up to ten lifting machines on a set at one time all rigged with various lighting tools, from large butterfly frames to a bank of large HMI’s, and green/blue screens. The biggest change in terms of equipment that I have seen, has been the introduction of the new age HMI as well as the faceted par technology. A small 1.8kw faceted par that can run on a single 16-amp local point of supply has the same output (if not a bit more) than the older 4kw HMI’S, and the 9kw pars are as efficient as a 18kw Fresnel fixture. This helps in reducing the size of the generators needed to run some sets. Another very important factor is the quality of the globes being made, the colour and life span of a globe these days is vastly improved. I was told many years ago that a Short arc bulb i.e. HMI bulb would gain 1° kelvin for every hour it burnt, I think it was more like 10° kelvin for every hour, the globes now are just so much better, and as a gaffer it is much easier to match a whole bunch of lamps’ colour temperatures. LED technology is also becoming a real part of everyday lighting set ups, from Bi-colour panels to the various celebs,
32 | SCREENAFRICA | February 2017
DIGITAL LED-ING THE WAY: Oliver Wilter silks and LED kinos now available, it’s hard to imagine lighting a film without an artillery of these fixtures in the trucks. Almost all the good LED units available are dimmable, bi-colour and able to run on very efficient small batteries. I never imagined that in my career I would be able to run a couple of great quality LED units in an interior car for example, for up to five hours on a single v lock battery, or that I could gaffer tape a 2 x 2 foot flexible LED unit to the inside of a computer screen. These lights are small, lightweight, and very efficient. LED is also becoming very popular in large studio setups, replacing the older tungsten units. This has huge advantages, not only do you have a huge saving on the power requirements, but less dimmers are required and one instantly
has full dimmer and colour control. An example of this is on Mad Max: Fury Road where we had a huge studio set up and wanted a very large controlled top light source. We rigged a couple hundred space lights over a number of days, this of course is all possible, but I needed massive amount of dimmers and generators (and a very large diesel bill) to run them all, and as we know once you start dimming Tungstens you lose colour temperature so we spent loads of time and money colour correcting the space lights with lighting correction gels. It was a really amazing set up but it cost a small fortune. The same kind of set up could now be done with the with RGB colour corrected led units (e.g. ARRI skypanels) and have full control with no loss of colour temperature and use a much smaller
power supply, saving both time and money. I am a great fan of fluorescent lighting, and now that almost all the kinoflo or Filmgear flow bank units are DMX compatible, it allows me to use these units in many different applications. I love to use a large amount of Image 80 for large soft light sources at night. They are light weight compared to the older soft light units, use nearly no power and by mixing daylight and tungsten tubes in each unit and running them through a DMX controller you have full control, and can easily colour mix the units. I will often rig twenty or thirty units on a big construction crane for a moon source at night, and run the whole rig on a 32-amp power supply and have full control of each individual unit or the entire rig as a whole. One really important element in film lighting now, is the relationship between production design and practical lighting. With digital cameras and the ability to change the colour timing on set, and later in post-production, so many more practical light sources have become usable. Very often sets will be entirely lit by practical lighting, the green cast of fluorescents for example can be removed easily, so a large location with piles of old fluorescents could in some instances light itself. Correcting any additional lights needed in this has become much simpler and safer (we also have the luxury of very good monitors on set) so you always have a good reference as to what the pictures are looking like, you not waiting for the film stock to be processed before realising the lamps don’t match in colour. Lighting set ups are getting bigger, the fixtures available are smaller but more efficient and the LED technology is only getting going…the future is looking very bright indeed! – Oliver Wilter
“Large textiles, 60 by 60-foot frame with a
silk or grid cloth for example, are being used more and more to control the sun and create contrast. – Oliver Wilter
DWR Distribution lights up SuperSport studios The SuperSport studios in Randburg are converting four of their studios to LED Technology and DWR Distribution has been awarded the supply and installation of the project. The control will be with three MA dot2 consoles (two studios will be SPORTING NEW LIGHTS: Jacques Barnard (Vision Control and Lighting sharing), 136 Supervisor, Supersport) and Kevin Stannet (DWR Distribution) QuartzColor Fresnels and 17 Philips Strand SoftLight 300S TV Panels. Nine Philips all four studios which basically means Strand RelayRacks are to be installed to there is no need for gelling old tungsten control the entire system. fixtures. The SoftLights are fairly new to “Improved power consumption and a the industry and are amazing to create a reduction in maintenance costs, for soft, even wash in studio. The dot2 is example, longer lamp life and fewer lamp well-known in the industry for its changes, are the main reasons user-friendly ease of operation, making it SuperSport have decided to go this very accessible in the studios, where route,” explained Kevin Stannett of DWR there are often various programmers Distribution. “They are going daylight on utilising the consoles.”
February 2017 | SCREENAFRICA | 33
Lighting the way:
Thabang Moubane Screen Africa chats to Urban Brew Studios’ lighting director Thabang Moubane…
Tell us a bit about your background in lighting and how you got into it? Growing up I was always fascinated by the moon and the sun, I would look at the moon for long but could never do the same with the sun. I went to the extent of trying to look at the moon and the sun through different shades of plastic and materials. Fast forward a decade or so and my first lighting job was to cut gels; which give light different shades of color and that was like looking at the moon and the sun again. I just loved it. This is what harnessed my passion for lighting and I am grateful to Urban brew studios to have given me a chance and responsibility to design shows. Why lighting? What about it captured you? I have always been technically inclined from a very young age. Growing up I used to assist with sound at my church in Rustenberg. This spiked my interest in all other technical aspects that transformed the church to a magical place every service. The sound was always crisp and the lighting on point. So I would say my childhood fascination and the fact that I got to work with technical things from an early age captured me. As a lighting director what top shows do you cover currently? I am and have been involved with a range of shows at Urban Brew Studios from music shows like Live AMP, YO TV, Shift on SABC 1, game shows such as Friends Like These, Wies my Liefie and Top Chef. I have been involved with dramas and soapies too; the likes of Inkaba, Gauteng Maboneng, Skwizas and more.
GELLING WITH LIGHTS: Thabang Moubane
Do you prefer lighting for location shoots or studio shoots and why? It would be a disservice to pick one over the other. Both of these come with interesting highs and challenges; let’s just say I like the adrenaline of doing either and the ability to seamlessly light both keeps things exciting for me.
It’s no secret that most South African productions run on a tight budget, how does this affect your department and how do you overcome this? I am a firm believer that white light is important to start building the picture from but even with this said; lighting will always be an essential component to factor into every budget. Lighting does not only evoke the desired mood but brings all elements of what is being shot together.
What is your current favourite piece of equipment to use? Why? My lighting meter and design software, it helps me bring my vision to life.
What has been your biggest challenge on a shoot to date? I would say a lighting desk crashing on the day of the event. That was an interesting day.
34 | SCREENAFRICA | February 2017
What has been the highlight of your career in lighting to date? Executing my vision on international and national formats like Top Chef, Friends Like These and Live AMP just as I had envisioned it. What are the primary current trends of the studio lighting industry and where do you see it heading? I would say LED technology and projection as other source of light.
Where do you draw inspiration from? Things, experiences and people around me. Every experience and encounter has the potential to educate and influence us as people. I open myself to those experiences and encounters on a daily basis with the intention to break my own boundaries. If there’s almost no budget for lighting on a production, what can you not do without? White light.
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in the New Year It may seem late in the year to sound it as new but the Chinese version was only celebrated on 28 January. Over the past year in the sound design and film industry there were many new technologies and formats changing how we look at the world of audio. While advances were not celebrated as universally as say new televisions, the market is still large, and growing. Screen Africa caught up with a couple of industry experts to discuss sound trends in 2017.
n the one hand vinyl is outselling CD, and on the other companies are developing UHQ 32 bit wireless speakers. So it’s old versus new,” says sound engineer Louis Enslin, the owner of Produce Sound in Johannesburg. “From a post-production point of view, I think immersive audio will continue to become more prevalent in 2017,” he believes that will be the case too for VR. “We foresee a steady increase in immersive formats like Dolby Atmos™ and Auro 3D with a trend towards these becoming mainstream,” says sound engineer Stephen Webster, the founding director of TheWorkRoom Audio Post in Johannesburg. Webster explains that the implementation of these technologies arose in SA cinemas with four around the country last year. “We expect to see a vast increase in the already introduced VR content, as personal VR devices become mainstream and industry VR workflows stabilise and become more readily accessible,” says Webster. Enslin agrees that enhancements in VR are definitely on the cards and says Adobe is set to introduce a game changer. “Over the last couple of years, Audio over IP is coming of age with many more people seriously considering utilising an audio interface using this connectivity. Brands like Focusrite, RedNet and DigiGrid have been working hard to get studios to consider using ethernet for moving audio around the studio. I would expect to see AoIP take even more market share in 2017,” says Webster.
On the wish list we asked what they hoped would be coming out in 2017. “Native Pro Tools support for immersive formats like Dolby Atmos™ and spatial audio formats like Ambisonics (including B-Format)” says Webster. “Affordable home theatre systems for all. TV set sound is generally bad,” adds Enslin. While Enslin says the sound of 2017 is organic, Webster says “Immersive audio formats bring a new experience to the listener, with Dolby Atmos™ fast becoming the international standard. There is a change in the way we experience sound with the focus moving away from the kind of sounds you will hear but rather how you hear them and their spatial existence.” On a favourite quote or best piece of advice on sound: “There’s no right or wrong. There is preferred and not. If it sounds good turned to 11, then so be it. Trust your ears,” says Enslin. “Sound should be experienced and not heard,” says Webster. On a favourite piece of equipment: “Our favorite piece (or set) of equipment currently is our Dolby Atmos™ set up. This allows us more creative freedom, giving unprecedented freedom of the placement and movement of sound within the movie theatre. The speakers completely envelop the audience on the sides and overhead to give new dimensions to the soundtrack, which in turn gives the audience the most exciting sonic experience possible,” says Webster. “Wow, there’s so many,” says Enslin. “My Manley Vox box pre amp and Manly reference mic, because it makes even me sound good,” he concludes.
Production Music for Professionals representing over 60 international labels and African Planit, a South African Music Library. Service is our ﬁrst Priority.
36 | SCREENAFRICA | February 2017
In November 2016, Adobe unveiled Project VoCo, which is being called the Photoshop for audio because it could do what Photoshop does for images, allow you to rearrange and change elements of an audio recording, and add elements that weren’t there to begin with. In San Diego, Project VoCo was shown at Adobe MAX and while these technologies are not yet part of Creative Cloud, many sneak peeks shown at previous years were later incorporated. Project VoCo has caught the attention of the industry for a variety of controversial reasons. When recording voiceovers, dialogue, and narration, with this tool you will have the option to edit or insert a few words without recreating the recording environment or bringing the voiceover artist in for another session. Along with VoCo they gave a look at the Syncmaster, a tool which notes that music is an integral part of video, evoking emotion and mood. Syncmaster can help video editors and motion designers to sync a key moment in a video to the perfect moment in a song. These were just previews of future technologies from Adobe’s research lab and may or may not be released as a product or product feature. Trends this year are not slowing down, from virtual reality to the growing theme of authenticity in the stock music industry, advances in noise-cancelling and truly wireless headphones, and the 4K-video content of the audio world with the introduction of high res audio files. Realism and authenticity will be the theme of 2017. Old is in and the futuristic impressions from the past are here with VR, immersive setups and tools that are changing the sound of the future. – Cera-Jane Catton
VISIT US: www.synchromusic.co.za
| FESTIVALS & MARKETS
The Importance of African film festivals Written by Lara Preston,
owner Red Flag Content Relations As the present economic stresses continue to take their toll on governments, NGO’s, businesses, and individuals across the globe, the arts, and support of the arts may seem like a luxury. However, this could not be further from the truth, and especially so in the so-called developing world where events such as film festivals are of critical importance, both culturally and economically. African institutions, now more than ever, should ensure the continued support, promotion and development of African arts and culture, with film festivals taking a leading role in this regard. It has been encouraging to see the increase in the number of film festivals and markets taking place across Africa as these events are often at the forefront of promoting Africa’s stories and cultures, whilst also developing both the the industry and audiences for African films.
The Zanzibar International Film Festival, (ZIFF), The Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), the Joburg Film Festival (JFF), ENSURING VIABLE FUTURE FOR AFRICAN CONTENT: Lara Preston FESPACO, The Encounters Documentary Film Festival, Zimbabwe International Film around principles of inclusion, tolerance Festival, the Rwanda Film Festival, the and outreach to communities, as well as Maisha Film Festival in Uganda, the providing workshops, training and Udada Film Festival in Kenya, and the development for young filmmakers. More Salaam Kivu International Film Festival, and more, film festivals are built around Democratic Republic of Congo are just the commercial development of the some of the festivals attracting thousands African content industry and are also of people across the continent in a becoming vital drivers of economic celebration of African culture, talent, growth within the film sector and beyond. stories and films. This year for example, the Zanzibar As drivers of cultural pride, social International Film Festival will be expression, political change, film festivals expanding to include a film and TV also hold a special place as many are built content market in order to further create
DVR & ARCHIVE
commercial distribution platforms for African content. DISCOP Johannesburg, Africa’s largest content market partnered in 2016 with the Joburg Film Festival to further cement these links between the cultural and commercial aspects of the industry. These events, amongst others, are essential in ensuring a viable and commercial future for African content. Recent statistics released by DISCOP Johannesburg show the marked increase in the interest in African content, not just in Africa, but from around the world. Film festivals provide one of the most credible and prestigious platforms by which African content is shared and promoted. When combined with the commercial opportunities created at related markets, Festivals clearly are integral to the continued growth and development of the sector. It is therefore vital that film festivals are supported by governments and the private sector. Many festivals operate as non-profits and are reliant on funders and sponsors to survive, despite their economic and cultural benefits. As African cinema rises, so will Africa, and by supporting festivals, funders are able to simultaneously improve both the cultural and economic future of the continent. – Lara Preston
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February 2017 | SCREENAFRICA | 37
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FOX Networks Africa showcase
PHOTOS BY CERA-JANE CATTON
It was a full house of media, celebs and industry professionals at the FOX Networks Africa showcase event held in Johannesburg in January. Seen at the event wereâ€Ś
Leverne Engel (FOX) and Jenny Griesel
Aisling McCarthy and Adam Wakefield
Grethe Kemp and Phuti Mathobela
Akhona Qulu, Mbali Vilakazi and Nala Tose (5fm)
Sune Smalberger and Waldo Buchner
Pearl Shozi and Zozette Balsaras
Lizzy van Niekerk (Avatar) and Nic Billington (Avatar)
Genevieve Terblanche (TVplus) Kriszti Bottyan (Teen Zone ) and Thinus Ferreira (TV with Thinus)
Nomsa Chabeli Mazibuko (DStv) and Michelle Esau (DStv)
Refiloe Sehume (DStv) and Mfaniseni Motha (DStv)
Beverly Banks (Star Sat) and Thulani Maseko (Star Sat)
Baleseng Dlamini (FOX) and Nwabisa Matyumza (DStv)
February 2017 | SCREENAFRICA | 39
Planet Earth the second coming
PHOTOS BY CERA-JANE CATTON
After ten years, Planet Earth is back. The new series has become a global phenomenon and the ground breaking production that took 117 film shoots to gather more than 2 000 hours of footage in 40 plus countries was screened at MulitChoice City in Johannesburg for an exclusive sneak preview. Seen at the screening wereâ€Ś
Chris Hitchings and Joel Churcher
Yonwaba Pangeni, Kat Madalane and Alfreda Webb
Ntabiseng Motsei and Michelle Esau
Claire Howard and Ithi Mjali
Maiyo Febi and Shireez Latief
Adam Wakefield and Catherine Dabbs
Pooven Chetty and Lerato Sekgonyane
Lav Nandlall, Theo Nell and Thuso Sekhaolelo
Sifiso Bhengu and Portia Sylvester
40 | SCREENAFRICA | February 2017
The Annual Screen Africa Golf Day will take place on Thursday 11 May 2017 at CMR Golf Club in Maraisburg, Roodepoort.
A cocktail party and prize-giving is held at the CMR Clubhouse following the competition, which provides great networking opportunities. Secure your sponsorship and 4-ball by 11 April 2017. Date:
Thursday 11 May 2017
CMR Golf Course
Hole 1 & Hole 10 â€“ R7 500.00 (ex vat)
All other holes â€“ R5 750.00 (ex vat) For your own account
R300.00 per player (inc vat), cocktail snacks and prize giving
Shotgun Start @ 11:45am
Contact: Ellen Oosthuizen Cell: +27 (0)83 268 6868 Fax: +27 (0)86 670 6809 e-mail: email@example.com
AG-AC30 Palm Type Handy Camera
TO TELL YOUR STORY 1/3 TYPE SENSOR 20X OPTICAL ZOOM 5-AXIS STABILISATION LOW LIGHT SHOOTING INTEGRATED LED LIGHT 3 MANUAL RINGS XLR TERMINAL SIMULTANEOUS RECORDING
www.pansolutions.co.za Contact: Sean Loeve Cell: 083 677 4917 Tel: 011 313 1622