SA Rebate Guidelines

South Africa Film Rebate Guidelines

Africa First Competition Winners

12 October, 2009 | By Jeremy Kay

For the second consecutive year five film-makers have been awarded $10,000 apiece in Focus Features’ Africa First Program for short films.

The winning film-makers for 2009 are: Stephen Abbott for the dark comedy Dirty Laundry (South Africa), Matt Bishanga for the drama A Good Catholic Girl(Uganda), Daouda Coulibaly for the drama As Long As Bozos Sing(Mali), Matthew Jankes for the sci-fi story Umkhungo (South Africa), and Rungano Nyoni for the fantasy The Adventures Of Mwansa The Great (Zambia).

The award was set up to nurture emerging film-makers of African nationality and residence and the money will be used for financing projects in pre-production, production, and/or post.

In addition to on-site work in Africa, the winning film-makers of Africa First will visit New York later this autumn for a weekend of one-on-one workshops with members of the programme’s international advisory board of experts in African cinema Focus CEO James Schamus and production president John Lyons.

Africa First is supervised by producer Kisha Imani Cameron, whose Completion Films has a first-look and consulting deal with Focus.

Original article

Thanks Dad


Another film by local CPT talent Hein de Vos.

THANKS DAD, set in urban Cape Town, South Africa, is a satirical and darkly comical look at the bizarre and often volatile consequences of everyday life within a uniquely diverse and displaced society. It follows a group of quirky characters, each steering the course of their own journey, yet undeniably connected by the impact of their choices.

Thomas Starke is a renowned architect, married to the success of his career and the indulgence of extra-marital affairs. After his wife left him and their two daughters, and moved to Malawi to become a missionary, Thomas reverted to solving all his children’s problems with the only thing he really understands – money.

But, the recent economic recession has taken its toll on Thomas and when his youngest daughter Ruby asks for the exact same model car as her older sister Dee for her 21st birthday, Thomas realises that he cannot afford the expense. During a squash game, Thomas confesses this to his shady business partner Dimitri, who offers to provide Thomas with an “alternative method” of acquiring the car.

Ruby invites Dee, who suspects she is pregnant with her boyfriend Joe’s child, to an exhibition, she gladly accepts in order to avoid Joe. At the exhibition, Dee meets Ruby’s lecturer, Lebo and her boyfriend Tebogo, who we find at a critical point in their relationship, as well as an old friend, an artist named Melville Du Bois. Dee and Melville spend the rest of the evening on a drug binge, leaving Ruby with her car.
When Ruby catches her musician boyfriend, Puddy with another girl after his gig, she drives off with Dee’s car. Dee, by this time, has passed out at Melville’s apartment.

Thomas’ conscience gets the better of him after an emotional phone call with his separated wife, he calls off the deal. But Dimitri doesn’t get the message.

Meanwhile, Tebogo leaves the exhibition after an argument with Lebo and walks home through the streets of Cape Town. He accidentally bumps into Ruby, who is driving Dee’s car, at a traffic light, with interesting consequences.

Brought to you by the same team that recently completed “Dinner for Three”.

Story by Vicky Davis
Directed by Hein DeVos
Executive-Producer: Mike Joubert
Executive-Producer: Phil Contomichalos
Producer: Sascha Müller
Production Manager: Leighla McGregor
Director of Photography: Manoel Ferreira
Editor: Jolene Cartmill

Featuring music by Taxi Violence.

Join the group - let us know about YOUR film!

NFVF Indaba

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) will host the 3rd Film Indaba on 26 and 27 November 2009.

Indaba 2009 presents an opportunity for the NFVF to present to the industry, the NFVF Vision 2022, which was developed by the NFVF Council and Executive Management.

According to the institutional organic lifecycle of the NFVF, as stipulated in the Value Charter, the year 2007 marked the commencement of the Maturity Stage which will run until the year 2022. The focus during this stage is Sectoral Rationalisation. The NFVF 2022 Strategy, informed by Council Strategic thrust of “Taking NFVF to the Citizens” seeks to mobilise support for critical initiatives, and the commensurate resources required during this period for the sector.

The first edition of the NFVF Value Charter was an outcome of the Strategy that was adopted by the then Council in 2003. The Second Edition of the Value Charter is the outcome of the 2022 Vision. The document will provide the basis for discussion where the industry stakeholders will contribute to the 2nd Edition of the Value Charter to be adopted by the NFVF Council, the Department of Arts and Culture and Cabinet.

The theme for Indaba 2009 is “Mapping the Way Towards 2025”. The NFVF 2022 Strategy has been aligned with the South Africa Vision, a long term plan which spells out where South African society will be in 2025 as outlined in the Green Paper: National Strategic Planning published by the Presidency in September 2009.

The Film Indaba 2009 will run for two days. The first day will comprise of a plenary session where key note addresses will be delivered to inform deliberations. The second will comprise of breakaway sessions for discussions on the topics that will be highlighted out of the Draft Second Edition of the Value Charter.

The details on the venue programme and the discussion document (the Second Edition of the Value Charter) will be circulated within the next two weeks.

The NFVF intends to arrange meetings with stakeholders to engage on the contents of the discussion document as well as input that will inform the Film Indaba 2009.

Your input and participation is valued.

5 Fingers - Be Phat Motel


Just a follow up on Be Phat Motels new feature film “Five Fingers for Marseilles” The guys are scouting locations and developing their script in the Free State.

The Eve of Departure
Intrepid movie explorers Sean Drums and Mike T Matthews head off early tomorrow into the wild and desperate Free State. We’ve got our story clenched tightly on one hand and our map book in the other. What is it all about? Where and why are we going into the wilderness? Well, it’s all for Five Fingers for Marseilles…

In Five Fingers for Marseilles, we’re aiming to bring the classic western into a South African context, set in the remote Free State, along the Lesotho border. It’s a story of liberation and redemption, friendship and corruption between 5 friends and allies, that spans two generations of one small community. We’re really excited to get on location and into the meat of storytelling. We have the skeleton of the story and great characters almost all figured out; now we tailor the film around a real small town location, for a few reasons:

1) More than anything, it’s to make the film and story authentic, looking at how life really is out there and what issues affect the communities.

2) For costs reasons, so we won’t need to build a town, or too many sets that don’t already exist. That leaves lots of money for all the CG horses and maybe a couple of winged beasts. Should we be inspired to take the story into winged beast territory.

3) To integrate with the community and bring them on board the film: as crew – training local guys and gals up with production skills, as the people facilitating the production – catering, accommodation and security over our projected shoot, and even as potential film stars – casting locally as much as possible.

4) Discover a part of the country pretty much as familiar to a lot of Capetonians as the surface of the moon.

And so we’re heading towards Marseilles, the small, dusty Marseilles of the Free State. Lots to do before we leave… car fix ups, internet fix ups (please please let this little net devicethang work out there, or this blog series will be the shortest in history) hair cuts, Afrikaans and Sesotho lessons… Matrix-style………….. Send us your well wishes and keep in touch so we don’t get cabin fever or desert fever or yellow fever. “Two went out, one came back” sort of shiznizz.


Keep checking in on our Free State blog here in the Motel Diaries… And if you want a present from the Free State you better leave some real nice comments…


Win a Writing Course!

So by now you know about The Forum is on thursday night. You have even invited all your indy movie making mogul mates…right?! And because you are so darn cool The Writing studio and The Forum are giving away, that’s right, giving away two places on a writing course! All you need to do is rock up on Thursday!


If you’re an aspiring screenwriter with a vivid imagination whose ideas are larger than life, The Writing Studio’s The Write Journey will turn words into big screen action!

Aspirant screenwriters can sharpen their storytelling skills and develop their craft at The Writing Studio’s The Write Journey workshop at Artscape Theatre Centre on Saturday, October 10, 17, 24 and 31 from 2pm until 5pm.

Within FOUR DAYS writers will understand the principles of writing for a visual medium and what it takes to be screenwriter in South Africa.

The inspirational and motivational workshop is ideal for ANYONE with an idea for a story. If there is something or someone you want to write about this is your opportunity to turn thoughts into words.

Ideas are transformed into concepts that will be reworked into hardcopy, into 120 pages filled with dramatic action, lively characters and description.

The course turns theory into practise and ideas inside out. It explores the full dramatic or comedic potential of stories and empowers storytellers to write a compelling story that will reflect the uniqueness of their culture, history and experience.

The workshop is also an introduction into the world of filmmaking and teaches writers how to read and interpret the fascinating language of film, and how to evaluate and analyse film, television and theatre constructively.

It is ideal for novelists who would like to adapt their work into a visual medium.

During the past eight years The Writing Studio, an independent training initiative, has done more than 250 writing workshops throughout South Africa. The trainer is local writer, playwright, movie journalist and Education, Training and Development Practitioner Daniel Dercksen, who has been teaching workshops in scriptwriting and creative writing throughout South Africa the past eight years, as well as a Masterclass for Screenwriters for 40 writers from Africa at the Sithengi Film and TV Market’s Talent Campus.

The cost of the workshop is R900. If you are a registered student, scholar, or a pensioner, the cost of the workshop is R800. Bursaries are available on discretion for disadvantaged writers.

Following the workshop, the writers can join an advanced workshop for scriptwriters, The Write Draft..

The Write Journey workshop for scriptwriters takes place at the Artscape Theatre centre on Saturday, October 10, 17, 24 and 31 from 2pm until 5pm. For more information and registration, visit the website, email or call 072 474 1079

Obama Haircut

The Public Pool’s Obama Haircut is getting a lot of attention on and - 27500 hits in 1 week and counting.

These were some of the comments;

Dylan Says:
August 27th, 2009 at 9:07 am
“They got monkeys, yeah its a female monkey and a male monkey, they embrace/impress each other” WTF hahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahhaha
Thats funny and Random!!!

Ron Says:
August 27th, 2009 at 9:15 am
Now that’s thinking out side the box.
they certainly do have monkeys!
Way to go boys!!

slinks Says:
August 27th, 2009 at 10:27 am
I will go nowhere us but to these guys! And i have been looking for a stove.

Jonathan Says:
August 27th, 2009 at 10:46 am

Nos Says:
August 27th, 2009 at 11:37 am
That’s beautiful!

Lieb Says:
August 27th, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Classy Says:
August 27th, 2009 at 12:53 pm
That was amazing!!!

Brendan Says:
August 27th, 2009 at 9:55 pm
I had to watch this a couple of times. I love these guys!

craig Says:
August 28th, 2009 at 10:41 am
Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuude, these guys are legends!!! I want a Tjis Kop… hahahha

D9 Interviews

Jasyn from On Screen sat down and had an exclusive Q&A; with filmmaker Neill Blomkamp, lead actor Sharlto Copley who play’s “Wikus van der Merwe” and the other cast from District 9.

With all the hype surrounding D-9 we had to find out what went into this unique concept that is already being hailed a “masterpiece” and thus far raking in an estimated $38 million at the U.S Box Office. (opening week)

From Zoopy


district-9.jpg Thirty years ago, aliens made first contact with Earth. Humans waited for the hostile attack, or the giant advances in technology. Neither came. Instead, the aliens were refugees, the last survivors of their home world. The creatures were set up in a makeshift home in South Africa’s District 9 as the world’s nations argued over what to do with them.

Now, patience over the alien situation has run out. Control over the aliens has been contracted out to Multi-National United (MNU), a private company uninterested in the aliens’ welfare - they will receive tremendous profits if they can make the aliens’ awesome weaponry work. So far, they have failed; activation of the weaponry requires alien DNA.

The tension between the aliens and the humans comes to a head when an MNU field operative, Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley), contracts a mysterious virus that begins changing his DNA. Wikus quickly becomes the most hunted man in the world, as well as the most valuable - he is the key to unlocking the secrets of alien technology. Ostracized and friendless, there is only one place left for him to hide: District 9.

Directed by Neill Blomkamp, Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell, Produced by Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham. Executive Producers Ken Kamins, Bill Block, Paul Hanson and Elliot Ferwerda. Cast. Sharlto Copley and David James - writing studio

Those of you who have seen District 9, post your thoughts on the film here…

Cape Town Film Studios

ZoopyTV bought us this exclusive tour of the Cape Town Film Studios;

The Cape Town Film Studios is by the far the most ambitious film making initiative to grace African shores. Backed by Anant Singh (VideoVision) and Marcel Golding, the large scale studio complex will be on par with the biggest and best studio complexes on the world. With an escalating budget now reaching the 500 million Rand mark, the project hopes to change the face of the African continent by providing world class film making facilities that will allow for big-budget productions to take place throughout the year.

Zoopy met with the CEO for the Cape Town Film Studios, Mr Nico Dekker for an exclusive tour of the site. According to Mr. Dekker the first phase of the studios will be complete by March 2010.

Cape Town Film Studios

Writing adaptations and picking projects

Scripting a short film

A short film, like a short story, can’t waste any time. You need to give us your principal characters and establish their motivations immediately. There’s very little stage-setting before you get to the inciting incident and the ensuing complications.

The hero’s fundamental problem/challenge/obstacle needs to occur by the time you get to the 1/3rd mark. So, if your short is meant to be three minutes long, the big event needs to happen on page one. If it’s a 10-minute short, it happens around page three. It’s not that you’re worried about your reader getting bored before then — if you can’t entertain us for three pages, there’s a problem — but rather that if you delay any longer, your story is going to feel lopsided: too much setup for what was accomplished.

Beyond that, I wouldn’t worry much about traditional structural expectations. Funny almost always works better than serious for a short, because there’s not enough time to create the narrative movement you expect in drama. But there are exceptions. The Red Balloon for example. And I loved Walter Salles’ chapter in Paris, je t’aime, which was simply a sad rhyme.1

So think funny, or poignant — but only if French.

I’ve put the script for my 1998 short film God up in the Downloads section.2 It’s 30 scenes in 11 pages. A lot of story happens, quickly. But many successful shorts take the opposite tack: they’re essentially just one joke, fully exploited. Todd Strauss-Schulson’s Jagg Off is that kind of short, as are most of the SNL and Will Ferrell videos you’ve seen.

For the competition you’re entering, however, I’d be careful not to submit anything that felt too much like a comedy sketch. If I were a judge, I’d be looking for a script that doesn’t seem like it could end up on Saturday Night Live. (Or the British equivalent.)

Good luck!” - john august

John takes us through adaptations and picking projects in these videos from his personal blog. enjoy.

Part One/

Part Two/ (a ton of useful information about screenwriting)

Changing Landscape Videos

The Public Pool cut the footage of our first Forum, The Changing Landscape, and I posted them to Vimeo today, for your watching pleasure;

1. The Forum - Introduction/

Louw Venter our panel moderator takes us through the forum introduction:

2. The Forum - Landscape/

Zaheer Goodman Bhayat, producer and panelist on the forum had a lot to say about our current industry:

3. The Forum - Local is lekker/

Pam from Zoopy, made a comment regarding cinema in SA and that “Local is Lekker”. Simon Hansen whom I quote often in my blog, had something to say about that statement:

4. The Forum - Writing/

Getting into the nitty-gritty of where it starts, and our inspiration for the next Forum, Zaheer talked about writing. The idea that writers have this space where they can “just write what I love” does not exists. If you really want to do that either starve, live with your parents or get better and have people pay you.

5. The Forum - Paradigm/

Lastly Simon talks about shifting our paradigms. Having an idea of something is fine but if your idea isn’t the same as reality its not reality that’s wrong. If you want to live in your ideas then change your reality paradigm and come up with something unique and with value.

First Publicity

From our friends at SAMDB.


The Forum Goes Live


On Thursday night, 23 July, the Forum film community went live at Red Light Studios in Maitland with “The Changing Landscape”.
SAMDB had the privilege to attend this new film industry iniative.

The informative, thought provoking and heated discussions, were centered around exploring the changing landscape of film in South Africa and the potential to shift paradigms as filmmakers. The debate was also broadcast live on

The dynamic panel consisted of producer Zaheer Goodman Bhayat, Simon Hansen (Co-produced Alive in Joburg on which District 9 is based), Pam, CEO of Zoopy and director Hein de Vos. The evening was interactive, allowing the audience to discuss a variety of issues it faced. Catch selected video clips of “The Changing Landscape” on in the very near future.

Towards the end of the evening we sat riveted in our chairs for a screening of selected scenes from Hein De Vos’ Orgie. The subject matter is alive with drama, steamy scenes and brings home that actions have consequences. It is an Afrikaans film with English subtitles, allowing local Afrikaans talent to convey the film’s message from a place of truth. Keep a look out for “Orgie” and this up and coming director, Hein de Vos.
The Forum is based on the idea of gathering and sharing resources and ideas for the individual and the greater good of the South African film industry. “I guess it’s a bit like Ubuntu, and where does the idea of I-am-because-we-are play out more definitively than in the art of filmmaking?” (Louw Venter, Forum member)

We left feeling positive about the future of this ever growing industry and excited about the emerging talent and like minded individuals this country has to offer the future of film.

The next event will take place in late September, and The Forum would welcome your ideas and suggestions on what direction the next one should take. “The Forum is yours - please use it.” Comment on the site or email them at

The Lambda Child Trailer

Be Phat Motel Productions is an up and coming collaboration between a number of South Africa’s hottest young industry professionals. Be Phat are making waves through consistent high-end work and an ability to think outside of the box, squeezing the maximum potential out of every project and never sacrificing production value. “Quality over quantity” and a desire to push the boundaries of the film industry, conceptually, visually and narratively are the driving forces behind Be Phat Motel.

Sean Drummond - Writer/Producer
Michael Matthews - Director
Shaun Lee - Cinematographer
Daniel Mitchell - Editor

Look out for the talented bephatmotel group, they truly have what it takes to make great films.
The Lambda Child is a project the guys have been working on for a few years now, actor Garret Dillahunt signed on to The Lambda Child, as the bad guy, Edward. You might have seen him in “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” starring alongside Brad Pitt, or in the oscar winning “No Country for Old Men” last year.

Lambda is bephatmotel’s long term project, In the meantime they are moving forward with “5 Fingers for Marseilles”, a smaller film with a very original concept and treatment.
“5 Fingers For Marseilles is the one we’re really pushing forward at the moment. There’s an interesting development and production model/plan for it. We want to go into production on it march/april next year” - Michael Matthews

We hear the guys will be shooting on red, we will definitely have to get them in for a Q&A; some time and post it to the forum.
Here’s some poster art work for the meantime…


Indy Review

Aah, Trulyfree blog is always a little bit of awesome. This time Ted has posted some sights that review Indie films. I hope the guys from Orgie, Party of Three and Capitalist Pigs make use of of any of these!! If you do - let me know and well post something onnit….

Ted has placed the name of the individual who recommended the site next to the blog (to spread more names of people doing stuff) Brendon Bouzard Brandon Harris Tze Chun Christophe Lepage Bill Cunningham action,horror, pulp,sci-fi, thriller Christophe Lepage Tze Chun Ted Hope Christophe Lepage
http:/ Christophe Lepage
MyFiveYearPlan Brendon Bouzard Christophe Lepage Tze Chun Christophe Lepage Slashfilm Tze Chun & Christophe Lepage Tze Chun Dave Nuttycombe

I am a member of Ironweedfilms and read Slashfilm OFTEN. Both these sites offer great indy information and enjoy the odd, the strange, the creative and unique, as I can imagine all these sites do. Hammer to nail is Ted’s site and is part of his site collective of which trulyfree is also part.

Enjoy, its a great resource… make use of it!

From readwrite

D9 @ Comic Con


This week saw the Comic-con take place in San Diago and saw a host of movies being screened, promoted and talked about there. To name a few: Iron Man2, 9, Avatar, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Where the Wild Things Are, Zombieland and Sherlock Holmes. For a more comprehensive list go here and cry a little.

Anyways, I’ve done my crying a little and decided to try and find out more. I am really interested in D9 (as you may already know) and knew that Sharlto was going to be on a panel discuss with Peter and Neill all about D9. The bastardo’s had a full on screening of the movie - aargh - adn this panel was done right after the film. I have here for your enjoyment all four parts, download them from youtube at work and watch them at home later. That way you don’t use your bandwidth, your not skimping on your work and you have them to share them with your friends later…





Then, just for fun, here’s a little vlog from Slashfilm doing a review of the movie and some hints of what to expect on Assassins Creed. Go Here

From Readwrite

A Life Alone

For 63 years, Tom Rose and his wife, Mary, built a life together on his family farm on Canaanville Road. Then last year Mary passed away, leaving Tom to face the future alone, surrounded by a lifetime of memories.

Maisie Crow: Photography, Videography and Production
Jenn Poggi: Senior Producer

I found this short film inspirational, hope it will motivate you to share your stories.

The forum event

louw1.jpg Ladies and gentlemen we’re proud to announce that The Forum is finally off the ground - and the view looks great from up here.

After a relatively short but incredibly busy period of planning and organizing we opened the doors to the first official live version of the Forum at Red Light Studios in Maitland on Thursday last week. Our audience consisted of role players from various sectors in the industry from producers and feature directors to scriptwriters and media representitives from the likes of Zoopy and the South African Movie Data Base.

We didn’t know quite what to expect from the night but I’m very happy to report that the energy on the night was quite electric and we now have a very powerful impetus to go forward. It was exhilirating to see the enthusiasm among filmmakers to connect with each other and discuss the issues of making film in South Africa. In fact, far from being at a loss for subject matter to chew over I had to call the discussion part of the night to reluctant halt over a veritable sea of eagerly raised hands. SA filmmakers certainly have a lot to say and ask. Among the topics that emerged on the night were the ideas of writing and creating film as a sustainable means of income, the interrogation of the “local is lekker” catchphrase, the identity of SA film and the need for shifting our understanding of how films are, can and should be made.

What we need now more than anything is a mandate from you for the next installment of The Forum. The way forward for the next gathering of The Forum must be guided by what we as filmmakers need to explore and discuss most urgently. Please send us your ideas and suggestions for the next Forum which will take place late September.

If you were there on Thursday night you will know that The Forum is serious about the future of film in SA and it belongs to everyone who loves the movies. Talk to us, we need your imput and we look forward to building something amazing together.

Selected clips from The Changing Landscape will be available on this site very soon as well as a published list of all the business cards collected on the night.
If you’ve been logging in to, please note that the proper adress for The Forum will be from now on.

Look forward to your comments and feedback - Louw Venter

The Changing Landscape - Live Feed

The Forum event will be broadcast live on 23rd July 09 at 20h00 - Watch the feed here or The Forum Live Feed on

Watch live video from theforumza on

South African Accent

Its fascinating that most actors find the South African accent to be one of the toughest accents to deliver on screen. I personally feel that Tim Robbins takes the cake in “Catch a Fire.” There is always Leo’s role in “Blood Diamond” - you judge for yourself?

Danny Archer, a diamond smuggler played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the (2006) “Blood Diamond”

Blood Diamond: Leo’s gem of an SA accent!

Finally Hollywood has brought through its ranks someone who can pull off a South African accent without getting laughed off stage. This has been a point of some concern for South Africans who have seen their lovely accent slaughtered in films like Lethal Weapon 2 and Mission Impossible 2.
It seems to always be racist villains that get lumbered with the task, that and cheesy action sequels. An exception was “the interpreter”, where Nicole Kidman, wisely stayed away from doing a “full blown” rendition and opted for a softer inferred accent. Even so it was still a little crap, and if Nicole Kidman can’t pull it off then who can. Remember she kissed Tom “alien lover“ Cruise with a straight face!.
Strangely enough, South African actors in Hollywood, never get to use their elusive and enigmatic voice in films. Arnold Vosloo was “the Mummy” in the “The Mummy” and would have been much scarier if he was Afrikaans. Charlize Theron, would have been far more believable as a serial-killer-lesbian, if she spoke like us.
Apparently Leo is the man we were waiting for. Leonardo Dicaprio, is the first to my knowledge that has managed to get the subtle guttural tones without it sounding parodic or just plain silly.
He also went one step further to mimic the “meat eating” body language of our fair nation. Our hats are off to him and he is welcome back any time. What is funny though is that American critics slated his accent as being too affected?” - from

Usually Hollywood movies about Africa and South Africa are a source of hilarity to local audiences as Hollywood tends to get so many details about this country wrong. Who can forget Joss Ackland’s atrocious “Afrikaans” accent as the villainous apartheid-era ambassador in Lethal Weapon II, for instance? Or that ornamental Nazi eagle in his office (come on, which Department of Foreign Affairs official’s office ever looked like that?) Or how about the Nazi-like paraphernalia adorning the podium as the celluloid Jimmy Kruger made his notorious “Biko died after a hunger strike” speech in Cry Freedom?

But what South African audiences usually find the most entertaining (or insulting, depending on your sense of humour) is when Hollywood actors attempt a Seth Effrikan accent. (One can only imagine how they have mangled other “ethnic” accents in the movies throughout the years then, particularly in all those movies featuring the poor Russians as villains!)

However, in Blood Diamond we’re happy to say that while DiCaprio doesn’t always get the accent right, he at least gets the character spot on. Or maybe the role was just well-written, as the screenplay at least seems decently researched with an eye for detail and an ear for the local tongue.

“Doos,” DiCaprio’s character murmurs when faced by an officious soldier, which had the audience I was with laugh appreciatively. DiCaprio has aged well enough to fit this role; no longer the fresh-faced boy star of Titanic, he is more credible as a tough action man than, let’s say, the soft-faced Colin Farrell in Miami Vice. Cynical and opportunistic, DiCaprio comes off like an boer seun Han Solo, spouting the sort of political incorrect dialogue one imagine a character like him would in real life.

Blood Diamond gets other things right too, mostly by casting local actors such as Arnold Vosloo and Marius Weyers as Afrikaner diamond smuggling heavies. One detail that is straight out of the Hollywood cliché rule book though is when DiCaprio’s character visits the Stellenbosch vineyards of his employers and there are machinegun-wielding heavies all over the place guarding it like one always sees with Columbian drug lords in the movies. Very unlikely. ”

Online interview:

Tim Robbins delivers a pretty convincing South African accent in the (2006) “Catch a Fire” where he plays “Nic Vos” an apartheid-era South African police officer.

Matt Damon is now responsible to deliver our Rugby hero Francois Pienaar’s Afrikaans accent - hopefully with the real rugby players’ lingo - in the upcoming film, where with Morgan Freeman they are to reprise South Africa’s World Cup victory in 1995.


Is Matt Damon rugby rugged? Whatever your answer, we are looking forward to seeing this time relived, as it marked the rise of a troubled South Africa guided by the unifying force of our nation’s father, Madiba.

The New Socialism

This is a great read written by technocratum, Kevin Kelly. Entitled “the New Socialism” Kelly debates the role of digitalism and the culture that has come from it. Mostly from the point of view of an open source, free-share supporter, Kelly draws parallels between old school socialism and how it has adapted it’s from for the digital age. Further than that the article delves into how monetary gains are being made through the use of free sharing and community building.

The New Socialism: Global Collectivist Society Is Coming Online

We’re not talking about your grandfather’s socialism. In fact, there is a long list of past movements this new socialism is not. It is not class warfare. It is not anti-American; indeed, digital socialism may be the newest American innovation. While old-school socialism was an arm of the state, digital socialism is socialism without the state. This new brand of socialism currently operates in the realm of culture and economics, rather than government—for now.

Indeed, its not about governments or politics, it will stagnate if government, politics or corporate become part of it. This movement will only live for as long as “The People” want it to. As long as people are investing their time (and if so by proxy also their money: time=money) then digitalsocialism will survive. The communities online are merely a natural progression of existing societies. In an age where we are friends with people around the globe and are able to sustain these relationships through our digital tech, development of societies are inevitable. WE have found a town square and called it the internet. It’s a place where vendors and buyers meet, where philosophers can sit on a chair and explore deep questions and where people with common interest meet.

It is a place we choose to share information, contacts, art, business strategies and code. I am surprised on a daily basis how much we are willing to give toward this community. Maybe it has something to do with anonymity, sharing your secrets with a total stranger, but I feel that when I share the people that read are not strangers, they are friends. You are reading because you care or, at least you are interested in, what is going on here and in return you participate in your own way.

Instead of gathering on collective farms, we gather in collective worlds. Instead of state factories, we have desktop factories connected to virtual co-ops. Instead of sharing drill bits, picks, and shovels, we share apps, scripts, and APIs. Instead of faceless politburos, we have faceless meritocracies, where the only thing that matters is getting things done. Instead of national production, we have peer production. Instead of government rations and subsidies, we have a bounty of free goods.

So what’s the point?
This is no hippy commune, the building blocks started with a few and the communities now reach a few million. The sharing and caring mentality is less feel-good and more practical output driven. Most people participating in these communities do it to get better at their own skill set. It is about communication, building and progressing tools and resources that are available. Taking twitter as an example and looking at how many people have created 3rd party aps to accompany this little program. This little program has gone to undermine regimes and make headlines in international news, this little program has drawn the attention of world powers, this little program only exsist becuase we choose it to adn we choose to make it grow. Without everyone participating Twitter is just another idea.

Indeed there will be a time when Twitter is just a memory, however, isn’t all space. In the meantime, we make that space a place of construct where we dabate and share. This new socialism or Dot-Communism is ours and what we do with it, whether we keep it, has nothing to do with governments or corporations. Freedom is a beautiful pleasure and dreadful responsibility….

Now we’re trying the same trick with collaborative social technology, applying digital socialism to a growing list of wishes—and occasionally to problems that the free market couldn’t solve—to see if it works. So far, the results have been startling. At nearly every turn, the power of sharing, cooperation, collaboration, openness, free pricing, and transparency has proven to be more practical than we capitalists thought possible. Each time we try it, we find that the power of the new socialism is bigger than we imagined.

We underestimate the power of our tools to reshape our minds. Did we really believe we could collaboratively build and inhabit virtual worlds all day, every day, and not have it affect our perspective? The force of online socialism is growing. Its dynamic is spreading beyond electrons—perhaps into elections.

Read Full Article Here


Shoot a Film on DSLR

More on the camera kit

The biggest issue with digital is that it’s not film. It smells differently. The noise is loud. The converters are (almost) infinite. It is cheap though and has allowed anyone to start making movies. The latter being the most important point to me.

As technology becomes cheaper to produce the quality get’s better so that manufacturers can keep bringing out updated hardware. The latest good news for film makers is the Canon D5 Mark2.

The D5 Mark2 has the ability to capture full HD video clips at 1920 x 1080 resolution, Canon’s EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera features a 21.1-megapixel full frame 24 x 36mm CMOS sensor, DIGIC 4 imaging processor and significantly lower noise, with an expanded sensitivity range from ISO 50 to ISO 25,600.

Although it has no on board sound recorder the pictures beat anything I have seen digital produce. Perhaps the RED competes but that is a huge and expensive system if you compare it to the D5. I have read a couple of blogs and news pieces on the D5 camera shooting video and the most prominent problem is focus.

Focus is murder; you don’t actively want a sensor this big, even if you think you do. It gets noisy, unpleasant vertical bands of noise, if you leave it on too long, which is mentioned in the manual.

The reason this piece of tech caught my attention was the indie film “Searching for Sonny”. The first full feature film to be shot on the D5. I have not yet found information on their specific work-flow however I am to understand it was a pain in the ass to get it working all the way through.

Disney and his crew had to figure out how to workaround a few of the 5D Mark II’s most annoying limitations for filmmakers: no manual control over exposure settings during capture, and a lack of an efficient focusing system while shooting.

This is the life of the film maker though and if you have made ANY films you will know that problem solving is part of the job description. The override on exposure settings was solved by putting a Nikon F mount to Canon EOS adapter and stuck on an older Nikon 50mm lens with a mechanical aperture wheel. The latter problem is was simply a make-shift follow focus system which needs a focus puller. As far as the capturing and importing to Final Cut goes, I will have to get back to you…

If I look at the way the set was run it smacks of old-school meets new-school. Let me explain. The old-school 35mm Panavision et-al camera weighing in at 20kg odd is replaced with a 2kg DSLR. Both have interchangeable lenses and both still need an operator and focus-puller. The sound is separate (as it always was until the PD150 came along). However, we don’t need massive DAT recorders now, simply a good mic, pole and recording device like a mini-disc player or laptop. The crew formation is returning but the gear is transformed! Poetry of technology….

All that is needed, and will come, is a full LCD lighting kit. From the 10k all the way down to the 150 peppers. Take a second and imagine…beautiful.

Searching for Sony” seems to be an interesting story and I will want to see it regardless of the technology they have used. The fact that the pictures are amazing does help motivate me though.

SEARCHING FOR SONNY is the story about three bumbling friends who come back home for their high school reunion only to get sucked into a small-town murder mystery that is
eerily similar to a play from high school.

Another interesting point to this film is the investment strategy. They have a $30 buy a T-shirt and get your name in the credits option and also an invite to invest in the film. You can e-mail them to receive the full proposal.

Have a look at some of the trailers and the quality of this camera. I am convinced. Anyone has a D5? Let’s make a movie!

Searching For Sonny - Gary Teaser/Canon 5d Mark 2 from Andrew Disney on Vimeo.


Green light for Sustainable film making

With all the hullabaloo about going green for a better future and thinking about film making and the waste that goes with that I thought I would dwell for a short time and diverge from my usual rhetoric into the sphere of “sustainable film making”.

Now sustainable film making to me means being able to make films again. Alas, this is not what is meant with sustainable film making. It has plenty to do with the bottom line but not in the way that you would imagine. And this kind of film making could in reality actually change the world!

Just for quick (as my German friend would say) I want to talk about Saachi&Saachi. The global commercial agency monolith has started a sub-company called Saatchi S. The first office opened in San Fransisco headed by ex-Sierra club president Adam Werbach. The company runs less like an agency and more like a consultancy. They basically employ brand strategists, scientists and psychologists who in turn talk to the biggest corporates on the globe (Is Wal-Mart going green?) in order to change them from inside out to becoming a fully “green” company…

I mention this little tit-bit to show the impact and commercialization of “sustainability”. It is real and it is here. We cant deny anymore that we should all do something about saving our little blue planet. The way that we have interpreted that is by recycling, consuming less and ultimately just being more considerate. If Wal-Mart can and is doing it then why the hell on my little short films can’t I get my sh together…! Of coarse I can and it’s actaully quite easy.

By having a brainstorm session with someone you will quickly see how easy it is to make a green production. I know that a couple of studio films have recently decided to “go green” and have used solar power to run offices, donated trees to offset carbon adn even built low-cost housing from discarded building material.

I cant wait for my next film to try this concept. I’m even considering getting a full time person on board for the entire time thinking and improving as the shoot progresses and then actually calculating my (hopeful) savings. Consider for a moment, no purchase of disposable cups, no water bottles, savings on generators by minimizing light and heat usage.

So, this from the Code for Best Practices site here are the basic ideas:

ONE: Calculation
PRINCIPLE: Know how much energy we are actually using.

TWO: Consumption
PRINCIPLE: Lower overall carbon debt and environmental impact by using less.

THREE: Travel
PRINCIPLE: Reduce the carbon debt created through travel.

FOUR: Compensation
PRINCIPLE: Since we cannot completely eliminate our footprint, we should compensate for it through organizations that offer a carbon reduction equal to our carbon production.

As a producer this is exciting to me because I get to play with the dynamics of actual on set principals. On set has a lot to do with customs, hierarchy and “this is the way we do it” attitude. But since the globe is in dire straits who’s going to argue, don’t you want to save the world?!!

Enjoy this new time of experimenting and finding new cool ways to run sets and make films sustainably. You might be quite surprised if it helps your bottom line and then really does make it sustainable film making!


The Daily Green
Center for Social Media
Environmental film fest
Greens Speak TV
Sundance Channel Green


Cut and Effective Indy Trailer

Suprisingly I found Zak Forsman in the Workbook Project shortly after posting his film trailer I F*cking Hate You on my previous blog about Caachi. This article by him deals with Cutting an Effective Trailer. I now some film schools let the students design a trailer, in other words, they treat the trailer like a short film and that is a very good exercise. Being able to cut an effective trailer is of utmost importance when trying to convince your audience that they should watch your film.

Here is an excerpt out of the article.

Trailers can be a real challenge for filmmakers. The tendency is to withhold some of the more dynamic and compelling aspects of the film to preserve the experience of watching the film in a theater, streaming to one’s laptop or on a DVD. And that is admirable, but often lessens the potential impact of the trailer.

Feature editors have a natural inclination to want moments to breath. Trailers editors are skilled with the ability to compress moments down to a core idea. Asking a feature editor to cut a trailer would be like asking a novelist to write a song. It seems like a no-brainer to have the person who knows the footage best create the preview, but the result is often unbalanced. First, filmmakers often want to save the good stuff for the screening. That’s a problem from a marketing standpoint where you want to hook an audience with the most compelling details of your film — more on that later. Just know that the ability to re-conceptualize is very difficult for an editor who has been living and breathing your characters for weeks or months.

The first act of most pictures have all the set-up, all the character introductions, and all the bites of dialogue that can be laid out to present a concise version of the story. This is not necessarily the actual story of the film, however. My trailer for HEART OF NOW takes some liberties in order to present something that is as compelling as it is easily understood. The film itself, goes into territory much deeper than that of a girl deciding whether or not to have an abortion. But you can’t show that in less than three minutes.

Read Full Article

Heart of Now Trailer

HEART OF NOW - a film by SABI - TRAILER from Zak Forsman on Vimeo.


Ted’s 38 Reasons

Producer Ted Hope came up with 38 reasons he feels the Indie-Film “scene” is under stress. The points he raises are very good and not wanting to become pessimsitic (it’s too early in my career) I think there is light at the end of the tunnel. However, coming from a realistic, positivist generation feel that we should listen to those offering advice and keep these things in mind when making our own films.

There are certainly problems we face as film makers today. Besides the over abundance and accessibility ANYONE has to call themselves film makers (I wonder if it was like this in the 80’s with stockbrokers?) there are also no working business models that satisfy “The Money” to invest in our new distribution methods. But, democracy takes time and living in a country with a fledgling democracy I can tell you that it’s more-difficult than it is easy, if you catch my drift. All we have to go on is the passion we had to start off and a sh*t-hot script. The stories we tell are indubitably part of historical record and mark social spaces in our history. Society will never be able to forget the films we have made because they are part of an era and an age. They are more true to history than textbooks if you believe in the anecdote that history is written by the conqueror. That makes what we do more than entertainment even though that is what we pitch in the present. Hoeraa! and all the other psych terms you use to get up in the morning to get behind (or in front) of that camera!

Here’s Ted:

*Distrib’s abandonment (and lack of development) of community-building marketing approaches for specialized releases (which reduces appeal for a group activity i.e. the theatrical experience).
*Distrib’s failure to embrace limited streaming of features for audience building.
*Reliance on large marketing spend release model restricts content to broad subjects (which decreases films’ distinction in marketplace) and reduces ability to focus on pre-aggregated niche audiences.
*Lack of media literacy/education programs that help audience to recognize they need to begin to chose what they see vs. just impulse buy.
*Threat of piracy makes library value of titles unstable, which in turn limits investment in content companies and reduces acquisition prices, which in turn reduces budgets, which in turn limits the options for content — so everybody loses.
*No new business model for internet exploitation at a level that can justify reasonable film budgets.
*Emphasis on single pictures for filmmakers vs. ongoing conversation with fans has lead to a neglect of content that helps audiences bridge gaps between films and that would prevent each new film to be a reinvention of the wheel for audience building.
*Lack of marketing/distribution knowledge by filmmakers limits DIY success.
*Filmmakers still believe that festivals are first and foremost markets and not media launches.
*The ego-driven approach to filmmaking vs. one of true collaboration generally yields lower quality of films and greater dissatisfaction amongst all participants.

To read all 38 reasons go here please…