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


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…

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…


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 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


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


Art in motion”

In a world with an insatiable hunger for the latest, the fastest and the flashiest in media and technology it is easy to become misguided. In fact, as filmmakers our obsession with technology has the potential of steering us completely away from the things that inspired us to become artists in the first place. That one pure moment of inspiration soon becomes lost in a minefield of technical considerations and before you know it the particular codex, pixel ratio or post workflow of your film overshadows the essential message.

There is no doubt that powerful and affordable new digital formats for instance give the modern filmmaker vastly more options than before. We can generate motion graphics independently of large post-production facilities. We are able to manage grading and editing on a simple little laptop computer. One could go so far as to say that the sky is virtually the limit. This may be true today but the truth is that it has always been this way. Great filmmakers have always been guided by the impulse of imagination and not by the limitations of their gear. Innovation is powered by imagination and not technology. In this breathtaking music video co-directed by Yanni Kronenberg and Lucinda Schreiber the film has been stripped of all the devices that under normal circumstances help to hide the production process and elevate the production values. The marks created by the artists remain as ghostly trails on the backdrop, evidence of the laborious process of the frame by frame animation. We see the piles of rubbed chalk dust grow and morph at the bottom of the board - And now the undesirable byproducts of the filming process become a charming addition to the final product. A perfect example of taking the limitations of the production process and turning them into a unique asset.

Firekites’ album ‘The Bowery’. music video co-directed by Yanni Kronenberg and Lucinda Schreiber.

Over 6000 paintings were painstakingly produced during two years to create a five minute film.

What if you watch a film and whenever you pause it, you face a painting? This idea inspired Reza Dolatabadi to make Khoda. Over 6000 paintings were painstakingly produced during two years to create a five minutes film that would meet high personal standards. Khoda is a psychological thriller; a student project which was seen as a ‘mission impossible’ by many people but eventually proved possible!

Director and art director: Reza Dolatabadi
Written by Reza Dolatabadi & Mark Szalos Farkas
Animation by Adam Thomson
Music by Hamed Mafakheri

Winner of the Best Animation Canary Wharf Film Festival (London) Aug, 2008
Winner of the Best Student Animation Flip Festival (Birmingham) 2008
Winner of the Best Student Animation, Royal Television Society Award, Scotland (rts) 2009

Official selection for the “Best Short Film Program” at Waterford Film Festival (Ireland) November 2008