Discovered by Lily Allen and signed to her record label “In The Name Of” (an imprint of Columbia records), Tom Odell mentions in an interview with the Daily Mail “By chance a friend of Lily Allen came to one of his first London gigs in December 2011. Allen came to the next and started telling people his voice was ‘fragile yet powerful’, that he was totally gorgeous and reminded her of David Bowie. She invited him for a beer and by the following month he was signed to her label…”
Still from Wrong Crowd music video
Thomas Peter Odell better known as Tom Odell, the musician born in Chichester, West Sussex, was signed after only four gigs. Tom went onto win the prestigious “Songwriter of the Year”, Ivor Novello Award (2014) and has drawn comparisons to acclaimed musicians like Cold Play, Leonard Cohen and the late Jeff Buckley. Tom is an English singer/songwriter internationally renowned for winning the Brits Critics Choice Award (2013), accompanied by the successful debut of his UK chart topping album, “Long Way Down” in 2013.
Recently Odell shot his music video in Cape Town, South Africa. This is where I had the privilege of meeting this humble and grounded artist and also had the opportunity of speaking to the production team Somesuch from London, England.
I asked ‘Wrong Crowd’ Music Director George Belfield (GB) and Producer Tom Birmingham (TB) from UK production company Somesuch a few questions, here is what they had to say:
Q. What were your thoughts on working with South African crew?
GB: “It was my second time working in South Africa, and I had a great experience. I can’t wait to come back to be honest.”
Q. What was the inspiration for the new music videos?
GB: “Tom came with a few strong ideas that he was really keen on, and we worked together to develop them into a narrative. a lot of inspiration came from 70s films and photography”
Q. Why did you choose Cape Town, South Africa to shoot the video?
TB: “We chose Cape Town as it has great cast, locations and crew and also the exhange rate is very favourable for us at the moment.”
Q. What were your thoughts on working with South African crew?
TB: “The crew were generally very good although as it was such a busy time for filming in Cape Town we didn’t always get our 1st choice so some were not great.”
We all have our favourite film directors that keep us locked at the screen and going to any film they touch, but from a technical side we start to identify similar traits which define their greatness. So while browsing the web I discovered this amazing supercut of Quentin Tarantino by Jacob T. Swinney, providing us the opportunity to view and analyse Tarantino’s blood, sound in film, driving shots and extreme close-up scenes. Check out the awesome super-cut below…
The much-anticipated hybrid feature documentary, ALISON, comes to the big screen in South Africa on 12 August 2016, for Women’s Month.
In December 1994, two men raped, stabbed and disemboweled Alison Botha after they abducted her from outside her home in Port Elizabeth. Against all odds, Alison defied death – and she also denied her attackers the satisfaction of destroying her life. Her book, I have life, published by Penguin SA in 1998 has remained on the Penguin SA bestsellers list, translated into seven different languages. Alison was the first-ever South African to publicly speak out about being raped, and has become a sought-after motivational speaker, sharing her tale of courage and resilience with audiences around the world.
ALISON is a triumphant, deeply personal film with contemporary, real-life fairytale undertones. This is her tale about being her own hero, on her terms – fairy gardens and all. It’s a story about how trauma is ongoing, forever lurking in the shadows, ready to show itself at any given moment and devour you all over again, and one woman’s fight to keep it at bay. It’s a tale of monsters, miracles and hope and chronicles how Alison’s life has unfolded in the 20 years since the attack. An innovative make-a-difference outreach campaign, The Safe Room, is planned to coincide with the life of the film.
“It’s a big moment when you share something that you really believe in with others – a little nervous at what their reaction will be. And that moment becomes significant and pivotal when they choose to believe in it too,” says Alison Botha.
Ugandan feature film ‘Galz About Town’ directed by Hassan Mageye won ‘Best East African Movie’ at the prestigious Kenyan Riverwood Academy Awards, held on the 12 March 2016. The feature film by New Cinema Productions had been on a successful run, picking up nominations at the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards and Mashariki African Film Festival earlier the year. ‘Galz About Town’ written by Waheedah Mwagale, is a story based on the prostitution world in Uganda, exposing the different ways prostitutes service their clients and the lifestyle they live through selling sex. Check out the trailer below…
Lebanon’s oldest and most prestigious film festival, the Beirut International Film Festival takes place on the 5 – 13 October 2016. The annual festival celebrating its 16th edition has become known as a “Directors festival”, providing local and international filmmakers an opportunity to showcase their work to the world. With a vision to promote young Lebanese filmmakers, the festival has grown into a platform for the promotion of human rights and freedom of expression. The festival concludes with a glamorous awards ceremony presenting festival winners with Gold, Silver and Bronze “Aleph” awards in the respective categories of Feature film, Short film, Documentary and Special Jury Prize.
The Beirut International Film Festival calls on local and international filmmakers to submit their feature, short and documentary films for the 2016 festival. International filmmakers with feature and documentary films are the only films eligible for submission. As for the Middle East, Iran and Turkey are included in the Middle Eastern short and documentary film categories. Check out the official Beirut International Film Festival 2015 promo video below…
For more info on the film festival check out the links below:
South African feature film “Happiness Is A Four-Letter Word” directed by Thabang Moleya, had been well received among film enthusiasts, silencing critics and grossing R2 371 782 in box office receipts opening weekend. Based on the award winning novel by Cynthia Jele, the cast includes Khanyi Mbau, Renate Stuurman and Mmbatho Montsho as lead actress, exploring the story of three career women in search of true love in the “city of gold”, Johannesburg. The romantic drama by Moleya went on to be the best performing new release of the weekend, attracting 45 000 people and outshining international releases like, ”50 Shades of Black”, “13 Hours” and “Hail, Ceasar”, to name a few. “Happiness Is A Four- Letter Word” is still currently screening at South African cinemas nationwide, so don’t hesitate or you might be too late! Check out the official trailer below…
What if three best friends who think they are happy have their perfectly constructed lives burst, when one of their ex-fiance reappears, another’s extra marital affair threatens to be exposed and the third’s perfect boyfriend is revealed to be living a double life?
“Happiness is a Four Letter Word” is a heart-warming romantic drama exploring the lives of three best friends, Nandi, Zaza and Princess, living the good life in fast paced Johannesburg. Nandi is on the fast track to being made partner at her law firm and is engaged to emerging entrepreneur, Thomas. Zaza is a trophy wife to the wealthy and successful property developer Bheki. And Princess is the celebrated owner of one of the trendiest art gallery in town, and is living with her sexy and talented boyfriend, Leo. But things aren’t what they seem…
Based on the novel, Happiness is a Four-Letter word, by Cynthia Jele, these strong, empowered, and highly individual women find themselves having to negotiate new norms of being upwardly mobile black women in a rapidly changing South Africa. In a time when wealth and positions seems to be more important than traditional values, each woman will find out that happiness is not found in a one-side-fits-all box. Only through trial and sacrifice will each friend discover what it is that truly makes them happy.
Set lighting is a very important aspect in the creation of a film, due to it having a direct affect on how the film looks. It is for this specific reason that the Director of Photography deal directly with the lighting department. With so many different types and colours of light, one can easily become overwhelmed, but thanks to Premium Beatwe are able to demystify all of that below:
The kelvin scale is used to measure light
A kelvin(K) is a unit of measurement for temperature, meaning it starts at zero and only increases
The lower the Kelvin, the more Red the colour
The best way to remember this would be to think of a candle light or lit match ranging from 1000k – 1900k e.g. Fire = Red
As you go higher up on the scale you progress through yellow, white and blue lights
Halogen lights can be found at around 2500k -3000k
Direct sunlight can be translated to 4800k
Daylight is normally around 5600K
Cloudy sky or cool white found between 6000k -7500k
Clear blue sky at 10 000k
This progression can be seen in the colour temperature chart above, and in the light bulb representation below
Types of Lights
There are many different types of lights, so we decided to focus on the lights most commonly seen on a film set.
“Tip-ex” the gripping drama written, directed and performed by Lauren Hannie will make its official debut at the 6th annual Zabalaza Theatre Festival 11 – 19 March 2016, hosted at the Baxter Theatre, Cape Town. The show by Hannie, tells the story about a woman, Katie Williams, who through music and storytelling allows the audience into her life.
Katie Williams grew up in a very typical coloured community on the Cape Flats. She has always been different from a young age and when she realises she has feelings for the same sex, she confesses this to her family. The information is not taken lightly, to such an extent that a male relative trying to “fix Katie”, decides to rape her. Find all the show details below…
Written & Directed by: Lauren Hannie
Music written by: Maxine Ceasar
Performed by Lauren Hannie, Mellisa Johannisen, Maxine Ceasar
South African Menswear Fashion Week is regarded as one of Africa’s most prestigious menswear fashion platforms, with a vision of promoting South African designers locally and internationally. This years fashion showcase took place at the Cape Town Stadium from 3 – 6 February 2016, presenting South Africa’s top menswear designers to local and international fashion enthusiasts. So instead of presenting you with the usual ramp stills of fashion week, we decided to rather give you the backstage pass through the lens of promising photographer Sarah Keogh! So check out our backstage pass at this years SA Menswear Fashion Week below…
For more information on SA Menswear Fashion Week click here
It was not so long ago that we published the article “South Africa, Hollywood’s other studio” and to be honest, it made complete sense, based on the amount of Hollywood productions choosing South Africa as their African destination of choice. Well, South African’s better buckle up after Kenya recently presented new production packages to Hollywood executives, in an attempt to lure productions to the undiscovered region of East Africa.
In May 2015, Kenyan government officials led by Sports, Culture and Arts cabinet secretary Dr. Hassan Wario, travelled to Los Angeles (USA) to present Kenya’s new production incentives, in a robust attempt to attract more international work to the country. In front of an audience that included executives from Lionsgate, Disney, and CBS, it was announced that Kenya will provide a 32% foreign production rebate in comparison to South Africa’s 25%.
“We are bigger, better and with more incentives. We are ready for business in the film sector. We say, ‘Forget South Africa and welcome to Kenya,” said Dr. Hassan Wario to an audience of Hollywood executives.
With all due respect to Mr Wario, with such a bold statement one has to reassess their knowledge of the South African film Industry. Now if Kenya and South Africa were two grocery stores selling the same merchandise, perhaps Mr Wario would have received more customers with his greater discount, but unfortunately these are not grocery stores!
So what do we know about the Kenyan film industry?
In terms of the continent, West, South and North Africa, have all developed established relationships with the international film scene, in comparison to the East of Africa. To start, the first movie made in Kenya was titled “Theo in Africa” (1910) a 13 minute film documenting former U.S President Theodore Roosevelts 1909 wildlife safari. British wildlife photographer Cherry Keaton had been assigned to capture and film the U.S Presidents hunting trip, which would end up being one of the first Kenyan images captured on tape. The exposure received from “Theo in Africa” during Kenya’s period of colonisation, resulted in the influx of various international film productions choosing Kenya as their location of choice. These films would however all follow the same trend of safari, adventure or hunting type films, all depicting similarities of new cultures and dangers encountered by colonials in Africa.
For the country, their real film-making journey would only begin after gaining independence in 1963. Despite having political control, Kenya still needed to reclaim their Arts and Media industries which had previously been controlled by Europeans. To address this issue Kenya established The Kenyan Institute Of Mass Communication, to train Africans on film-making and replace the Europeans working at Kenya’s Broadcasting Corporation. In terms of locally produced content, Kenya’s first Swahili film would arrive in the 1968 feature film “Mlevi”, written and directed by Ragbir Singh. The feature film by Ragbir Singh started a resurgence that ignited the burning desire for Kenyans to explore film making.
While international films continued to trickle in, Kenya’s spotlight would come from the 1985 Hollywood blockbuster “Out Of Africa”, directed by Sydney Pollack. The Oscar winning film starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, did an excellent job in showing Kenya’s natural beauty to the world, which resulted in the country becoming a hotspot for international films. Despite the influx of international productions the local industry continued to struggle in drips and drabs, with regard to locally produced films. However, Kenya’s transformation would arise in the digital era, which inspired Kenyans to utilise digital technology to make films, essentially giving birth to “Riverwood”.
Just like Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood, Kenya’s film industry is called “Riverwood”, named after the creative district River road, located in Nairobi. According to Southern Innovator.org, “Riverwood produces 1000 films a year, selling 500 000 copies at 200 Kenyan shillings (US $2.60) each, generating approximately 500 million shillings a year for the Kenyan film industry. In Kenya budgets are very small, making the barrier to entry accessible that even the poor are making films, combining low cost cameras and editing programs to produce films on basic home computers.
Kenya will provide a 32% rebate for foreign productions in comparison to South Africa’s 25 %. Filmmakers will be exempted from paying taxes on capital expenditure and fees for filming in National parks will be removed. The Kenyan Film Commission will also provide filmmakers with a free government liaison service, but South Africa is probably where the gear for these productions will come from and most likely the crew too.
Economically, Africa is no power house when it comes to exchange rates and Kenya is no different, with a conversion rate of around 101 Kenyan shillings (KSH) to the US Dollar and about KSH 147 to the British Pound, so that should be tempting enough from a financial standpoint.
The Kenyan landscape presents filmmakers with an array of options, boasting snow, beach, savannah, desert and tropical rain forest locations.
“We’re very fortunate that we’ve got everything from waterfalls to beaches. We have snow, we’ve got deserts, tropical rain forests…I believe that Kenya is on the right track to becoming the African film destination of choice…We’re the only country in Africa which represents every single African culture” says Chris Foot, Chairman of the Kenyan Film Commission.
Kenya’s geographically positioned on the equator, making the weather normally sunny, dry and not too hot for most of the year. The rainy seasons are from March to May and November to December but may change from year to year. Central Kenya is located on a plateau, with the altitude keeping heat levels at a comfortable temperature. Nairobi enjoys lovely weather for majority of the year (similar to California), with temperatures averaging between 10 and 28 degree Celsius (50 and 82 Fahrenheit). The coastal areas are much warmer but with the oceanic breeze, temperatures are pleasurable for most of the year. Mount Kenya is high enough to permanently have snow, often freezing at night. Western Kenya is normally hot and humid and Northern Kenya is normally hot and dry.
Kenya’s Oscar winning Actress, Lupita Nyongo
In recent years, Kenya’s achieved tremendous recognition from film enthusiasts on the international circuit, revelling on the successes of Pumzi (2009), “Nairobi Half Life” (2012) and not forgetting Kenya’s Oscar winning Actress Lupita Nyongo, all carving a name for the nation on the world stage. Looking at the current environment, Kenya’s fast tracking its way to being recognised as a filmic hot spot, having already hosted Oscar winning film “The Constant Gardner” (2005) and now the official location for Netflix hit series “Sense8”, by the Wachowski brothers.
To conclude, Kenya’s new incentives will surely shake things up on the African continent but despite the rebates, Kenya locally still faces challenges of distribution, lack of accredited educational centres, resulting in students leaving the region to study film in other countries and the lack of access to funding and support to help local filmmakers grow. So let us see what the future holds for the beautiful nation of Kenya. Hopefully this rebate will help prosper the countries film industry an become a suitable adversary to South Africa. Long live Riverwood!