Sunday, 28 April 2013

Making a short!

I’ve heard from enough people in our ‘industry’ that it does seem to be a fact: It’s who you know rather then what you know that makes the difference sometimes. I’ve never really been good at that…making ‘connections’ getting ‘contacts’. I prefer not to think of life as some great form of high school where knowing the cool crowd is what gets you in. And yet…

I bumped into a friend of a friend at an event whom I had met once briefly last year sometime. I knew that she was an actress like me, and I recognized her, but I can’t say I knew her name specifically. We met truly this year in March, when we exchanged knowledge of names for the first time, and a facebook friendship request later I received and message from Denel Honeyball on a Monday morning.

She was part of the One Day Movie Collective, at that stage still in its infancy, and they required an Afrikaans actress to be in a short film. I said I would do it, without regard for content now that I think about it, attached my email and waited for the script to be sent to me.

And before I had printed the scripts I was part of the inner circle with a few more facebook invites to pages and groups. An actress, part of the One Day Movie Collective, and one of a diversely skilled group of people. All in love with making movies.

So last Sunday, after leaving a choir camp, early, and after a morning rehearsal for upcoming dance shows, I headed off to Johannesburg to film a short film, entitled Droom.

In the film I play a lesbian, and I was informed the wardrobe required would be an 'indie-rock vibe'. So I decided to go in a dress, simply because its easiest to change clothes underneath, and forgetting the layers of tape on my knees that I require lately in order to dance I arrived at our director’s home in Johannesburg. When I met her she looked at my knees:
“Is that your interpretation of a lesbian?”

After removing the muscle tape from my knees, rather quickly, I met our director (in the style that really counts with an exchange of names!), cinematographer and our director’s girlfriend, a professional photographer by trade who was taking stills during the shoot and helping out in general. Like holding reflector boards, or making sure passing hobos didn’t steal our equipment while we were shooting. Denel and I ran our lines together in the car on our way to location, did some quick makeup touch ups in a bathroom mirror, while the rest of the team scouted the ideal location, and headed off to shoot the first film for the One Day Movie Collective.

If you live in the Gauteng area you will know that last Saturday was inexplicably cold, wet and generally miserable, so we were thankful for the brief moments of sunshine we did have on Sunday for our outdoor shoot. We rehearsed and set up the shot, then waited for the glimpses of sun between the clouds and did takes as best we could with passing moments of sun shine before it was lost again for a while! Standing outside in the cold in my dress our director decided to go with I was freezing while our cinematographer tried to estimate when the sun would shine bright enough again so that we could film the shot. There wasn't exactly   opportunity to do many retakes. So as actresses Denel and I had couldn't fumble. That added to the fun.

A still from Droom with Denel Honeyball and myself.

It was such fun, working with people from such different professional backgrounds, working together to make a film simply because it was something we wanted to do. A film that we wanted to make. It was an honour to work and get to know these people, with all our little fumbles. Including me forgetting that my microphone pack was clipped to the bench and not my clothes. I fact I was reminded of sharply as I tried to stand up in the take!

If any writers, actors, cinematographers, camera operators, directors are editors want to get involved with the One Day Movie Collective click the link and like the facebook page to receive updates. And if you don’t mind holding up a reflector board to see what making movies is all about, then you can click too!

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