‘Pick up a camera. Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Put your name on it as director. Now you’re a director. Everything after that you’re just negotiating your budget and your fee.’
– James Cameron
The South Africa film industry has consistently grown year upon year. Not only do we facilitate the producing of many international films and commercials; but the quality and output of our local productions is also booming exponentially.
Working in the film industry is the most rewarding career I could have imagined. Each production reveals a new set of opportunities and challenges. One day you are filming a music video for an international artist and the next you are creating an intimate public service announcement to help bring awareness for the most vulnerable members of society.
There is also a huge scope in the job requirements. One day you are editing your footage in an editing suite and then the next you are filming a beautiful sunset up a mountain in the middle of nowhere.
Life on set is a rush! You have to live in the moment because you only get one chance to create the best shot. There are many different roles on set from the director, who focuses on the actors, to the DOP, who creates the beautiful imagery. Then you have grips and gaffers who focus on the movement and lighting within each shot. The art director and sound engineer focus on the set design and sound recordings. Once the footage has been recorded there is another team of people who deal with the editing, sound design and special effects. A lot of people need to work together as a close knit unit to produce a successful team.
In this day and age, thanks to certain websites that connect film industry professionals from around the world, you can be editing a film for an Australian client in the morning and then reading a script for an American client in the evening. This is truly an exciting time to be part of the film industry.