I’m busy directing my first 13 part Television DRAMA called Getroud Met Rugby. Its a combination of “Saturday Night Lights”, “Footballers Wives” and “Dirty, sexy money”. Written by the prolific Deon Opperman, this show is now in its 4th season. I was lucky to have worked on Hartland last year and so got to meet Deon, the rest as they say is history.
Shortly after getting GMR I locked Wolwedans and so I have indeed been a very lucky director.
Moving on. When I watched the previous episodes of the show I wasn’t content with the use of medium and wanted to really make it my own. This leads to some questions about what the show is, what it needs to be, what I want it to be, who we are making it for and how much budget and time do we have…
The actual answer comes from the last question. Little and none for the short answers. Not that this is ever different in film-making and even less so in our South African TV industry. What did Rodriguez say “I had to substitute money with creativity and that’s what made all the difference”…. thats good advice.
I know the show needs to be flashy and cool and fast but I dont have budget for cranes and big lights and expensive design or clothing so I made a couple of creative rules.
1 - Use DOGMA as a reference for camera and lighting. This made that we use mostly all natural light. When I did this our locations where also chosen to allow for this. This leads to making sure that the location scouts where looking for sets with big windows, on ground levels and big spaces for depth.
2 - Make the design 2012 - I went through magazines to find which items where fashionable NOW. Which designers are cool NOW. By finding this stuff the show will be relevant to a current audience and one that will want to be “in” right now. More importnatly it allowed my wardrobe misteress to find cheap knock-offs of very trendy stuff. So we win both ways. And yes, the show will “age” quickly, but that is kind of the point of a show like this.
3 - Create specifics. By making each charachter specific, in other words, never dressing or designing generically, the make-up and wardrobe teams as well as the set-dressers had good guide lines to follow and make the world we are working on believable. Although this costs a lot of time intitially the pay-off has been amazing.
4 - There are no rules. We never allow ourselves as a team to say “that’s not possible” or “no-one else does that”. Accepting that no one is doing what we are and we are the authors of this project took away any fear and allowed us to work freely in a creative space created by us.
5 - Lastly, everyone matters. We are a VERY small team (just over 20 crew in TOTAL!!!) so everyone matters. If someone is not adding value their position should be re-considered. The bonus is that we can communicate quickly and make decisions easily.
Here are some still images I have grabbed off the monitor with my phone.
- Lead character "FAFA"
- New character "Jet"
- "Festus" hearing about the adoption of his grand daughter
- The Cinderella of the show "Kiekie"
- My DOP Adam Bentel
- We make 1000 slates!
- New character "RAKA"
- "Vanesmarie" has a new look. Oh so cool.
- JET meets RAKA
- The Pom Pom girls - a quick snap
- Kiekie waits for someone
- MARYKE enjoying her wine...