After nearly 4 weeks of long days, long shoots, long hours and long shots, *many* hours editing and **many** miles driven around the Western Cape, project Cinehack: Cape Town tonight draws a line under its first chapter with an event at Obviouzly Armchair in Obz. From 7pm this evening, we will showcase 4 BRAND NEW music videos from Mingus (X 24th), Archetypes, Brownian Flokid, Lee-Ursus Alexander (aka Die Skerpste Lem) and host live performances from TOP, Archetypes, Lee-Urses, BFK and The AA Meetings. This event marks the culmination of a lot of work, not just for team Cinehack, but for the hip-hop artists we have been working with so it will be marked with a bang!
As this part of the project draws to a close, it’s tempting to look back on what we’ve done and consider it a job well done (bravo!), but really, this is hopefully only the beginning of something bigger. What we hope to have achieved by being here in Cape Town is twofold… Firstly, we hope to have sown the seeds of a community of DIY video-makers within this community, where resources are sometimes scarce, but with some simple tricks it’s possible to achieve more than might initially seem possible. Leading on from this, we hope that the ideas and techniques we’ve developed over the last few weeks will be useful to others in the future (our website, http://www.cinehack.com, and some other top-secret projects will be the focal points for this…. (watch this space). Secondly, we hope that the dialogue we’ve established with the artists – and everyone else we have worked with! – will continue into the future so that we might, as Cinehack, develop our DIY approach to video-production/filmmaking in a way that is meaningful to as many people as possible.
For now, let the show commence! Cinehack presents… Suport Local Hip Hop! TONIGHT!
In this, the second of our video updates, you can see our Cinehack workshop (the back yard of our rented accommodation) being used to hack together the dolly rig we then used on the BFK shoot, short clips of our time at Assembly Radio and Cape Town TV, as well as some behind-the-scenes footage of the AA Meetings and Lee-Urses shoots. Also featured are some of the shops we went to to pick up our hardware hacking materials such as Timber City in Woodstock and the RC Hobby Shop and Builders Warehouse in Tokai. Also featured is the editing and preparation sessions with Archteypes and BFK.
Last week we reported on our trip to Cape Town TV, but photographic evidence was scant. Allow us to put that right! Below you will see the Cape Town TV motto ‘Tune Into Cape Town’ and some snaps taken during our short introductory meeting with Lolo, Mike and Mark. We were also given a backstage tour of the production studio, control studio and administration office.
We look forward to strengthening our links with Cape Town TV moving forward!
As so many things have been happening, let’s generate a quick update of the Cinehack status quo; as of today, Thursday 30th Jan:
– Shoot #1 – Archetypes: ‘Black or White’
– Shoot #2 – BFK: ‘Anyway’
– Radio interview & meeting with Lee-Ursus Alexander re: Shoot #3
– Recce and planning with AA Meeting re: Shoot #4
– Cinehack #1 – Wooden cornice dolly rig (see here)
– Cinehack #2 – Railroad dolly rig (see here)
– Cinehack #3 – Wooden crane (pic soon)
– Cinehack #4 – 3D printed iPhone steadicam (pic soon)
– Cinehack #5 – Wooden cornice vertical dolly (pic soon)
– Cinehack #6 – Steel iPhone crane rig (pic soon)
– Shoot #3 for Lee-Ursus Alexander
– Shoot #4 for AA Meeting
– Editing Archetypes ‘Black or White’
– Editing BFK ‘Anyway’
– Shooting & Editing Lee-Ursus Alexander’s track (tbc)
– Cinehack live event (10th Feb – venue still tbc)
After our previous shoot – a long day across multiple locations, today’s shoot was relatively sane; Evan’s MR2 stole the show as we picked up some additional drive-by shots around Firgrove. Again, the shoot was meticulously planned by the guys and only took a couple of hours; afterwards, we headed back to Cinehack HQ in Woodstock for the traditional braai and footage reviewing session. The guys were delighted with the footage and we scheduled an editing session for this coming Wednesday evening.
In other news, the shoot we had planned with Lee-Ursus Alexander has been postponed until next week, so this Wednesday is freed up for editing with Lee-Gavin, Jovan and Evan. We’re still looking for a venue for the Cinehack Live event on Monday 10th – we’re hoping to get the Assembly, but no news from them yet… Also, we’re tentaively scheduling in a video shoot with our old friends Khobs, Lolo and TOP (aka ‘AA Meeting’) next week as well; if we can squeeze these shoots in, it will take our Cinehack music video tally to five. Wow! More to come.
Today was the first day of our second production; a two day shoot with Brownian Flokid for their (brand new) track, ‘Anyway’. Lee-Gavin Williams, Evan Zerf and Jovan Fourie comprise this three-piece from Firgrove, on the outskirts of Somerset West. After three increasingly-thorough planning meetings in the week leading up to the shoot (the last one including a recce of most of the locations – see the previous post), we had a pretty clear idea about where we were going and what we were doing; the guys had organised most of the shoot down to the letter. We set off from Woodstock at about 9am, arriving at our first location at around 10am – a derelict building on the way to Somerset West, which represented the starting point of a story about progression, which will be used to hold the video together.
At the location, we were joined by Wayne Hipe Robertson from Hiperdelic records (producer of Mingus’ track ‘Stay’, which launched the Cinehack: Cape Town project in Amsterdam back in December!) This location also gave us our first opportunity to road test the Cinehack Dolly rig, which we had built and tested the previous day.
After a two-hour shoot here, during which Evan, Jovan and Hipe took care of the majority of the visuals, we packed up and headed for location 2 – Firgrove – for three scenes, a short sequence in the local shop, a walking backie shot (shot from the back of a huge car with an impressively loud sound system) and a group shot against one of the walls in town that would be recognisable to Firgrovians as a popular meeting point.
After that, it was off to key location 2: The Tunnel! This was an amazing location, not least because it gave us a chance to mod our Dolly rig and make use of some existing urban infrastructure to get the shots we wanted.
Several hours after we began, it was high time for a break. In the evening, we picked up the shoot in a Somerset West club. Lee-Gavin had been given a 20 minute slot to perform on-stage; footage of which would be appearing in the video. At about midnight, the word ‘wrap’ was a long time coming! We all agreed that the next day (a Sunday after all) would be a little less intense…
It’s been a productive week! After finishing the Archetypes’ shoot, we’ve been busy preparing for a 2-day shoot with Brownian_Flokid (BFK) for their brand new track, ‘Anyway’ – which starts tomorrow! We’ve had several meetings with Lee-Gavin (MC), Jovan (Beats) and Evan (Producer) over the last few days, preparing for the shoot and conjuring up some exciting new Cinehacks together, including using abandoned railway lines as dolly tracks! It’s an exciting moment for us; BFK’s energy and enthusiasm for the project has been contagious and they’ve come up with loads of ideas for locations and shots for the video: we’re looking forward to helping them realise their (ambitious!) plans over the next couple of days!
In the meantime, we’ve also had a productive meeting (and some delicious ostrich burgers!) with Lee-Ursus Alexander, and set a date for next Wednesday to start shooting another video with him in Paarl. Lee also invited us to join him on his radio show, “Paid Dues” on Assembly Radio. Talking to Lee about the project on-air was a great opportunity to share the project with a broader audience and spread the news; we’ll have a link to the audio up as soon as it’s online! The Assembly (the club where the radio station is based) is also looking like a possible venue for the Cinehack showcase event, which we’ve penciled-in for the 10th Feb…
Finally, Lolo from the Archetypes invited us to join him for the afternoon at Cape Town TV, a community broadcast TV channel based in the Observatory district, where he currently works. We met several of his colleagues there and we’ve been invited to shoot an interview with them before we leave; we’re hoping this might also be a good distribution channel for both the artists’ music videos and our own documentary project, which will tell the full story of the work we’re doing here. More about this to come also!
So it’s an exciting time; we’re right in the middle of it here – Fresh from a short trip to Franschhoek this afternoon, we’re planning on spending the rest of the day Cinehacking… what else?!
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Until next time…
Reflecting on everything we’ve been up to since we arrived here in the breathtaking ‘Mother City’, it’s hard to believe we’ve only been here for a week (give or take a few hours at time of writing). One music video in the can (“Black or White” by the Archetypes – to be released soon!) and another two in the pipeline… as well as an exciting opportunity to work with Cape Town TV – it’s been quite a week! We’re really grateful to everyone for giving us such a warm welcome (very warm: 36° in fact!). We’re really looking forward to the next phase, which will kick off on Wednesday with a third meeting with Lee-Gavin, Jovan and Evan from Brownian_Flokid where the Cinehacking looks set to ramp up a notch!
For our friends and fellow Cinehackers elsewhere in the world, we’ve put together a short showreel with some of the rushes we’ve shot over the last week – just a snapshot of what we’ve been up to and a flavour of what’s to come really. In it, you’ll see a bit of us, a lot of the Archetypes, a flying robot and some bits and pieces we’ve filmed from moving vehicles along the way! We hope you enjoy it and come back for more soon!
In terms of the research we’re conducting, we’ve all been keeping detailed diaries of what we’ve been up to and taking time to carefully consider the points of interest that have arisen relating to the Cinehack mission.. As a team of three, we’re all coming at the project from slightly different angles, but there’s a good spirit of collaboration here and nobody’s killed anyone (yet!). Suffice to say, the Cinehacking hasn’t always been smooth sailing, so there’s lots to chew on, but the main thing that’s emerging from what we’re doing is a real hunger in Cape Town for the kind of DIY approach we’re here to facilitate – so lots of food for thought. One too many food analogies there – I must be getting hungry!
Before we sign off, a short coda: we’ve discovered an unexpected – and potentially quite revealing – trend for home (music production) studios here; from shacks to living rooms, bedrooms, cupboards.. There might be something in the music scene here that we could think about as a kind-of musical parallel to Cinehack – something we might stand to learn a lot from.. Audio is so often forgotten about, with visually-dominant filmmakers sometimes being the worst culprits! Musicians and consumers of music are also so often ahead-of-the-curve when it comes to DIY/counter-cultural approaches to matters of making and taking, so we’re keeping notes and taking names!
PS – daily updates from now on – stay tuned!
After a couple of days offline (our internet failed for the 2nd time in 6 days!), we’re back in the land of the connected with good news – the video shoot for Archetypes’ Black or White wrapped yesterday! After a slightly stuttery start to our final shoot; various hiccups including lock-outs, missing brothers and some last-minute-changes-of-plan, we finally wrapped the shoot at Tigers, a grillhouse in Gugulethu, where we happily chowed-down the props afterards (see below). Gary’s second foray into music video cameos saw him acquire a role as an honorary fourth archetype (video coming soon).
Possibly even more exciting, and also in the good news category: we had a very positive initial meeting with Brownian Flokid and his crew from Somerset West, who we’re seeing again on Monday to get the ball rolling on plans to Cinehack their (and our) next video. More to come…
One raucous wrap-party later, we’re now taking a day to do some sightseeing, rest up, write up our notes and drink a medium-sized glass of one of South African’s famously drinkable beverages, before hitting the South Africa vs Nigeria match at Greenpoint tonight. Vuvuzelas at the ready!
The latest shoot for the Archetypes Black or White video saw Sole rapping on a railway bridge in Observatory, switching between spitting evil to James Brown moves in a second.
Then on to Langa township where Lolo planned a sequence involving the local kids. They’d join in while he raps into a camera with a fisheye lens, then throws it into the air, at which point a close up becomes an aerial shot.
We finished up back at Camps Bay with more emceeing from the rocks as the sun went down. A final sequence had the guys rapping together as they walked along the beach, awesome improvised choreography with only a mobile phone for synch.
Once we’d lost the light, it was back to Cinehack HQ’s outdoor screening room to watch the footage and work out where to go from here…