Shooting ‘Shot’, the short


After a funding campaign on last year raised almost enough money to make the short version of South African filmmaker Janet van Eeden’s feature film script, A Shot at the Big Time, the short is going into production on 15 July.

Director Stephen de Villiers is flying out from Australia especially to film the short, which is a precursor to the feature which Van Eeden hopes will be funded in the near future.

A Shot at the Big Time has been through many drafts and the short will be filmed in Ladysmith and around Pietermaritzburg. Some of Cape Town’s best actors, most notably Sean Cameron Michael, will star in the short. Michael played opposite Kiefer Sutherland in 24 and will play the role of staff sergeant Van Staden in “Shot’.

One of KwaZulu-Natal’s most talented actors, Jacobus van Heerden, who was recently seen on SABC1 in Fallen, will play the role of Jimmy, the small-town rock star with a big time future, who is drafted into the army.

Celebrated actor Tim Wells plays the role of Corporal Wiese. Local third year Drama student, TQ Zondi, plays the role of Petrus, Jimmy’s friend. Others in the cast include Caitlin Harrison as Jess, Cade White as young Jimmy, Livvy Henning as young Jess and Mapumelelo Maphumulo is young Petrus.

Stephen de Villiers, who is assisted by Durban director of photography Luke Pallett and Media Honours students from UKZN Pietermaritzburg will film an electronic press kit to accompany the making of the film.

Original songs have been written by Jonathan Handley, of the 1980s band Radio Rats. Incidental music has been written by Simon Atwell of Freshly Ground and John McGuinnes.

“We still need extras for two key scenes in the short film,’ says Van Eeden. “Young white males, who are prepared to cut their hair short for the scene, are required for an army training run. Teenage girls and boys are needed to be part of a crowd scene for the Town Hall Gig scene.

“If anyone has a guitar made out of an oil tin we would love to borrow it for the film.’

A Shot at the Big Time has just been selected for the Durban FilmMart (a joint project between the Durban International Film Festival and the Durban Film Office) in July from many projects from Africa. The project will be up for consideration by international funders and distributors at this market. Producers Van Eeden and Magda Olchawska, from London, have been invited to meet with industry professionals, hopefully to establish co-production deals at the DFM.

“The budget we raised for the short film doesn’t quite cover production costs, so if there is anyone who would like to donate to this project, we would welcome more support,’ says Van Eeden. “As everyone on this project is working for absolutely nothing, additional funds will go towards paying the actors and crew a minimum salary. For more information about how to get involved please go to’


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