Made in Jo’burg: The Fastest Film Ever


From concept to screen, South African movie, Shotgun Garfunkel: The Fastest
Film Ever Made, was shot in 10 days, 10 hours and 30 minutes, utilising
Johannesburg-based crew, locations, equipment, sound and post-production
facilities to deliver an end product that highlights the heart and soul of Jozi, a
glorious, multi-faceted, and fascinating city.

After winning the Best Feature Film award at Jozi Film Festival 2014 (JFF2014),
facing formidable competitors such as Of Good Report, iNumber Number and
Durban Poison, writer and director Johnny Barbuzano says: “We really wanted
to show off Johannesburg as a character and in a way that still had not been
fully explored. We are lucky to live in a place that offers anything from first world
city to grungy yet dynamic inner city living’.

Producer Bryan van Niekerk comments on the coming-of-age film that deals with
30-somethings stuck in the daily grind and looking for a new way to relive their
lost youth: “We touch on the stuff that we’re going through personally and that
our mates and contemporaries are dealing with. It’s that real-life quarter-life
crisis stuff that affects the rest of our lives.’

Producer Eduan van Jaarsveldt passionately adds: “The movie is about getting
old and fat.’

Jozi indie film

Van Niekerk emphasises that Jo’burg, as a strategic location for movies, whether
local or international, is full of energy and promise. “It’s an often maligned city
and it was lekker to engage with it in a way that only locals can appreciate. We
wanted to make a Jozi indie film, relevant to our generation and one that
resonated with a market that isn’t only keen to watch candid camera and
apartheid dramas.’

Making a film as fast as possible meant the filmmakers could fund it for next to
nothing. According to writer and actor Meren Reddy, “We spent a little over R12
000 of our own money for odds and ends.’

Writer and actress Tiffany Jones Barbuzano adds: “We wanted to make a fast
film, a record-breaking movie, but we also wanted to make a good film that
resonated with audiences. Being the best feature film at JFF2014 validated what
we tried so hard to do.’

Generosity and energy

Jo’burgers, both inside and outside of the film industry, pulled their weight once
they heard a world record was about to be shattered – and as the crew and
cast discovered, everything is possible in this city of mesmerising contrast and
boundless opportunity.

“We found that everyone wanted to be part of something different and exciting.
The generosity and energy of the people in Johannesburg was the reason for
the film’s success,’ says Van Jaarsveldt.

Barbuzano attributes the quality and speed of the success of the film to “the art
of getting lucky. South African crews are well-equipped to shoot fast. If you have
a small efficient crew, you’d be surprised what local crews are capable of.’
Tiffany elaborates that they were fortunate to get freebees from local gear
houses, such as Nates Audio Visual and Sony SA which had just released the
F55 in South Africa at the time.

“It was such a team effort, with everyone pulling their weight and no time for
diva attitudes. If there was a problem, we solved it as a team. It was a truly
collaborative experience and being the social creatures we are, I think it stirred
all of the right stuff in us. We are so proud of the final result because we know
what we all went through to make it a reality,’ explains Van Niekerk.

Mentions Barbuzano: “Primarily the film was made as a “calling card’. We wanted
to show what we were able to do with no budget and little time. Hopefully this
film will be a kickstarter to future projects with a budget and, adds write and
actor Asher Mikkel Stoltz, “We are going to continue creating independent films
that speak to what we love watching and hopefully develop a following for
future projects’.

All on the same team

In terms of the South African film industry, Barbuzano says that “we’re all on the
same team. Our industry is too small to hate on each other the way people do.
If one does well, it benefits the entire industry. People must “jealous down’, get
on with their own shit and support their contemporaries.

“Stop talking about amazing ideas and just get it done. It takes one person with
a mad idea and there are so many people willing to be involved in something
good, inspiring and different,’ he concludes.

Shotgun Garfunkel was edited and graded at Mushroom Media and the sound
mix was done at Produce Sound. Retroviral and Plastic Duck Armada handled all
the social media and web page hosting.


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