Getting down to win the music video grant

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Behind the scenes on the music video Boogieman by Desmond and the Tutus

In 2016 the Jameson INDIE Channel invited directors, videographers, and musicians to submit their ideas for a chance to win R100 000 in funding to make it happen. The winner of this inaugural Music Video Grant was Boogieman, the song by Desmond and the Tutus.

Tutus lead singer Shane Durrant and his co-director Greg Rom from Gentlemen Films created what has been called one of the best South African music videos of 2016. The video is of the band being kidnapped and forced to perform for the underground ‘boogie monsters’ of the city. “Through the passage, down the creaking stairs and through the mysterious door in the back, you find disco de spooky. It’s demented and depraved but even the underworld’s vilest, most nefarious creatures need a place to get down and dirty, to flex their filthy moves till the morning light,” describes Durrant.

Durrant discovered the grant while browsing the Jameson INDIE Channel blog, “and I immediately decided to enter – I mean what have I got to lose?” he says. Explaining that it was a straight forward process where they sent through a one page pitch. They were then put on the shortlist where they gave a presentation and a couple of weeks later heard they had booked it. “Over the moon, but with very little actual directing experience,” says Durrant. “I decided to rope in my buddy (and favourite local director) Greg Rom, he actually directed our first music video back in 2008, his company Gentlemen Films took over production duties and Greg and I went nuts on making the craziest video we could come up with.”

Rom says, “Shane approached me to help him with the pitch and treatment because he felt like he wasn’t experienced enough to direct a music video. He was wrong, he’s a natural.”

Rom says together they decided on an idea that they could comfortably shoot in a day. “What we were going for was the idea that under Johannesburg there are a bunch of boogie men who just want to party. In order to do this, they kidnap Desmond and the Tutus and make them play for them. I felt that ‘ghouls just wanna have fun,’ sums it up quite nicely,” explains Rom. The music video was shot in 16 hours straight.

While Gentlemen Films was the production company they collaborated with Left Post Production, Ludus Post Production, Comfort & Fame, Panavision, Panalux and Shakers and Movers dance crew from Soweto. The video was shot inside and around a building on Fox Street in Johannesburg CBD.

It was filmed using an Arri Alexa to give the piece a cinematic feel. “Since we were shooting in low light conditions, we needed the latitude to be able to get details in the more crushed parts of the picture,” describes cinematographer Devin Toselli.

The video was then edited in Adobe Premiere by Evy Katz at Left. It was graded in DaVinci Resolve by Nic Apostoli at Comfort. Online was done using Autodesk Smoke by Nic Young at Ludus.

Rom says the biggest challenge they face are music video budgets. “Besides for that we had an overly optimistic schedule with tons of set ups and only one day to shoot it. So there was a lot of running and very few takes.”

The Jameson INDIE Channel states that they are passionate about the creative culture in South Africa. From film to music and beyond, they are constantly in awe of the creative capabilities of young makers. So much so that when it came down to picking one winner for their grant, they couldn’t and they decided to award two entries with R100 000 each. The second grant winner was BETR Gang’s The Heist, which was directed by Paul Yates.

Applications are now open for the 2017 Jameson Music Video Grant:

 

In 2017, continuing with their awe and passion for SA creatives, they are offering double last year’s grant. The grant is now for R200 000 for that winning pitch. All you need is an idea for a music video and if you are not one yourself then a filmmaker or producer to team up with. If you are not a musician then a track by a local musician or band that was recorded in the last six months with no existing music video. If you have that, then head to the website for the T&Cs and to apply with a three page written proposal, and visual mood boards. They are accepting proposals from South Africans over the age of 18 from until 31 March 2017. 

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Cera-Jane Catton
Cera-Jane Catton is a writer and journalist with years of experience in community newspapers, blogging and freelance journalism. She has worked in a cache of capacities, often finding herself behind or in front of the cameras, intentionally and less so. She has been a stunt double in two Bollywood movies, has worked in various capacities on a number of natural history documentaries, and other international productions shot in South Africa. Cera is a former Screen Africa journalist.

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