Monday, 29 March 2010

The Parlotones at Kirstenbosch

Really nice photo of my brother Pieter and myself in the Sunday times when we where at the Parlotones show in Kirstenbosch, South Africa.

Neil Pendock is South Africans biggest wine writer and it was interesting meeting him at the show.

Also a nice short ad from the Parlotones with my 30 sec commercial from the Giant Mistake Parlotones wine edited into the piece.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

How do you get to the next level?

We all have to climb the ladder one step at a time. There is no easy way of getting to your goals. It’s a slow, often painful, process with no ten-point plan to reach the top successfully. One thing that I learnt over the years is that in order to achieve the extraordinary you have to take risks. And if it means putting it all on the line, then so be it. Of course you could possibly lose everything, but on the other hand, you could also win big time and never look back.

Not too long ago I felt I wasn’t moving towards my goals fast enough, especially in comparison to the previous 2 years. I realized that in order for me to work with the top guns I would need take it to the next level. The only thing I could think of doing, was to hire one of the country's best directors to assist me on my next shoot. Sure, the income of the shoot wouldn't justify the expense of the director's fees, but I know it would be of much more value than going to a college ( which would cost even more). My theory was confirmed when that same director said: “Those how can, DO, and those how can't, TEACH”. Another friend of mine also said something that made a lot of sense: “It’s the one's who know they can't do it, who learns the quickest... by employing somebody better to do the job”.

On the actual day of filming we started at 5am. We had a hectic schedule ahead of us with definite time marks for each location on the storyboard. But somehow we managed to stay roughly on track. This was only possible with the help of an enormous, enthusiastic crew of dedicated staff, friends and family.

The highlight of the day's filming was the media dancing scene, made up of twenty 1920's-dressed dancers. The make-up artists and hairdressers did an outstanding job of making the media frenzy look believable, and I have to say: I truly believe we made it look like in the movies.

Thanks very much to all the people who formed part of this wonderful production.


Location: Romond
Assistant Director: André Liebenberg
Props: Rhona Liebenberg
Gaffer/Spark: Barret de Cock
Runner: Pieter H. Walser and Frans Smuts
Costumes: Aneen Walser and Natalie Williams
Costume suppliers: Playhouse Somerset West and Hospice Somerset West.
Make-Up: Stephanie Roos
Assistant Make-up:
Hair: Charne Erwee
Assistant Hair ………….
Catering: Heidi and Albert Ahrens
Script coordinator: Pieter H. Walser
Script grammar: Johan Slabbert
Behind the scenes photographer: Dawane Smit
Technichan: Caleb from Red One Africa
Lights: Michele St. Arnaud Panalux
Organization: Siskha Brand and Sulandi

Choreography: Natalie Williams and Adele Harris
Living props: Alana Walser, Rhona Liebenberg, Frans Smuts
Old photo camera rental: Camera Land Cape Town and Hospice Somerset West

Special thanks: Steve Straker – Hands on Wine

Actors: Kahn, Neil, Paul, Glenn, Pieter H. Walser, Allan Mullins, Andre Liebenberg, Patricia McNaught-Davis

Extra equipment: Liebenberg
Music for dance choreography: Paul Williams
Leading dancers: Natalie Williams, Adele Harris, Aneen Walser and all the amazing dancers.

All photos by Duwayne Smit

Monday, 22 March 2010

Vaseline shoot with André Liebenberg

I am back in Africa. Its funny to live in Switzerland and work in Africa. Normally it`s the other way round. But anybody who knows the Walsers knows that we do not like to do things the ordinary way. We like to make things complicated for ourselves.

I was invited to a Vaseline shoot with André Liebenberg. André is one of South Africa`s most famous directors. He has a lifetime of awards behind him, including 12 Loeries and several international Cannes awards for his directing work. He became famous for his Castrol ads in the 90`s and managed to build a reputation of working with children. I respect this man enormously and when I got the invitation to attend one of his commercial shoots I was over the moon with excitement. One of my friends said I looked like a cat who just got milk.

The shoot was wonderful and I learnt a great deal. It really feels like it took me to a new level of understanding. One aspect where I learnt a lot was with lighting. Lighting is really a science. You need to have a feeling for it. Sometimes it looked like a squatter camp that they built around this little pot of Vaseline but it delivered the most amazing results.

I was building set, carrying stuff and sitting on the best spot on the set, next to Andrès` director chair!