If you can’t hear you might as well not even watch

I first “met” Richard on Twitter.  He also came highly recommended by a much esteemed former colleague, so I knew he would be a bit of allright.  Richard set up Phonographic in 2011 and Substance has been using him ever since.  (He also started surfing, which ups the ante on anyone in my books.)  I thought it would be nice to get to know Richard a little better, seeing as though he works in the mysterious dark art called “sound” but is still a really nice guy.  How is this possible?

1. If you were one of The Beatles, which one would you be?

Thats a tough one. 2 are dead and the other 2 are really old. Which one should I choose Paul, Ringo, Paul, Ringo… ok I’ll go with John because he still looks the youngest and he had a big white piano.

2.  How was Phonographic born?

Well, I was working for a company doing what I do now. One night I had a dream where the roof collapsed on my colleagues and I. We all got out safely and I scored a camera. This, in hindsight, foretold my coming retrenchment about a week later. It had a profound affect on me. I saw the camera that I had scored in the dream as a collection of new skills that I could take with me to the next thing.  I decided at that point that I would start my own studio. It took about 2 years and a move to CT before I was strictly running my own business. The name Phonographic was a friend of mines idea that came to light around a camp fire in the Magaliesberg mountains. I liked it but I found out that you get the same thing with Phonographic and pornographic as you do with someone called Kenneth and the question “What’s the frequency?” Still it makes for a good icebreaker.

3.  What do you actually do, sitting there at your computer all day?

Well, the one side of my business is audio post production. So I will get the raw audio and the final video edit and then I start to clean that audio up so that it all sounds balanced. Then I will add sound effects if needed and then mix it all together with music to get a final mix for TV, cinema or the internet. In short, I push buttons and turn knobs until everything sounds awesome.

The other side of my business, and my biggest passion, is music. Music composition and production to be precice.

Here i’ll get a brief from agency for a piece of music and I will compose something that I think is appropriate. Often its the first idea that is the best. Sometimes I have no idea. none at all. Then I just push buttons and turn knobs until the next day when 4 hours before the deadline I whack out a track that blows the mind..

Its all about putting yourself in the right space to catch the proverbial inspired ball of juju.

4.  Who is the coolest person you have ever met?

This is a tough one. The coolest?

It could be Tim Robbins. It could be my wife. It could be my english teacher… the Jury is out!

(YL: note how he does not say me!  #fail Richard!)

5.  What is the last thing you think about before you go to sleep?

I’ll often have a deep sense a gratitude. Often I collapse in a heap and pull the cover over me and at just that point I realize how fortunate I am. I have work, I have a home, I have a beautiful wife, I have food, I have a bed, I have peace. This makes me grateful beyond measure.

And now you can see why I like him.  What a rad dude, no?  Beyond all this radness, Richard is also offering a once-off offer of a 10% discount to first time clients at Phonographic, who heard about him through this blog.  You heard right.   That is 10% of your first audio final mix, VO recording or sound design with Richard.  Pretty neat, hey?

And if you still don’t understand what he does, have a look at his site here.

This was the penultimate “A Few of My Favourite Things” blog.  Final one coming soon, with Cal Bruns from Matchboxology.

Its been such fun sharing a few of the people I work with.  Together we add up to a slick, professional, but never humourless video production experience.  Get in touch if that’s what you’re after!

’til later


Doing what you love

I was chatting online to a friend today, when she asked me how business was going.  I answered with (pretty much my default) answer.  “Its amazing!  I love it!  I’m so lucky!”

Of course this is not always true; the amazingness and loveliness and luck are often marred by things like deadlines and cash flow and rain-when-there-was-supposed-to-be-no-rain, but in general, this is pretty much the only way I can think of my life.  It would be total “spoiled brat” not to.

Because it IS amazing, that I do what I love, that thing being filmmaking and that thing containing a proporionately perfect amount of writing, visual creativity, meaningful content and Type A organisational skills, that is exactly correct for my idiom.  Also, I am well and truly in love with working for myself (despite all the requisite responsibilities and logistical hassles).

However, sometimes I feel a niggling conscience prick when I deliver my unequivocal “Its amazing!  Everything’s amazing!” because on Sunday evenings, when I’m getting the “back-to-school blues”, it does haunt me that perhaps by doing what is my passion, I have taken a real swinger to the solar plexus of that very passion.  Because trying to force creativity when there isn’t a drop left or trying to understand a balance sheet, when one is actually feeling right-brain creative, does somewhat suck the marrow from the sometimes not so juicy bone.  And strangely enough, sometimes its the very things I should be getting super-excited about (bids to make documentaries for UNICEF, lovely Dutch directors sending me their life’s work script to produce, Nigerian guys phoning me up to direct their documentary about soccer out of the blue), that I am in fact wary and nervous of, because my head just isn’t in that game at that moment.

Sometimes I am so caught up in month-end payments and lower third titles, that I forget how wide open my life is and how enormously priviledged I should feel.  So yeah, if everyone could just put their boring phone-calls about print cartridges and irritating requests for logo’s in different formats on hold, I would please like to get back to loving life!


PS.  In other words, I need to surf.  Duh!

The glory of bacon!

Although Richard Bosman is very busy with the business of getting married this weekend, he spared a few moment between 12am and 2am to answer my interview questions.  Richard makes amazing meat from (mainly) pork, or as we in “the biz” call it, happy pigs!  I did not love and respect chorizo as much as I do now, until he came along. (Funny thing to say, but true.)

Here’s a quick interview with Richard:gloryofbacon

1.  If you were one of The Beatles, who would you be?

George Harrison

2.  Tell us about how your “happy pigs” live.

they have a forest, green fields of clover and a couple of nice muddy baths to frolic in. they also have little tents to sleep in when it is cold and on saturday nights they have a hoe down with live music and tell jokes about humans.

3.  How did you get involved in charcuterie?  (Did you wake up when you were 12 years old and say, I want to make bacon!)?

when i was 35 i decided to stop buying imported parma ham and make my own one instead. after eating some real bacon i could not go back.

4.  What are your plans for Richard Bosman Meats?

world domination by converting vegetarians one at a time

5.  This week there was a report that was released about what is actually contained in meat in South Africa.  Any thoughts?

i am sure it is all true. companies without ethics are constantly looking for ways to lower their costs and increase their profits

6.  What is the last thing you think about before you go to sleep at night?

what will the wind be like at muizenberg tomorrow

To me, the idea of meat, especially salami and sausages as “good” food was pretty strange, because of course we have been brainwashed that animal fat is “bad” all of our lives.  Now that I’m eating Low Carb High Fat (LCHF), animal fat is a huge part of that, but not all animal fat is created equal.  I don’t want to be eating (in large quanitities), the fat of animals that were kept in a cage their whole lives, scared and tired, depleted and pumped full of hormones before being mechanically force-fed to fatten them up at the last moment before their slaughter.  The health implications of large quantities of those types of meats are easy to understand; what is also really easy to get used to is how much better pasture-reared meats taste!  Richard has been a huge source of information on this for me.  Recipes, meat and inspiration, you can’t go wrong!

What is also a huge source of inspiration and information is Richard’s awesome blog.  Here is a particularly lovely post about his trip to Italy last year and reflections on the food in particular. His company has an awesome attitude towards customers and products, one we could all get something from, so get eating REAL bacon, folks!

Happy Friday!


The Wedding March

Four years ago this time, I was a few months into a new business (Substance) and also a few days away from getting married.  I was on the Wedding March, as my good friend and personal trainer, Justine Seymour called it.  And march we did, around the streets of leafy Newlands, at a cracking pace, until that wedding dress fit like a glove.

In a sweet twist of fate, this very lady has been on a wedding march of her own of late.  In fact, this weekend she ties the knot!

In celebration of this auspicious time and also because Somersault Studio is one of my VERY favourite things, here’s Justine:

1.  If you were one of The Beatles, who would you be?

I won’t be any of them but it I absolutely have to… George Harrison

2.  What makes Somersault Studio different to other gyms?

We care about every single client, we know something about every single client, our teachers are highly qualified and have a passion for learning about how the body moves. The studio is peaceful, welcoming and unthreatening. We don’t play crap music.

3.  Have you got a favourite form of exercise, specific to Cape Town?  (Share the local love).

Walk/run up Lion’s Head. It takes and hour up & down and gets your heart thumping. The view does not suck either. But when I only have 30 minutes I run around the Molteno Rd reservoir. Also pretty.

4.  I’m an unfit, unhealthy person.  What is my first step?

Book a trainer. I would love to say get out there and start walking but if you have got to the point of being unfit, then chances are you don’t love exercise. Doing it alone, you will probably be committed for the first week, the second week miss one session, the third week only do one session.

So, find a convenient place to go, there are lots of small fitness studio’s popping up. These people have passion for what they do. Give yourself to them for whatever your budget will allow. Make sure you discuss that up front and a good trainer will design a program to fit your budget.

5.  What is the last thing you think about before you go to sleep at night?

Hmmm…I would love to say I think about how lucky I am to have RB by my side…and I do sometimes, but mostly I think about what the up coming day holds and how best to attack it. It is not a long thought. I am out 5 seconds after my eyes close.

Somersault is a boutique wellness centre in Claremont, Cape Town, offering Pilates, a variety of fitness training options and massage therapy in a beautiful Victorian home.

Also, the place is beautiful, the people are down to earth and the eating of bacon is encouraged! (more about this tomorrow!)

Follow Justine on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.  She is also a prolific (and useful, ahem Yvette) blogger from their web-site.

(The only pic I have of Justine is not for public viewing, because I took it at her wedding dress fitting last week, so here’s something else I shot that she liked 🙂


ORT SA CAPE Promo video package

Hello friends!

Here is a little snippet from the video we have been working on for ORT SA CAPE.  Watch on Youtube here.
ORT SA CAPE were recommended to Substance Films by a long-term favourite client 🙂 We shot the video over three days in Stellenbosch and Cape Town and turned around a 6 minute edit in a week. ORT SA CAPE needed the video as their “credentials” for a conference they are attending. In addition, we are now going to cut them a longer version for use with funders and stakeholders – because we have so much beautiful footage and they love it! I took some stills for the organisation to use as additional materials as an added bonus, all for a real steal of a price!

Camera: Carlos Francisco
Edit: Jessica Munna & Yvette Lambrecht
Director/Producer: Yvette Lambrecht
Music: Audio Network (the cue sheet is still coming, guys!)

Shot on the 50D, an impressive little camera! (Less impressed with the sound from the Zoom H4N, unfortunately…)

I also shot a series of stills for the orgnaisation, who works in after-school education for both teachers and learners – aiming to improve language skills in disadantaged communities, with a view to improving maths and science levels.  This was just to offer some additional value to their work.

The more I work with NGO’s, the more I find that the resources they have in terms of media materials are drastically limited and in turn, limit the potential they have to show the good work they are doing.  I believe the basis of this is a misunderstanding of the importance of media, but also a technology aversion which means stills are often shot on cell-phones or low-end digital cameras, which will never provide the quality necessary for print or even video use.  Simple issues such as turning off the setting on email software that reduces pictures to thumbnails automatically and maintaining the original quality of images at all times, can solve this in a jiffy!

Please be in touch if you ever need some basic help with creating media for your organisation.  I am happy to help – its such importnat information!  With some of our long-standing clients we have reached a stage where we can even lend them a small HD video camera or one of our stills camera, they shoot the media themselves and we only get involved in the edit – a great way to save costs but still produce great media!

Until soon! (Check out our Facebook Page for some stills.)


an interview with my favourite grant

me: Grant, I am going to interview you for my blog.

GA:  huh?

me:  Just sit there and answer me.

GA: huh?

me: if you were one of The Beatles, which one would you be.

GA:  Sheesh, what are their names?  I’d be John Lennon.  I don’t even know who the others are!

me: Whats the last thing you think about before you go to sleep at night?

GA:  A good question.  What I want to do.

me: and what is that?

GA:  Things I want to do, things I want to see.

me: like what? (brief argument ensures)

GA:  I’m a terrible interviewee.  I don’t know.

me:  what makes you different from other camera guys?

GA:  Good question!  I’m easy-going.  Otherwise it gets too particular, sometimes you just have to go for it and shoot it.

GA: I don’t like this interview anymore.

me:  tough.

me:  What is your wildest dream?

GA:  To travel to Asian countries!  I love Asia!  The last time I went there was such a long time ago…

(Later) GA:  I am going to change my dream to shooting an expidition to the North or South pole.  Maybe for National Geographic!

me: What was the highlight of 2012 for you?

GA:  When it finished.  (me: Agreed!)

(Surprise interjection from Michael Lambrecht, always helpful, via telephone)

ML via YL:  Grant, your feminine side forms a large part of your personality, so why is it that you wield a spanner like a bastard?

GA:  uuuuuh

me:  Thanks for your time, Grant (and Michael, via telephone).  Its been a pleasure, has been and always will be!


Check out Grant’s work on his youtube channel or his Facebook page.  Web-site coming soon!


With apologies to peep show

I recently posted a pic (this morning, in fact), of only one of my cats (or, the cats that own me) and this is a gross misrepresentation, because of course, there are two and I love them equally.

With apologies, I present, peep show:

(Is she not spectacular?)


Empire Cafe Muizenberg

I have always known I wanted a home for my business in Muizenberg.  Ever since my time at Community Media Trust, when our offices were in the amazing SouthSands building, overlooking the sea, it was my goal.  In 2011 I made my dream come true and we are happily esconced at 141 Main Road.

A large part of why we are so happy in Muizenberg, is due to, not only the exquisite retro fittings in our building…nor the adventures in the park at lunch-time, but the fantastic “business” company all around us.

First and foremost of these is the intrepid and infamous Empire Cafe.  Open from 7am on a week day, and always ready with a flat white, a surf report and a joke or two, Dave and his team are like my second family.  But seriously, apart from the moral support (and that’s moral, not ego support), Empire also keeps me going with some pretty awesome food.

Now that I’m eating LCHF, the chicken salary (with fresh greens and orange), is my go-to lunch dish and if you are fresh from an early morning surf and so starving you could chew off your own arm, an Empire omelette (massive, fluffy, cheesy goodness), can go a long way to setting you on the right road.

And of course, if you happen to be cheating on your LCHF eating plan, the way to do it is with a freshly-baked  Empire chocolate or almond croissant.  Followed by another flat white, of course!

Empire Cafe is open for dinner on Thursdays and Saturdays….ssssh, its the best-kept secret in the dirty South and some people are letting it slip!  Dinner is a superb, hand-written menu of goodness and presided over personally by his majesty, Dave. Here is a gratuitous flower pic from Valentine’s Day at Empire this year, the night also featured steak, yellowtail and a lady wearing cat ears!



The other thing Empire Cafe does, is offer patrons the opportunity to exchange their surplus homegrown goods for credit.  How innovative and nifty is that?  Recently, I’ve been growing these beautiful spanspek and eating a good lot of them, but also hocking a couple to Dave in exchange for flat whites.  Clever hey?

More Muizenberg love to come…




A few of our favourites

A short blog in which Yvette expounds on her idea to create awareness about her favourite suppliers, clients and local businesses

Most of the time what gets me up in the morning is the work that I do and the people I do it with.  And although the cats (see photo evidence), are a huge part of my daily motivation, they are not all of it…


and besides, cats lead to things like this (which don’t make our moms very happy):


(Image courtesy of Dylan Culhane, a spectacular photographer and representor of kooky images, who I had the great pleasure of going to varsity with and also shmaaks a tattoo or two…Shot for the pic, Dylan!)

But seriously, there are a host of clients, service providers, friends and fellow local businesses that I have grown to know and respect over the last five years of Substance(ness?).  And I feel it is my duty to bring some of these gems to light.  So, over the next few days I will be featuring a couple of our clients and service providers and also a couple of fellow local entrepeneurs.

In the meanwhile, for those of you who own your own business in South Africa, you may or may not know that it is law that the SA Basic Conditions of Employment Act always be present in an office where there are employees.  Seeing as though this is usually an ugly piece of white paper, presticked to the wall, I figured it might be nice to replace this with something light, bright and Substantial!  So, here is a link to a cool Substance Films PDF version of the Act, which we designed for you.  Mail me if you are wanting to print it all fancy in litho and we can send you a repro file too!

Until later!


An article in which Yvette Lambrecht does not write at all about CMYK vs RGB

We have recently acquired a new client on the design and layout side of Substance Films and we have encountered a significant challenge in explaining and quantifying the difference between CMYK colour values and RGB.  Having struggled to write an email to said client with my head full of worries on Friday, I decided that this Monday morning was the time to lay this one to rest good and proper.

So I got googling CMYK and RGB.  I read this informative article about CMYK and really liked this image from 1902:


Then I found this article by Print International about CMYK and RGB and I thought, AHA, I’ve got it now.  Then I realised it was Greek to me and the bottom line still was that CMYK is the accepted colour value system for litho printing and RGB was used for lazer printing and web.  And if a client were going to have their logo created in a vector format, ostensibly the outcome with that logo would be use in litho print.

This train of thought then lead me along a minor internal rant about using computer screens as a method of comparing design and for that matter, video quality (!).  Which lead to a further (now growing to be external) rant about a deep feeling of distrust that is growing between media service providers and their clients, due to the growth in consumer-orientated faux “pro” software for (amongst others), video editing, image manipulation, web design et al.  Having personally had to salvage a few “I was trying to make this video in KeyNote, so I wouldn’t have to pay for you, a professional to do it, but I’ve stuffed it up, so now can you fix it for me because my presentation is tomorrow” situations, it has been reitereated to me repeatedly how these supposed “pro” applications are no substitute for a professional’s training, insight, experience, work flow and yes, PRO applications.

You don’t trust your friend who happens to own a scalpel to remove your appendix, nor do you trust your friend who owns a screw-driver to replace your cam belt, so why do you trust yourself to create your own media?  Just like having your appendix removed by someone who is actually a plumber by trade, trying to do it yourself is in the long run going to be a lot more expensive and painful (and bloody), than if you had just checked yourself in with a surgeon to begin with.

Get in touch with Substance Films for a quote that includes anaesthetic and peace of mind.

And Happy Monday to you!