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Production Master Class – Lesson 2

Last night was the second in our series of 12 Producer’s Master Classes, funded by Wesgro and facilitated by Big Fish.

We did a split class, with the first half being presented by Monique and Chris from Kayos Casting and the second half by Lauren Groenewald from Plexus Films.

The first half was about casting for features and commercials and because I have a little experience in that field, it was fun to reminisce…like about the time I had to find a sign-writer for Lord of War and I managed to find an awesome guy in Cape Town, who really WAS a sign-writer (a dying art!), but when he arrived he was so short, he couldn’t reach the sign.  Ha! Not popular with the boss that day…

The second half of the session was about casting for documentaries and very interesting to me.  Lauren showed us some of her latest SABC series as well as some films she has recently produced as examples.  (You can catch the I am Woman series on Sunday at 09h30 on SABC 3. Its an inspirational show!) She discussed the treaty that is established between a documentary-maker and their characters early on and highlighted some ways in which this changes and develops.  She also told us what makes a good documentary character:

Someone the audience will care for;

Someone with a unique point of view;

Someone who has encounterred a journey or struggle that the viewer can join them on;

Someone who can reflect on their own story and experience.

This was truly, very interesting to me and a very worthwhile lesson for me.