A 5 minute documentary on The Pantsula dance and its roots.
SYNOPSIS: A Cape Town film crew followed four pantsula dancers from the Delft South rural area outside of Cape Town to learn more about this South African historic dance and its origins.
CREW: Rowen Smith (Producer), Juri Badenhorst (Director/Editor), Hennie Le Roux (Cinematographer & Colourist), Barend van der Walt (Sound Designer & Composer), Chrizanne van Breda (Illustrator/Designer).
CAST: Duncan Maphanga, (Delft South Pantsula’s Manager), Philiswa Xhaga, Aphiwe Nyezi, Simthembile Xalabile, Unathi Rorwana (Dancers), Mcebisi Tshambula, (Drummer). Executives & Associates: Eric Paternot (Storyhunter Project Mananger), Mario de la Vega (DDN Director of Development), Nicolette Bethea (DDN Senior Producer), Ian Dokie (DDN Associate Producer)
LENGTH & FORMAT: 5 Minutes, Digital Full HD, Black Magic Design 2.5K, Sony F57, Canon EOS 500D
DDN, the independent digital arm of Discovery Communications, is looking to commission a 4-6 min, visually immersive story about a South African dance called PANTSULA. The documentary project is commissioned through Storyhunters’ Assignment platform where a small film crew from Cape Town collaborated to create “How we Move”, a documentary on the Pantsula dance and its roots. “How we Move”, will be published on the newly launched Seeker Network, an online network of Discovery Digital Networks, as part of its “All Points Project” which launched during the first week of March 2015 across the Discovery Digital Global Platform.
The concept originated from the Discovery Digital Networks team in San Francisco who commissioned the project through Storyhunter in February. My director and I was the lucky ones who got approved by the senior producers at Discovery Digital Networks. We had an initial skype call one evening speaking to the team in San Francisco, gathering all the information about the project and discussing the client brief.
After approval from Storyhunter and Discovery Digital, the creative team got together one night and started the creative process; conceptualizing, pulling references, researching cultural relevance’s, storyboarding, sourcing quotes, crewing up and prepping for shoot. It all happened very quick, almost overnight. It’s wonderful working with skilled and passionate crew who are driven and get things done, beating the deadline sheet every time. We were especially lucky to have Duncan and The Delft South Pantsula’s as part of our project and we hope to promote them and the Rainbow Arts Organization with local and global exposure.
We had an early start on a beautiful summer’s day and travelled all the way from Cape Town out to Delft South where we met up with the Delft South Pantsula dance group. The dancers woke up the whole neighbourhood with what we’d like to call “positive vibrations”. The taxi’s and passers-by really enjoyed their performance and it was clear that the Pantsula dance was appreciated by the community, uplifting their spirits. We shot for most of the day, around the outskirts of Cape Town and then we hit the urban scene where we filmed amazing Woodstock graffiti. Our day wrapped back in Delft South where we interviewed the dancers and really got to know them and their views around the traditional “Tsotsi” dance.
We had a crew of four guys working in post-production. Juri & Barend worked closely on the final edit, where Hennie and I worked on the look and feel of the marketing pack and the grade of the film. As much as post-production focuses on editing and sound design, there was still a lot of back and forth communications with the team from Discovery Digital Networks in San Francisco, who guided our project along and helped with all the logistical information needed to complete our project.
It was our goal to see how fast, production and efficient not mentioning “how creative” we could get in the edit suite and it paid off quite well with good project management and well mapped deadlines for the creative team. Along with our final film, we generated a whole batch of marketing imagery and a behind the scenes fun little edit, to give the world a taste of how fun it is shooting this production.
It was no more than 30 odd days after completing our the documentary, with press kits and final renders and late nights of subtitling and sound tweaking, but eventually we got the work done and sent it off to the team in San Francisco. We spoke to the marketing team at Discovery Digital Networks on how we could market our project and what we could do to promote the dancers even more through social marketing and online publications.
They gave us valued insight on their marketing tools and techniques to generate views across global digital platforms and we tried our best to attract local online websites to speak about our documentary, with hopes to promote us as filmmakers and the amazing dancers from Delft South and the project at hand; The All Points project for seekernetwork.com