South African film producer gives tips to Botswana counterparts

27 Nov 2023

Creating compelling storylines to capture audience’s emotions can be the best option in eliminating financial constraints faced by the film making industry.

Addressing a masterclass at the Botswana international film festival in Gaborone November 22. South African director of photography, James Brooke said achieving cinematic excellence without breaking the bank was possible especially for start-ups.

“The first building block of any production is your script and story,” he said.

He also highlighted the importance of investing time in pre-production; from storyboarding every scene to scouting budget-friendly yet visually stunning locations.

“You do not want to be stepping on set with your director and trying to figure it out as you go along because that can waste a lot of time and you end up running out of money,” he said.

Brooke said mastering lighting techniques was also important in creating a high quality yet budget friendly production, through the use of natural light or affordable lighting set ups.

“The sun is the greatest light resource that we have and if you utilise this natural light, your lighting budget will go down,” he said.

However, he advised the audience to be conscious of the time when using the sun.

“Using natural light is a big time saver but it is also a big test of time management,”

Brooke further said local film makers could also explore the role of affordable filmmaking equipment and technology.

“Today's technology has democratised filmmaking as there are now affordable cameras and editing software, which allow aspiring filmmakers to produce high-quality content without the need for a Hollywood-sized budget,” he explained.

In navigating challenges, Brooke advised aspiring filmmakers to transform limitations into opportunities and craft cinematic excellence without depleting their budgets.

Botswana international film festival was aimed to bridge the gap between Batswana and international film makers, with the intention to capacitate local producers with content development skills. ENDS


Source : BOPA

Author : Taboka Ngwako

Location : GABORONE

Event : film festival

Date : 27 Nov 2023