Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Media in the Middle of Nowhere

We are taking a short break from the Media School. Today should be class and I sort of miss it, but also need a break. Actually we are in a time of waiting (again). This school has been run on prayer and provision and right now the provision has paused....We have no edit suite and the computers in our house have mostly gone on the blink.blink.blink...We are terribly grateful for the wonderful camera we use, on loan from Phil Cunningham from Sunrise productions, the gifts of film from many and the one big light from Ants and Peter - we love you all.

The idea in the beginning was to make dvd's on sustainable living. The inspiration came from a family right up the valley who really are doing it - living off the land - with seven children. They are a picturesque bunch - all long hair and floating skirts and with a sound track straight from the heavenly hosts. They jokingly refer to themselves as the von Trapps. Because they sing ofcause - all of them.I decided to teach Jethro to do camera, but he needs buddies, and before long there were six of them. Six adolescents - and me - and Lex when he could spare the time. He is our expert, for the rest we learn as we go along.

The amazing thing about children in a hidden place like this is that they grow up largely without the influences you might find in the city. They are fresh - like new sponges. It wasn't long before I realized what a privilege it is to work with them, and a responsibility.

I hadn't planned to show them film really. Mainly bacause there is no movie house less than two hours away, and no DVD store to speak off. But then ,along came the dominee Barnard Steyn with a colection of cinema nouveau films and about 20 Rob Bells. And so we began.

Last week we watched Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring and it felt like the Langkloof. Water wars, beautiful young girls skipping up mountains and swimming in streams. But mostly I realized proudly that many of the shots could have been filmed by one of our six students. They know most of the rules, they love the land, the light and mostly have filmed dreamy sequences amongst arum lillies and down paddling in streams. They have shot each other riding horses, sipping milk in forest glades and running up green hills to picnic blankets - just like in the Sound of Music. They look into the camera lense with a disarming innocence, and film scenes through it with the same outragrous sweetness. Outrageous for this day and age. Mostly I leave them to play with shots, watching from a distance, occasionaly interfering when totally necessarily. Watching the rushes of the day normally causes much laughter, especially when watching the boys footage, normally action stuff, silly boys - but lately showing a gentle touch.

We now need more than one edit suite - open source software on a computer we share with Lex. No doubt our prayers will be answered - so we abide for now.
These months with my six, Jethro, Hannah,Rivkah, Jonan (from Twee Riviere), Alex (from the Kouga) and Matthew(from Joubertina) have made precious memories for me. I think we all want to continue, keenly developing ourselves into a production house. We have learnt to wash eat others feet, being directors, camerapeople,grips,wardrobe and talent too when required. We have travelled in the trusty (rusty) Cruiser to locations deep in the Kouga and the Hoek. We have written scripts, drawn up shot lists, filmed wide shots, close up, pans and tilts and had plenty of laughs. We have watched films in the dominees lounge, eating marmite cake and sipping coffee and look forward to more to come.

Michelle

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:16 PM

    I really enjoy reading your posts, and the photographs are irresistible!! Your life sounds so real, and connected to the land - how I desire that too! Though I realise it is not easy! What a privilege for teenagers to grow up like that. We wish you God's blessing, send you our love and prayers. Corli for all the Krohns.

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