Today we chat to an award-winning editor, Carol Howell who will tell us more about one of her awesome films called ‘From Cape Town With Love’.
Who is Carol Howell and what do you do?
Who am I? You”ll have to bring wine for that kind of conversation. Or whiskey. Currently, I’m a freelance documentary film editor who recently started tinkering in narrative film and TV. I love science fiction, exploring new cities and Radiolab podcasts. I used to be a street fighter but it wasn’t cut-throat enough so I became a editor, but I kept the name.
Please tell us about the project “from Cape Town with Love ” and what inspired it.
I had moved down to Cape Town to do my honours at university. I didn’t have a car and pretty much walked everywhere. I noticed that compared to Pretoria and what I had seen of other cities at the time, there was a lot of street art. Not just graffiti but stickers, posters, painted benches and wooden blocks. I felt like the city engaged with you in way that I hadn’t felt before. So after some research and blind luck, I met up with a few of the more prolific artists and had a really good time learning about the culture. This was a few years ago and I’m always still very aware when I travel or walk about locally to look out for street art. I’m never disappointed, there is always something to be found if you’re looking. ‘From Cape Town with Love’ is really just a moment in the city’s life. Street art is by nature transient and that’s part of its charm, the documentary in one sense, is really just a way of holding on to that feeling of discovery, just for a little bit.
How would you define your style of documentary work?
Hmm, I don’t think I have a large enough body of work to have really found a style, but I think documentary filmmakers [and all filmmakers, really] are adaptable and become immersed in whatever they are working on; projects have their own essence that informs the style. Overall, the documentaries I love and the ones that inspire me, are the personal ones where the director exposes some part of their self. I don’t just mean for serious films, I think what I am trying to say is the best kind of film always comes from having a deep connection to the subject matter.
Did the project win any awards and, if so, what?
It did. It won “Best newcomer” at the Apollo film festival, which is a great festival in Victoria West in the Northern Cape. It really should have been “Best Newcomers”, as the film couldn’t have been made without my co-conspirators, Tarien Roux and Anthony Hodge.
What are you currently working on?
Currently I am editing a documentary on the meat industry in South Africa, airing sometime in March/April on SABC. I recently worked on a film about child prisoners across Africa and in-between those, I started editing my first TV drama, which was a surprising amount of fun. Now if someone would give me a science fiction film to edit, I could die happy.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I wish I knew, or wait … maybe I don’t.
What advice would you give young creatives looking to do what you do?
Travel. It opens you and your mind up. Also, if you’re not working you should be learning. I don’t mean formally – although that’s good too, but read books by the people you admire, practice things you want to try, and intern for a bit if you can. You learn so much hands-on. Oh and find a hobby that is nothing to do with your career, your friends and lovers will be grateful.
Where can the readers view more of your work?