Who is Dirk Chalmers, where are you based and what do you do?
I am a photographer and short format film maker. Currently I am based in Johannesburg, working full time for the online magazine JHBLive and The Content Bar as a photographer, videographer, video editor and product developer. I also run meditation groups regularly and I think that there is a strong link between Zen, photography and film making. I don’t think that you can truly capture a moment without being completely calm for that moment.
You are a keen Photographer and short format film maker, how did this come about?
After spending a year studying at AFDA I finally spent a day on set, it was one of the longest, most intense days of my life and I learnt more than I had the entire year. Shortly afterwards I dropped out, started working as a junior video editor, spark and art directors assistant. I had an opportunity to direct, edit and compose music for a short HIV/AIDS awareness stop-motion film and jumped at it. That was my first experience of short format film making and I fell in love.
It wasn’t long after that that I picked up a DSLR, set it to manual and spent the next 4 months literally doing nothing other than shooting and researching photography online. I joined a club called the Joburg Photowalkers and a few months later had 6 of my images selected for one of their photo exhibitions. I’m a firm believer in the fact that if you are knowledge hungry you can learn everything you need to online. I started shooting events for JHBlive, weddings and shooting mobile photo studios.
Tell us about the time- lapsed film you did of Okuda in Joburg?
Myself and my colleague Tessa Cunliffe decided that the international graffiti festival would be a wonderful event to capture with stop motion as well as video. I arrived at one of the walls and met Okuda. He is an extremely talented Spanish graffiti artist. I had no idea who he was when I started the project but after time-lapsing and filming him for a few hours it was clear he would be the subject of the video.
For 3 days I shot non stop, time-lapsing with 2 Nikon’s and filming with 2 Canon HDDSLR’s. The experience was exhilarating. We hung out with homeless folk in Jeppestown, met up with photographers and international graffiti artists in Maboneng and missioned through the city in the dark so that Okuda could find the perfect place for his ‘signals’. His dedication to his art was inspiring as well as his non-stop energy.
What are you currently working on?
Currently we are working on launching an online variety show called JHBLiveTV, looking for sponsors and young film makers.
What advice would you give young creatives looking to do what you do?
Be humble, work hard and don’t ever stop.
Where can our readers find more of your work?
My photo stream
My images accompany a lot of the articles and are used in many of the galleries: www.jhblive.com