No set working hours, no routine and something different every day. This might leave one thinking that the life of a film director is one of glamour, excitement and thrills.
The reality is that it can be one of the toughest jobs in the world – shooting in all kinds of weather conditions, day or night, from sweltering heat to freezing cold, tight schedules and a myriad different personality types are just some of the many challenges film directors face on a daily basis. Add to that the pressure of industry awards, ever increasing expectations on tight budgets, recognition and high demand, and it’s easy to understand why this profession calls for long and exhausting hours – both on and off set. But the sweetness and recognition of ‘getting it right’ and the opportunity to communicate a particular message visually to millions of viewers is just one of the many rewards that keep them coming back for more.
But who exactly are the personalities making up this profession and which are the ones to keep a close eye on moving forward? Below, in no particular order, are five talented up and coming directors to look out for in 2014. Taking the concept received from an advertising agency, or if needed, defining the concept themselves; together with their creativity and vision these individuals produce and bring to life award-winning campaigns.
Faced with many options fresh out of school, Jono decided to be a taxidermist. Not regretting that decision, he then made the move to study Film Directing at AFDA. While working as researcher, he shot a number of music videos and completed several documentaries, in addition to writing a direct-to-DVD horror film starring Lorry Petty and Collin Moss. With awards in a few film-making competitions to his credit, Jono has worked alongside directors such as Erik van Wyk and Dean Blumberg. The last two years have seen him involved in directing campaigns for top South African and international brands, such as Nedbank, Investec, Toyota, Defy, SABMiller, Capitec Bank, Apple and Absa.
A student Oscar winner, invitee to three Cannes Film Festivals and jury member at the FAK Festivals in Vienna, it is clear that Tristan possesses a wealth of talent. It is believed that the 6 years he spent as KTV television presenter is what inspired him to become involved in directing. Tristan has directed commercials for the likes of Castle Lite, Vodacom, Legit, Samsung, Zodiac and Steers.
Matthys graduated from film school before moving to the USA to complete his filmmaker’s residency through the International Film and Television Workshops. His experience includes working for a number of years in the art department on international feature films being shot in Southern Africa, as well as the role of first assistant director on commercials and writing of scripts for TV dramas.
Since the birth of An Improbable Relationship Films, better known as AIR Films, co-founded with industry veteran Marge Hughes, Matthys has consistently shown enormous versatility across diverse client requirements, ranging from conceptualising and scripting for direct clients to pitching on and executing advertising agency boards with creative flair.
Matthys has directed a wide range of commercials, from children of all ages, animals, live action combined with visual effects and animation, lifestyle and beauty through to comedy and table top settings. Clients include the likes of Coca-Cola, Hollard, Clover-Danone, Cipla Medicines, Edgars, OUTsurance, LegalWise, Kerrygold, Nigerian Breweries and Pick ‘n Pay.
Hailing from Tembisa, Thabang started his professional life as a TV presenter in Gauteng, following this up with a relocation to Cape Town to study film and TV production. It was clearly a good move, as the last few years has seen Thabang receive numerous awards and accolades, including Best Short Film at Sithenghi Film Festival (Jameson Award), a nomination in the Durban International Film Festival, numerous awards for public service announcements in Dubai and South Africa (VUKA Awards), Cannes International Critic Week, Tampere Film Festival in Finland and the 16th Africa Film Festival in Milan, where he enjoyed the additional kudos of being the youngest director competing. Thabang’s involvement in skill transfer also sees him lecturing at various schools, such as the famous Boston Media House as well as City Varsity. His campaigns include MTN and LOTTO.
A love for and background in photography, research and music videos has resulted in this young director taking the industry by storm. We see her superb work in advertisements including the likes of Toyota Hilux, Nissan, Toyota Fortuner, Cotlands, AIG, Nike and Vodacom, to name but a few.