Best of Reel awarded to The Upstairs Ludus and Howard Audio for MTN ‘Night Shift’.

The SA Film Reel awards the very best in craft by Productions companies in South Africa. This month we asked Fran Luckin,
Chief Creative Officer at Grey Africa Johannesburg, to select her standouts. Congratulations to all the winners.

The Upstairs Ludus (Offline Edit only)
Howard Audio | Adam Howard (Music Production of a rerecord)
MTN ‘Night Shift’

Bioscope Films | Hylton Tannenbaum
Chin Up! ‘Tall Girls and Sanitary Pads’ (Direction Craft)

Plank Film Productions | Peter Pohorsky (Direction Craft)
Left Post Productions | Saki Bergh & Keno Naidoo (Editing and Online)
Produce Sound | Louis Enslin (Final Mix)
Chicken Licken ‘Afronaut’ 

Judges Comments by Fran Luckin, Chief Creative Officer at Grey Africa Johannesburg

“Best of Reel goes to both Upstairs Ludus and to Howard Audio because the craft is so seamless here that it would be impossible to judge them separately. The cutting pace gives the story a groove that carries the viewer effortlessly from one scene to the next.
It’s to the credit of the editing that the ad maintains an infectious rhythm without ever turning into a Busby Barkeley extravaganza (Google it, millennials!) Even the dance at the bus stop is handled deftly, with combinations of long shots, cutaways and different angles, so it never becomes A Big Flashy Number.
When it comes to take selection, there isn’t a shot here that jars or is out of keeping with the rhythm of the piece. I particularly loved the subtlety of the “sideways glance and shoulder-shimmy” at 0:53 and the way it punctuates the build-up.
This could so easily have been cheesy and heavy-handed… some guy who can’t hold a tune serenading his mate Marvin. But the instigator’s voice is blended into the mix almost immediately as the music takes over, and takes us into complete feel-good territory. It’s a great choice of song and the re-record flawlessly captures its groove and its emotive power. I enjoy the way the incidental noises are used as beats in the music to punctuate the melody: witness the musical timing of the cut to the passport controller calling “Next.”
And the close harmonies on the chorus made me get goosebumps (but then I am a big girly softy..).
I really like this ad. It’s a welcome return to form for MTN.”

“I think this web series achieves a lot with very little. There’s no big production budget here: all the director has to work with is dialogue, actors and the edit. I like the way the camera directs the humour (most notably at 0:55 and 2:04). The piece captures perfectly just how excruciating castings can be, without striking a false note by trying to exaggerate and milk laughs. The actors were either very accomplished good actors who nailed the “bad casting tape performance”, or they were genuinely bad actors. I can’t tell. Which I think is a sign of good casting.”

“An impressive achievement – it felt like a big scale space opera. I loved the little touches though – Tshabalala boredly playing with his phone half off-camera during the press conference, the ‘Joburg GP’ numberplates, the pillows taped to the inside walls of the spacecraft (?). And the music is bloody amazing.”

About Our Judge

Fran Luckin is the CCO of Grey Africa in Johannesburg. She has judged many international and South African creative awards shows (including the Cannes Lions, the Dubai Lynx Awards, the Clio Awards and D&AD). She has won a few awards, but believes her most significant achievement may be that after 20 years in advertising she is still relatively sane. She has an M.B.A from the Berlin School of Creative Leadership, and is Chairman of the Academic Board of the Red & Yellow School.

All SA Film Reel Entries

0307 Films | Paul Ward
MTN ‘Roadtrip’ (Direction Craft)

Darling Films | Chloe Coetsee
Pick n Pay ‘Pa rum pum pum pum’ (Direction Craft)

Giant Films | Karien Cherry
100% Character Uncovered ‘Tumi’ (Direction Craft)

Golden Planes | Porteus Xandau
Always ‘School’ (Direction Craft)

Hammersmith & Elephant | Brett Wild
CTM ‘Home for the Holidays’ (Direction Craft)

Let It Rain Films | Lee Doig
Safaricom ‘Holidays’ (Direction Craft)

Ola! Films | Chris Saunders
KFC ‘Instagram Glo Up’ (Direction, Editing, Casting, Comedic Timing, Storyline, Editing)

Ola! Films | Chris Saunders
Superbalist ‘Summer 2016’ (Choreography, art direction & editing)

Passing Trains | Quinton Lavery
Jameson ‘100x Closer’ (Direction Craft)

Spitfire Films | Markstry
McDonald’s ‘Supremes’ (Direction Craft)

Spitfire Films | Markstry
Incredible Connection ‘Incredible Santa’ (Direction Craft)

Left Post Productions | Evy Katz & Keno Naidoo
Singleton ‘Made of Taste’ (Editing with Grade and Online)

The Upstairs Ludus
Best Drive ‘Pretty Penny’s Pitstop’ (Offline, Grade and Online)

Howard Audio | Adam Howard
MTN ‘Father and Son’ (Original Music composition)

Produce Sound | Louis Enslin
Wimpy ‘Champ’ (Original Music composition)

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