BEST OF REEL: MTN ‘Mic Drop’ by the Upstairs Ludus – Grade and Offline Craft
It’s hard not to be mesmerized by this little masterpiece. Straight from the streets of Gotham City (well, the MTN version at least), it is as enjoyable to watch as it probably was tiring to make – very. Especially post. The grade is clean, crisp and fresh, seeing the compulsory MTN yellow in a new light – literally. A glowing yellow orb that floats around the streets, bringing to life the world of music, gaming and memes that sit within your smartphone. The attention to detail is super – with only one or two things that could be neatened up (like the yellow on the girl’s face at the end). But who’s counting? Not that this has anything to do with the grade – but it’s worth mentioning that the ad is cleverly and intentionally cut to the music, making for a watchable piece of content that almost makes me forget how much MTN data I used to consume it.
SPECIAL MENTION: Showmax Tali’s Wedding Diary ‘Makeup Advice’ by Ari Kruger from Sketchbook Studios – Direction Craft
January is a tough month. Fridge contents are sad, the realities of a “long year ahead after annual leave” set in, and many are attempting a dry month – which is as little fun for them, as it is for the friends who have to put up with it. That’s why we need Tali. Comedy is hard – to do well, and to direct well. Less is more has certainly paid off here, with Tali performing into the camera, zero props, against an off-white wall. But somehow, Ari and Julia just got it right. The quick, but subtle cuts help with the comedic timing – but not so choppy that it feels erratic. The music choice works, cutting at appropriate moments. And the ambient sound of jingling earrings and squeaky leather just make Tali even more absurd. A well-directed performance, making a Jozi girl talking smoky eyes into a camera, just feel like more.
SPECIAL MENTION: Ster Kinekor ‘The Reign of Ian’ by Grant de Sousa from They Shoot Films – Direction Craft
Pretty much a 1,5 hour movie made into a 1,5 minute ad – it’s got the whole plot.
We watch as Ian falls from grace as his power-high becomes too much for his office. The casting is good – from Ian (SA’s answer to Zach Galifianakis) to the extras. The music is full of drama. And the acting, although a little overdone and a bit forced in parts (but I guess that was the point), hits the right note. A littttle obvious, but still a good mini movie reminding us to watch the real thing.
SPECIAL MENTION: Sanlam ‘2-Minute Shower’ by Jeremy de Tolly from We Love Jam – Remixes of existing tracks / Music Production Craft
This deserves a mention as it couldn’t have been an easy task. But Jeremy managed to take award-winning, well-known tracks by famous local artists, and make them just as great to listen to – in two minutes. I didn’t even really miss the additional minute.