Darling only officially launched Gale as a director last week which was pretty surprising to us considering the amount of work she has already directed. Having spent the last 3 years as a researcher at the company, learning from and assisting each of the eight Darling directors, Executive Producers Melina McDonald and Lorraine Smit just couldn’t keep Gale behind that research desk a moment longer. Melina explains that because of her distinct perspective, great eye and a passion for creating raw unforgettable moments that contain real depth, Gale was already getting briefed on commercials while she was a researcher! *Clapping wildly* ECD of Ogilvy Cape Town, Tseliso Rangaka, even awarded her a Special Mention in the iDidTht Craft Awards (the most esteemed awards in the entire world). We just had to meet with her and Lorraine to find out more about this rising star.
iDidTht: Ok, Gale Maimane, we know you must get this all the time but we have to ask…
iDidTht: Haha! Glad we got that out of the way.
iDidTht: Over the years as a researcher, what is the most valuable lessons you’ve learnt from the Darling directors?
Gale: How to talk to people. Whether it’s on set, in pitches or wherever – the number one thing is communication. Obviously, I also learnt invaluable lessons from each of them about story and tone and how to really bring that all across effectively. But to learn from eight different people how to successfully communicate as a director, in all the various situations we find ourselves in, has been incredible.
Gale Did That (Already)
In 2016 Gale was a Design Indaba Emerging Creatives participant, which according to Lorraine ‘first peaked Melina and my interest’. Hitting the ground running she then went on to direct a short film, titled Me, which was a collaboration between Gale, fashion designer Nao Serati and musician Zoe Modiga. The film was shown at the Bokeh South African Fashion Film Festival and since then she just hasn’t stopped. In such a short time, Gale has already created a diverse body of work with a unique voice and below are some of iDidTht’s favourite spots from her rapidly growing reel.
Nelson Mandela Foundation X Facebook Creative Shop
iDidTht: The three pieces you directed for The Nelson Mandela Foundation were very powerful, wow, what was the brief and how did it come about?
Gale: These pieces were only going to be featured on Insta-stories for about 2 weeks so they needed to be very impactful. The Facebook Creative Shop gave me three scenarios. I drew from personal experiences and I wrote them.
iDidTht: Did you shoot that specifically for the Insta-story platform?
Gale: Yes. Social content is really interesting to me when the concept uses the platform in a clever-interactive way. In this piece the swipe up function was what really attracted me because we had to create a piece of content that was powerful enough to motivate the viewer to take action in just 15 seconds.
Edgars ‘Winter Blues’
Awarded: Special Mention in iDidTht Craft Awards April 2019 iDidTht Guest Judge: Tseliso Rangaka, Executive Creative Director at Ogilvy Cape Town Judges Comment: “I like the unusual storytelling here. The lead is believable and comfortably takes us through the offbeat edit. While one of the most interesting ad soundtracks I’ve heard in a while, weaves around what could have been just another clothing catalogue for Edgars.”
iDidTht: Your piece for Edgars got a Special Mention in iDidTht’s Craft Awards – that’s helluva impressive! Going up against some of the top directors in the country, congrats!Take us behind the scenes a bit.
Gale: Thanks so much! So – fun fact – I lost my lead at 12 the day before we shot, she was a pianist, by 6pm I found my new lead, she was a guitarist. Before the shoot the very next day, we had to compose completely new music for her overnight! Lorraine: Gale can really roll with the punches. She stayed so calm through it all. I would have burst into tears.
iDidTht: Now onto Joko. You directed a TVC and a content piece for this campaign. Like the Facebook spots, this must have been a pretty hard campaign to work on, especially considering being a woman in the current climate.
Gale: Yes, work like this is very important to me. Being a South African woman, GBV affects me every day. JOKO was a purpose-driven, anti-domestic violence campaign that makes awareness without depicting the heinous acts committed against abuse survivors. The story is emotional and gripping without being triggering.
TVC: JOKO #EndDomesticSilence (Directors Cut)
Online: JOKO #EndDomesticSilence
iDidTht: Bringing a female director’s perspective to work like this is so incredibly important, would you say that you would want to focus on these kinds of themes going forward?
Gale: Is that the only type of story I want to tell? The short answer is No. But if I can help at all or make a difference I want to. You try your hardest to do these kinds of stories justice. I don’t feel I have the right to do a bad job in this space. And of course, yes, I want to make things that have an impact or that drives positive change.
iDidtht: Let’s lighten the mood a bit with some hard-hittng journalism?
iDidTht: What is something that the rest of the Darlings don’t know about you? Gale: That I did karate as a kid. iDidTht: Show us a move! Show us a move! Gale: *Death stare* iDidTht: *Hides*
iDidTht: What’s your go-to-snack? Gale: Avocado. iDidTht: Expensive taste!
iDidTht: If a fire broke out in the building right now what are 3 things you would grab from the desk? Gale: Phone, computer, jacket. Lorraine: Lorraine? Gale: Haha! Lorraine you know you would be the first out the door!
There’s no denying that Gale has directing running through her bones. She has an exciting raw approach to storytelling and she happens to be humble and damn nice #FullPackage. If her first steps as a full-time director are anything to go by, we can’t wait to see what the future holds. Give Lorraine a call (if she’s still there after the fire), ask to speak to Gale and say ‘Hey Darling’.
Produced by the iDidTht Content Studio
Credits: Anne Hirsch (Writer) / Julie Maunder
*This content may not be reproduced or used in any part without the prior written consent of iDidTht. Reprints must credit iDidTht (iDidTht.com) as the original publisher of this editorial piece and include a link to this site.
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Every month iDidTht.com teams up with an industry leader to award South Africa’s best in Film Craft. Huge shout-out to our judge: Executive Creative Director of Ogilvy Cape Town, Chairperson of the Loerie Awards, 2nd Most Admired Creative Leader in Cape Town for 2 years-running and winner of numerous awards including a Cannes Grand Prix… please step aside Arya Stark, and let's give it up for Tseliso Rangaka! *crowd goes wild*
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