RudeBoy. The Collective Rethinking Production.
Working as a ‘collective’ rather than a ‘production company’ not only sounds cool, but also means that RudeBoy can offer a variety of services including branded content work, photography and international film, as well as traditional TV commercials with behind-the-scenes and social media content – it’s the whole shebang! We dug a little deeper to find out how RudeBoy’s collective approach has evolved into even more of a unique offering.
The five founding partners, who’ve all been in the game for over two decades are Directors Rob Malpage and Mpho Twala and Producers Cat Lindsay, Monareng Makwetla and Sabelo Mahlangu. The quintet worked together in the same offices for over 5 years, under Velocity JHB and Velocity Africa. In March 2017 they were pumped to create a space where they could be the masters of their own destinies, and so The RudeBoy Collective was born – cue Power Rangers theme song.
What’s in a Name?
iDidTht: Why ‘RudeBoy’ guys? Love it, but none of you are rude and not all of you are boys 🤔 Break it down for us please.
Cat: The Jamaican Rudeboy was employed to cause chaos in the competition’s sound-system, party crashers with a purpose. They served as the disruptive inspiration for the emergence of new subcultures in the 1960’s. They inspired change and growth. Nowadays, being a Rudeboy is a state of consciousness; you express yourself through a hybrid aesthetic, it’s not just a style it’s an intention to shake things up.
Director Rob Malpage: The Rudeboy movement was very disruptive and eclectic and it really fitted with how we saw ourselves and also inspired the direction the business needed to take.
Designer Donovan Pugh encapsulates the Rudeboy movement’s energy beautifully but also brings a real South African feel to it with his minimalist Ndebele inspired design for their logo.
Producer Cat Lindsay: I loved that the design had the connection to the Rudeboy identity with the black and white checks, the very graphic triangular shapes and a clean and linear look. I also love that if you paste it all together it looks like a piece of Ndebele artwork.
When RudeBoy first launched they set out to disrupt the way production had always worked, by focusing on a ‘collective approach’ and relooking at traditional roles within the industry. They started collaborating with a whole array of non-traditional ‘film types’, including instagrammers, fashion designers instead of wardrobe stylists, influencers, graphic designers and more. This has led to them having a huge network of people outside of the film industry who help generate different ideas and alternative ways of working.
RudeBoy is now set up to meet the challenge that agencies face of having to produce far more content around a campaign than before. Finding unconventional creative ways of producing high-end work also meant RudeBoy could attract very creative but less budget-heavy boards. But their ‘collective’ approach is far more than just that. What’s organically started to happen, since they launched, is that the word ‘collective’ has become a lot more meaningful. Now it informs not only how they collaborate and create content but also how they tackle each production…collectively.
Cat: If an agency or client specifically briefs Rob then Rob will spearhead the director’s treatments, but on set you’ll have Mpho who interfaces with the agency, because he’s a good people’s person, and then you’ll have (producer) Monoreng there either in the capacity of AD or pack specialist, haha.
Producer Monareng Makwetla: It also gives our clients good value for money because you’re not just offering a producer/director team. Clients and agencies are getting 5 of us in one go and even if they’re not face to face with all of us, all five of us are at some point giving input.
Producer Sabelo Mahlangu: Clients now get directors who we think are amazing and are great at what they do and at the same time they’ll get 3 producers who can support those directors at any level. Collectively and creatively we are amazing, superior and good fun.
Work by RudeBoy
Bringing 5 uniquely talented individuals with different strengths together, but who all share the same vision, really means you’re not only getting bang for your buck but you’re also guaranteed the best shot at producing kickass work. Here are some of iDidTht’s favourite picks from the RudeBoy reel.
Revlon ‘Conquer the City’
Brand SA ‘Imraan Christian’
McDonalds ‘How Do You Big Mac’
Appletiser ‘Crown Every Moment’
Make the Circle Bigger
The gang also has an in-house Creative Director, Nadezna Radcore, who not only assists with covering stills or online content, but also acts as a sounding board for the director, monitors every production process from day one, understands the treatment, as well as interacts with the agency. The Creative Director ensures that RudeBoy are responding to the client and agency’s needs on a creative level, but again tackling the whole process with a collectivised approach and ensuring that there is a cohesive thread running through the entire campaign.
iDidTht: Guys, we also noticed on your website that you have a third director called ‘The Other Guy’…is that his birth name or what’s happening?
Monareng: Haha, not. ‘The Other Guy’ is a developmental platform for young directors or freelancers who need to build their reel.
Cat: For instance, when our Creative Director Nadezna, partnered with Mpho on the work we did for Revlon, we refer to that as ‘The Other Guy’. Alternatively, if we can get work in for freelance directors who are not Rob or Mpho then they’ll do it as part of ‘The Other Guy’ portfolio.
Rob: It also gives the agencies the surety that when we launch a new director they also have two other directors, Mpho and myself, behind them. We’ll support them and we’ll go through the whole treatment process with them.
Rob, who shoots all his own work, will often then operate as DP for ‘The Other Guy’, while Mpho might act as AD, thus still giving the agency two heavyweight directors but also giving a young director an opportunity.
Standing: Mpho Twala, Monareng Makwetla, Sabelo Mahlangu & Rob Malpage
Seated: Cat Lindsay
The RudeBoys are more than just a team who have spent years working together. We don’t want to go all Dr Phil on you, but we dare say they even seem like a family, with each of them playing their part in the household- so we put this theory to the test.
iDidTht: Who is the one that usually disagrees the most?
Mpho: (quietly) Monareng?
iDidTht: Who tries to please everyone the most?
Mpho: Haha, me I guess or Cat.
iDidTht: Who do you fear the most?
Rob and Mpho: Cat!
Sabelo, Cat and Monareng: Rob!
iDidTht: Who has the biggest brat attack when they don’t’ get their way?
iDidTht: When the team is fighting, who makes it all better?
Mpho: That’s me!
RudeBoy is a new old company. The history they share from the Velocity days means they trust and respect each other’s craft, but the endless possibilities that lie within RudeBoy’s future is fuelled by a desire to tackle production in fresh and innovative ways. We feel it only appropriate to end with the iconic words of Rihanna as penned in her song ‘Rude Boy’: Come here rude boy, boy is you big enough. Take it, take it (yeah). Baby, baby (yeah). Take it, take it (yeah). Love me, love me (yeah). #DropsMic
Produced by the iDidTht Content Studio
Credits: Anne Hirsch (Writer) / Julie Maunder
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