BEST IN CRAFT: Gillette ‘Nozizwe’ by SJ Myeza from 7 Films – Direction Craft
Full disclosure: 7Films shot this for us at Grey. I don’t believe I’m patting myself on the back by selecting this as my Best of Reel though because everything this film is, it owes to SJ Myeza and 7 Films. It could so easily have been a sad but moving story about loss and struggle. But through his casting of Akhona and Nozizwe, aided by the rapport he established with them that enabled him to draw so much rich material from them, through the sensitive cinematography that gives dignity and warmth to their home, to the way the edit guides the viewer through the relationship, the director has turned this into an ultimately joyous portrayal of the redemptive power of love.
CRAFT SPECIAL MENTION: PhFat ‘Catherine’ by Rob Smith from Carbon Films – Direction Craft
This one starts with a boy and a girl on a hill and ends with a haunting. I liked the visual intrigue of the seemingly natural changes of sky and light behind the characters as the camera moved around them. It was visually mesmerising but also made me feel like there was more going on here than was evident at first. Deceptively simple.
CRAFT SPECIAL MENTION: Cadbury ‘Mom’s Birthday’ by Zwelethu Radebe from Egg Films (Direction Craft) and Nic Apostoli-Comfort and Fame (Grade Craft)
Solid, well-crafted storytelling. There isn’t a false note struck in any of the performances. I love the way that this isn’t a game – it’s a serious transaction between two human beings in a world where the child has set the terms. There’s no obvious smile and wink to the audience.
CRAFT SPECIAL MENTION: Xero ‘Unexpected’ by Jonathan Parkinson from The Star Films Company – Direction Craft
One simple fluid take lets the stunt enjoy center stage. It feels easy and unforced. It would be even better with no voice over. Just a superbly well-phrased end title. Okay, you might need two titles.
CRAFT SPECIAL MENTION: Opera ‘Escape’ by Myles McDonald & Ross McDonald from Hey Papa Legend – Original Music and Final Mix Craft
Nice moody Blade Runner vibes.
CRAFT SPECIAL MENTION: OUTsurance ‘The Calling; Linda’ by Zee Ntuli from Darling Films – Direction Craft
I love the treatment of the voice-over: the unscripted feel and performance give the ad an emotional depth. The hand-held camera, which restlessly alternates between close up intimacy and moving behind and around things, gives a real sense of how a child might experience the events of the story: fragmented, uncertain, but also at very close quarters. The grade and lighting give the visuals a rich cinematic moodiness, turning the humble setting of the home, the hospital and the shop into a theatre for tragedy and heartbreak.