Welcome to 11 Mackay – Creativity, Collaboration, Fun
13 Years after launching Left – an offline edit and finishing house – Film Editor Saki Bergh and Executive Producer Jacqui Pearson are still just as passionate about producing high-end work, but the company’s vision has broadened by taking into account their effect on the industry as a whole. We spoke to the lively duo, determined to put the lekker vibes back into creativity, about their hopes of one building potentially having the power to slowly change an industry.
Listen up, over the past couple of months alone, a lot has happened at Left; their very own Daniel Mitchell won Best Editor at BRICS 2018 Summit for his work on the film Five Fingers for Marseilles and the Editing Gold Craft award for Castle Milk Stout ‘#GetItBack’, at #Pendoring2018. Saki Bergh has been announced as a judge of Ciclope Africa 2019 and the D&AD Awards 2019 in the category Editing Craft, coincidentally the first year the category has been recognised 👌🏽 Oh, and he’ll be doing all this while also editing the latest feature film from Die Antwoord. We wish we could write about all of it but #WordCount so back to lekker vibes.
‘I came into the industry to work with nice people and make nice work. We shouldn’t forget to have fun.’ – Saki Bergh
2 Years ago Saki and Jacqui bought an abandoned building in Blairgowrie in Joburg, now known as 11 Mackay. The 4-storey building, including a rooftop with 360-degree views of the city is home to a whole bunch of impressive Film Production, Television and Digital Media companies all with the same goal – to create, collaborate and have fun.
iDidTht: ‘Saki, what do you think is missing in the film industry for you right now?’
Saki: ‘All I’m interested in is to do nice work with nice people. We shouldn’t forget to have fun, after all, it’s just an ad and we’re trying to sell something to someone. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy cutting commercials and we should always aspire to make really beautiful or funny and always entertaining ads. I love it when an ad really works and achieves what it set out to do; selling a product AND creating a cool vibe for the brand at the same time. Like the Under Armour commercial with Michael Phelps just before the Olympics a couple of years ago. But all that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t enjoy ourselves while doing it and I think people sometimes forget that.’
iDidTht: ‘What first drew you to the 11 Mackay building?’
Jacqui: ‘We wanted to create a hub where people can actually enjoy being there for the day. We saw a need for the film industry to stick together. So we wanted a space big enough to share ideas because we have to support each other and we wanted to surround ourselves with like-minded people.’
iDidTht: ‘Apart from a lil industry goss around the water cooler, what’s the advantage of having people from the same industry so close together?’
Jacqui: ‘As Saki said, I think that as an industry we’ve lost the sense of having fun. Budgets are tighter and people are so overworked. We needed an open collaborative space where we could show people that the film industry is a close family and we respect each other and we respect each other’s clients.’
Saki: ‘We’re a small pond with big fish in South Africa and people can be very guarded, there’s a lack of openness. In a way we hope 11 Mackay will start changing that.’
11 Mackay is now home to a star-studded cast of companies involved in the Film, Media and Production world. I mean guys, just look at this list:
– Left Post Production
– Enjin (Finishing Artists)
– Audio Militia (Audio and Sound)
– Dondoo Studios (VR/AR Production)
– Egg Films (Film Production)
– Exposure (Crew agent representing DOP’s)
– GUM Mocap Studio (Motion Capture)
– House On Fire (Post Production)
– Method Unknown (AR/VR Production)
– They Shoot Films (Film Production)
– Rudeboy Collective (Film Production)
– Y&V Agency (Ad Agency)
To the Left, To the Left (we couldn’t help ourselves)
Apart from renting office space within the creative hub that is 11 Mackay, Production Companies, Post and VFX services, Agencies, Freelance Artists and Producers are always welcome within the Left offices, conveniently also situated within this kickass building. If you’re looking for a creative space, edit suite or a client friendly environment with high-end post-production services, a fully supported pipeline and world-class infrastructure for your project – ding ding ding, jackpot! Spaces, services, and suites are available for daily, weekly and monthly hire and producer space is available for the duration of your booking. Left also offers onsite assistants and producers available upon request, to manage all your media, artists and clients needs.
‘We’re all quite mad here. You’ll fit right in.’ – The Mad Hatter
Spending time with Saki and Jacqui means being sucked down a wonderfully surreal rabbit hole of enjoyment! The two are offbeat, quirky and well, pretty much entirely bonkers. But we’ll tell you a secret, all the best people are…
iDidTht: ‘On top of all of this, Saki you’re based at Left Cape Town where you also still edit most of Die Antwoord’s work. We can’t leave without some goss, spill something?’
Saki: ‘Haha, I also moved here to raise my two boys Finn and Hann you know.’
iDidTht: ‘We noticed their names tattooed on your fingers in a very similar style to Die Antwoord’s tattoos. Was it a shout-out to Ninja and Yolandi?’
Saki: ‘Ha! Die Antwoord didn’t have any tattoos on their fingers until I did mine.’
Jacqui: ‘You know what’s legendary? Saki’s editing tips. Show them Saki, show them!’
iDidTht: ‘Show us immediately!’
Without skipping a beat Saki obliged. These tips are refreshingly ridiculous sayings that Saki comes across in books or in everyday life related to editing. He then assigns them a random number (we literally don’t know why but hey, just go with it) and posts it on social media. He’s been doing it for almost 5 years and we can’t get enough. Here are some of our favourites, because well, they’re kak funny and in the words of the Cheshire Cat ‘Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.’
Finding ways of delivering content without compromising quality, creativity or the artist is key to ensuring the success of every project for Left. But most importantly this is a team who wants to bring the industry together all in the name of fun and let us not forget fun can be effective gang, so where do we sign up?! Left, housed in the creative hub that is 11 Mackay, really does offer it all. Oh and did we mention one of the finest French patisseries in South Africa is right downstairs? Oui s’il vous plaît! So why not go and grab a cup of tea, you never know, you might just bump into some mad hatters, hopefully…
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.
This Editorial is paid for by Left Post Productions. Want our studio to create content that puts your agency/company/kickass ad you made in bright lights for the whole industry to see? View or editorial packages or contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll make it happen! #Boom