Behind the Lens: Zim Film Industry Focus

Behind the Lens: Zim Film Industry Focus

Kwntuthu Arts magazine takes a look at the local film industry we once shed light on women in film and now we call three young industry players how are Directors, Producers, and Film Editors to talk how the local Zimbabwean Film Industry is developing whether it is vibrant, if it is easy to enter the industry and how they view or measure success.

Kwantuthu Arts got hold of King Krude the multi-talented King Krude a hit-making music producer has outdone the current trend and shoot a video for MC Tytoh which has got all music lovers in the country talking of the new standard that he has set for Zimbabwe and Bulawayo artists. The next person on our list was Trev Ncube, or Trey as he is known in showbiz circles is an articulate young Zimbabwean lm school graduate who majored in motion picture in cinematography at the famous South African lm training mecca AFDA. Also Vusa Blaqs Mzila Hlatshwayo a multi-talented Illustrator, Animator and Film Editor who has worked on numerous projects all over the country.

The Film industry in other countries contributes to nations’ GDPs and provides employment to a vast number of individuals and is very vibrant. The Nigerian lm industry is worth NGN853.9 billion (US$5.1 billion) as of 2014 and produces hundreds of home videos and films per annum. Nigerian cinema is Africa’s largest movie industry in terms of value and the number of movies produced per year. With such amounts of capitalization this industry employs a huge amount of people also Kwantuthu Arts looked at South Africa has a vibrant, growing lm industry that is growing in reputation and is competitive internationally. The jewel in the industry’s crown is Tsotsi, Gavin Hood’s gritty drama about a young gangster in Soweto, near Johannesburg, which won an Academy Award for best foreign language lm in 2006.

Vusa Blaqs Mzila Hlatshwayo

Vusa Blaqs
Vusa Blaqs

How vibrant is our local lm industry?
Our lm industry has great potential. I think we have quite a number of highly skilled individuals and amazing creative’s. I liken it to a volcano that is about to erupt. Every day I’m humbled by the products I see from creative’s based in this city it is amazing, but the downside is I haven’t seen enough corporate participation in our sector, which is essential if we are to call it an industry in every sense.

How can aspirants enter this industry?
Technology has certainly made it relatively ‘easy’ for aspiring filmmakers to get their feet wet. What with cameras becoming cheaper and tutorials all over YouTube, but mark the way I said ‘easy’, because nothing, in essence, is easy, it’s the starting up that is easy, staying the game is a different story. I hope it makes sense

How do you measure success?
Success for me is not the ultimate goal. My goal is ‘significance’. That is my name being synonymous with the industry, just as Coca- Cola to beverages, Benz to Luxury cars, etc. But all that has levels, right now I’m happy if a client says ‘Yes let’s do it” Because that is where the magic begins

King Krude

King Krude
King Krude

How vibrant is our local film industry?
Firstly I don’t know if we can call it industry as yet because we do not seem to have the marketing and distribution aspect of the industry in check. We have products, many of them but no pro table avenues for distribution. So, to answer your question, the industry is as vibrant as a dead peacock. We are growing what I can say. It’s taking time to take o because of many factors that include the economy and policymakers but eventually, we will overcome, I am sure of that because the talent and skill are there.

How can aspirants enter this industry?
Anyone who has the drive to enter the lm industry can, but it depends on, I’m what capacity are you coming in as…the industry has many facets that comprise of the technological and commercial institutions of filmmaking, i.e., lm production companies, lm studios, cinematography, lm production, screenwriting, pre-production, post-production, lm festivals, distribution; and actors, lm directors and other lm crew personnel….with that in mind, not everyone who can hold a camera is a cameraman, not everyone who can write is a scriptwriter, no every one with Vegas Pro or adobe premiere on their laptop is an editor, it takes knowledge, skill, talent and putting in lots of work to be a recognizable part of the industry.

How do you measure success?
I measure success by your ability to make your work put food on your table, it doesn’t matter how many people your products have reached if that doesn’t translate to money, then that is a waste of time and energy, personally, I’m not your philanthropist donating my works, so I NEED to get paid for everything that I do. My family needs to eat. I need to be able to expand, buy equipment and invest in stock or something like that for the future of my son, but if I am getting loads of airplay and my products are all over the place, I am popular but no money in the bank, then that’s all in futility. Fame doesn’t pay the bills. No money no success…that’s my word.

Trev Ncube

Trev Ncube

How vibrant is our local lm industry?
Well, the local lm industry has been in comatose for quite some time now and only now are we beginning to see flickers of life in the industry because local lm makers are starting to take initiatives in terms of sourcing their own funds to nance and market their films.

How can aspirants enter this industry?
By entering on a “wing and a prayer” just playing, no but real talk aspirants need to understand that the lm business is not for the faint-hearted that they need to prepare themselves mentally, spiritually, financially for the sort of sacrifices required to succeed in this industry. So preparation is key, meaning you can either do research online or at public libraries on how lm works, an intern at lm/ television production company or enroll at a school. For example when i decided lm was what i wanted to pursue in terms of a career I first interned at a local production company, then two years later enrolled into one of the nest Film schools in Africa which opened up my mind to how the lm industry works in general thus making my entrance easier.

How do you measure success?
Look for me as Film producer box office hits and DVD sales play a fundamental role in measuring success in our industry as far as the financial bottom line is concerned however from an idealistic point of view I think ultimately success must be measured in terms of influence. What do I mean by influence? Almost every one of us has watched a film or TV show that changed our perception of life that invoked a paradigm shift that inspired or challenged us to do better, become better at whatever it is we aspired to be. So in terms of people who have your films changed? In terms of culture, what has your lm changed? I think for me those are the questions that matter because ultimately the films we tend to remember or regard as memorable are the ones that tackled social, cultural issues in an entertaining as well as dramatic manner. So for me above other key factors such as money I believe the ability to influence and collectively inspire people our perception of life that invoked a paradigm shift that inspired or challenged us to do better, become better at whatever it is we aspired to be. So in terms of people who have your films changed? In terms of culture, what has your lm changed? I think for me those are the questions that matter because ultimately the films we tend to remember or regard as memorable are the ones that tackled social, cultural issues in an entertaining as well as dramatic manner. So for me above other key factors such as money I believe the ability to influence and collectively inspire people for the better should be how we measure success.

Kwnatuthu Arts Magazine sees the number of talented Zimbabweans working in the leading lm industries in Africa and the world and hopes to see Zimbabwean films make waves and current industry players get their recognition also seeing the growth of the Industry.