One of ASAP’s longstanding supporters (and incidentally the woman who introduced us to Priscilla) has organized a filmmaker to do a promo docu-video for ASAP. Yes, I was also trying to work on something, but Move A Mountain Productions are real professionals! The film crew consisted of Andy & me, Priscilla, Linet (ASAP’s office manager and all around can’t-live-without awesome woman), Elizabeth (the producer and filmmaker), and Elio (the editor-turned-camera-man). We made a good team! On the first day Elizabeth said we should all throw in our ideas, that there was no ‘director’ which made us a bit nervous. Having made a 1/2 dozen Potato Riot flicks, we know how easily there can be too many cooks in one kitchen. But actually, we all worked well together. While Elizabeth took notes and suggested shots, Elio filmed, Scilla worked with the interview-ees, Linet got forms signed and helped translate, and Andy & I did sound, lighting, and production stills.
The first leg of filming took place in Mount Frere. We filmed at the home of one of our favorite village health workers, Mrs. Tshalana. She invited her sangoma friends, and there were about 30 kids there, singing and dancing when we arrived. The weather wasn’t great–lots of wind–but we still managed to get a few interviews of Boniswa and Mrs. Tshalana in the garden. And Andy and I finally got to try Xhosa beer! It was … interesting. It looked a bit like hot chocolate, and tasted thick and very yeasty. I’m pretty sure it won’t become my new drink of choice.
The next day (my 30th birthday!) we filmed at a local JSS to get the “kids walking to school” shot. We then rushed out to another school (which, though it was described as “not very far”, turned out to be almost an hours drive) to interview one of our OVC. He’s one of the kids Andy has been tutoring in maths, and he is such a sweet kid. His English has improved immeasurably since he has switched from junior high to high school. Also, working with Andy has probably helped, too. He was very nervous and tongue-twisted on camera, but he talked about how much Hlomelikusasa and African Solutions has helped him over the years with school uniform & supplies, and helped him to feel the same as all the other kids.
Then we had to rush back to Mrs. Lila’s, another village health worker. She is an adorable woman who doesn’t speak much English, but she has a fantastic garden and an uncanny knack for getting the orphans in her area put on child care and foster grants. She’s a saint. And she was a really good sport about the filming. Scilla really wanted a shot of a VHW fetching eggs that had been laid by indigenous hens and holding the egg up to the camera to say “One egg can provide the protein needed for a child.” It took a few takes, but Mrs. Lila nailed it!
Stay tuned for the second installment of our filmmaking adventures!