Snip­pets of the sil­ver screen

Nicky Green­wall’s new show is one that movie lovers will en­joy. Buhle Mbonambi chat­ted to her about it

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - MEDIA& MARKETING -

Iall T’S UN­BE­LIEV­ABLE that Nicky Green­wall has a new show so soon af­ter giv­ing birth to her sec­ond baby, a son, Ri­ley. But for those who know her work ethic and drive, it’s not much of a sur­prise.

The Big Pic­ture, air­ing on Tues­days on e.tv at 9.30pm, is Nicky’s lat­est show for the chan­nel un­der Green­wall Pro­duc­tions. I asked her about The Big Pic­ture, her old show The Showbiz Re­port, moth­er­hood and what her thoughts are on the lo­cal film in­dus­try.

What is The Big Pic­ture about?

The Big Pic­ture is a show about movies “of the mo­ment”. The show fea­tures all the lat­est red car­pet pre­mieres of lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional re­leases in the week be­fore they make their de­but at South African cine­mas.

Why did you be­lieve that South Africa needs a movie pre­view type show?

We want the show to put all th­ese re­leases into a lo­cal con­text for our au­di­ences. Th­ese days there is so much out there to choose from – peo­ple need to re­ally be con­vinced that a movie is for them be­fore they buy a ticket or hit that “down­load” but­ton.

How dif­fer­ent is it from The Showbiz Re­port?

I guess you could call it an up­date of The Showbiz Re­port. The ma­jor dif­fer­ence be­ing this show deals only with movie re­leases, not en­ter­tain­ment news in gen­eral.

There are sim­i­lar­i­ties, es­pe­cially in pre­sent­ing style. When you be­gan plan­ning the show, was it in some way a re­place­ment for The Showbiz Re­port?

I can see that au­di­ences might see a sim­i­lar­ity – mainly be­cause of my voiceovers. The truth is there are hun­dreds of th­ese shows out there. We’re not try­ing to rein­vent the wheel. The idea is to give au­di­ences the in­for­ma­tion they want in the most en­ter­tain­ing way pos­si­ble – hope­fully we have achieved that.

How dif­fer­ent is The Big Pic­ture from all the other movie pre­view type shows we’ve had in South Africa?

Well, hope­fully we of­fer view­ers the same tone and per­spec­tive they’ve come to ex­pect from Green­wall Pro­duc­tions.

We’re not about fluff – we’re about in­for­ma­tion and en­ter­tain­ment and we like to get to the point quickly.

If you could com­pare it to any in­ter­na­tional movie pre­view show, which one would it be?

There are lit­er­ally hun­dreds of them out there. Ours just con­tex­tu­alises lo­cal re­leases. Like I said – we’re not try­ing to be “clever” or “dif­fer­ent”. We just want to do things with class – hope­fully that’s what we’ve achieved.

What is the source of your in­spi­ra­tion?

I’m in­spired by medi­ocrity. When I see some­thing that I think I could do bet­ter, it in­spires me to give it a try.

How are you go­ing to en­sure that view­ers stay tuned to the show?

For me, th­ese types of shows are all about pace. Each episode fea­tures up to 15 dif­fer­ent films in a 22minute slot.

The idea is to give au­di­ences a bird’s-eye-view of what’s on of­fer. It’s an ed­u­ca­tion in pop cul­ture if noth­ing else.

This year has been a good year for lo­cal films and next year could be even bet­ter – are you ex­cited at the amount of con­tent this will give The Big Pic­ture?

For sure. It’s great to see lo­cal films com­pet­ing for au­di­ences along­side in­ter­na­tional re­leases. The box of­fice never lies.

What do you think about the growth of the lo­cal film in­dus­try?

I think we’re still a ser­vice in­dus­try for the most part. We of­fer a great lo­ca­tion and great crews – it’ll take a while for us to get to the level of, say, New Zealand or Aus­tralia.

Should we ex­pect round-ta­ble type dis­cus­sions on the show, where you have the cast talk­ing about their film?

It’s al­ways great to have a star com­ment on the film they’re in. Star power is still a ma­jor de­cid­ing fac­tor when it comes to au­di­ences’ choices. It’s some­thing that can never be ig­nored. That and the closely watched “red car­pet dress”.

And come lo­cal awards sea­son, which is soon, can we ex­pect you to have pre­views on the nom­i­nated films and ac­tors?

Yes, we have two full shows ded­i­cated to awards sea­son at the start of next year. Th­ese will pre­miere on Jan­uary 7 and 14.

Here au­di­ences will be able to get a closer look at the nom­i­nated films and meet the ac­tors and ac­tresses who star in them.

What do you think needs to hap­pen for the lo­cal film in­dus­try to be taken se­ri­ously?

I think we need to be pro­lific to be­come com­pet­i­tive. We need to make more movies, more of­ten, to re­ally as­cer­tain what works and what doesn’t. There’s of­ten a lot of talk and not enough ac­tion.

What are your thoughts on the film in­dus­try right now – are our films be­ing made for the South African au­di­ence or the in­ter­na­tional au­di­ence?

It’s al­ways a chal­lenge to find au­di­ences for films. Visit any in­ter­na­tional film fes­ti­val and you’ll see it’s not just South Africa that strug­gles with this. Hon­estly, I don’t think we have de­vel­oped a real “South African voice” yet. At the mo­ment, it’s ev­ery film-maker for him­self. If you can do well lo­cally and make back the bud­get of your film, well done. If you can do that and find an au­di­ence over­seas, then you’ve re­ally done some­thing spe­cial.

If you do it the other way around, like the Gavin Hoods or Neill Blomkamps of this world, then you’ve made a ca­reer for your­self.

Which lo­cal film did you en­joy watch­ing this year and which one are you look­ing for­ward to?

To be hon­est, noth­ing stands out for me. I’m look­ing for­ward to Louw Ven­ter’s Kon­fetti re­leas­ing in April. I saw the one-man show it’s based on a few years ago. Hope­fully, it cap­tures the same spirit.

How’s the lit­tle one, Ri­ley? Are he and Ge­orgina get­ting along well?

Yes. They had an in­stant con­nec­tion. I’m relieved and wor­ried at the same time. I hope they don’t gang up on me.

Any ma­jor changes in your life – a new baby, a new show?

Yes, and we have new stu­dios too. We opened our new Green­wall Pro­duc­tions of­fices in Wood­stock in Cape Town ear­lier this year. It’s a re­ally cre­ative space and we’re very happy there.

You’re con­stantly busy on new projects so what’s next for Nicky Green­wall?

For now, we’re just try­ing to cope with our cur­rent projects. We have three due to air next year ( The Close Up, Screen­time with Nicky Green­wall and The Big Pic­ture) so that’s keep­ing us pretty busy.

Why should we make sure that on Tues­days at 9.30pm we are on our couches, ready for the next episode of The Big Pic­ture?

If you love movies and you’re strug­gling to get a han­dle on what opens when, what’s still show­ing and what might of­fer the es­cape you’re look­ing for, watch The Big Pic­ture.

THE SCOOP: Nicky Green­wall of­fers view­ers movie pre­views a week be­fore they pre­miere.

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