Sights set on film industry success
WHILE women still face an uphill battle for equality in the film industry, two young South African women are grabbing opportunities to prove themselves after a stint overseas that has broadened their skills and horizons.
Sne Ndlovu and Storm Solomons have arrived back in South Africa after a seven-week internship with British production companies Kudos and Wild Mercury.
While in the UK, Ndlovu and Solomons were able to work on the third season of the Channel 4 series, Humans.
“We worked as part of the recce team and that was so interesting to see how the shooting was planned,” says Solomons.
“We also attended writing courses and helped with developing content ideas. It was hard to be on set and go to class, but we got to see places that you wouldn’t normally see because of the filming location,” she says.
Recce refers to the pre-filming phase when the team visits a location to determine its suitability for shooting and to assess whether extra facilities are needed or if there are sound and lighting issues.
Kudos is serviced by Film Afrika Worldwide for their South African operations, including the recently released BBC One and Netflix series Troy – Fall of a City.
It was because of this involvement in the country that the pair were hand-picked to be part of the internship overseas.
While at university, Ndlovu co-wrote a short series called
Guns ’n Hoses, and adapted a short story into a screenplay.
“Since returning from London, a fire has been ignited in me that encourages me to further pursue my desires and ambitions to be a writer, director, and producer in the near future,” she says.
Ndlovu, 25, was born and raised in Durban. She obtained her postgraduate degree in film and television studies from the University of Cape Town.
Solomons, 27, is an assistant director with Film Afrika Worldwide and works directly with cast and helps the director during the shoots.
“Being an AD (assistant director) has really broadened my horizons as an aspiring director, because I get to see things more in depth. The AD needs to have authority on set, so it’s a lot more challenging and you have to come to the party because it’s intensive work,” she says.
Solomons almost didn’t enter the film industry after initially wanting to go into journalism.
“I was looking through the brochures at Wits and saw they had film and TV there and I thought that that was really something I wanted to get into.”
After completing her degree in film and television production and screenwriting at Wits University, Solomons began work as a junior producer, but says she wanted a role that calls for more creativity.
“I wanted to bring out my own stories and so I applied for an assistant director position with Film Afrika,” she says.
Women still face many challenges in the film industry, she says, but she is positive about the way the industry is changing.
“It’s certainly a lot tougher for women, but there’s been a little bit of a shift and it is a great time to be female and alive. One of the biggest challenges is that people don’t give you enough chance to prove yourself.”
Her plans for the future include acquiring new skills and broadening her portfolio.
“In the near future I want to film my own skits, so that I can build my show reel, but my ultimate goal is to direct my own feature film,” says Solomons.
A BIG CHALLENGE IS THAT PEOPLE DON’T GIVE YOU A CHANCE TO PROVE YOURSELF.
Storm Solomons was selected to take part in an intensive internship in the UK.
Sne Ndlovu worked on the British TV series Humans.