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SA FILM SITE FAQ
Version 3.0. Last Update: September 11,
Q. WHAT IS THE SOUTH AFRICAN
Q. HOW CAN I HELP OUT?
Q. WHAT IS AN INDEPENDENT
Q. WHAT IS UNDERDOG ENTERTAINMENT/PRODUCTIONS?
Q. WHAT KIND OF FILM INDUSTRY
IS THERE IN SOUTH AFRICA?
Q. WILL YOU LIST MY FILM
FESTIVAL ON THE SA FILM SITE?
Q. DO HAVE ANY INFORMATION
ON A PARTICULAR FILM?
Q. DOES UNDERDOG TAKE ON
FILM INDUSTRY TRAINEES?
Q. WILL YOU HIRE ME IF
I LIVE IN SOUTH AFRICA?
Q. WILL YOU HIRE ME IF
I LIVE OUTSIDE SOUTH AFRICA?
Q. I AM AN ACTOR WILL YOU
USE ME IN YOUR FILM?
Q. DOES UNDERDOG ACCEPT
UNSOLICITED SCRIPTS: WILL YOU READ IT?
Q. WILL UNDERDOG PRODUCE
Q. I AM A MUSICIAN/MANAGER
OF A BAND - WILL YOU USE OUR MUSIC IN YOUR FILM?
Q. HOW DO I CONTACT UNDERDOG
PRODUCTIONS/THE SA INDIE FILM SITE BY POST/PHONE?
Q. What is The South
African Film Site?
The South African Film Site is a web site that is aimed
at providing information resources to the SOUTH AFRICAN
independent filmmaker. While our focus is on South African
filmmaking, anyone, anywhere can of course make use
of the site. We aim to provide regular relevant news
as well as listing contact details of various film-related
organisations that may be of use to SOUTH AFRICAN filmmakers,
such as training schools, trade unions and other organisations.
We also list a variety of local and international film
festivals. The site was created and is administered
by Underdog Entertainment - an up and coming South African
film production company.
Q. How can I help out?
You can help us out by contributing to the site - with
either reviews of local films, reports on events that
have taken place, or simply rants and thoughts on the
film industry - generally from a South African angle.
This would make the site much more exciting and representative.
Q. What is an Independent
That's a tough one. There are as many definitions of
Independent film and filmmakers as there are people
making films. These are our thoughts on the matter:
An independent film is one that largely reflects the
vision of a writer or director (often the same person).
These filmmakers are usually given a great deal of creative
control over the project - with no studio interference.
(This can be achieved because budgets are generally
lower than with mainstream films.) Originally the term
"Independent Film" meant a film not financed by a Hollywood
studio. In South Africa, this definition would apply
to almost every local film made as we have no large
studios to speak of in the country. In the USA the term
Independent has been co-opted by the major studios that
are in fact financing a great deal of "Independent"
films. (For example, Miramax - once an "independent"
distributor and financier - is now owned by Disney.)
Therefore we at Underdog prefer to look at the definition
in terms of attitude. Ie: does the film reflect the
vision of the filmmaker/s? Is it prepared to challenge
ideas, values and norms more honestly than mainstream
films? Is it a small budget self funded film? The independent
film stands out from the mainstream through its innovative
and challenging approach to filmmaking and content.
As to whether either The English Patient and
There's a Zulu On My Stoep qualify as independent
films - we'll leave it up to you.
Q. What is Underdog
Underdog Entertainment, part of Underdog Productions,
is a new-generation, cutting-edge entertainment company
that understands both digital and traditional media.
We make use of some of the finest award-winning film
and television directors, writers, web designers and
multimedia gurus to redefine the conventions of media
entertainment both in form and content. As traditional
and digital media become increasingly meshed, entertainment
projects need to have their conception and production
planned through a comprehensive interdisciplinary media
strategy. Underdog aims to play a part in developing
and creating content for the innovative new media platforms
that will revolutionise the entertainment industry.
Underdog's film and video producers and directors produce
creatively cutting-edge work within an understanding
of the marketing and brand-building objectives required
on projects. Our development and production teams combine
technical and creative skills with vital communication
and storytelling expertise across multiple media - from
television to the web. Underdog has produced a wide
variety of work over the last few years from its Johannesburg,
South Africa offices. For more information on Underdog
Entertainment and its past, present and future projects
Q. What kind of film
industry is there in South Africa?
South Africa was one of the earliest countries in the
world to produce film. It however never developed a
vibrant film industry for a number of mainly political
and social reasons. Nevertheless, the country has a
well-developed television and commercials industry.
There are currently five local television channels broadcasting
a fair amount of local content (although not enough).
The broadcast industry was tightly regulated in the
past, but is now opening up, with a new free to air
broadcaster being created soon. The commercials sector
is highly advanced with many local commercials production
houses producing international commercials locally with
local talent. The standard of commercials is often internationally
acclaimed at the large award festivals. From a technical
and infrastructure perspective South Africa is well
positioned. Most high quality film and video equipment
is readily available - from cranes to lenses to steadi-cams.
The standard of crew is also very high as is the standard
of post production with facilities boasting the latest
in telecine, audio, animation, editing and other technologies.
In fact a number of international feature films (such
as the Ghost and the Darkness) have been shot and posted
right here in South Africa using South African technicians
and facilities. While most of the ingredients for a
thriving film industry are there, Apartheid's fragmentation
of the country's artists has left a void in writing
and storytelling skills. It has also left us a legacy
of a fractured local audience with little film appreciation
skills and until very recently no government support
mechanisms for film.
Q. Will you list my
film festival on the South African Film Site?
Yes, we will list any film festival from anywhere in
the world on our site as long as it accepts entries
from South Africa. Please send us the following information:
*Type of festival and what genres are accepted for submission
(eg shorts, animation, documentary etc...)
*Deadline for submissions.
*Date of the festival.
*What formats are accepted for submissions (both for
preview and screening).
*Entry fees (if any).
*Full contact details.
Q. Do you have any information
about a particular film?
Probably not. We're stumped here. There is no central
database or archive of South African film. Your best
bet is to search the Internet Movie database at: http://uk.imdb.com/.
Q. Does Underdog
take on film industry trainees?
As we are still a fledgling company, producing a relatively
small amount of productions a year, we go through periods
of development in which we are not actually shooting
anything. It is therefore difficult to bring in trainees
all the time. We can make use of trainees only when
in production of a project. We will consider trainees
(and have done so in the past) if you send us your CV
and contact details. Please note this is only open to
South African citizens.
Q. Will you hire me
if I live in South Africa?
We welcome the opportunity to work with and meet new
people. Please send us your CV and contact details.
Please remember, as we are a fledgling company involved
in a relatively small amount of productions a year we
go through periods in which we are not actually shooting.
Therefore we tend to hire people on a part-time/freelance
basis and not permanently.
Q. Will you hire me
if I live outside South Africa?
No. It is generally impractical to hire people over
long distance except in a few exceptional circumstances.
Q. I am an actor. Will
you use me in your film?
We are always looking for new and exciting acting talent.
If you are an actor or trying to break into acting,
and would like to work with us, please send us your
resume as well as some photos of yourself. If a suitable
project comes up we will contact you and arrange a possible
audition or meeting. Again this is only practical if
you are a SOUTH AFRICA actor.
Q. Does Underdog accept
unsolicited scripts: Will you read it?
Yes. We enjoy reading and giving feedback on scripts.
Bear in mind three conditions. 1) We may not have the
time to read your script at all and may not get back
to you for a long time. 2) If you send us an unsolicited
script please include a letter indemnifying Underdog
Productions from any and all legal actions as a result.
While we are vehemently opposed to the idea of anyone
ripping off anyone else's ideas we need to cover our
backs. Send the letter signed together with your script.
It's your decision to make. 3) Please send the script
via post or courier - we do not accept scripts via e-mail
as we are then required to spend time and resources
printing them out.
Q. Will Underdog produce
No. Not right now. Underdog is still a fledgling company
producing a relatively small amount of productions a
year. At this stage we are focusing our resources on
finding the financing and backing to produce our own
concepts and properties. It is therefore not generally
viable at the moment to also develop and produce other
outside feature film scripts and projects. As the company
expands this policy will change.
Q. I am a musician/manager
of a band - will you use our music in your film?
There's only one way to find out. Send us a demo. The
most we can promise you however is that we will consider
your music if any suitable project comes along. If that
is the case we will contact you and proceed from there.
Q. How do I contact
Underdog Entertainment/The South African Film Site via
PO Box 30
Melrose Arch 2076
Phone: +27 11 214-4000
Fax: +27 11 214-4040
FAQ History: Version 2.0 Luiz DeBarros