Show some love and share with your friends please: Hey, so I’m gonna be one of those people asking for support but if I don’t do it to my friends who can a lady ask for support?
No the heading is not a mistake or a misunderstanding of the original, ‘There is no time like the present. No present like time. And life can be over in the space of a rhyme’ beautifully coined by Georgia Byng, rather, one should perhaps embrace this heading and blog as the evolution of the idea that ones places in time and space can transcends that of time and truly allow it to be the gift Byng suggests it could be. Our placement, however one views or accepts it to be, is driven by imagination and reality all in one go and so in that sense understanding the true beast that is presence remains a complex and colourful journey…for some.
I am, at this juncture, seated in a pub on the periphery of a group of very trendy Hackney residents near London Fields, sipping on some Aspall Suffolk Cider and blocking the sounds of the outside world with Massive Attack’s magnanimous album, Mezzanine. So then these questions pop into my cider cloud aka train of thought: Am I not present because I have opted to only experience the sounds of the pub through my sound blocking earphones? Or am I more present because I remain on the periphery of the ‘vibe’, thus can truly possess an objective position in the atmosphere (Previously called the vibe)?
Further into the cider cloud I find this question awaiting my examination; what is inclusion and is it driven by self or by society? The cloud surrounds me and perhaps surrounds us, because frankly this is not an easy question and I’m hoping for a plethora of rich ideas and responses from…you the reader I suppose.
Having previously worked and written about our work with Le Mot Juste on their play, No Place Like, it was once again brought to my attention that the imagination of our lives can and often supersedes our reality. Is that a sad or profound realisation? I’d opt for profound because well I’m just an optimist.
The power of the story, the power of the unknown gives us the chance to choose whether or not this journey or game that is life is one that is led by fear or fearless and boundless imagination. I choose the latter.
2nd of March 2014 21:29:00
Spurstowe Arms, London Fields, UK, Earth, Milky Way
This, my friends, is what one calls a grand title. I promise you, this blog will show a slightly different take on this grand goal.
Let me set the scene – and now that I’ve told you of my embarrassing screenwriting past, you will have to get used to sluglines and little bits of dialogue in my blogs:
INT. STYLISH LONDON BASEMENT BAR – NIGHT
The wood-panelled bar is slowly filling up with a lot of people either chatting intensely with their neighbours or nursing a beer by themselves, catching furtive glances left and right. It is the monthly London Raindance ‘Boozin’ and Schmoozin’ event for independent filmmakers and those who wish they were. A and B, two young women, are standing at the bar ordering some drinks.
So, I hear you are interested in producing…
Yes, yes indeed. I’ve already produced some
shorts and that’s really what I want to do in live.
Great. Do you want to produce
my short at the end of the year?
A, i.e. me, was of course trying to figure out how this had all happened that quickly. Just the other day, she (me) had lazily perused Twitter and happened upon this event. After inviting some friends from the filmmaking class, they (we) headed to the city. And now she (yes, me again) was arranging to produce her first short. This was a good night.
This is, of course, a very personal story that it not applicable across the board. Nevertheless, some grand lessons can be found in this tale:
B and I clicked immediately and started planning her winter semester short, called Step/Forward. Read all about its production in two weeks time…
Switzerland, Europe, Earth, Milkyway.
Over the past month (20/01/14-12/02/14) I had the great pleasure of devising and directing an Arts Council supported project in collaboration with friends of mine’s (Sophie, Monika and Benjamin) theatre company, Le Mot Juste (www.lemotjuste.com) and the Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action’s (http://www.wcava.org.uk/) Nirvana Project. We called the workshop‘What is a Home?’ and it was based in Stratford-Upon-Avon, the train rides were long and often made me feel rather nomadic which in turn really served my desire to explore the world of the ‘home’ and its meaning to different people from diverse backgrounds.
The aim of the workshop was to use modes of filmmaking as a means of giving the participants, aged 16-26, an insight into the creative world of Storytelling. Through the diverse roles that exist within making films, scriptwriting, cinematography and sound design, about 15 young people ventured into the ever exciting (well at least for me) world of storytelling. Most importantly using the workshop as a mode of exploring their own capabilities within storytelling and collaboration. They were split into two groups and one made an observational documentary, ‘What is home to you?’ whilst the other team made a fictional film that looked at a metaphorical representation of home through friendship, ‘My friend, my home.’. They managed to complete these 3-minute-long films in just one day, let’s say in a few hours.
These young people were amazing and awe-inspiring. I was in awe. I was so proud and moved by what we had achieved as a team, but most importantly I really believe the young people we worked with were proud of their own achievements and work, which we gave to them in DVD format at the end of the workshop.
I’d like to believe we helped them tell their story.
Here are the links to the two films on BusaBuntu Pictures’ Vimeo page, enjoy!
‘What is home to you?’ - https://vimeo.com/86695678
‘My friend, my home.’ - https://vimeo.com/86695680
Bethnal Green, London, UK, Earth, Milky Way
16th of February 2014 22:53:00
We here at BusaBuntu Pictures are all about telling captivating, engaging and great stories. This is my path towards this goal:
It was a calm afternoon in the late eighties when suddenly, a scream pierced the Swiss air, and a baby was born … but perhaps we don’t need to go as far back as that.
Let’s just rewind to one fateful afternoon during my high school English class. I was giving a presentation on things I collect: quotes. Primarily from movies, and books. My passion for the English language and the moving image culminated into one indelible wish: I wanted to earn my living telling stories. At first I thought that I could be a screenwriter, and read all about Field, followed John August’s blog religiously and fell in love with wordplayer.com – a blog by industry veterans Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio (Shrek, Aladdin, Pirates of the Caribbean). However, it turns out that I’m perhaps better at organizing stories and making them more appealing than telling them myself. An early screenwriting effort included gems like:
"Pet(the villain)drives round it and slams on the brakes. A big flock of sheep is blocking the way. He honks, but the sheep seem to be deaf.
And soon, the other car with Dave (the hero) at the steering wheel drives round the bend and nearly hits Pet’s car before it comes to a halt.”
In all fairness, this was a James-Bond/Mafia-movie-rip-off set in Scotland, so the sheep are not entirely out of place. Still, the dialogue was cringe worthy in places, and dull in others.
Kill? How did you get that idea?
You have been watching too many
Then what do you do?
We keep our honour alive.
Dad. I don’t know how I could not
have seen you. Who you really are.
Once it dawned on me that I was better at executing than writing, I started teaming up with people who can craft phrases and make them delectable. This led to several short film projects realized here in Switzerland, with me as a producer.
One treated the difficulties a gay man has to face even now. One was a spin on Woody Allen’s “Purple Rose of Cairo”. One was a love story set on a train. Which brings us to 2013 and my move to London – where I met my current collaborator and partner in crime, BusaBuntu.
Read about our first projects together and how we do what we do soon.
Europe, The Earth, The Solar System
As it is customary to greet in the Zulu culture before any real connection is made I would like to say: Sanibonani (Hello in isiZulu) my name is BusaBuntu, Freedom Fighting Storyteller extraordinaire, working through the mediums of writing, film, theatre, photography and television to spread uthando (love), inkululeko (peace) and nobuntu (the spirit of humanity). Shall we begin?
I am often accused of being too poetic or too cerebral in my vocabulary, speech or general linguistic expression, which could be perceived as cold, distant and elitist… I suppose I wanted to begin this blog by clarifying that I have always believed that I was destined to be a Storyteller. My words comes from my heart and soul, so when I communicate my greatest desire is to connect with people, I love nothing more than being inspired by the wonderfully diverse manners of communication, especially when they are not reliant on words, this is however for another blog, so let’s just ease you into the BusaBuntu channel.
My use, understanding, distinct and colourful practise of words is to me the foundation for my desires and goals, therefore the highest and simplest manipulation of words is a craft I continuously work on. I know that my words are an extension of my soul and dreams, they allow me to express myself, share my experiences and stories and most importantly fight the good fight for the light, because before I realised I was a Storyteller I knew I was, by default of lineage, a Freedom Fighter. But before the Storyteller came the Story…
What is a story? Who can tell a story? How do you tell a story? There is really no right or wrong answer to these questions because the story is something we all have in common as human beings. However, when one is passionate about creative writing, screenplays, poems, blogging or writing, one is called a Storyteller…well at least by the Zulus. With words one can easily exploit the knowledge given to us by education and use several mediums like film, song, theatre or television to create stories that connect us as a people. The role of the Storyteller is to use the world of stories to communicate ideas, feelings, philosophical ideologies and spiritual, physical and mental experiences. For me the most important thing about stories is that they have the ability to bring us together, they are the Storyteller’s superpower and for this reason the capacity and responsibility of a being a storyteller is very specific. So, how do you know if you’re a Storyteller?
You just know.
Bethnal Green, London, UK, Earth, Milky Way.
2nd of February 2014
* BusaBuntu is the founder of BusaBuntu Pictures.