Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Making of 2013

 'n Stukkie Winter Short Film.
She was the Hipster-on-Kloof...


When an Afrikaans guy from Stellenbosch who just got out of a relationship, tries to find a better & more impressive date for a University Dance and ends up falling in love with the wrong girl and the wrong time.


Writer and Director: Rowen Smith
Producers: Marcelle du Toit & Rowen Smith
Cinematographer: Hennie Le Roux
Editors: Hennie Le Roux & Juri Badenhorst
Make-Up and Styling: Marcelle Du Toit
Production Design: Bernadette de Bruin
Visual FX: Hennie Le Roux
Sound Design & Music: Charl Mostert

Allesia Ramazzotti, Edwin van Der Walt, Sean-Marco Vorster, Electra Hartman, Roland Reed, Taylor Morris, Martine Loxton, Waldo Louw, Marne Kotze, Shana Mans, Liam Brandt, Leceur Viljoen, Inus Venter & Byron Swiegers.


Francois Du Randt, a manorexic-muso from Stellenbosch University who recently got dumped by his girlfriend of three years, struggles finds date for the annual Huis Dagbreek Huisfondsdans coming up. His best friend & roommate suggest that they go to the Mother City in search of a so called “Winterstukkie” to be his date in order to impress everyone in Stellenbosch, especially his ex-girlfriend. Their plan succeeds when Francois meets Abigail, The Hipster-on-Kloof. Francois spends the winter in Cape Town with Abigail, but their relationship escalates too fast, too soon and he ends up exactly where he started;Hopelessly chasing after love. 

 'n Stukkie Winter is a 25 minute live action narrative short film set in a modern but quirky Cape Town & Stellenbosch. It's a story about everyday life, love and relationships targeted at the South African generation Y. A light-hearted journey of an interesting guy meeting an interesting girl, falling in love and ending up alone and hurt. A comic tragedy that comes with the realization that true love takes time, commitment, sacrifice and self acceptance. In a world where romantic relationships are empty, selfish and short lived. In an age of confusion and misdirection where we seek love, comfort and security in one another, but never truly look for it within ourselves. With this 25 minute short film we want to convey a message of self-discovery, authenticity and closure. A true coming of age Quirky Romantic Comedy.  


The script was completed somewhere in April, but it just kind of made itself from there. Our pre-production planning was a really great learning curve for the entire team, which was great and I think we had a lot of fun during this process. We had castings with AFDA students, a UCT drama student and a few guys from Stellenbosch University came to cast for it. Castings are awesome.

After endless struggling to find the perfect locations in Cape Town, we finally found some sick places to shoot at. Some of them Include a 5th story Wembley Square Flat owned by friends of ours. Some other locations required us scouting through the Cape Town Streets. The team went scouting for some cool locations around Cape Town and Stelies. Below is an image of Victoria Street in Stellenbosch.

We locked down our cast and did a test shoot with our two actors. This was a great experience for the crew and motivated us a lot. We improvised and things progressed onwards. 

Watch the performance shoot on my Vimeo page. It's rough and raw, but we discovered a lot. This scene is the most major turning point of the movie and on shooting day, we covered it from almost every angle imaginable, which made the edit building session tedious, but in the end, talent and skill and patience and endurance and forgiveness prevailed and our end result is hopefully funny cool and really funky. 

Have a look: Performance Shoot


Pre-production ended as quickly as it started. It's been such a transformational journey into this story that I believe none of us really know or can remember what the story actually was in the script phase. 'n Stukkie Winter just evolved from there into something very complex and eventually, something that took the last drops of passion out of every crew member to make it a success. 


The project started early this year and after weeks of script writing and pre-production planning, we finally shot the film in the June/July winter Break. We shot for 10 days, night and day with a crew of fifteen to twenty young and passionate Indie filmmakers. Now we are knee deep in the post production phase of the film with a lot of long hours and intense sound design ahead. In about 40 days the film will be ready to screen at the AFDA Film School film festival after which we will send the film out to other national and international short film festivals. Below are some images of our production with film stills and behind the scenes shots of the cast and crew working hard on the making of this production. 

             Check Out Some Production Stills :) 

Up top we have the Cape Town experience. The crew going out to Rafiki's.

Carmen trying her best on set at The Company's Garden in Gardens Cape Town. Really cool night.

This is me and Allessia, the actress. We talked about her character and worked on some cool scenes.

I don't know this guy. Seriously where did he come from and how did he get that gaffer tape.

Edwin totally drunk on set, but none the less, he was a start performer. And below we have Martine Loxton. A farmers girl acting better than diva Streep herself. For months I rewrote this scene and somehow it just had this kind of natural flow to it.

The ultimate Cine Team grafting hard all on one light...How many blondes does it take to screw in a light bulb?

So hear this. These two guys are roommates in the movie. They are life long friends and have been roommates years before we shot the film. That's relationship dynamic for you. Here they sit in Stellies improvising the scene that blew our minds. Unfortunately it blew the camera card too as it read "Memory Card Exploded due to a great performance"

Mr. Reed himself. Looking ultra Hip. Jetsetting and too cool to be Afrikaans. Good acting never gets old I tell you.

It's winter and we definitely knew it that night . Martine chilling and watching the Monitor while we prep the next shot. Good on you girl.

Everyone's doing their thing in the Steugie in Stellenbosh. A lot of traffic that day, but things came out pretty darn smooth if you ask me. Brink had a cool beard which made it even more awesome...oh and Hennie too.

Shooting outside Aandklas in Stellebosch. Thank's to them we had a few great moments in our film with a lot of drunken students who made the world come alive.

Here we are inside Hennie's flat where we shot the hook-up scene between Francois & Abigail. It came out really well. The crew were pretty effing tired at this point, but they outlast and the scene looks mint...Top right we have Marcelle making sure the C-stands are still C-standing.

We found this guy in Victoria Street. He was drunk and he said he was from knysna. So we believed him and made him part of our crew. Then he started doing the wackest shit on set which scared the pretty little Huis Nerina dolls....We understand him and that's all that matters.

Red and Black baby. My two favorite colors. Doing a test walk through the location we lost...pity sniff sniff.

A shot of the test shoot in the park near my house. Actors gonna act. Below we've got Sebastian swapping lenses. or at least that's what he told us...

Electra's acting suddenly became very real to me on this night. Amazing lighting and a tranquil location set the mood. I do have to say that this night was incredibly cold and it ended at like 03H00.

TOP: Edwin on his Casting day. BOTTOM: Marcelle and me going to ask the Neelsie once again to be kind and forget about the swear words in the script please. it's just a movie Mister Dean. 

The classic street fight scene I was talking about earlier. Here we did it in De Waterkant Village, waking up random rich folk that morning with the shouting of "Francois" Francois"...On that day some idiot drove over Charl's foot too. A bad start with a good ending if you ask me...

Lisa and Marisa ,the twins...They we're good characters and the performers did really well. I'm quite amazed still...Such a funny scene in the movies.

The full behind the scenes was edited by the camera captain, Hennie Le Roux and it can be viewed and enjoyed on my vimeo page.

Behind the Scenes Video

The last day of shooting happened on the 10th of November in Stellenbosch with our the coolest kidz on the block. Edwin and Electra. You won't believe how funny these two oaks are...loving them so much at this point...

Our movie is screening on the 23rd of November 2013 at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Only cool kidz welcome please...

A kind word from the Writer.

So this long journey has come to an end with so many tears and anger ragings between us all. Let there be peace and merry drinking on that night where we all celebrate our artistic expressions through the medium of motion pictures gigantically screened to our beloved Southern Africans. May you all continue on your paths as a tear flows out of my heart to you all, for you have created a piece of winter within me...

Thank's for reading.

  ...Merci Beaucoup

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