Life is a journey

The Other Form of Design in Cape Town: FILM

Design and craft are not the only art forms being produced at a world-class level in Cape Town, as all Cape Townians know, the film industry thrives in our magical little seaside city. Cape Town has been a hot spot for International film makers and television commercials for decades, though it is recently on the rise with dozens of International TV series and feature films expected to shoot on our shores, in our studios and with the growing respected local crews of South Africa this winter.

While working in wardrobe on a US commercial just a few weeks back, I sat down with the International art director brought over from Los Angeles (he had a South African counter part art directing as well). We chatted for awhile about Los Angeles and his love/hate relationship with the city of angels. He admitted he is away a lot and hardly anything gets filmed in LA anymore. Though it was a pity he said, as it is the birthplace of film and tv with hundreds of incredible prop shops from years past, it is just too expensive to film in LA anymore. He named Cape Town, Buenos Aries, Prague and Toronto the top cities to film in these days. Atalanta and Detroit (recently bankrupt) were US cities that producers were choosing to film in to keep the budget costs down. While many of us here in Cape Town worry about the ailing Rand, overseas film producers and agencies see the gap and the work is pouring into our beautiful and creative hub of a city.

As a creative and stylist, it has been a natural progression for me to enter into the industry this season, (let’s be honest it has sucked me in) and since I have, the work has been flowing. The great thing about the growing industry is that there are so many projects being shot here that there is room for many stylists to pick and choose who they work with and what they work on. Beware though, it is an industry, especially for commercials, that feeds on your adreniline with high pressure to meet deadlines and notorious long hours, though for many it is an opportunity to create and work with like-minded creatives on your own terms as an independent contractor. It is not for the faint hearted, but it is for the those who enjoy being part of a team working to produce and create something magical on camera whether it be a vignette from a product commercial or creating a character on a second season of a TV series.

Coming out alive of 2014….and into the light of 2015!

A few years ago I was at a friend’s house when one of her friend’s who had just recently turned 40 came over. We all sat together on her sunny deck in the back garden at the top of Kloof Street in Cape Town. At the time I was still in my early 30s. I asked her looking back what had been her best years? She replied, the sunlight glistening through her blonde locks, my best years were my hardest years. At the time, I remember thinking what a woman, how evolved of her. Surely most people would say their carefree 20s or that one year when everything went right, but no, she said it was her hardest. Although she wasn’t a close friend of mine, I knew her well enough to know that she had had some really tough years, tough battles.

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Looking back on 2014, it was the hardest year of my life. It was a cosmic battlefield with one blow or loss after another. There were many days when it was just one foot at a time, forget one day at time, but I pulled through. I made it to 2015 and I finally understand just what she meant by her hardest years being her best. Through the losses and the grief and the uncertainty and the constant challenges I transformed and went within because it was the only safe and sure place to go. Although, let’s be honest, I certainly don’t want to relive 2014, but am I grateful for it, absolutely!

2014 taught me to never have any expectations, because they will always let you down. It taught me that when there is nothing left and nowhere to turn, you must turn to your breath and be still. It taught me that everyone will have an opinion, but no one is right or wrong; the only one who knows what’s best for you is you because no one has lived in your shoes. And finally it taught me that with each new day, brings new opportunity or just different problems. Nothing stays the same and everything will pass.

What’s in store for all of you in 2015? Time will tell, just as it will heal. Whatever lies ahead in 2015, fear not, whether good or bad, in the end it’s all part of the journey to transform you into your true self.

Blessings for 2015!!!