NEWSLETTER

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TALENT-ETC

By Jennis Williamson

We completed our first round of our TRAINING HUB™ assignment and feedback sessions with our actors. The one-on-one meetings with the artists, albeit online, were inspiring and refreshing and excited to see them all enhancing their talent even more. Currently busy with assessments for the artist’ second assignment.

During October we had a couple of opportunities to go speak and lecture at various institutions about the entertainment industry and the agency, and grateful to be stepping into that teaching role and in that cultivate our slogan of #ConnectingTalent and #EnhancingChange

We are also starting our pre-production phase of a new scripted production contract in November to start shooting early in 2022. Watch this space.

TETC- KZN

by Fundi Zwane & Justin Nanak

KZN season has opened up and we’re excited for our artists to be getting back into Gig-ing as public spaces open up again.

Our senior agent, Fundi got to engage with some artists at the Durban Botanical gardens who have been commissioned throughout the art of Botany and landscaping to re-imagine public spaces, post covid, and there are some great things on the horizon of KZN in that regard.

Both Justin & Fundi were invited by AFDA, the School of Motion picture Medium and Performance, to be part of an ongoing industry dialogue on how artists can get access to markets and we’re excited to be part of that over the next coming weeks and look forward to a fruitful dialogue as the industry opens its doors.

A huge congrats to Fundi for her Simon Sabela nomination for best-supporting actress in tv from the entire Talent ETC family.

Love and light…

CREW-ETC

By Frankie Opperman​

As we motor into November, Crew-Etc is aiming for a strong finish. With new faces on the books and our existing and experienced range of talented freelancers going strong, we are excited to smash the last two months of the year, with one eye already focussed on 2022.

It’s always amazing to see the work on screen that our peeps get up to. This month, we’ve had such a variety of drama’s, documentaries, reality, and lifestyle. Keep your eyes on social pages over the next month to see some of the exciting work that our people have been involved in. 

As we keep on growing and resumes keep building, we are there to offer our services to those productions in need. Always please keep checking in as we are constantly updating our rosters.

VOICE-ETC

By Kristy Suttner

October has continued the upswing of work with our artists embarking on all sorts of interesting endeavours. We had three brand voices awarded this month, all within the Talent family, as well as one of our artists completing a direct marking campaign where he personalised voice clips to 11000 people at a company! A young voice actor has been shortlisted for an animated series as well, and hence we are so proud of this young, but up and coming division! Our aspiring artists continue to train and perfect their demos to make sure that we market our voices the best way possible. Remember to check out our Voice page to see what’s going on in the division: https://talent-etc.co.za/voice/

SOCIAL-ETC

By Melissa Swart

It is the second last month of 2021! The festive season is starting to creep in, and we are working with our influencers involved in upcoming Christmas campaigns. We have signed one of our influencers Deanre Reiners with Manscaped and we are excited to see the content he creates for this amazing brand.

For the rest of you beautiful people, stay positive, determined and focused on building your brand. Don’t compromise on your content because you think it is what others might like. Stay true to your authentic self and the right brands will follow!

LIFE-ETC

By JC Snooke

Ever wondered how to make more professional videos for social media or Youtube?

See 12 Simple Tips for Making Your Social Media Videos Look More Va Va Voom  (www.wave.video)

1. Use Plenty of Light.

Lighting makes a huge difference in the quality of a finished professional video, so make it one of your top priorities during filming. If you don’t use enough properly-placed light, your video will probably look amateurish, even if it’s great in every other way.

The sun is one of the best light sources for video. If you’re filming in natural light, do your best to get your footage in the morning or evening, when the light is softer. Midday light coming from straight overhead can cast harsh shadows on your subjects, while morning and evening light is more flattering. If you do have to film in the middle of the day, try to do so on a cloudy day, or find a shady area for softer light.

Do your best to get your footage in the morning or evening, when the light is softer.

If you’re filming indoors, you will need to be more intentional about the types of lights you use and where you place them. One thing to avoid is overhead lighting – it can cast unflattering shadows on your subjects’ faces. Windows are a good natural light source. You can also use a large lamp or two to cast the type of light you want.

Before you set up your light sources, consider the effect you want to create in your finished video. Do you want your subject’s face entirely lit up (“soft” or “flat” light), or do you want some shadows (“hard” light)?

Using lots of shadow looks dramatic, and it can be distracting in professional videos where drama isn’t the intended effect. Using little or no shadow creates a more open and straightforward vibe, which is usually better for business and marketing videos.

If you want to use flat light in your video, balance two light sources on either side of the camera. You can place them either behind the camera or just in front of it. Here’s one example from Wistia of how you can achieve this setup.

2. Use a Clean Background.

Be deliberate about the background you use for filming. Nothing looks less professional than a messy or distracting background.

One easy way to get a professional look for your video is to use a solid-coloured background. A wall, a bedsheet, or a large sheet of backdrop paper are all good options. Make sure your subject stands several feet away from the backdrop to avoid casting shadows on it.

Be careful not to film with a window or another reflective surface in the background of your shot. You could inadvertently catch the camera in the reflection. Besides that, having a light source like a window behind your subject can make the subject look dark and shadowy.

3. Choose a Good Video Editing Program.

Good video editing software can help you turn your raw footage into something great.

Here are the key features to pay attention to when choosing a video editor:

  • The ability to add text to video;
  • The ability to trim and crop videos;
  • Scene transitions;
  • The ability to change the aspect ratio;
  • Adding filters and overlays;
  • A library of stock videos and sounds.

4. Keep Your Editing Simple.

Trying out different effects can be fun during the video editing process, but don’t go too crazy. A simple, clean editing style generally looks most professional.

A few things you should be sure to do during the editing stage include:

  • Using noise cancelling to clean up any background noise.
  • Adjusting the lighting a little if you need to.
  • Cutting out awkward pauses and silences.
  • Adding background music and transitions.

Another editing tip: If you cut from one scene to another in your professional video, make the jump when there’s motion in both segments. This is smoother and more natural than jumping from one scene where nothing is happening to another.

5. Prioritize Crisp, Clear Audio.

Your audio quality is actually more important than your professional video quality. Most people are willing to watch a video that’s not shot in HD or that’s even a little grainy, as long as everything else about it is good. But fuzzy, indistinct audio is usually enough to make anybody hit the “back” button within a few seconds of starting to play a video.

Capture clear audio by putting your microphone as close to the subject as possible. You might want to use a pop filter to eliminate blips and crackles on the finished recording. Be aware of any background noise that your microphone might be picking up, too.

6. Avoid Shaky Footage.

Shaky footage will make any professional video look like a home movie (and it can make your viewers feel seasick, to boot). It’s hard to hold a camera completely steady, so try not to hold your camera at all if you can help it. Instead, use a tripod, or set your camera on a sturdy surface.

Once you’ve got your camera set up, try not to move it unless you have to. Panning around constantly detracts from the professional look of a video. Rather than moving the camera if you have to change perspective, it’s better to cut from one shot to another.

If your footage turns out shaky despite your best efforts, video stabilization software can help to fix it afterwards. Some cameras also have built-in stabilization that you can use while you’re filming. Slowing down your footage can also help to make shakiness less obvious.

7. Understand the Rule of Thirds.

The rule of thirds is one of the most basic principles of film composition.

Imagine that there’s a 3-by-3 grid laid over the field you’re filming. Instead of placing your subject right in the middle of the shot, you should place your subject along one of the lines of the grid. The points where the lines intersect are particularly strong areas of focus, so situate important elements of the video there, if you can.

You don’t have to follow the rule of thirds all the time, but while you’re still learning, it’s a good idea to adhere to it as often as possible. As you gain experience, you’ll get a better instinct for when to stick with the rule and when to break it.

8. Use Your Phone the Right Way.

No DSLR camera? No problem. You can use your phone to capture professional video footage – the quality is just fine for most purposes. But there are a few things in mind if you’re going to use your phone for video creation.

  • Use the camera on the back of your phone. The front camera’s quality is not as good on most phones.
  • Record in landscape mode (that is, horizontally instead of vertically). This will give you footage that looks good on larger devices, not just phone screens.
  • If your phone has a feature that allows you to overlay a grid on your screen, use it. This will help you keep your phone level and avoid tilted footage.

9. Work On Your Camera Presence.

If you appear in your professional videos, the way you carry yourself on camera has an enormous impact on how professional your content looks. Appearing nervous, fidgety, or uncomfortable on camera will distract viewers from your message.

Fortunately, this is something you can improve with practice. If you weren’t born with great camera presence, here are a few of the main things to focus on when you film yourself.

  • Use calm, open body language. Stand up straight – poor posture is immediately obvious on camera. Keep your shoulders back and your muscles relaxed. Take deep breaths. Don’t cross your arms, since this makes you look closed-off.
  • Smile, especially at the beginning of your video. It makes a huge difference in how friendly you seem.
  • Slow down slightly when you talk, and make an effort to enunciate clearly. Speak from your diaphragm rather than your throat.
  • If you feel jittery, try using props to keep your hands occupied. Writing on a whiteboard, for instance, can give you something to focus on besides the camera.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Watch footage of yourself and identify the areas where you could improve. Then make a conscious effort to work on those things.

10. Shoot from a Variety of Angles.

Cutting from one angle to another is a good (and simple) way to add visual interest to your professional videos. This is an especially useful technique if you’re making a how-to video, a product demo, or another type of video that shows you doing something rather than just talking.

Shoot plenty of B-roll footage for each video so you have the option of using it later if you want to.

Pro tip: when you change perspectives, shift by at least 45 degrees. Smaller shifts in perspective don’t really create the intended effect – they just look jarring to the viewer.

11. Plan Your Videos in Advance.

Poor technique isn’t the only thing that can make a video look unprofessional. A lack of planning can also leave viewers underwhelmed with your finished product. By taking the time to plan your video thoroughly before you start production, you can ensure that the quality of your actual content is just as good as the quality of your footage.

Every time you make a video, start by defining its purpose. Ask yourself what you want to achieve or communicate by making this video. In addition, define your target audience. How will you make your video speak to these viewers in particular?

Once you’ve defined your video’s goals, write a script and create a storyboard. Then revise them until they’re as good as you can make them. Don’t be afraid to rearrange, rewrite, and delete sections that don’t work. Rambling videos bore viewers, so keep your videos as brief and tight as possible

12. Promote Your Videos.

Creating your videos is only half the battle. The other half is getting people to watch them. If you want to present yourself as a serious and professional video creator, you’ve got to promote your videos and grow your following.

It’s okay not to have a lot of views or audience interaction when you start out. Everybody must start somewhere, and some channels naturally have more mass appeal than others, which gives them an advantage in picking up new viewers. But as you create and publish more videos, your viewership should grow over time. Having lots of videos, but almost no views, can make your channel seem amateurish to the viewers who do come along.

VERNAC LESSON FOR THE MONTH

By Precious Magoswana

Compass Points in IsiXhosa

North - uMntla
East - eMpuma
South - uMzantsi
West - eNtshona

FINAL THOUGHT

By Jennis Williamson

I am so proud of the growth in all divisions and how a dream finally came together, as all divisions feed each other with regards to contacts, opportunities, and growth. I was at all times reminded of the quote: There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.

I find it tough at times to swop between my different hats: the agent, the company owner, the casting director, the producer and the teacher, but I have an incredible team who takes charge of their own purpose and believe in our common goal, to server the industry at all times.

It’s the last stretch for 2021, let’s pull out all reserves and end this year on a high note before well-deserved rest.

Love and light

Jennis

QUOTE FOR THE MONTH

By Shalock Rass

“The only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and the willingness to work hard for them.”

Michelle Obama