Happy Birthday Mandela from Korea

Friday, September 14, 2012
South African's are known to be a culture who likes to interact with their own people at times - especially when you are in a foreign country.
Therefore, we have a "South Africans in Korea" facebook group, which consists of over 2000 people and is basically there to communicate just about everything, regarding your life in Korea, from organising get-togethers to asking where to find an english speaking doctor.

In April, someone posted that they need some people who's interested in videography (from video editing to filming) to help make a video for ex-ex president Nelson Mandela. 

Knowing that I have a passion for making videos and editing, I couldn't resist but to volunteer to help out. 

About 2 weeks later, I met Warren, also a very keen photographer and we actually have very similar interests. He was asked to produce the Happy Birthday video for Mandela. Of course I also met Reza from Cape Town, who was surprisingly also into surfing apart from the mutual movie making and editing interests.

We discussed some techniques over a cup of coffee at a tiny coffee shop near City Hall station.

About 2 weeks later, I met with Warren and his wife again, Gapyeong for my favourite Korean dish, 닭갈비 (Dalk gal bi) lunch in Gangchon, mainly to discuss some of the plans for the Mandela video. After the lunch we decided to go into a coffee shop to experiment with a few technical things, since I bought my camera and laptop along.

After some discussion, we realised that because there's so many South African's far outside of Seoul, we can't go and film everyone - so we came up with an idea: We asked people on the "South Africans in Korea" to film themselves and send us the short video clips - luckily, in Korea, most people have smart phones such as iPhones and Samsung Galaxy's which have HD video capabilities.

We decided to make a little video, to show people How to Film themselves, so that we get the best possible quality footage from the users. We actually filmed the "How To" video directly there in the Coffee shop in Ganchon.

Our "Set" at the Gangchon Coffee Shop.
We scheduled, a shoot with a few South Africans about 3 weeks later. We hired some equipment like a 50mm F1.8 lens and also a wireless microphone which connects to my camera.

We all met again near City Hall station. It was great meeting some South Africans again and of course I got to talk and joke in Afrikaans again - that alone was a treat for me! I was in my element, as I was surrounded by South Africans and Cameras! It was a rather long day for me, considering I only had 2 hours sleep (We had a party on the University), but never the less, I couldn't think of a better way to spend my day! 

That night we also took a few shots, at the South African restaurant, "Braai Republic" located in Itaewon. 



The following was my facebook after I got back home later the evening.
Such a long day in the sun, behind the camera, changing lenses, trying angles, laughing, talking some Afrikaans, figuring out the wireless mic, reading the script, going around in the subway all around Seoul and at the end trying to fight with a dying battery! 
But hey, the day ended off with a great Lamb Pie and Beer at Braai Republic - Oh, and I found it pretty awesome to hear the little korean waitrissie say "Dankie" and "Lekker"! :-) 
Now since I only got 2 hours of sleep last night, I think it's time to spend some quality time with my bed!

Karel (on the left) practicing his line, with Reza showing his directing skills.

Me, behind the lens, making sure everything looks fine.

Gotta love South Africans....

Proudly South African!


A few weeks later, there was a South African braai hosted by SAKorNet (South Africans in Korea network) at the Namji Camping Site, in Seoul.
We knew, it would be a great opportunity to do some filming for the video, because at a braai people would be more confident to talk in front of the camera.
I had both Warren and Reza, scouting for people who would be generous enough to say a few words to the camera from our script.
It was a very tiring day, filming people, trying to get some of them to cooperate with us, but at the end, we even got them all to gather round and sing the national anthem of SA!


Singing the National Anthem
Loving the jerseys!

Posing for a drink

The vibe


Recording like a boss!


After about 2 months of spending many hours behind the camera, Warren edited a brilliant little video for the Mandela.
Watch it here:


The video (or part of it) was also aired on SABC 2 in South Africa, which was our highlight!
Watch the extract from SABC 2 Afrikaans News here:

Thanks for reading!  :-)

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