director of photography
A composed level headed technical expert, fluent in the alchemy of creating invoking, juicy and bursting by the seams with *under breath* “HOLY SH#T!” images for those who demand eye and mind-gasms from their director of photography. Someone once said “Build it and they will come”…well I’m very comfortable with all cameras which are already built and use those to create your heavenly masterpieces…for everything else I will without hesitation pluck a DSLR from my resourceful bag of magic tricks and shoot in a frowned upon codec to capture feats of creativity even if the capitalist pigs *waves fist* have put monetary shackles on our pursuit of visual nirvana. Blasphemy!
Shaded with a shanty middle-class cap (on sunny and bad hair days), which resembles none of the pristine white fedoras of the famed cinematographers of old, I will traverse the battlefield which we call “The Set”. With questionable years of experience I will meticulously study our objective and plan our assault. I will call upon the demigods of the cinema, Deakin, Elswit, Lubezki and the list goes on, to bring forth the rains of creation. We will forever push back against the restraints put upon our creativity by production budgets, non-existent catering and clients who don’t know what the hell they want. But push we will push, fight we will fight. Like the ocean waves which have sculpted the shores of our beloved earth and drawn the lines which shape our countries, we will crash against the walls of the production budget with vigorous force. Even when we break on the rocks of unmovable producers and blow away like mist in the wind of the creative bureaucrats, we shall persevere. Forever forward, forever filming.
Make no mistake...I'm no savant...I shoot from the heart...and sometimes on an empty stomach. Make no mistake…but when we do, we fix it…and not in post on set. Make no mistake…unless you are the production accountant…then you’re on your own comrade…I have images to shoot. Make no mistake…creative work is like chasing a sunset…always moving…never finished…unless the AD stops you…or the producer starts directing…then it’s a whole new kind of crazy.
Over the years I have familiarised myself with and befriended rental houses, suppliers and the people of these fine filmmaking machines we use to capture the children of our imaginations. Some like me and some like me less. But I digress; at the tip of our fingers are tools and talents so incredible that we as mere humans have become the bottleneck as to what can be accomplished. We live in exciting times! A gigantic vision and sense of purpose is more important than a voluptuous budget** (eating and paying the bills are overrated…right?). It fuels our internal passion combustion engines which in turn revs up our creative cam belts which in turn drives all our other important components like the determination alternator, inspiration air-conditioner compressor and last but not least our growth power steering pump. Oomph, oomph, oomph!
Now that I have put your mind in a state of euphoria I will be right here waiting for your call.
**and we all know that you producers *raised eyebrows and pointing* have exploited this as a caveat, so I acknowledge your grin…
I really, really do. I know at the end of a hard day it might not look like it, but I do. Even when there is no careting I still keep on caring.
Even with my own vehicle...sometimes. Even on ludicrus deadlines...most of the time. Even on ridiculious budgets...all the time. Always.
Fancy shots and framing? Problemsloving technical issues? I creative today, I creative tomorrow, I creative whenever and wherever it's needed.
“I don't really believe in the mystery of cinematography - what happens in the camera is what the cinematographers create and all that nonsense.”
"James is fun to work with and has a professional yet light manner with people. He is always punctual and his attitude is one of anything is possible."
"He is highly professional and always endeavors to offer the best service possible even if it means going above and beyond the call of duty."
"He is just the bestest of the best"
Tsogo Sun TVC
SASOL Nitro Fertilizer TVC
Always Ultra TVC
SAPICS web campaign
MTN Ayoba campaign
SABS ad campaign (5 TV commercials)
KYOCERA South Africa TVC
KIEF for ASTV / TOPTV 13 episodes
DOKTER MY for ASTV / TOPTV 13 episodes
Super Sterre 2010 (SABC 2) 13 episodes
Get Out (2014) (short)
WOLF WOLF (2010) (feature)
The Race-ist (2010) (feature)
Calico (2008) (short)
Die Stem van God (2007) (short)
Electric Mansion at Gallagher Estate
GNLD International (London UK / FC Hamman Films)
Bryan Adams Concert - London, UK
REDpro - corporate
DPI Plastics - corporate
Rio Carb/Aqua Jet - corporate
TAL - corporate/webseries
USN - corporate/events
Annique - corporate/product launches
Solidariteit Helpende Hand Skaduwerk
DCD Group - brand launch
DCD Group - corporate
Stefanutti Stocks - corporate
CCL South Africa - corporate
EthicSA - educational webseries
Gold Fields - corporate
ESKOM - safety roadshow presentation
DCM - roadshow presentation
Sasol "Mafutha" project - Ellisras
Montecasino Millionaire Maker
Hdi Product - roadshow
Mbizi Lodge - tvc promos
educational program 2010/2011
SASOL mining safety
SASOL site demolitions
Afrox Safety series
Afrox employee - roadshow
Kaleidoskoop – CD+DVD delux edition
Totstilstand - Verwag
Steve Hofmeyr & Andries Hendrik Potgieter - Ons is Afrika
Marula Boom - LEGEND
Marcel Caroto - Every Time I Close My Eyes
Nedine Blom - Hoor Jy My Stem In Die Nag
Danie Niehaus featuring Derick Ellis - Die Verlooder
Romanz & Juanita Du Plessis - Hy is Jesus
Tanya van Graan - Kom Terug Na My
Marula Boom - Doen die Sexy Hoender
Marula Boom - MAL
Groot Oom John Tenoor - Dis Hoe Dit Gaan
Liza Bronner - Reën
La Vuvuzela - Play to win
SOCCER WORLD CUP 2010
Shamus - Brand New Day
EDEN - Blessed
SNOTKOP - Parapapa
2011 MK Award Winner
Lianie May - Honey Honey
2011 MK Award Nominee
Peter Poon – Red my van myself
Colour Blind – My identiteit
Adriëtte Norman – Napoleon
Adriëtte Norman – Storm
Dewald Louw – Lekker Kry
Eugene Vos – Super Sexy
"WHOA! Did you shoot that? It's amazing...I'm pencil booking you immediately"
"You are still here and reading...awesome!!"
"Meet me in my trailer..."