Saturday, May 12, 2012

DAYSTAR FILM-WEEK REVIEW - Guest post by film enthusiast Felix Brian Onyango

I walked into the ICT theatre with my head held up high on Monday morning of February 27th 2012 around 10 o’clock. My interest in the film week had been roused by the thorough publicity that had been employed on the event by my dear friends; Shiro, Debra and Miss Beverly. For me, being at the event was more of moral support if not for the love of films.
The event kicked off to low-key reception at 11:00 am, Three hours behind schedule. This was attributed to the fact that it was a Monday morning and students still had class. I tried as much as possible to indulge my interest in the event as we waited for more people to trickle in the ICT theatre.

Former CADS chairlady AnnDebra Wanjiku
We were served with tea and mandazi by none other than the Communication Association of Daystar Students (CADS) Chairperson  Debra Wanjiku at the entrance as we entered into the theatre. At exactly 12 noon Laka Nyagah, the Chairperson of Daystar film-makers took to the podium and invited everybody to the event and gave a short history on how they came up with the concept of having a film week. He narrated how as a freshman he got to act in his first film a Daystar production with the COM 408, Advanced Video Production class of January 2009 with the likes of Guantai Benson,Joy Obuya and Julius who are now  executives of Iris Production house. I was humbled with the nostalgic memory lane his story took as he recalled how he acted alongside myself in his first film even mentioning my name while I was sitted in the audience.
Now four years later, he was doing the same Advanced Video Production class not as an actor but a producer and orienting film lovers into the film industry in Daystar. For a moment I thought the person who was standing on the podium could have been me had I taken the path to pursue film making industriously like he did. But did I? Four years after being exposed to film making and acting in my first film, my life had taken a different path in campus. I had gotten got into student politics, student Radio and Public Relations.Is it too late to rediscover my interest in film? That question lingered on my mind as I left the room that afternoon for my afternoon class. To do that I decided to engage myself in the film week by coming to the ICT theatre every single day of the week for the remaining four days to rediscover what I had lost, my passion for films.

The Premiere - Guest post by cinematographer Steve Waguwa

Time is 7.30 pm, I quickly button up my favorite pink shirt, grab my jacket, scurrying across the room I nearly trip on the TV cable, the screen goes off momentarily then on again, at this juncture my heart is racing with rapid beats, I pull the window curtains and peep outside, its raining, clearly the weather does not give a damn about what lies ahead of me. With each and every minute the sound of rain lashing on the roof grow louder and louder. A streak of sweat cuts through the deodorant I had applied on my armpits as my eyes dart back and forth around the room scanning frantically for an umbrella in sight. All of sudden I hear the boom of thunder, the whole house is engulfed in pitch darkness, I personally have never understood why lights disappear when it rains heavily so I freeze for a moment then go for my phone from the breast pocket of my jacket. “Three missed calls from our Director” what! Now am kind of cooked and screwed at the same time! The premier for The Nairobi report and Deserted is just about to start and I am stuck in my house off-campus coz of the heavy rain pounding outside. I refuse to wait for the big debate on whether I should run in the rain or wait for it to subside, so I hurriedly fold my trouser up to knee length, grab an umbrella and rush out into the cold dark hazy night. As the Director of photography in the Nairobi report I vowed to attend the premier come rain or high water and come to think of it, it started to make sense as I jump from puddle to puddle and slid through the mud, panic grips me as water starts to sip into my highly polished leather shoes which I paid for through the nose “focus!” I silently tell myself, Mother Nature can be so unpredictable. My cold hands clench hard on the umbrella to prevent it from swaying side to side, the wind offers me no mercy and blows harder, I stagger on with a sober mind that all will go well at the premiere.
Time is 8.30 pm, At the Ict building on-campus the hall is dark except for the light coming from the projector near the dais, after the hassle of reaching here I am proud and humbled to see our movie trailer “The Nairobi report” playing on the big screen, murmurs can be heard from the crowd already seated and standing on the corridor- they have all braved the harsh weather to come for the premier, the air is eager and full of anticipation from the crowd waiting to watch our movie, I cannot complain at this point. Strategically I make my way along the aisle up to the front where I seat behind the projector. A hand touches my shoulder from behind, I turn around and who do I see… Dr. Donald Smith, the founder of Daystar University, he tells me to adjust the sound levels to reduce the distortion coming from the speakers. Dr. Donald Smith has come with his Mrs. Faye Smith they are our senior guests tonight. Sir Lotan is our emcee for tonight; he stirs up the crowd with his creative and witty communication skills. Just before the movie is played all members of crew and cast for both films are requested to go outside for a grand entrance. Clad in flowing dresses, beautiful hairdos, manicured nails, its all about pomp and glamour…the passengers have already boarded the plane, crew walks in, doors are closed “please fasten your seatbelts” the pilot announces from the intercom, Premier for The Nairobi report and Deserted taxis on the runway and takes off smoothly into the skies of success…

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

2012 with SFTV Film

So it's been a while! Since the beginning of this year, I have been in production. I teamed up with filmmakers Laka Nyaga, Ian Njuguna, David Ngome and Pepe Haze to form Team Nobody (because Nobody's perfect), and we made an advert that we submitted for Safaricom's Saf4Reel competition. Watch it HERE.

I also enrolled for the Advanced Video Production course at my university, and worked on the production of The Nairobi Report. This is a Kenyan suspense-thriller produced by Team Fortitude Productions; I am writer and co-director on this film, and it premieres on 4th May 2012 at 7pm in Daystar Athi River's New ICT Theatre Hall. WATCH THE TRAILER HERE! I'm excited about this production because it was one of the most challenging for me to write; I learnt more about screenwriting in 3 months than I have in most of my time as a screenwriter! Special thanks to Mr. Emmanuel Wanyonyi and Miss Beverly 'Bev' Gatimu for that- they guided me through the re-writing and re-drafting of the script for this film, an I am eternally grateful for their input!
 It doesn't sound like much, but these two projects have taken up most of my time in the first quarter of 2012. For the remaining 3/4 of 2012... First, I can't wait for Blind Sight (Directed by Ian Kithinji) to finally be released! Post-production is so much more drama than I had thought! This is my first major project as producer, so I'm really holding my breath for it... You should too; it's HD :) ((Applause))

I also look forward to the growth of SFTV this year. Watch out for fresh-and-newness from SFTV (*Again, thanks Mr. Wanyonyi for taking me through an education in Broadcast Programming)... 

Please give me feedback on the Team Nobody video, as well as the Nairobi Report trailer. The movie is to be released on the date of the premiere as well, so if you want a copy- halla!

Happy May-Day!