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Creating Stars

A lot of people have the idea that  you are a star, famous if you will, if you are seen in a commercial.  Also, that the level of fame increases as the number of seconds on screen increases. The Bigger your face, the bigger the stardom. Big screen; camera flashes; cars and moola! 

Seeing the face of someone you personally know in a commercial has some romantic element to it.  Famous by association right? You know a star! You also know someone who has tasted the forbidden fame fruit, and wants more.

Seeing their own faces can launch the metaphoric 1000 ships which will start the battle for more Screen Time. But within this chaotic world of fighting for screen time, lies this one specific story.

The story which strips away all the superficial tactics and flips the pretentiousness of big budget commercials on its stupid little head. A story where the lead, felt like a diva just because he didn’t care about the amount of camera’s focused on him.

The Story of Siyabonga aka Speelman.

We were commissioned by Kraft Designsmiths to create a short intro for the Sport Hall of Fame of South Africa. One which would culminate their vision, mission and ideologies. Their aim is to inspire and empower young achievers , without resources, to reach their unique potential as holistic and balanced individuals.

We immediately knew that we wanted to tell the story of Speelman, the 10-year-old soccer fanatic, and how he loves to play the game.  His mother, who works for us, always walks around bragging howSpeelman will one day become a superstar.  

On our shoot day, at their home in Lethabong, his mother told us that Speelman, as he is colloquially known, would be at the after school feeding scheme and that we could go ahead and scout the area and soccer field. When we arrived at the soccer field we saw one little person in a cloud of dust dribbling a forgotten soccerball. It was Speelman, true to his nickname- The Playing Man. 

He skipped the feeding scheme to have the soccer field all to himself. 

Well if you want to call a dusty open gravel area a field then okay, but for us this represented the fact that nothing will stop this boy to play his game. To escape his bleak surrounding and to indulge in the possibility of becoming a star.

During filming,Speelman did not care about our fancy camera’s and drones. He wanted to play on that field and we were in his way. 

It took about 2 hours to film this video. When we wrapped, Speelman greeted us with one hand out and his eyes looking straight past us to the crowds kicking his ball.

As a thank you gift, we bought him a Kaiser Chiefs shirt and a brand new ball. His mother told us that he wore the shirt for 6 consecutive days and that the ball has not touched the ground.  Super special and emotional, with tears of appreciation we thought we had made his day. 

Done and dusted right?

Not yet. 

The Sport Hall of Fame committee and Kraft Designsmiths were so inspired by the real life story of Speelman that they decided to create a star. Not in the conventional way of giving his face some airtime right between Carte Blanche and the 8 o’clock movie. 

But rather a long-term relationship, where the Hall of Fame Foundation will ensure that Speelman gets exposed to various opportunities and has access to world-class education and mentorship over the next 10 years! 

They want to do everything in their power to make  Speelman a star, in Soccer.

Our entire production team giggled and jumped and cried when we got the news.  Being part of such a life changing experience does not happen often. And now, it is a proven fact, that videos canchanges lives.

Watch the video below to witness the birth of a soccer star!


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