By Ange Ngu Thomas
The film challenge in itself is weird; since Wednesday May 1, a team of South African filmmakers set themselves the almost impossible task of producing in under 11 days a new feature film from scratch with no money, no script, no actors, in fact, from nothing. On Saturday May 11, the yet unnamed film is expected to premiere at the Bioscope Cinema Hall in Maboneng, downtown Johannesburg South Africa. They have less than 11 days to produce a film that takes Hollywood about two years, about a year in Bollywood and wait for it…three months in Nollywood.
The record-breaking filmmaking team is made up of producers and writers from three innovative film production companies in South Africa; Team Best, Ghost Sheep and Locolala. Their end goal is the unenviable task of beating the existing world record of 11 days 23 hours and 45 minutes it needed to produce the last record-making feature film. The record-holding film was called Sivappu Mazhai (Tamil for Red Rain), a 2010 action film written and directed by V. Krishnamurthy.
One of the producers of the film, Brand Van Niekerk, told the BBC the idea “is a little crazy” and Next Saturday May 11th, they intend to show “an amazing feature film…we really want to make a brilliant film.” Nollywood films are “quick and cheap but not great,” and what they intend to produce will be quick and great according to Niekerk.
So is this a publicity stunt to generate interest in what some might describe as a very bizarre film concept? Who is checking to make sure they are not cheating? For any Guinness world record to be verified, you need to apply to Guinness World Records Ltd and the record should be “breakeable.” Theirs is not a “non-record” because a similar feat had been attempted before and we assume Guinness is closely following this world record breaking attempt. Next Saturday, if they succeed to finally project the film, Guinness Records Ltd will have to validate the claim. A lot of attempts fail woefully.
On World Record Breaking attempts
But why do people attempt to break records? New Zealander, Alastair Galpin, describes himself as the “world’s second most successful record-breaker” and writes in his website that he “took to world record-breaking in 2004 after being inspired by a record-setting rally driver in Kenya. What began as a hobby soon escalated into an active publicity pursuit. Today, he promotes the work of social and environmental causes.”
Still according to Galpin “… When people think of world records, they tend to think of the numerous records set or beaten in events such as the recent London Olympic Games.
However, world records are not just about everyday sport. They reflect all walks of human achievements – be it the longest, the highest, the heaviest, or the furthest. They help inspire generations to attain their best and to challenge each other in healthy competition.”
Alistair holds world records, including the furthest distance to blow a Malteser with a straw and a gruelling 33 hours shaking hands for a shared world record in Times Square, New York.
Many people, therefore, have different reasons for trying to break a world record. By saying they wanted to break a world record, the South African filmmakers generated a lot of publicity which is why they were on the BBC Newsday Programme. Cameroonian filmmaker, Jude Ebile Nkong aka Judas Case, best known for producing and directing the thriller. The Company told Iroko;
“…the project sounds interesting and I love the challenge. They will definitely face problems. They will have a problem choosing the perfect story. When you set a challenge for yourself like that, you definitely will have thousands of ideas running through your mind
They will definitely also have issues with raising the necessary budget to run the project because it’s obviously abrupt and with the limited time it gets difficult.
We can’t wait for May 11th… My proposal for the film title; “The absolutely bizarre record film from South Africa”. Now that must be a joke isn’t it?
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