You’re probably thinking that it’s been a long time since I last posted, especially seeing as this blog is supposed to be my way of keeping you all up to date with what’s going on in South Africa. All I can do is to send you my most sincere apologies, beg your forgiveness, and say in my defence that life here has been hectic (which translates to really, really, really busy).
For those of you that don’t know, I’m currently back in Cape Town studying video production. Before you ask, yes I am continuing to study for what is now my 22nd consecutive year. I should probably stop sometime soon. I originally signed up to do the Schools of Design and Digital Communications, but due to visa issues, they were postponed until September and I was offered Video Production as an alternative. After much deliberation, I decided that it was fear of not being any good that was holding me back and that I should just go for it. I was most scared of having to try camerawork and directing. Somewhat ironically, I’ve ended up being responsible for the camerawork on the last 2 projects.
The school has 26 students, which is the largest it has ever been, from 9 different nations. So far, we’ve learned about script writing, producing, directing, the mechanics of how a camera works, basic camerawork, basic audio, how to use editing software, video editing, lighting, ethics in the media, and some film theory. Every week we have to come up with ideas for documentaries, films and adverts, discuss the use of music to enhance a story and review movies and documentaries. We’ve just passed the halfway mark of the school, so we’re moving away from lectures and into more project work now.
We have 2 big projects on whilst we’re here; a soft news piece and a music video, both of which involve interacting with the public (eek!). Obviously, these are taking up most of our time. I’ve found that the best way to not go insane under the pressure of deadlines is to find creative places to do work. My current favourite is Mugg & Bean in the local mall. We’ve somehow managed to befriend the manager, who lets us take up 3 tables at once and cover everything with magazine cuttings. It helps that they serve loose-leaf tea, and that Wednesday nights are 2-for-1 on burgers.
Whilst I’ve been here, I’ve been trying to spend time with God, praying about the school and what He has next for me. At the end of the first week, I felt prompted to continue with the kind of giving that we began during DTS. God brought my beautiful camera to mind and gave me the name of a person to give it to, so I wrapped it up and left it somewhere for them to find before I chickened out. The strange thing was, it wasn’t that difficult to do, even though it was always the thing that I couldn’t bear to let go of during DTS.
I only mention this because whilst walking and praying the other day, I started asking God about why it was that He wanted me here, now, studying video production of all things. It was then that I had a bit of a revelation. I felt like God was showing me that the one constant theme in all of the scientific work I’ve ever done has been either video, light or fluorescence microscopy. He was showing me that in microscopy, just like video and photography, your medium is light.
I feel like He wants me to show the world His light and the wonders of His creation using video, photography and microscopy – anything that uses light to tell a story.
This was followed by a very clear sense that I should be taking the Photography school here in Cape Town next instead of the Design school. The only snag is that you need a DSLR camera to do the school, which I don’t have. When I gave away my camera, I felt like God was telling me I was going to get a better one, but brushed the thought aside, as I didn’t have a need for one, so didn’t understand it. I’ve thought about it for a while, and transferring to photography just feels more and more like the right thing to do, despite my lack of a camera, so I took a leap and did it. God has always been faithful to me and provided what I need, so if He wants me doing photography, then I trust that I will get the equipment I need. Not sure how, as I can’t afford it, but my God is a big God, and He knows what He is doing.