Budding industry entrants were fed tips and skills of survival at a recent masterClass meeting, dubbed 'Balancing Art and Business'.
The Master Class Meeting brought together local actors, producers and investors under the theme of ‘Balancing Art and Business’.
The panel discussion was led by Lebogang Mpofu who is a local director and producer, Matli Mohapeloa, a South African Actor and filmmaker, Innocent Sadiki, a South Africna Actress and multi award winning Actor and producer, Kagiso Modupe.
Local Director and Producer, Lebogang Mpofu explained that they made this event to fill the gap that is in the local film industry.
Mpofu notes that they are concerned that the corporate world in Botswana needs to understand the film language as they do not understand what is in it for them as businesses.
Furthermore, Mpofu explained that the event was created so that stakeholders may realize the potential that lies in the film industry and through the panel discussion they hope to elevate the knowledge of industry players.
Multi award winning Actor and producer, Kagiso Modupe broke down how the television world works. He gave attendees a simplified explanation of the business side of channels buying film content.
Modupe explained that a lot of people are trying to get on TV without understanding the whole platform.
“Television makes money through advertising,” Modupe explains that everyone is targeting different markets hence they will most likely have different content.
Film products are bought by TV stations either as commissioned or licensed work, Modupe said film makers must understand this.
He notes that under commissioned films, movie makers are paid to produce a movie or series that is in lines with a TV channels target market.
Modupe states that the downside of this is that one does not own the content they produce and can be ultimately fired from it.
However, under licensed movies, a producer produces content out of their own pockets and then rents it out to TV channels for a specific period of time.
Modupe shares that the grave danger of licensing is that people may not buy the product , but will create an income stream in a long time.
Modupe explained that it is important that producers know how to fit into the industry so that they remain relevant.
He urged people not to compromise on production costs and getting top tier actors otherwise their content may not sell.
Modupe said that corporate investors can invest in movies through a number of ways such as product placements.
“A films life span is over 30 years.” Therefore if a organization invests in a film they know that for the next 30 years their brand is taken to the people.
Furthermore, he explained that one can invest in pre-production of movies, then reap the profits when the movie is sold.
South African Actress, Innocent Sadiki highlighted that the road to fame is not easy. She notes that there is a system in place that one needs to follow to get to the top.
“Get yourself an agent.” Sadiki said this is the first step to reaching one's goals as an actor. She notes that agents work as middleman, who receive briefs from clients and then channel it to the right actor or actress.
Sadiki warned that actors must understand that one can audition for years without getting a role. She pleaded with actors to not just rely on their looks as this industry will not accommodate them if they do not have the talent for it.
Sadiki said that actors are placed in films by casting directors, who are a pivotal part of the show as they have the eye for the best person for the role.
Sadiki warned actors to read the fine print of their contracts as this is an important part of the industry, explaining that there are different types of contracts.
“There is a global contract, whereby someone is put on a payroll each month and has a standard number of calls per month," Sadiki explains that there is also call contract which works when one is not the first priority.
Moreover, she said that an actor can be in film or in commercials. She explains that the commercial side is an industry that includes media buying agencies.
South African Actor and filmmaker, Matli Mohapeloa noted the importance of actors to diversify as the industry is a cut throat environment. Mohapeloa explained that the primary job of an actor is to serve the narrative.
Mohapeloa explained that connection and impact are the two parts that an actor must fulfill in order for them to do a good job.
“The connection part of it is when an actor brings truth to the character.” Mohapeloa explained that this allows for audiences to relate to the character that an actor is playing on screen.
He reminded the audience that actors are given the opportunity to impact lives in a positive manner as they portray what is happening in the society.