Tony Award for SA puppet company

first_img9 May 2011South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company has won a coveted Tony Award for the life-size puppets that are at the heart of the highly acclaimed West End and Broadway play War Horse.The Cape Town-based company has already accepted the honour for the 2011 Tony Awards taking place later this year. The award was an exclusive one, meaning that no other puppet-making companies were eligible for it.Basil Jones, Handspring co-founder, said: “It was wonderful to be able to announce it on the factory floor.”The award will be presented to the company on 12 June 2011 at the 65th Annual Tony Awards ceremony.Another South African export, world-renowned playwright Athol Fugard, will be honoured with a lifetime achievement award at the ceremony.Horses at warThe life-size cane and plywood horses used for the play War Horse have earned the puppet company kudos for its contribution to the creative industry. The play has received five Tony nominations – for best play, best direction, best scenic design, best lighting design, and best sound design.The play, which premiered at London’s National Theatre in 2007 and started its Broadway run in April 2011, depicts the story of a boy’s horse taken by the British cavalry to participate in World War One. It is based on the 1982 novel of the same name, written by British poet, playwright and children’s author Michael Morpurgo.Jones said: “The roots of War Horse were in a production called Tall Horse that Handspring did with a Malian puppet company and which a National Theatre creative team saw in South Africa.“We had hoped the National Theatre would take Tall Horse, which featured a giraffe, to London, but instead they came to Handspring with a proposal to do work based on animals and war.”The horses were made by a team of 12 craftsmen using durable material to make sure the wear and tear of the horses didn’t affect the play during its running.The original set of horses lasted for 1 000 performances and didn’t need professional puppeteers to work them, although Handspring sent a puppeteer to help during the first season of the play.For its use of these magnificent creations, the London run of War Horse won an Olivier Award, an Evening Standard Theatre Award and the London Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for design.Creative collaborationThe 30-year-old puppet company has collaborated with many innovative South Africans in the creative industry, including theatre directors Malcolm Purkey and Barney Simon and renowned painter, filmmaker and director William Kentridge.Kentridge, who has worked closely with the company, said: “Audiences see the puppeteers at work in pieces like War Horse, but you can’t stop yourself believing the reality of those horses, it’s kind of magical.“I think it’s fantastic that their years of work and their extraordinary skill get this recognition.”Kentridge and Handspring first collaborated in 1992 on a play based on German playwright Georg Buchner’s Woyzeck on the Highveld.Awarding theatrical excellenceThe Tony Awards were established in 1947 after the American Theatre Wing sought a way to award those who excelled in theatre.The Tony Award is regarded in the arts industry as theatre’s most prestigious accolade.The awards were named after Antoinette Perry, an actress, director, producer and philanthropist, who was the leader of the American Theatre Wing during World War Two and had recently passed.Although the Tonys were established in 1947, for the first two years of the awards there was no medallion to go with the award.The medallion was design by Herman Rosse in 1949, after the designers union, United Scenic Artists, sponsored a medallion design contest, and has been used ever since.First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

Green economy ‘must also create jobs’

first_img‘Urgent response needed’ The “green” economy must form part of South Africa’s development and job creation agenda, President Jacob Zuma said at the launch of the COP 17 flagship solar power plant in Hazelmere, KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday. In the country’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP2010) – a 20-year projection on electricity supply and demand – about 42% of electricity generated in South Africa is required to come from renewable resources. Zuma said the African continent was abundant with renewable energy sources that needed to be harnessed in building an inclusive and sustainable economy. “We have spoken a great deal about using cleaner sources of energy. Today we reaffirm that commitment and determination to move towards a low-carbon economy.” The plant is a result of a partnership, incorportating a skills development component, between Soitec and the Ethekwini Municipality. “If we do nothing, climate change will leave us with uninhabitable wastelands and socio-economic disasters,” Zuma said. The President called on experts attending the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 17), currently underway in Durban, to help South Africa explore the possibility of scaling up its renewable energy option in its energy mix. “This renewable energy project also confirms our view that we cannot separate climate change responses from our goals of pursuing development and poverty eradication,” he said. “Pursuing the green economy must be linked to our overall agenda of pursuing employment creating growth, and inclusive growth that improves the lives of our people.” Zuma said the world had gathered in Durban because of the realisation that an urgent response to climate change, which also affects South Africa, had to be reached. He said the COP 17 flagship solar plant had to improve the lives of the people of Hazelmere and its surroundings, by creating job opportunities among other things. 5 December 2011 Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

California’s Energy Code Update: Ready, Set, Wait

first_imgThere aren’t many aspects of private-sector enterprise or government operations that don’t rely on software to make things happen. Just ask the California Energy Commission.August 1 was to be the day the 2008 Building Energy Efficiency Standards – parts 1 and 6 of Title 24, the California Building Standards Code – became effective. But a delay in the rollout of proprietary software that building industry professionals will use to assure they are complying with the code has, in turn, prompted the commission to shift the effective date to January 1, 2010.That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Most of California’s building industry has acclimated to the state’s progression of increasingly strict building regulations and many in the business had long ago geared up for the Title 24 update. And code in some municipalities already exceeds that of Title 24.The next edition of the code is intended to increase the energy efficiency of retrofits, renovations, and new construction 15% to 20% over Title 24 requirements set in 2005. Title 24 has 12 parts, each of which addresses a construction category or set of administrative regulations. Even after January 1, compliance with some of Title 24’s green provisions – pertaining to site development, water conservation, sustainable building materials, and waste recycling – will continue to be voluntary for the next year or two.More time to gear upA delay of five months is, as the CEC points out, not necessarily a bad thing, because it “provides the industry and building officials more time to prepare for the new standards” and gives the CEC “additional time to provide more information for the standards and work with the California utilities, building industry and the California building officials to provide training on the new standards.”Also, CEC compliance software that doesn’t perform as required could cause significant problems for the state’s building industry.“The inspectors have to be trained. They have to train the architects and engineers that are going to work with (the software),” Fred Bell, executive director of the Building Industry Association’s Desert Chapter, told the Desert Sun newspaper for a recent story on the subject. “There are components that have to be manufactured (to code) — air conditioning, ducts. Building is manufacturing. When you have a challenge in one area, there’s a ripple effect through everything else.”last_img read more

7 Ways to Make Your Corporate Videos Exciting and Fun

first_imgCorporate video doesn’t have to suck the life out of the room. Here are seven simple ways to make your corporate video as entertaining as it is informative!Cover image via ShutterstockCorporate video production has been a mainstay of the film and video production world for as long as cameras have been around. However, for almost just as long, they have suffered a negative reputation as unimaginative, uninspired, and downright boring to watch, shoot, or edit. That does not have to be the case.Sure, they often feature subjects, people, and companies that are not usually the most interesting or extreme, but with the right tricks, you can make your corporate videos fun again. If you still have soul enough to be up for the challenge, here are seven ways to make your corporate videos exciting, fun, and wildly watchable. 1. Animate LogosIn this day and age, knowing that some videos still have flat, non-animated logo reveals at their beginnings and ends is kind of ridiculous.For those who think a logo card fading in from black or white is still an acceptable way to grab your audience’s attention, well, you’re wrong. You’re actually losing your audience from the get-go. Aside from a plethora of tutorials available online that show you how to create animated logos, there are several free and cheap options available on this site alone (like the one featured above). You’ll find a few more resources below. Use them!3 FREE Animated Logo RevealsFree Logo Reveals and Animated FontsBest Animated Logo Reveal Tutorials2. Use After Effects TemplatesAlong with an animated logo reveal, using a full After Effects template throughout your corporate video can make a world of difference in style and storytelling. A good AE pack will feature eye-catching logo reveals, lower thirds, slide animations, animated fonts, and customizable colors, all of which can be dragged and dropped into your original footage with ease. Here are some resources below, or just head straight to RocketStock and browse their selection online.9 FREE After Effects Templates10 MORE FREE After Effects TemplatesTypography After Effects Templates3. Get Your Subjects Out of White SpaceImage via VimeoThe white cyc wall was all the rage after Apple’s successful run of minimalist commercials — however, it’s become somewhat of the norm in corporate videos ever since. While not necessarily a bad thing in the right circumstances, if you’re looking to give your videos a boost, try taking out the shots that literally offer nothing besides their subjects. Offices may not be sexy, but bringing subjects to life creatively in their actual workspaces and environments can give your videos an instant boost.4. Use Better Stock FootageWhether you’re using it for a pick-up shot or editing a full video off a stock budget, there are times when you need to call upon some dynamic stock footage to show corporate synergy and collaboration.Sure, there are almost as many places to get stock assets as there are miscellaneous shots of workers pointing at white boards, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find quality. Using a service like Shutterstock is a great way to get your video to stand out.5. Try to Avoid Flat Compositions and Straight LinesImage via BTV Business TelevisionWhen shooting corporate video, it’s important to remind yourself that you’re already down in the count against boring an audience. Filming for convenience (i.e. setting an interview against a wall for minimal set dressing) may be a common urge — but you should resist that urge when possible.It might not look like a big difference, but the image above at the very least gives some depth in space and color, as well as several different line planes to direct the eye back to the subject — all helpful devices in giving your audience a reason to keep watching.6. Minimize Corporate BuzzwordsVideo via AvayaThis may be easier said than done (following the next step listed below might help), but one of the biggest flaws in the realm of corporate video is the amount of buzzspeak, buzzwords, and industry terms that — while helpful to those with explicit knowledge — can instantly take any bystander or less business-savvy viewer out of the video. If you hear one of these words dropped in an interview, make a point to get the speaker to explain things in a more rudimentary fashion.7. Have Conversations, Not ScriptsImage via Black Label Film StudioWhich brings us to our final tip. Some videos need to be tightly scripted — like whiteboards or animated pieces — but for those that rely on corporate employees talking into the camera, scripts can be devastating when read poorly and unconfidently.One of the best ways to entice the best out of your subjects is to get them talking to you in a conversational way, straying away from rigid, scripted reciting of information. Get them comfortable in a spot in the room and focused away from the camera. If they’re any good at their jobs, they’ll usually be excited to talk about it — just, you know, to another person, not a camera lens.How do you keep your corporate videos from boring the audience? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

The Hustler’s Playbook: What Hustlers Don’t Do

first_imgHustlers don’t let anyone tell them what they can–or cannot–do. They don’t accept other’s perceived limitations as their own.Hustlers don’t wait for permission to lead. When something needs to be done, they step up and make things happen. They lead when leadership is required.Hustlers don’t punch a time clock. They don’t count hours. They count outcomes. Hustlers are engaged in their mission.Hustlers don’t wait until they have the requisite experience or some kind of formal permission. They don’t wait until they have a degree or a certificate. They just start.Hustlers don’t fear mistakes. They know that they’re going to get things wrong. Hustlers believe that failures and mistakes are just the education they need on their way to success.Hustlers don’t set their targets low or take baby steps. They compete. They know most people believe they should only be competing to be better than they were yesterday, but hustlers want to stand toe-to-toe with the best in the world. They measure themselves against greatness, even when that greatness is way out in front.Hustlers don’t give up, give in, or go home. They persist long beyond the point that non-hustlers have packed it in. Their stubborn, pig-headed determination is one of the primary reasons they succeed.Hustlers don’t scrimp when it comes on investing in themselves. They know that they are the single most important asset they will ever own, and they work to improve themselves–even when they have little money to invest. They believe that the reason they don’t have more money is because they haven’t yet invested enough in themselves.Hustlers don’t hang with complacent, conformist crowd. They don’t spend time with people who aren’t moving and shaking. They don’t spend time commiserating.Hustlers don’t make excuses. Hustlers don’t blame anything or anyone else for anything. They know that they own their failures every bit as much as they own their successes.Hustlers don’t criticize other hustlers. They admire them. They acknowledge people who are the best at what they do, and they learn from them.Hustlers don’t take no for an answer. Hustlers don’t even hear the word no. They try over and over again. They try a new approach. Once a hustler sets her mind to something, regardless of the time, effort, or approach required, they achieve their goal.last_img read more

Cong., BJP candidates file papers for Rajasthan bypolls

first_imgThe candidates of Congress, BJP and its ally Rashtriya Loktantrik Party filed their nomination papers on Monday for the upcoming by-elections to Khinvsar and Mandawa Assembly seats in Rajasthan, setting the stage for a keen contest between the State’s ruling party and the alliance which had won the Nagaur seat in this year’s Lok Sabha election.The Congress had lost both the Jat-dominated Assembly constituencies in the 2018 election and the seats became vacant after the sitting MLAs were elected to the Lok Sabha. Mandawa MLA Narendra Khichar won as the BJP MP from Jhunjhunu, while RLP MLA from Khinvsar, Hanuman Beniwal, supported by BJP, won from Nagaur.Mr. Beniwal’s younger brother Narayan Beniwal filed his papers as the RLP candidate from Khinvsar in the presence of senior BJP leaders. ,The Congress, which has strengthened its position in the State Assembly after the recent merger of six Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs, has given ticket from Khinvsar to former Minister Harendra Mirdha.Surprise candidateThe BJP sprung a surprise by fielding former Congress leader Sushila Sigra from Mandawa as its candidate a few hours after inducting her into the party. Ms. Sigra, a Pradhan in Jhunjhunu panchayat Samiti, was expelled from Congress after the 2018 Assemble election over her anti-party activities. She also filed her nomination on Monday.Veteran Congress leader Ram Narayan Chaudhary’s daughter Rita Chaudhary filed her nomination papers as the Congress candidate from Mandava..last_img read more

Riverdale Producers Tease Upcoming Musical Episode

first_img“Riverdale” is about to get a little more musical.The hit series is set to air a big musical episode April 18, and at PaleyFest on Sunday the cast and crew gave fans a preview.Series showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacada revealed that the team has wanted to do a musical episode from the very beginning. Twitter Advertisement Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment center_img Advertisement Facebook Advertisementlast_img