Framed

Shirley McGaili’s is an inspiring story of resourcefulness and hard work. Despite the challenging and unequal South African context Shirley grew up in, she was able to carve a path for herself and develop mutually beneficial relationships with people living around her.

Through her persistence, Shirley’s business has thrived and her orders are rapidly outgrowing her house. When I delivered her copy of the finished film to Shirley, she was busy moving the production away from her home to its new factory premises.

I really enjoyed learning the frame production process as part of my research. Viewings of my films-in-progress regularly included arguments about whether or not the audience would be interested in how the frames were made, or how any of the products in the series of films were made. I think the production sequence and the detail of the sequence are critical to getting the story right. If a frame maker sees this film, s/he needs to be convinced that the person who made it, understood the process. You would do justice to any other process when describing it, e.g. baking a cake. You would not show the baked cake coming out of the oven before you showed the mixing process. The difference is we’re more familiar with baking than we are with frame making.

On the other hand, this compulsion to understand how things are made and to communicate it clearly to others is also simply a personality trait that informs my creative output.

     

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