YouTube recently offered a free Maximise your channel course, which although pretty basic, offered some insight into best practices on YouTube. One of the activities to complete on the course included creating a trailer for unsubscribed viewers to see when they go to the Srizzil channel page. I’ve been wanting to do this since the 2013 YouTube channels launched but hadn’t gotten around to doing it. Doing the course forced me to. I took footage from all of our videos and went through them pulling out a great moment or two. From there I threaded it together with some emotionally stirring background music.
The result is something that feels beautifully nostalgic and yet hopefully showcases the videos we make at Srizzil pretty well.
Over the last year I have spent a lot of time watching Inside the Actors studio, an American television program. Each episode is an interview with somebody in the film industry. It’s shot in front of a large group of students from an acting school and is very comprehensive. It follows their entire lives, learning about where they’re from and how they got to where they are today. It’s a full hours program which shows real insight into these people.
When it came time to interview John van de Ruit I had been watching marathons of these interviews and wanted to try it myself. John van de Ruit is one of the most successful South African authors in recent history as well as a well known actor and playwright, making him a fascinating person to talk to.
I’m very proud of this interview, I do realise that in current YouTube terms it’s extremely long, but I think it will help to inspire aspiring actors and writers by hearing the story of someone who’s made something of himself doing just that. John is very open about his struggles and victories, allowing us some insight into what it takes to make it in South Africa.
I would like to publicly thank John for bearing with me for one of his longest interviews ever, and the countless questions. I hope our chat will encourage you to seize your opportunities and never give up on your dreams.
You’re sitting around a table and talking nonsense with your friends when one of them says, ‘you know that song that goes like this…’ and then continues to make some very strange sounds that don’t sound like any song you’ve heard before. That’s where the concept for this video was born. Granted the facts are a bit blurry because that was a long time ago. The only reason I remembered the idea was because it was so hysterical to me at the time that I had to put it in a note on my phone.
Sometimes these things should stay as notes on your phone, and to some people this video will make absolutely no sense. It’s a, ‘you had to be there,’ kind of thing, or perhaps more accurately, ‘you have to have a bunch of weird friends like me,’ kind of thing. I’m trusting that if you do, you’ll love the absolutely silliness of this video.
We shot this one on a sunny afternoon in March. Cramming six people into one car, and a few more into another we met at our location. After munching down a mountain of pizzas we set up the Monopoly board and began shooting. The hours ticked by as we hosed ourselves at every weird face and every silly comment. Towards the end it was getting so raucous I wondered if a flock of migrating birds might be curiously drawn our location. That didn’t happen, and after editing this video it took me a while to decide whether to upload it or not. It’s one of those videos. In the end, other people encouraged me to share this madness with the world, so please forward all hate mail / passionate prom invites to them. You’re welcome.
We did it again. We waited until just a few weeks before to sign up and train for the Midmar Mile. Watch the video for some funny footage of us revealing our swim briefs (Speedos) and losing our friend.
There’s a certain swell of pride that wells up in me as Srizzil’s first video of 2013 goes live. I have somehow managed to work almost nine hour days, sit in traffic for two, go to gym for one and still manage to shoot and edit a video. If I can get this flow right repeatedly you can expect a lot more Srizzil videos this year, but let’s not get too excited too early.
As Valentine’s Day approached I had an idea that would both celebrate love and sympathise with those people that are alone on the most commercialised romantic day of the year. If we could put a happy couple, doing what couples do, with a single person we could create an interesting contrast. But why make the single people look bad? The things couples do can be extremely annoying: overly affectionate behaviour in public, giggling, forgetting their friends are even in the room…
I think we managed to get a nice balance of celebrating love whilst poking fun at the behaviour of those in the thick of it.
When I was envisioning the video I had certain music playing in my mind. I had no idea what it was called, so I hummed it into my SoundHound app and was pleasantly surprised to find it was in the public domain. (This means that with the right recording I could use the music without getting into trouble with YouTube).
As with many of my videos this was a serious collaboration. We had a cast of fifteen people, with four of us taking on cast and crew positions. We shot all the scenes, except one, in a single day in four different locations. So I want to thank those amazing people for all their help, you guys are fantastic, I always have such a good time shooting these videos with you.
Watch some of our outtakes and a deleted scene featuring our very own Granny Robber below: