Best Funeral Video Awards

I should confess I've got some of the funniest friends in the whole wide world. And yesterday was no different as I sat in the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality Council Chambers waiting for a service provider called 8Mile to play for councillors, the media and the public their corporate marketing video for the municipality. The CEO of 8Mile Sipho Ngcobo said that the aim of the video was to attract international investors to the municipality that is known more for negatives than positives.
Well, before the actual screening, which was a la Hollywood film premiere with speaker Lerato Mashele in a black two piece suit and the woman from 8Mile in nice pants that would have passed off as D&G in any catwalk the CEO informed us that the white woman they were with was the director of the video.

You should have seen the anticipation on our eyes as we readied ourselves for a blockbuster with props, extras and special effects. The last faux pas we heard about was the Global Interface corporate video for Mpumalanga.

Ah-ah, the vid was an anti-climax as all we saw were clips of the Hoedspruit Airport which is not in Bushbuckridge, the Kruger Airport which is in Nelspruit and some shots of chubby schoolkids and obese women carrying big bags on their way to catch a bus. Actually someone must tell these folks that poverty is no funny business.

You don't show the vulnerability of a people and try to sell of a story that it is the investment potential of the area. Inyaka Dam was shown but it was more to do with infrastructure development not availability of water for agricultural purposes or drinking.
But my point is not to critic corporate videos but to raise a point my friend said after the screening. He asked me, 'K, they said she directed this vid, what did she direct?'. I was a little puzzled you know and he said directing such corporate gibberish was like directing a funeral.
Now, I've heard this story about directing funerals before, some filmmaker friend even suggesting that Emzini Wezinsizwa was such example.
Now, while we were on our way home we started dissecting the directing of a funeral. He asked, 'one thing I've always wondered was why do people make videos of funerals? I've seen a lot of darkies hiring production companies to film funerals of their loved ones, what's the significance of all this given that death is a memory you want to forget?'
Tricky hey, since weddings are filmed not for posterity, given that they don't last anyway but to let those who couldn't make it to have the opportunity to see what transpired.
Why film a funeral then? Such a sad moment. It's like filming tears falling down your fears or filming yourself being beaten, why would you do that?
Maybe to mitigate happiness someday. When someone's sloshed and s/he wants to sober up s/he just pushes the funeral of his/her father's or boyfriend's DVD into the tray and watches then suddenly s/he sobs uncontrollably. Interesting is that the guys who make this funeral DVDs even add music soundtracks to go with the mood.
Musicians like Oleseng, Rebecca Malope, Deborah Fraser are all time favourites but are not paid for their role. Someone should alert SAMRO.
Then later at the gym I discussed this filming of funerals with a bunch of very funny guys. One of them, the one with a bicept that's bigger than mine said, 'I mean at the graveyard if one is going to pick the shovel and shove soil it's something he's going to do without anyone telling him to. Isn't it funny that previously the first car on the motorcade would have been the hearse but these days it's that bakkie with a mounted tripod and some guy using a handycam, not a tracking camera to shoot the Chrysler's and BMWs as they cruise on their way to the graveyard. This is gross man, it is something people do when they have a lot of money they don't know what to do with it. Who would want to remember a funeral?'
But then me being the enterprising brain I am thought that I will invite my sister AfrosliqDiva, my uncle Kwaki, my sister Karabo, my niece Nappy, my fellow soldier Ribelatti and many other folks with creative brains to come up with the Funeral Video Awards.
Yeah, you heard me right, we ask for sponsorships from these big funeral parlours that are springing up in many parts of the town. One of them, either BB2 or Tswelopele will be our corporate sponsor and others will sponsor prizes.
Here are the proposed categories;
*Best Funeral (the one with dignitaries and hired orchestras, where food is in abundance and the After Tears-Party is filled with booze)
*Best Edited Funeral Video (the slow-motion, picture transition and visual effects like doves and angels criss-crossing the screen)
*Most Expensive Funeral Video (those shot on at least 3 DV cameras and edited on digital suites)
*Best Music Score (Music is an intergral part of any film, this is where Tshepo Tshola's Go Lokile Go Lokile goes against Rebecca Malope's Ezulwini kuse Khaya)
*Best Camera work (Some cameras are shaky even when mounted on tripods. Here we reward the guy who zoomed the casket as it went out and who captured the shot of that woman who lost consiousness when the pastor said, 'dust to dust and ash to ash')

*Shortest Funeral Video (We'll encourage folks to package trailers and just go for the highlights instead of the commotion. While the old folks in the family will like the LP, the kids who are rushing to clubs will like something they can watch between pints of Heineken and peeing in the loo, the short one with all details will do)
*Longest Funeral Video (this is the ultimate prize, the secret is to keep viewers glued until the end with visual and sound effects including slow motion, repeat visuals of women falling into graves etc)
*Most Entertaining Funeral Video (this should be the kicker - my own filmed funeral)
*Most Titled Video (some funeral video producers can have credits at the beginning and the ending, something like 'Dead on Arrival presents - a Dead MAN Walking production of a Ghost film' then at the end they can have credits lasting longer than the actual film since everybody at a funeral is an extra)
And you guys can add categories since I'm not alone in this. I got all my soldiers with me, right? And I trust my guys will come up with prizes for some of this categories. I know my white friends will miss this out since they don't do expensive funerals like darkies. But they are welcome to suggest prizes for the categories. Come on, let's do this

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