Beginning of 2007 some friends and I started the Big Eyed Deer. Its a place where we could come together to make films. The company turned out to be more of a Think Tank. During the process of networking we realized that there was a need for filmmakers to develop their scripts. We facilitated this need in as much as we could by bringing in writers who would edit and read others scripts. We were finding ourselves through the process and saw a huge demand for script editing.
There are great stories in South Africa but not so many people who know how to write. Also there is not so much money or training available for people to practice writing. You can see a negative circular movement evolving…. Point is, we got about 15 projects on a slate and worked them as much as we could.
To interject my thoughts here for a second: Big Eyed Deer was given an office space by Waterfront Studios in Cape Town and was hedged to starting a small production company for them called N-Gage. This company is still going however no-one that was part of starting it is still part of N-Gage and we no longer have the space….I have still not closed this chapter of N-Gage and you will hear more as time passes and I get to the “bottom of it all”. In other words, full sotry to follow in later chapters.
Now we have three completed short film scripts and about ten first to third draft feature film scripts. With no money, I went and applyed for a credit card with a R10 000 overdraft. This card was used to shoot two of these shorts. One was Mahees and the other was Long Weekend.
Both these films where shot over two weekends. a Version of Mahees is cut and you will see it on this site. Long Weekend has not been that lucky though but will be released as soon as we finish it.
Big Eyed Deer has also been involved with Publishing a Technology supplement for Cape Times newspaper which was initiated by partner Sebastian Stent. This little publication made most of the money for Big Eyed Deer and got our company name out to thousands of readers. The Tech Times used up and coming writers from all over South Africa to write for it. We had students, script writers and technology buffs writing for us. A couple of months in Cape Times wanted to take this platform digitally and keep it within the Cape Times house so we lost that contract.
Our first project was Eurafrica. a Live performance piece that I was producing and brought in Big Eyed Deer when we started the company. The play, directed by Ilana Wetzler and written and acted by Lucy Heavens and Sarah-Jane Scott went on to do amazingly. We got a R10 000 grant from BASA (Business and Arts South Africa) which payed for us to go to Grahamstown arts festival, our marketing and venue costs. We got great reviews there and the girls went on to go to Edinburgh festival shortly after. After their return the play made some runs on Cape Town and ultimately we won the most prestigious live performance prize in South Africa, the Fleur De Cap Peoples choice award. I am very proud of this project.
All the partners in Big Eyed Deer are a scattered now but we still own this entity and will continue to produce content through it. The name came from Dylan Culhane a very talented film maker with a wry sense of humor. The design of Eurafrica poster, our letter heads and business cards where all done by Partner Padraic O’Meara.
BED Business card Front