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February 20, 2008

MonuMental: Re-riding History animations

Posted in: Animation, Motion


Iaminawe created these two animations for production company Atomik Pictures for an exciting new skateboarding documentary called MonuMental: Re-riding History. The Red Bull initiated documentary follows seven of South Africa’s best young skateboarders as they ollie, kickflip, carve and grind their way through, over and on some of South Africa’s most formidable Apartheid era monuments.


Written and Directed by Amanda Evans, the documentary has some beautiful 16mm footage of the skaters as they travel around South Africa from monument to monument meeting with controversial figures and severe but skateable architecture from South Africas dark past. For these young skaters, it is a chance to learn about their history as much as it is a chance to skate where no skater has gone before.

The animation for the documentary was used to fill in important historical elements relevant to the monument that was being skated. With a tight budget and timeframe, iaminawe helped to organise the animators needed to complete the required amount of animation. Each animator took on a scene or two and the end result in the documentary was very successful.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

The first piece was about Apartheid struggle hero Robert Sobukwe and his time spent on Robben Island.

Sobukwe was kept in solitary confinement but permitted certain privileges including books, newspapers, civilian clothes, bread etc. He lived in a separate area on the Island where he had no contact with other prisoners. The only contacts were his secret hand signals whilst outside for exercise.

Source Wikipedia, read more about Robert Sobukwe there

We worked with talented Durban illustrator Colwyn Thomas from stonethecrows . Colwyn did the drawings of Robert Sobukwe and the background elements and I did the compositing in After Effects.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

The second piece was set in Union Square where an oversize bust of Jannes Strijdom sternly kept an eye on passers by until 2001 when the parking garage roof below it crumbled and the bust fell through several parking garages below. Ironically it fell exactly on the 40th anniversary of South Africa’s withdrawal from the Commonwealth to pursue policies of racial segregation. Read more about the incident here and see a photo of it here. Angella did the illustrating on this and and I did the compositing in After Effects.

Unfortunately we did not get a copy of the awesome documentary soundtrack laid down by Fletcher from African Dope but Justin de Nobrega (AKA Considerate Builders Scheme) was kind enough to let us use some of his awesome atmospheric electronica from his album Exit to Riverside.

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