Archive for the 'Theatre' Category

Greetings from Canada

Well it seems strange that the last blog post written here was all about moving because once again that’s what this one is about. Our nomadic notions kicked in again but this time involved a significantly bigger mission than moving over  a few websites between servers.We decided to make the big move from South Africa to Canada to introduce Aurora to her Canadian family and explore what opportunities may exist north of the equator for us.

But first let me fill you in on some developments since the last blog post written here oh so long ago. With the arrival of little Aurora there was joyful chaos that made all night creative sessions and crazy deadlines that much harder to achieve.



We kicked off 2009 with an awesome theatre project called “Tree Boy” that called for some quite complex multi projector animated visuals and a shiny new poster. The show was written by my brother Neil and he was quite a perfectionist which made for many late (but fun) nights.The show ran at the Natal Playhouse and we were very proud of the results and will post a full case study soon. The video above gives a taste and there are more visuals over at designindaba.com/news-snippet/animation-meets-theatre.

I was offered the position of Web Producer for Design Indaba and I happily spent the next 14 months working for Interactive Africa on this high profile website.”It was a great experience and I have a huge amount of respect for Ravi & Leshni Naidoo and their talented team. I will post a case study of the site and write more about the experience soon. You can view the result that was created in drupal at designindaba.com.

Angella continued to fly the iaminawe flag high with new album art and packaging for Goldfish and their remixes album, some awesome identities, a few epic posters and a beautiful book cover, all that will be featured soon on our new site currently in development.

Nearly 2 months ago, Angella, Aurora and I tearfully said goodbye to our epic view and creative haven of 8 years perched on the Fish Hoek mountainside overlooking the sea near Cape Town in South Africa. We had many happy years at that house and it was sad to say goodbye to so many friends and memories. We sold off our stuff, spent a month with family in Durban, enjoyed 2 weeks of World Cup and then headed for Vancouver via London.We spent 10 days in Vancouver exploring the city before moving over to Edmonton to visit family and to get settled for a few months. The first day we were in Edmonton we saw an app building competition called Apps4Edmonton being advertised in the newspaper and we decided to put our first month in Canada towards building a web and iphone app to start making some contacts.

The city released open data feeds for developers to access and we decided to build a web/phone app for the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre festival, North America’s longest running and biggest theatre festival that just kicked off today.

home.jpgWe used a combination of open source tools including Drupal to pull the data feeds and build the web app  at Fringefest.ca and then Titanium to code and compile the i-phone app to interact with it. The web and mobile app allow visitors to the Fringe to view a full schedule and directory of shows and allows them to rated and reviewed by the community. They are also packed with interactive maps, useful info, contact info and tools to monitor the festival buzz. The app is available for iphone for $1.99 on the AppStore.

We won the Official Fringe Special Distinction Award with our entry and the right to use the official wordmark on our application which was awesome. Our app is also in the running for some of the $50 000 worth of cash prizes being awarded at the end of the main competition at the end of the month. Please help us in the competition by filling out this simple registration form and then voting on the app. We dont know many people in Edmonton yet so are hoping that you the internet can help us out :)

Its been getting some great coverage with a radio interview on CBC yesterday, an article in the Edmonton Journal covering our story and another on the app

There is a TV interview with Global HD a little later today and its great to see the exposure starting to take its effect on site traffic and app sales.

Lastly its worth mentioning that we have been busy working on a new iaminawe site in Drupal. Its taken a while to migrate all the old stuff off this blog and we are aiming for a mid September launch date with all the work completed over the last 2 years being added. It will replace this rather dated blog.

Follow me on twitter @skabenga or Angella @angellaiaminawe to keep up to date with our news and future releases.

Breaking the ice….

Well I have fallen into the trap of waiting too long to update this blog…with each day that passes it becomes more difficult to do until eventually the relatively simple task of writing  a few lines about a few projects morphs itself into a huge task destined for extreme procrastination. So this post is just a general ice breaker to feel like we can chat again … you know… make logging in a little less awkward :)There has been so many cool projects completed over the last year and it feels like so little time to post them on the blog. This has been a year of changes and so I preclude the next flurry of blog postings with a bit of backstory as to why things have been so quiet on our little space on the web. These are not excuses as much as they are happy reasons for inactivity … or something like that

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Aurora Samantha Grace Coppen was born on 27/06/2008 and brought with her the overwhelming joy and  explosive disruption that only a newborn can do. She arrived 2 weeks after her predicted deadline and has been a glorious, hysterical, smiling, screaming little bundle that has kept us on our toes and bouncing on a pilates ball ever since. The past 4 months have been so rewarding and the first few weeks I really battled to tear myself away from her little blue eyes and get on with the work quietly mounting up in the background.We moved - physically and virtually - unfortunately we had to say goodbye to our amazing studio space in Muizenberg as the building was sold from under us. Right across from Muizenberg beach, the studio was a creative and productive place for iaminawe for 2 years and we will miss the surfs, the collaborations, ping pong, bergies and crazy neighbours.

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Virtually we also made some tracks with a long put off server move taking place at the beginning of the year. We moved about 30 sites (and their databases) in total from the fast deteriorating Fasthosts to the awesome HostGator and so far have enjoyed a much better level of service and support. The move was not without its fires but most were put out pretty quickly and our clients are enjoying a much more flexible service.Unfortunately in moving to Linux/Apache/Mysql servers we had to say goodbye to some of our own Asp/Access (read evil microsoft) powered work. Unfortunately that includes the latest Version 4 and previous versions  of our iaminawe flash site as well as our intranet and accounts system. I will restore the flash sites when I have some time and have already sourced far better php based intranet and invoicing systems. Its a pity to have temporarily lost so much of our flash content but the move from asp to php was so long overdue.We found Drupal - yes- after getting a bit Wordpressed out after creating a variety of blogs and wordpress integrated custom systems  - a new content management system came and swept us off our feet. Wordpress definitely still has a time and a place but Drupal has been the focus of the last years web output and has changed the way we think about creating web sites… it is a powerful beast and has put the power of community building at our fingertips.I will go into more detail about each project in seperate posts but here are a few of the sites we have built this year

  • www.animationsa.org - a Drupal powered community site for the Animation Industry in South Africa - recently launched
  • www.theblackheartgang.com - wordpress powered site for this infamous trio - received over 230 gigs of traffic in 3 days…
  • www.mzikishareblock.co.za - wordpress powered quick site for a Hluhluwe based Game Farm - more an internal tool than public site.
  • www.pocko.com - recent updates to this London based Artist Agency/Publishing house , also a wordpress/custom artist management system.
  • neil.iaminawe.com - a wordpress blog site for my brother with his always amusing stories and articles.
  • www.xamtours.co.za - a Drupal powered site for this local Tours & Safaris company.

Then there were some pretty exciting  animations mashing up 7de Laan (local soapie) flavoured TV remixes and footage we shot out in Delft,  for the dark Afrikaans drama Steriel. The show featured an ambitious three projector and live feed stage setup and is currently on Tour in Europe after a successful second run in Cape Town.There were some animated panoramic park scenes and a finale involving portraits in the falling snow that we created for the German Opera, Werther, performed at the Artscape Opera.Then another highlight of the year was the animation we created for “The Greensman” , a compact fast paced piece of theatre being performed every day at the Green Point Stadium as part of the stadium tour. The animation was starkly styled white linework on a black background and the huge screen is pretty impressive in the cavernous theatre built in a piece of the old stadium.Thats some of the highlights of the year so far but we will be posting pictures and videos of some of the above projects and talking about them in a bit more detail when we can spend some time. There have been a few more projects than that, but some are still top secret and others will make their way onto the blog in good time.Watch this space…

Ghoema Animation

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Iaminawe created 2 minutes of animation for the new David Kramer & Taliep Pieterson production “Ghoema” that features a San rock painting of a dutch galleon slowly become a real one that sails through the symbols of slavery history.

David Kramer has once again joined forces with long-time musical partner Taliep Petersen to create an exciting new musical revue called GHOEMA that celebrates and explores our musical heritage. Delving deep into early South African history at the Cape, the revue explores the roots of slave music as far back as 1650 - 1795, the heyday of the mighty Dutch East India Company which had an enormous influence on the lives of all people under its rule. The slaves that the Company brought to the Cape from countries as far as Indonesia, India, Madagascar, and Java had an enormous impact on the settlement here. They influenced a cross-pollination of lifestyles, music, language and culture between themselves, the indigenous people, the Dutch and other European settlers.

The fusion of all these influences into something that is uniquely South African, is the inspiration behind GHOEMA. ( A ghoema is a drum made from a small wine vat, with a skin stretched tightly over one end. It was created by the slaves and is still used today.)

For an interesting interview with David about the production have a read at theatre.com. For a local review of its run at Cape Town’s Baxter theatre Tonight newspaper review should do it and catch up with how it went at its recent opening on London’s West End.

Very Late Show Animations

Iaminawe created some giant screen motion graphics to accompany the infamous Corne and Twakkie as the hosts of the 2006 Smirnoff International Comedy Festival “Very Late Show”. It was hysterical and the animations added an awesome element of interaction to the guys crazy antics.

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Aqua Opera Animation

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“Take a symphony orchestra and some traditional African instruments, add full, sweet voices of diverse registers and put them in a spectacular setting with a varied programme spanning classical opera, jazz and township music, and you have Cape Town Aqua Opera. ” - Tonight

“The weather was perfect, harbour lights shimmered on the water - and many members of the audience insisted on dancing to the finale. Cape Town has a new `signature event`” - The Voice of the Nation

Iaminawe were commissioned to create animation for the recent “Aqua Opera” production which was held on a floating stage in Cape Towns V&A
Waterfront.

The brief was to a tight 2 week deadline and imagery was required to compliment the 15 varying styles of opera music ranging from “Ancient Africa” opera fusion to traditional Italian Opera through to Contempory African styles of music.

We worked closely with the shows designer Michael Mitchell to develop storyboards that captured the mood of each song and complimented Director Angelo Gobbato’s vision.

The show was filmed by and aired on SABC 3 and received great reviews and feedback.

The Cast: Members of Cape Town Opera, Jazzart Dance Theatre and Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, with Sibongile Khumalo and Neo Muyanga.

This project presented its fair share of technical issues as we were working with a new product called a Maxedia Media Server. It was great to explore this new technology which is loop based and controlled by the lighting desk but it was unfortunately still in a bit of a buggy beta version when we used it. Great potential though.

The 5m X 7m screen was an “opti-screen” which doesnt require a projector and is very scaleable as it is built in strips. It is self illuminating and is used for electronic billboards that need to be seen in the day. It was very bright.

Iaminawe Showreel 2005

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