Skip to main content

Featured Creators Club Profile

Nic Manshon

Hi, I’m Nic Manshon. Creativity, for me, started back when I was drawing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and entering Mother’s Day competitions for KTV. I always loved art as a kid and did it as a subject throughout my schooling career.  If I were to be totally honest, I never saw a career in creativity in high school, even though art was my highest marked subject.  Hence, I went to study personal training straight after high school and thereafter worked for Virgin Active for a while. Soon enough I realized that it wasn’t for me. Nonetheless, I believe nothing is lost with learning. After having these feelings to change my career, I started exploring creativity again. That was a good choice! The journey started out at CPUT, studying industrial design and serving at a local church, heading up the media department. After that, I got a scholarship for digital filmmaking at SAE. I never received a scholarship before so I was super stoked to do the course, not rea

Francois van Coke ~ Beter Mens Video By Motion City Films

An Interview with Motion City Films & Francois van Coke 

FutureNow ~ What is the concept of the music video?

Motion City FilmsWe really wanted to explore the effects and legacy of fragile white masculinity in middle South Africa. There are lots of ideas of how boys 'should be' and this creates a knock-on effect with how boys and young men behave. For this video we wanted to delve into those relationships. For instance, we see a young man struggling with his relationship with his dad, and this, in turn, affects the way the young man behaves - he's angry, delves into acts of rebellion and aggression, etc. We wanted to look at these themes and let a story form organically around them. It's also just a story about growing up in a place that feels 'stuck' or 'cut off' or even 'oppressive' in terms of where it is and the ideals and values that a place holds, and how that affects people. 

FutureNow ~ Why did you choose De Aar as the location? 

Motion City Films ~ I actually drove through De Aar two years ago and I knew I had to go back to shoot there. When we heard 'Beter Mens' for the first time, it all fell into place. 

FutureNow ~ Who are the actors?

Motion City FilmsThe actors are all De Aar locals. We cast in the town and shot within a couple of days. None of the cast had ever acted before and it was incredible to work with such fresh talent. Each cast member gave us so much in terms of performance - it was an absolute joy to direct them. 

FutureNow ~ How & when did Motion City Films start?

Motion City FilmsWe started Motion City Films in 2010. It was kind of born out a need for work, but also the desire to put our name on something and claim our own stake in the South African creative landscape. I say this in retrospect - I think when we started it was kind of by accident!

FutureNow ~ What other music videos have you directed and produced?

Motion City FilmsOver the years, we've made videos for Ashtray Electric, Locnville, Dans Dans Lisa, Matthew Gold and AKA, Bicycle Thief, Red Huxley and now, Francois Van Coke. 

FutureNow ~ What is your take on the South African film industry?

Motion City FilmsIt's hard to speak for all areas, because it's such a diverse industry, but as a whole I think it's in a very interesting space at the moment. It's shifting and changing in a way the industry hasn't seen in a while. I think a lot of it is adaptation to suit the digital age which has created a realm of opportunity, challenge and competition. In terms of advertising - it such an exciting time, branded content is a whole new animal with endless possibilities, so it's really interesting to see where people are taking it in terms of the creative. 

FutureNow ~ Advice for up & coming cinematographers, directors and producers?

Motion City Films ~ Practice, ask, try, fail, try again, pick your battles, develop a thick skin and again, ask for advice!

FutureNow ~ What is the future of film?

Motion City Films ~ YOH! That's a big question. There's so much in terms of tech evolution going on, and film is becoming way more accessible than it was before, so I think that will give way more people a voice and will continue to challenge and change the various structures and norms of the industry.  I think at the end of the day, it's always about making a connection with a viewer. Whether it's the sentiment and tone of a brand film, or the narrative of a film, I don't think that ever changes. 

FutureNow ~ What is the meaning of “Beter Mens”

Francois van Coke ~ It is a song about moving forward. Me trying to be a beter person for the people around me. 

FutureNow ~ Is this the 1st time you’ve visited De Aar and what stood out to you while being there?

Francois van Coke ~ Yes, it was my first time. The people in the town were very nice and accommodating and it is in the middle of nowhere. 

FutureNow ~ You’ve made over 20 music videos in your career, what was different about this experience?

Francois van Coke ~ I think the drive to De Aar was what set it apart. I spent 7 hours from Potch to De Aar and 3 hours from De Aar to Bloemfontein to go shoot for about 2 hours. Alone in a small rental car. I had loads of time to contemplate my life. 

FutureNow ~ What’s next in 2017 for Francois van Coke & Die Gevaar?

Francois van Coke ~ I think the biggest thing coming up is the #diewereldismal tour in September. Me and the band will be hitting some of of favourite venues, towns and cities around South Africa. And then check out my Crowdfunding Campaign, we're aiming to strike The Netherlands in November.

Suggested Stories

Lisa Magwebu

Lelo Nkosi

Siyolo Tembo