World: My Portfolio - Kim Geldenhuys

The South African director Kim Geldenhuys originally worked as a fashion photographer, shooting the likes of Bryan Ferry. Today, despite spending the past eight years directing award-winning ads, Geldenhuys claims that his photography background still informs his work.

5FM "anti-gravity" gave the director an opportunity to shoot a youth radio brand in a photographic, poetic way. It features two teenagers defying gravity and floating around inner-city Cape Town. "We wanted to give the commercial a spiritual feel, drawn out by the music played on the radio."

Things weren't quite so straightforward for Isuzu's "operation Rachel", an early spot on Geldenhuys' reel. The crew travelled to Mozambique at the tail end of the civil war to shoot this gritty car ad.

"The first day of our shoot was abandoned because the police confiscated our camera equipment at customs and we only had 48 hours to turn around the production," he remembers. The action, shot in docu-style, features a guerilla gang chasing an Isuzu vehicle. Totally improvised, it was shot using a handheld camera.

"The film was made on a tiny budget and its experimental feel lent authenticity to the action," Geldenhuys says.

With BMW M5 "land speed record", the director moves on to shoot a more conventional, yet equally fraught, car ad. It features a car speeding down an open road in a desert pan outside Cape Town. "We actually shot the action hanging out of another BMW and didn't speed up the camera, which takes out all the vibrations of the moving vehicle," Geldenhuys explains.

VW Passat "leaf", his latest spot, features a leaf that falls off a tree and gets stuck to a VW Passat windscreen. "It was shot in LA and I loved the story for its simplicity of idea," he says.

After months of casting, he found the perfect leaf to perform the task in front of the cameras. "Not quite as glamorous as Bryan Ferry, but life moves on," Geldenhuys laughs.

- Kim Geldenhuys was talking to Rachel Nouchi.


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