The M-Net Magic in Motion Expo which took place at Marks Park, Johannesburg from Monday 11 August to Thursday 14 August, is the first of its kind in South Africa and has given students a comprehensive overview of careers available to them in the film and TV industry.
The careers expo, which forms part of M-Net’s new CSI initiative, Magic in Motion, introduced 2 985 tertiary students to careers in the film and TV industry. The students had pre-registered at various campuses across Gauteng including UJ, Wits University, Boston Media House, City Varsity, Damelin and Unisa during activations at their campuses. On the day of their visit to the expo, they were issued with an access card which, upon swiping, gave them access to the expo and served as their lunch ticket as well. The students were bussed in from the campuses, in branded Magic in Motion buses, in allocated groups to ensure a smooth process.
The fun and information packed day commenced with a welcome speech from the popular M-Net personality, “ProVerb”. The students then walked through the whole production process in order to experience on a first-hand basis what goes into the making of a production.
As Kershnee Govender, M-Net Director of Corporate Affairs explains: “Over the years M-Net has invested extensively in the development of the local film and television industry, investing over R1billion in the development of local content and now with Magic in Motion we are creating alignment with M-Net’s core business. With Magic in Motion we aim to draw young people mainly from disadvantaged backgrounds into the industry – to inform, educate and expose tertiary students to the wide world of film and television – showing them that there is more to the industry than what they see on the screen and that there is so much that goes on behind the scenes.”
The Magic in Motion Expo exposed students to a range of careers in film and television – from writing, editing and directing to production accounting, entertainment law and more. The Expo was designed in such a way that students were guided through a large, specially constructed exhibition centre which showcased various aspects of the film and TV industry.
A cross-section of M-Net programmes, from Isibaya to Big Brother and Idols were part of an interactive showcase which allowed students to participate in mock-up sets of the shows. The Isibaya set, where students got to re-enact scenes with members of the Isibaya cast, proved to be a huge hit, as did the Idols set where students acted as Idols judges and contestants. The Big Brother set, with the real Big Brother voice was a popular draw-card, which saw lines of students queueing up to chat to Big Brother.
Tertiary institutions and other organisations like the Department of Arts and Culture, The Writers Guild, National Film and Video Foundation, Boston Media House and City Varsity to name just a few, where students can further their studies in film and television were also represented. For those who needed information on funding their studies, financial institutions such as Nedbank were on hand to provide information on student loans and bursaries. The M-Net HR stand was inundated with students who enquired about internships at M-Net and the upcoming Film Academy stand drew huge interest.
Various M-Net Production sets, including Isibaya, Survivor and Idols were reproduced in order to enhance an on-set experience. All of this contributed to the students understanding exactly what goes into filming, as well as other career opportunities arising behind the camera.
M-Net transformed the Marks Park cricket and baseball fields for the event utilising 4000 square meters of marquees, nearly sufficient to cover the equivalent of a rugby field. In addition numerous other smaller stretch tents, flooring carpeting, furniture, branding, goodie bags, exhibitions stands, lighting, staging, screens and audio, and over half a kilometre of picket fencing was installed.
The event was designed to be more than just an exhibition; it was an experience that was insightful, enticing and engaging, giving the individual the opportunity to turn imagination and ideas into reality.
Govender adds: “We anticipated that there would be a great interest from the students as a result of the success of the on-campus activations that took place prior to the Expo, but this has exceeded our expectations. It has been refreshing to see the students realise that the film and TV industry has so much to offer. Tweets and other feedback we received from them indicate that they found the Expo of great benefit. ”
In response to questions as to whether this event will be repeated and perhaps taken nationally, Govender concluded: “We will be analysing the event to fully understand the results, and based on these facts we will make a decision.”