Loeries Creative Week Durban

#LoeriesRanking with... The Upstairs Ludus

What better way to creatively ease into the working year than with a reminder of some of last year's top contenders at the Loeries? We continue the local insights with The Upstairs Ludus.
The Upstairs Ludus gladiators.

If history lessons are literally a thing of the distant past for you, fear not. A Ludus was an ancient Roman school where gladiators were trained, and production company The Upstairs Ludus likens itself to these schools as they’re committed to producing exceptional work.

Fittingly, 2017 was a year of exceptional accomplishment for The Upstairs Ludus. Their team of post-production professionals ranging from post-production ‘gladiators’ to online and offline editors, colourists and in-house sound engineering partners, are ready to do battle on any brief.

Gold, silver and bronze, Ludus gladiator-style


As proof, they worked Metropolitan Republic’s ‘Nightshift’ for MTN, which took home ‘TV crafts – best use of licensed music’ gold and ‘TV and cinema commercials – up to 90s’ silver Loeries; as well as TBWA Hunt/Lascaris’ ‘Babybot’ for Student Flights, which garnered ‘internet video – above 30s’ gold; and Joe Public’s ‘The Last Appointment’ for Panado, which racked up ‘TV and cinema commercials – above 90s’ bronze:







The 2017 Loeries Rankings further proved The Upstairs Ludus’ firm grasp of work that wins, as they held steady in second position for the TV, film and radio post-production category, and rose from fifth last year to second in the TV, film and video editing category.

I caught up with executive producer Joe Erasmus to find out how they plan to extend their winning streak this year and who they admire most in the industry…

BizcommunityWhat do you attribute this year’s successes to?

We attribute our 2017 successes to the extremely strong team we boast at The Upstairs Ludus. In fact, three of our crop ranked individually in the craft: editing category. That includes Mark Ash, Andrew Traill and Steven du Plessis in sixth, seventh and eighth spot respectively.



Our dynamic team always goes beyond what is necessary and this appeals to directors and agencies who in turn bring us great work.

Bizcommunity What plans are already underway to better your ranking next year?

For us, there aren’t any specific resolutions following an awards season, instead an always-present drive to do great work.

We are never resting on our laurels and continue to put our all into every piece of work that enters our doors.

BizcommunityHow does this year’s Loeries flock differ from your haul last year?

We were able to convert far more finalist entries to winners this year. Our turnover of great work has increased from year to year since opening in March 2015, and we’re thrilled to have become a big industry player in both Johannesburg and Cape Town.

BizcommunityTell us two people you personally admire in the industry – both an established mentor figure as well as a newcomer making waves.

That’s a tough one to narrow down as there are many people we admire in the industry as we work with so many talented directors.

In terms of established directors, Giant Films’ Ian Gabriel and Bomb Commercials’ Teboho Mahlatsi are just so talented and seasoned, and a pleasure to work with.

Tipping a hat to the 'Nightshift'

OK, I'll admit MTN already got its foot in the door with me right at the beginning of its new TV ad: I'm a Commodores fan and I think Nightshift (their tribute to soul legend Marvin Gaye - also one of my favourites) is one of the best tracks they produced...

By Brendan Seery 29 Nov 2016


Greg Rom is another favourite, and Tristan Holmes has risen quickly to become a real player in the industry.

Thabang Moleya is another really fantastic director and business man we look up to for his drive and focus. He has come so far and is making waves in the industry with his new company Seriti Films, while still being one of the most down to earth people you’ll ever meet.

Lots to look forward to creatively from 2018! Click through to our Loeries’ special section or here for more on The Upstairs Ludus, and be sure to follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram-tagged posts.

About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com and one of our Lifestyle contributors. She is passionate about issues of inclusion, equality and diversity and was the only SA finalist shortlisted for the Women in Marketing #WIMawards2017. She's also on the 2018 Women in Marketing: Africa advisory panel, an #Inspiring50 nominee, and can be reached at ...
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