This #WomensMonth we go behind the selfie with Zandi Tisani, director at Arcade Content - the division of Egg Films that produces branded content beyond traditional TV ads.
The shower is where Zandi has some of her best ideas.
1. Where do you live, work and play?
The city of Johannesburg is the backdrop and location of every activity that really means something to me.
2. What's your claim to fame?
It depends who you ask. Up-and-coming director to some; smart-mouthed cynic to others.
3. Describe your career so far.
I started out just wanting to get onto a set and at that stage the opportunity was in wardrobe. I’ve been in wardrobe; I’ve done casting; production management; and finally got a break as a writer. There’s been a lot of stopping and starting; not so much a rollercoaster as a rickshaw ride.
I love getting into a new series; an early morning run listening to a great album; and of course, watching films.
5. What do you love about your industry?
How unpredictable it is – I enjoy working in an environment that hones my intuition and keeps me on my feet.
6. What are a few pain points your industry can improve on?
Across the industry, I wish there were more people fighting for the integrity of the work. Hard times have turned a lot of people into ‘yes men’ and it’s starting to show in the work. You go through so much to produce one piece of work; we deserve the reward of making something that doesn’t make you want to hide. Otherwise, what’s the point?
7. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.
There’s no such a thing as an average work day, but most likely it involves working my way through emails, treatments, and meetings. There are lots of those.
8. What are the tools of your trade?
The internet. I’m pretty much obsessed with popular culture and the net is my portal to everything new and exciting happening globally. That and your eye; it’s important to be able to articulate visually what you do and don’t like and more importantly, why.
9. Who is getting it right in your industry?
It depends on how you see ‘getting it right.’ To me, it’s being able to work in the industry while retaining an authenticity in your work that is distinctly you. It’s hard enough to make any work, so any person managing to do that and maintain some sense of artistic integrity is worth celebrating.
10. What are you working on right now?
Several things. I’m doing my commercial work though Arcade Content and also working on a documentary about the beginnings of rave culture in Johannesburg. I’m dying to make a fashion film, so hopefully I’ll pull that together shortly.
11. Tell us some of the buzzwords floating around in your industry the moment, and some of the catchphrases you utter yourself.
I’m the worst at keeping up with buzzwords. You can’t get away from the fundamentals of making a good piece of work: a great story, well-articulated characters and a good team to back you. You can come up with all the words you like, but the foundation of a good story stays the same.
12. Where and when do you have your best ideas?
In the shower and in those last five minutes in bed, just before I fall off to sleep.
13. What’s your secret talent/party trick?
My secret talent is being able to make a perfect fried egg: Crispy on the edges with a soft yolk. It’s a fine art.
14. Are you a technophobe or a technophile?
I believe in free love.
15. What would we find if we scrolled through your phone?
Memes, selfies, cryptic notes that even I can’t interpret.
16. What advice would you give to newbies hoping to crack into the industry?
However hard you’re working, work harder. Stay on top of what’s happening in your industry globally. Absorb it all; never stop learning.
Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com and one of our Lifestyle contributors. She loves milkshakes, word play and alliteration, and can be reached at .
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