#BehindtheSelfie with... Dianne Makings

This Women's Month, we go behind the selfie with Dianne Makings, festival director of the Cape Town International Animation Festival and ad producer for Tulips and Chimneys.
‘Makings’ the most of it!

1. Where do you live, work and play?


I live in Observatory, work in town and love spending time with the family in Kirstenbosch and the aquarium on the weekend.


2. What’s your claim to fame?


I’m the current festival director of the Cape Town International Animation Festival and a producer at Tulips and Chimneys.

3. Describe your career so far.


A long and windy path. I studied theatre and performance and worked in theatre for about five years. During that time, I decided I wanted to learn more about how to market the shows we were creating and interned at a PR communications company.
The PR company was the start of a really interesting journey – days with them were full of adrenaline and deadlines – as opposed to theatre, which was often a waiting game. It soon became obvious that I preferred the pace and scope of the projects, and made the move from theatre to communications. Since then, I’ve worked in PR and as a BTL specialist for corporates and ad agencies. The move to events was a natural one for someone who loved creating spectacles.
All of these roles were really fulfilling in the moment, but ultimately I missed the very creative nature of theatre – which led me to animation. It combines all the adrenaline of a traditional communications office and the creativity of theatre and performance.

4. Tell us a few of your favourite things.


I love graphic novels and inventing new recipes. Not all are successful. The turmeric ice-cream was a mistake.

5. What do you love about your industry?


I love how creative the work is and how passionate people are. It’s a new industry filled with young creative people who aren’t jaded… yet.


When I watch Ree and the team brainstorming on a project, I’m always so inspired by what they come up with – we have such a strong creative team in-house!

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6. What are a few pain points your industry can improve on?


We need to stop being afraid of sharing resources and collaborating. We’re competing on a global scale, not a local one.

7. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.


I drop off my daughter at school at about 8am, then head into the office to meet with Ree and Nina.

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I’ll work on Tulips and Chimneys projects until about midday when it’s time to head back and fetch my daughter.

We go home, have lunch, and catch up a little on her day at playgroup. Then the afternoon shift starts, and I work on festival planning or other special projects related to the festival. The festival takes about 10 months to plan, and includes fundraising, planning, conceptualising, meeting and networking.



The temptation is to constantly innovate, but we’re trying to establish this experience for delegates, so it’s really about reiterating and making sure you’re improving on every touch point rather than reinventing the wheel.

This all flies out the window about eight weeks before the festival. Then it’s live, breathe and eat festival 24/7. Luckily, I have a very supportive partner who doesn’t mind the chaos!

8. What are the tools of your trade?


Without Trello, I’m absolutely lost. It’s definitely my go-to project-planning tool.

9. Who is getting it right in your industry?


I’m a massive fan of companies like Polycat and Black Ginger who are producing world-class VFX work.


I’m also a huge fan of Isaac Mogajane and his new series, Anansi – it’s a fantastical African story that kids are going to love.

And of course, I love Tulips and Chimneys. Have you seen our latest spot for Hendrick’s Gin?



10. What are you working on right now?


Right now, I’m working on three commercials at Tulips and Chimneys, and two international pitches. It’s been really interesting how local advertising agencies and their clients are making the shift into through-the-line (TTL).

Almost all of our briefs are now TTL and that means we get to think about a lot more than just what’s happening on the screen. SA has top-class advertising agencies and we’re privileged to work with some of the best in the industry.

CTIAF to showcase local and international animation

The Cape Town International Animation Festival (CTIAF) will be held at the River Club in Observatory, Cape Town from 2-4 March 2018.

27 Feb 2018


Plus, Nina and I just attended the Annecy Animated International Film Festival in June. While I focus on promoting our own festival and expanding the network, Nina’s focus is on promoting Tulips and Chimneys’ projects currently in development.

Annecy is the perfect festival to meet with global leaders of the ‘biz’ and pinpoint strategic delegates to bring out for the 2019 festival.

11. Tell us some of the buzzwords floating around in your industry the moment, and some of the catchphrases you utter yourself.


You’ll always hear me muttering about ‘the ecosystem’.
When we build an intellectual property (IP), I don’t believe we should be creating for any one medium. Instead, we should be thinking about how we create this IP for all mediums. A consumer should be able to find you on a shelf, on their phone, on their laptop, in a bookstore and on a cinema screen.
Other buzzwords continue to be VR, AR and AI. My partner works in these fields, and they’re fascinating.

12. Where and when do you have your best ideas?


When I’m sorting through a complicated project plan that has lots of dependents and scope issues my brain will always spit out a random idea, which I’ve learned to jot down and look at later. It’s almost always the perfect solution to another problem!

13. What’s your secret talent/party trick?


I can sing. And I know all the words to cartoon theme songs from the 1980s. Seriously, try me.

14. Are you a technophobe or a technophile?


I love tech! Give me your gadgets and gizmos!

15. What would we find if we scrolled through your phone?

  • Photos of my daughter and partner
  • Serial Killer podcasts
  • Nineties’ music
  • Lists of notes to myself

16. What advice would you give to newbies hoping to crack into the industry?


Focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t. You always bring something to the table that others don’t – even if you weren’t specifically trained to work in that sector.

Simple as that. Be sure to follow Makings herself on Twitter and Instagram, and keep up with the CTIAF and Tulips and Chimneys on Facebook and Instagram: CTIAF Tulips and Chimneys.

*Interviewed by Leigh Andrews.
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About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com and one of our Lifestyle contributors. She's also on the 2018 Women in Marketing: Africa advisory panel, was an #Inspiring50 nominee, and can be reached at ...
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