Tuesday, July 17, 2018


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Driving Drunks Home Safe

Posted by Paddy On March - 26 - 2009

The Dean of Students Division at Rhodes has launched the ‘Get Home Safe’ project.  This project aims to address the high crime rate against drunk students and to foster more of a responsible drinking culture at Rhodes.

Drunk and Disorderly: ‘Behind the scenes of Get Home Safe.’

Taking the plunge.

Three weeks into our first term of TV production we were given this assignment.  Splash… into the deep end: camera’s, footage, filming at night, lighting, sequencing, angles, tilt, pan and a handful of rowdy and inquisitive students.  But wow, what a journey!  What started off looking like a huge task, turned out to be a hectic but fun-filled week of stake-outs around the local watering holes, taking and retaking shots that were ruined by over-friendly but rather intoxicated night owls, and chasing down the organiser and employees of the Get Home Project for endless interviews and things we had forgotten to shoot.   (Sigh)  Oh the joy of being a rookie!

Footage, footage, footage!

Thanks to my rather over-zealous encouragement, my poor, long-suffering camera man, matt and I ended up with huge amounts of footage.  The tricky part was trying to get some natural images of student’s out and about in town and to link that with our narrative.  Add a camera and tripod to any situation involving alcohol and students and the inner drama queen comes out in everyone! Often shots were interrupted or spoilt by students playing up to the camera.  And although our patience was tried and tested throughout the night, I am happy to report that it emerged unscathed on the other end.  When it came to the editing process we just couldn’t include it all.  Here are some of the funny characters that kept us entertained during our night out filming in Grahamstown.


Standing up and standing out.

After lugging heavy camera equipment around for the whole night, I then attempted to do a stand-upper outside one of the popular pubs in town.  The professionals make this part of the package look so easy, however at 03:00am in the morning, freezing cold and contending with background noise, drunken students getting in the way and a huge crowd of spectators gawking behind the camera, things did not seem as easy for my first attempt!  Here are some of the bloopers we collected of me trying to get it right.


I learnt a valuable lesson on how to keep my cool and get the job done even if it does take a 100 or so takes.  Here’s a clip of the final, almost perfect stand-upper!

Our filming during the day was not as difficult and we were lucky enough to find a source that was prepared to go that extra mile to help us get the material we needed.  Organiser of the ‘Get Home Safe’ project, Pam Pearce gave us a very entertaining and informative interview about the project.  Here is the uncut audio from that interview: Here is the uncut audio from that interview:


In the end the project was very enjoyable to work on.  Both Matt and I learnt a lot about putting news package together, how to handle the equipment and edit it effectively.  Both of us were very pleased with the final outcome and felt that it did justice to the positive and worthwhile cause of the ‘Get Home Safe’ project.  All background information on the GHS Project and it sponsors can be found by following this link.

Video Today

Raphael HIV testing and support CentreThe Raphael Centre located in Grahamstown, South Africa is a HIV/AIDS testing and support centre. Lately, though, this haven for people infected or affected by the virus has been rought by troubles. The future of the centre is uncertain as it needs sponsors to ensure it’s survival. Meanwhile other issues, like an objecting neighbour are also posing problems for the centre which helps over 1 000 people every month.