During January, they exchanged the Eastern Cape for the green pastures and illustrious film industry of Ireland.
Now, brothers Tom (26) and James Collins (24) are on their way back to their hometown to pass on the lessons of the industry to the next generation of filmmakers in Port Elizabeth.
The brothers will present a three-day workshop from December 19 to 21 to 15 budding filmmakers in the metro - with the possibility of a repeat course in January.
“It was a love for the city we grew up in that enticed us to come back,” said Tom from India, where they are currently working on a documentary film about fair trade in the country’s cotton industry.
“We appreciate that many people in the Bay set time aside to educate us and present opportunities,” said Tom.
“Therefore, we want to give this gift now, six years later, to people who are in the same circumstances that we were when we started.”
Create films with little money
The course will especially focus on ways to create films with little money.
“The industry is very competitive, but we want to share our experience and also pass on techniques that took us years to learn.”
Participants will also manufacture a short film of 2-3 minutes during the course. The brothers only discovered their dream of making films after attending university.
Before this love blossomed, Tom studied environmental science while James completed a year of music studies, both at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). “At university, we did have access to a DSLR camera which we used to record our first videos for a surfing video competition. We won a prize in this competition.”
Hereafter, they completed an online course and worked for a year at The Media Workshop under the leadership of Director David Lister.
After making short films for the Father’s House Church for another three years, they relocated to Ireland.
“The plan was always to go and work overseas and build up experience in large scale productions. In the beginning, we made shorter marketing videos before we started working as assistant directors for the fifth season of Vikings.”
This experience was definitely a highlight for Tom.
“My proudest moment, however, is the work we are currently doing in India. It is easy to get caught up in the glamour of the big productions, but we are actually doing it to build up experience that we can later apply to our own productions.”
James confirmed this statement. “I learned a lot and met famous people, but to create this documentary together is a highlight,” he said.