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"Reconciliation Day" Video brings Web and TV together

2008-07-25 12:19
Watch the English making-of video (300k)
- click here

Watch the Afrikaans making-of video (300k)
- click here

Music videos are probably the most important way bands market their albums. They're giant, arty adverts. Which means they're also expensive, and that every second of the final video product takes hours of shooting, and weeks of planning.

So they're not traditionally made by websites, who're better known for short clips of cats going to the toilet, or wobbly live music videos shot by some drunk dude with a cellphone camera.

But's changed all that, with a professionally shot, hugely ambitious video for Koos Kombuis' politically charged new single, "Reconciliation Day", a song mourning the death of celebrated musician Taliep Petersen, and the failure of the new South Africa to deliver a better life for all. The song is taken from Koos's controversial album, Bloedrivier, the original acoustic version of which was recorded by Channel24 in Koos' lounge, in early 2007.

The video was filmed in a school hall and shows Koos singing "Reconciliation Day", while the party on the dance floor below descends into chaos and violence.

"A production of this size – two days, multi-camera, dozens of extras, post-production – would usually cost tens of thousands of rands. The resources required are fairly staggering," says the video's director, filmmaker Richard Finn Gregory.

So did Channel24 throw money at the problem?

"What money? You don't need much money to make a music video when you have the right friends," says Channel24 editor Jean Barker.
Instead of splashing the cash, Koos put a call out on his blog, asking his fans to be extras in the video. Replies came in from dance students, school kids, professionals and artists. partnered with sister-paper Die Burger's multimedia department to get it done at minimum cost. Friends of Channel24 pitched in, among them musicians Anton Marshall, Anthony Theunissen and Gerrit Aalbers, make-up artist Lily Bloom and wardrobe pro Cathi Trevor. Professional actors gave up two Saturdays to work free of charge. Even extra lighting equipment was donated, by Kinetic.

"In the end, there were over 60 people involved - most of them doing it purely for love - and, okay, a free signed Koos Kombuis CD," Jean Barker says.

The video, which will premiere exclusively on the web before crossing over to TV two weeks later, is being launched in Stellenbosch, with the extras, journalists and of course Koos himself as VIP guests. Rooiwyn rock band Dikazzins will warm up the venue before the first live screening of the "Reconciliation Day" video.

The video will be shown again at Koos Kombuis' gig at The Endler Auditorium in Stellenbosch on Saturday 26 July. From Saturday onwards it will be available to be watched or downloaded on, and thereafter be screened on MK89 and other TV stations., Die Burger, Koos Kombuis and his fans shoot the first professional quality SA music video for the web, by the web. And you can't wait to see it.
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