My experience as a video editor on Survivor South Africa Champions

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survivor-banner-3Wow, what an amazing experience it was for me to be part of season 5 of the “Survivor South Africa Champions” reality show. I left the freelance video editing scene in 2008, after completing the edit of a rugby reality show called “Up and Under”. I spent the following 5 years working in the online video industry.

I found myself looking for work after being retrenched twice, and I started to look for freelance video editing work again. Luckily, I was blessed with a call, for me to be part of the video editing team of Survivor SA – the holy grail of video editing.

I also count myself very lucky to have worked under the most experienced and talented reality television video editor in the South African TV industry, Craig Bleksley, who also video edited season 1 of “Master Chef” – which was Emmy nominated.

My four month master class video editing upgrade experience, included me editing many Survivor games and some of the reality content in episode 3. The biggest highlight for me was being responsible for editing the all new, world first addition to the well established Survivor format. This was a game called “The Captain Salvation Cup Duals” where Corne Krige and Mark Fish had to fight it out for the right to win the Salvation Cup, which allowed the winning captain the right to burn one tribal vote for a contestant whom they feel deserves it.

I was never a big Survivor reality show fan until working on this show. I worked with the video editing team and the creative driving force, which included the series director, Warren Bleksley. Warren is South Africa’s most experienced reality television director, whom I also had the honour of working with on 2008’s “Up and Under” and now, currently on SABC1, “Tropika Island of Treasure” season 6.

I am now one of the show’s biggest fans.

I must also mention Handrie Basson, who is the Head of Content, on this year’s Survivor SA Champions. Handrie is a very talented storyteller, a skill which is needed to create amazing, high quality reality television shows.

Thanks to the rest of the video editing team, which included amazing and talented people who I count myself very lucky to have learnt so much from:

Portia Khumalo

Bruce Nkomo

Andrew Dixon

Chad Merriman

Carmen Freemantle

Since video editing Survivor SA Champions season 5, I have video edited the following:

A Clientele advertorial for Ochre Media, “Tropika Island of Treasure” season 6 for Quizzical Pictures and I will soon move on to an Afrikaans reality television show called “Nege Maande” for Ochre Media again.

Working on this show also reminded me of the amount of people that’s needed to make good quality television content, with ever decreasing budgets.

I know the people who worked on this did it with loads of passion and love for the work they do, and I count myself very lucky to have my name on Survivor SA’s end credits.


One thought on “My experience as a video editor on Survivor South Africa Champions

    mugidah Cassiem said:
    May 21, 2014 at 10:58 am

    SLamat Siraaj I’m proud of you for achieved so much in your work and acknowledged what your learned from your co-workers!!That’s the Spritis enjoy your work and still learning that’s The Key to Success!!!MARSHALLAH!!Always remember you learning from your cradle to your grave!!You never come to the end of learning!!!Keep it up I’m very Proud of you Love Mum!!!

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