Editing Adventures on Tropika Island of Treasure

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photo2My reality video editing journey now includes the 6th season of “Tropika Island of Treasure” which was produced by Quizzical Pictures and  aired on SABC 1. Unlike the past 5 seasons, where the show format consisted of South African celebrities, this season’s Series Director, Warren Bleksley, was tasked to come up with a new, revamped show format, offering ordinary South African contestants the opportunity to compete for one million rand.

This project offered me a very exciting and new learning experience, as I was taken along on location to Mauritius, which was not the norm a few years ago. I have noticed that this is, however, becoming a growing trend in our television production industry, that is, to take the show’s video editor on location to perform a combination of two duties, which includes DIT (Digital Imaging Technician) and prepping the footage for edit. It was very enjoyable for me to sit every day in my air-conditioned hotel room, working and seeing the beautiful views of the beach and palm trees from my window.

Unfortunately, for the production crew which included team members of  Time Frame broadcast rentals & services , were put through the grind of shoot days starting at 5am and ending at 11pm, and they also had to deal with hectic wind and rain. This reminded me of one of the reasons why I chose the creative and technical art form of video editing, instead of camera work. I used my time logging and managing the media, so that it would help me later on, for when I started video editing the show. Being able to see all the footage on location was so valuable, because, as the video editor, I became very familiar with the show’s contestants and locations.

A group of video editors is known as a “moan of editors” and we do tend to live up to this description…always moaning about the cameraperson, who did not hold that shot or did not get an alternative angle, etc. Being on location with them, reminded me of how much effort and passion these guys put into getting the best possible shots, no matter the weather or the terrain they have to deal with. Even after wrapping at 11 pm at night, they would first come up to my room to check the footage they shot.

After 6 fun filled days of filming, we boarded the plane back to Johannesburg, and after a day’s rest, I was in the edit suite, starting the process of carving good stories.

Warren Bleksley, the Series Director, spent the next three months with me carving out 6 x 24 minute episodes. This project continues my collaborative journey with Warren, which includes “Up and Under” and “Survivor South Africa Champions” reality television shows.

Below are a few episodes of the show – please let me know what you think of it.


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