Friday 27 May 2011


A friend sent this to me - it was too scary, er, too funny, not to share :

The recession has hit everybody really hard ...

My neighbour got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

Wives are having se# with their husbands because they can't afford batteries.

CEO's are now playing miniature golf.

Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.

A stripper was killed when her audience showered her with rolls of pennies while she danced.

I saw a Mormon with only one wife.

If the bank returns your check marked "Insufficient Funds," you call them and ask if they meant you or them.

McDonald's is selling the 1/4 ouncer.

Angelina Jolie adopted a child from America.

Parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their children's names.

My cousin had an exorcism but couldn't afford to pay for it, and they re-possessed her!

A truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico.

A picture is now only worth 200 words.

When Bill and Hillary travel together, they now have to share a room.

And, finally ...

The Treasure Island casino in Las Vegas is now managed by Somali pirates.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Monday 23 May 2011

Puzzling ...

The thing about putting a puzzle together is that you have to wait to the end to see the final picture. If you have a vision for a house, for example, let's say your dream house, and you sit with an architect and a designer etc. and then you go and visit the construction site early, you are going to be in for a fright. Yup, you will start saying silly things like "Where is the glass for the windows, and where is the paint, and why are the floors such a mess". Puzzles take time to put together - if you look at them too early you start asking silly questions.

The same with making a film. If you start looking at the rough edit, at the bits and pieces of the puzzle, you will not feel excited, but rather, you will get stressed. You need to see all the pieces of the puzzle put together before you can start polishing the final picture.

A film, like a house, is a big mystery. It can look good on paper, but what is designed and what is built are two different things. In fact, what you script, shoot and edit are all different things. With each part of the journey comes another layer of interpretation, and hopefully, more inspiration and talent. The picture could be a lot more beautiful than you ever imagined, but it requires patience and faith.

Right now I am having to wait another 3 weeks before joining the team (director and editor) on the Material film and it is not easy. It is all very puzzling indeed. But, all is good and on track ... soon soon.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Wednesday 18 May 2011

Q and A

A friend sent this to me - it was too good not to share:

Q. How Do You Catch A Unique Rabbit?
A. Unique Up On It.

Q. How Do You Catch A Tame Rabbit?
A. Tame Way.

Q. How Do Crazy People Go Through The Forest?
A. They Take The Psycho Path.

Q. How Do You Get Holy Water?
A. You Boil The Hell Out Of It.

Q. What Do Fish Say When They Hit A Concrete Wall?
A. Dam!

Q. What Do You Call A Boomerang That Doesn't Work?
A. A Stick.

Q. What Do You Call Cheese That Isn't Yours?
A. Nacho Cheese.

Q. What Do You Call Four Bullfighters In Quicksand?
A. Quatro Sinko.

Q. What Do You Get From A Pampered Cow?
A. Spoiled Milk.

Q. What Do You Get When You Cross A Snowman With A Vampire?
A. Frostbite.

Q. What's The Difference Between Roast Beef And Pea Soup?
A. Anyone Can Roast Beef.

Q. Where Do You Find A Dog With No Legs?
A. Right Where You Left Him.

Q. Why Do Gorillas Have Big Nostrils?
A. Because They Have Big Fingers.

Q. Why Don't Blind People Like To Sky Dive?
A. Because It Scares The Dog.

Q. What Kind Of Coffee Was Served On The Titanic?
A. Sanka.

Q. What Is The Difference Between A Harley And A Hoover?
A. The Location Of The Dirt Bag.

Q. What Do A Tornado And A Kentucky Divorce Have in Common?
A. Somebody's Gonna Lose A Trailer.

Q. What do prisoners use to call each other?
A. Cell phones.

Q. What has four legs, is big, green, fuzzy, and if it fell out of a tree would kill you?
A. A pool table.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Saturday 14 May 2011


Making a film is a magical process. But, whether the film itself turns out magical, well, that is a whole other story.

We are busy with the edit of the Material film. All is on track, but it is too early to say whether we need to leave town or not. As Craig Freimond, our director and partner on the film, said to me last week "There is no reason to be alarmed, and also, no reason to celebrate." A very practical point of view. But he is spot on.

Material is not a comedy, in the same way that The Full Monty was not a comedy. Sure, The Full Monty made us laugh, but it was a dark story, dealing with complex characters, and touching on the most sensitive of subjects: baring of the human soul. It was not a movie about male strippers, but rather, about stripping away the layers that we all hide behind. Material is also a drama, hopefully, as moving as The Full Monty, with moments of comedy scattered throughout. And this is where our current challenge lies - the comedy.

We shot so much comedy footage that Craig and our editor, Megan Gill, are overwhelmed at the amount of content we have to get through. That is not a bad thing - better to have too much material, than too little. But, it does come a price : time.

And here is the thing. You can improvise comedy but not drama. If the drama is not written then the actors won't wing it. But actors, especially comedians, can ad-lib and add to a script when it comes to humour. Comedians can be funny on the fly, but there are no dramedians in the world - drama needs to be worked out - it can't be made up, not in a film, or in real life.

The challenge with making magic in the world is that so many tricks have already been done - you really got to get creative to come up with new magic. You have to dig deep to genuinely captures people's imaginations - not easy at all. It is easier just to make pizzas and feed people. Yes, to sustain life is a lot easier than it is to awaken the soul. Not to say one can't make a magical and inspired pizza, but that is a whole different discussion ...

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Sunday 8 May 2011

Punny stuff

1. Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married. The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent.

2. A jumper cable walks into a bar. The bartender says, "I'll serve you, but don't start anything."

3. Two peanuts walk into a bar, and one was a salted.

4. A dyslexic man walked into a bra.

5. A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm, and says: "A beer please, and one for the road."

6. Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: "Does this taste funny to you?"

7. "Doc, I can't stop singing The Green, Green Grass of Home." "That sounds like Tom Jones Syndrome." "Is it common?" "Well, It's Not Unusual."

8. Two cows are standing next to each other in a field. Daisy says to Dolly, "I was artificially inseminated this morning." "I don't believe you," says Dolly. "It's true; no bull!" exclaims Daisy.

9. An invisible man marries an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.

10. Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bull before.

11. I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day, but I couldn't find any.

13. I went to a seafood disco last week...And pulled a mussel.

14. What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh.

15. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says, "Dam!"

16. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Not surprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

17. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel, and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office, and asked them to disperse. "But why," they asked, as they moved off. "Because," he said. "I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."

18. A woman has twins, and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt, and is named 'Ahmal.' The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him 'Juan.' Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, "They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."

19. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him (oh, man, this is so bad, it's good) ... A super-calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

20. A dwarf, who was a mystic, escaped from jail. The call went out that there was a small medium at large.

21. And finally, there was the person who sent twenty different puns to his friends, with the hope that at least ten of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Tuesday 3 May 2011

Do what you love ...

At IS the slogan "Do what you love. Love what you do." always strikes a chord whenever someone visits the building and sees those words just about everywhere you look. To do what you love is a real privilege. Often doing what you love is not easy, but if you can do what you believe in it is liberating. The opposite, not doing what you love, is a hard place to be, and sadly, so much of the world is in that zone.

If I look at the story behind "Material", the film inspired by Dr. Riaad Moosa, I am amazed how far we have come, and also, I am overwhelmed at how much more there is to do. Material, like the story of "Purpose" is about avoiding spiritual death. It is about doing what is in your heart, about what you believe in. Doing what you love replenishes the soul.

If Billy Elliot didn't dance he would die spiritually and become a zombie. If Rocky didn't box, if the Whale Rider didn't ride the whale, if the girl in Bend it Like Beckham didn't play soccer ... and if Cassim Kaif in Material can't make the world laugh, they would all become zombies. And us, as aspiring artists, if we don't make the Material film magical then we will be zombies too. But at least we are trying. Even though the risk is so big and the stakes are so high. Yes, if we fail it is like spiritual death, and that is a very scary reality. But we take this leap of faith to try ignite our spirits, and to avoid becoming zombies, because, we simply can't quit.

And you never know - we may produce the magic. And if we do, then perhaps someone watching the film will be inspired to follow their own heart, and in turn we will awaken other spirits. Zombies be warned : there is a potential spiritual awakening coming soon to a theatre near you.

by Ronnie Apteker