Anybody who works in the entertainment industry in some way or form knows how hard ‘showbiz’ can be and in Durban in particular (by way of observation when it comes to support for, or lack thereof, of local talent), it sometimes feels like one is possibly watching a cycle of dearth unfolding writes Latoya Newman for The Independent’s Tonight supplement.

Investors for local projects are scarce and public support seems to be nearing extinction in some cases. It’s no wonder we have such a great export of talent to Joburg and Cape Town in the form of musicians, actors, filmmakers and the like.

Less on stage/on screen talent, equals less local projects on the go, equals less behind-the-scenes opportunities available, equals more talent leaving Durban… hence my strictly-opinion theory of the cycle of dearth.

That’s why I was so eager to interview two passionate, not-so-long-ago video technology students whom I had heard are so patriot-ically “Durban” that they virtually work just to cover costs so that they lend local bands more support in crafting their music videos. And, true to the saying of what you give is what you get, Matt Nefdt and Devin Carter’s talents are being noticed across the country, with some of their work even being nominated for national awards.

Matt and Devin graduated from the Durban University of Technology’s School of Television’s B-Tech programme last year. As part of their projects for the course they made some music videos that took the industry by storm, leading to them forming their media company, iKind Media.

In July last year Matt’s music video for The Pixie Bennett Band’s debut music video secured the number one spot on the MK Top 10, officially heading the South African Music TV charts. Later the 80s-inspired video for the song Edge of the Line was nominated in the Best Newcomer category of the MK Awards. Then, in January this year, Durban band Red Light Stereo’s debut music video, which Matt worked on, Daydreaming, was playlisted by MK for the first time on the channel’s show, Kraakvars.

Devin’s music video for Global Moguls 2010 Battle of the Bands winner, The La Els – for the song Soulkiller – is also causing a stir. And in February his work on the Catlike Thieves’ music video for Maybe Baby reached over 2,000 hits in its first week on YouTube.

The vid is currently climbing MK’s Top 10.

Their strategy is simple: “We are trying to put Durban back on the map. Joburg and Cape Town is saturated with Durban talent and we can’t see the reason why the industry here should have to move out. It’s annoying when you see Joburg and Cape Town crews shooting Durban projects when that kind of talent is here…” explained Matt.

Devin said they’ve always loved TV and film and are aiming to get the focus back on Durban’s local talent. “We do music videos, TV commercials and we are in the process of pitching a sci-fi feature film… We basically do corporate work to pay the bills and music videos to feed our passion.”

And as Devin plainly puts it, why not Durban: “We have the talent. We have the best weather. We’ve been told we use Durban well and this is our plan to continue doing so. We hope to eventually buy a plot of land in the country and covert it into a one-stop filming shop.”

iKind Media
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