Eastern Cape’s truck making boom

first_img10 June 2008Passenger cars may be the big brother of the Eastern Cape automotive manufacturing industry, but behind the scenes a bustling heavy-duty truck and bus sector is poised to take its first big strides.The growing economy and a construction boom are only two of the driving forces pulling the commercial vehicles section out of its infancy and onto its own legs – in fact, a wrap of South Africa’s vehicle sales figures for 2007 show that commercial vehicles sales have continued to grow, while passenger vehicle sales have slumped. This is good news for Port Elizabeth-based General Motors (GMSA) and Volkswagen (VWSA) and Mercedes-Benz (MBSA) in East London, where the province’s hard-working commercial vehicles are assembled.Four decades of truck-buildingThe Eastern Cape’s oldest truck maker, Mercedes-Benz, for instance, achieved a record year, with its commercial vehicle divisions selling 8 622 units in 2007, representing an overall market share of 23.3%.All the truck models built at the German car giant’s East London plant, including the Mercedes-Benz Axor, Freightliner and Mitsubishi FUSO ranges, are reserved for the South African market.Mercedes-Benz spokesperson Shirle Greig says they have been assembling trucks in East London since 1962, although the company’s name has changed over the years, from Car Distributors Assembly to United Car and Diesel Distributors to Mercedes-Benz SA, and most recently to DaimlerChrysler SA.In March 2002, Ikhwezi TruckTech took over the assembly of Mercedes-Benz’s trucks.The first Mercedes-Benz truck built in South Africa in 1962 was the LP911, the first model in the enormously popular L-series, with its rounded lines and distinctive snub-nose.“The LP911 had a nine-ton gross vehicle mass (GVM) with a 4.5 tonne payload, a 110 horse-power indirect injection diesel engine and at the time it was revolutionary,” says Greig. “In those days, the Mercedes-Benz truck had one of the smallest slices of the commercial vehicle market share pie, and was seen more in farmyards than in cities.”‘Hard-working’ light commercial vehiclesThe truck industry in Port Elizabeth is somewhat younger than the four decade-old Mercedes-Benz, but already General Motors SA’s hard-working light commercial vehicle lines, like the Isuzu KB and the Corsa Utility bakkies, make up most of its output.GMSA spokesperson Denise van Huyssteen says that 74.6% of the vehicles produced by GMSA last year were light commercial vehicles while only 25.4% were passenger vehicles.The company was indeed hard-working in 2007 and acquired a 23% share of the light commercial vehicle market in South Africa – this after they re-entered the market over the past five years.“We launched the new Isuzu KB towards the end of 2007, and expect that in 2008 our sales of this popular car line will increase,” says Van Huyssteen.Overall their medium and heavy commercial vehicles controlled 8.4% of the South African market share in 2007.“We will be looking to grow this share in 2008. The trucks which we supply to this segment of the market are through our 50/50 joint venture company with Isuzu, called Isuzu Truck South Africa,” she says. “We import limited numbers of light commercial vehicles and these include the Lumina Utility and the Opel Vivaro.”The coming year spells more hard work, and GMSA will be launching six new passenger vehicles in South Africa as well as four commercial vehicles.Mzantsi Truck and BusUitenhage-based Volkswagen South Africa’s Mzantsi Truck and Bus manufacturer started operating in January 2006 at the VWSA commercial vehicles plant.Mzantsi is responsible for vehicle assembly, maintenance and warehouse management, while Volkswagen is responsible for quality assurance, logistics and information systems, product and process engineering and overseeing that Mzantsi performs to VW’s international standards.Mzantsi has to date employed more than 20 new recruits, mainly from an automotive school of excellence, the Uitenhage-Despatch Development Initiative training centre, a school of excellence that is a public-private partnership promoting economic activity in the two Eastern Cape towns.Mzantsi director and full-time production manager Vusikaya Mancapa finds his job challenging and exciting, saying the first 20 months proved to be a “quantum learning curve”.“The name Mzantsi came up spontaneously and soon gained popularity within the group. It is an authentic Nguni name for the South, which has acquired a street-wise connotation that refers to South Africa,” Mancapa says. “Since it was the first time that Volkswagen was building trucks and buses in Southern Africa, we found the name most appropriate for this exciting venture.”Responding to a question about the lucrativeness of their business, Mancapa said, “The expected return on our investment in Mzantsi is not lucrative in the short-to-medium term. Our hopes – as well as our profit plans – are pinned on sustained business growth in the medium to long term.”Three bus and five truck model ranges are currently assembled at the Mzantsi plant. In its first year (2006), the company built 122 buses and no trucks, but by last year 213 new Constellation trucks were assembled and 46 buses were built.Mzantsi Truck and Bus spokesperson Banoyolo Hlalukana says that while the manufacturing facility has remained the same in 2008, more units will be produced – approximately 600 units in total – a clear indication that their hard work to date is being rewarded by growth.This article was first published in Eastern Cape Madiba Action, winter 2008 edition. Republished here with kind permission.last_img read more

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The 10 Best Film Festivals For Up-And-Coming Filmmakers

first_imgIn which we pick the brain of Leah Meyerhoff on the best under-the-radar film festivals to launch film careers.Cover Image of Cinema East Austin via 365 Things Austin/Ben Sklar.Before you book your flights to Cannes and Park City, let’s explore some new stops on the film festival circuit that may actually be more beneficial to your career in the long run (and hey, maybe more fun, too).We talked with Leah Meyerhoff, an award-winning filmmaker whose films have screened in over two hundred film festivals. Meyerhoff teaches at emerging artist labs across the country, and the following are her recommendations for ten up-and-coming film festivals for up-and-coming filmmakers to consider.Atlanta Film FestivalImage via IndieWire.Atlanta Film Festival knows how to throw a party. Their annual Game of Thrones shindig is off the hook with giant wolf puppets, costumed revelers, and a feast fit for royalty. The films themselves screen in a beautifully renovated art house cinema, where you just might catch the local cast of the Rocky Horror Picture Show hanging out in the lobby before the show. Now that’s what I call Southern hospitality!BendFilm FestivalImage via OregonLive/Tina Ellis.BendFilm Festival is a secret oasis for independent film lovers hidden deep in the mountains of central Oregon. Filmmakers ride around town on bicycles, enthusiastic audiences engage in lengthy discussions after every screening, and outdoor adventures are only footsteps away. If that’s not enough, their closing night party is in a working brewery full of complimentary local ales.Cinema East AustinImage via TRIBEZA.Cinema East Austin is a refreshing alternative to the organized chaos of SXSW. Held late in the summer at an outdoor venue under the stars, it’s like a drive-in movie theater without the cars. The program selection is top notch, with plenty of crowd pleasers and festival favorites to go around. Tickets are sold on $3-$5 sliding scale, and the audience is welcome to bring extra snacks and beverages to share with their cinephile friends and friendly strangers.Citizen Jane Film FestivalImage via Inside Columbia Magazine.Citizen Jane Film Festival is one of the best regional film festivals around. Located in Columbia, Missouri (home of the equally fantastic True/False Film Festival) and staffed by enthusiastic college students, Citizen Jane attracts the best women-directed films and filmmakers from across the globe. In addition to offering a stellar film lineup, they also organize a summit with the best and brightest guest speakers, and they run a film camp for teenage girls. The Citizen Jane Film Festival is a refreshing world where female filmmakers are the rule rather than the exception.Cucalorus Film FestivalImage via AP Photo/The Star-News, Jeff Janowski.The Cucalorus Film Festival is one of the kookiest fests this side of the Mississippi. Filmmaker sing-a-longs, midnight brunch on a boat, modern dance performances with video projections, and parties in a mansion are just some of what this festival has to offer. The town is so thoroughly steeped in a Blue Velvet vibe that you half expect to see David Lynch drinking a cocktail in the filmmaker lounge.Dallas International Film FestivalImage via Everfest.Everything is supersized at the Dallas International Film Festival. The main venue is like a multiplex version of an art house theater and is always packed with a larger-than-life audience. One year, the opening night party was in a private mansion with a secret room full of movie memorabilia, including throwing stars, civil-war-era costumes, and an animatronic, life-size replica of Batman. Even the smallest of films feel big in Dallas!Edinburgh International Film FestivalImage via ASFF.Edinburgh International Film Festival is one of the best in the United Kingdom. Filmmaker parties in castles! Choreographed groups dancing to bagpipes! Men in kilts! And some of the best independent film programming on that side of the pond.Denver Film FestivalImage via DU Clarion/James Dimagiba.Starz Denver Film Festival offers terrific filmmaker hospitality. When I arrived in the middle of a blizzard without so much as a winter coat, a volunteer picked me up at the airport with a hand-knitted scarf and mittens in tow. Indie films screen alongside blockbusters, and festival staff go out of their way to make sure every screening sells out. Plus, now that marijuana is legal in Colorado, their nightly filmmaker karaoke will take on a whole new level!Woodstock Film FestivalImage via Filmmaker Magazine.The Woodstock Film Festival is an upscale creative retreat for filmmakers and audiences alike. Celebrity film guests from Natalie Portman to Darren Aronofsky mingle with local activists and musicians. Theater venues range from the local art house cinema to a renovated barn. And you might end up in a hot tub or around a bonfire with other filmmakers and musicians on any given night.Wroclaw American Film FestivalImage via MovieMaker.The Wroclaw American Film Festival in Poland highlights a curated program of American indie features for a Polish audience. They treat visiting filmmakers and industry guests like dignitaries, with five-star accommodations, fancy dinners, and a tour of the local castles. Films screen at IMAX proportions while fashionable young crowds mingle in the lobby and the hottest new bands perform every night. The staff also hosts a US in Progress program for features in post, complete with cash prizes. One of the best festivals in Poland, if not all of Eastern Europe.You can find out more about Leah Meyerhoff and her latest feature film I Believe in Unicorns (available on Netflix) at her website or through her female filmmaker organization, Film Fatales.Have any up-and-coming film festivals you’d like to recommend? Let us know in the comments.last_img read more

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On Fading to Black: The Hows, The Whens, and The Whys

first_imgLooking for more filmmaking tips and tricks? Check out these articles.Roundup: Back to Basics with Essential Camera MovementsTips for Directing and Acting (At the Same Time)Learning How to Edit While You Shoot9 Things You Should Check Before Recording Audio7 Things All Video Professionals Should Share with Clients Fading to black is the smoothest dissolve transition there is. But it’s good for more than just endings. Let’s take a look at what this classic move can do.Cover image via #000000.If you read any editing textbook, you’ll learn that editing should be invisible. If an editor has done their job correctly, the work will go unnoticed. It’s only when we see jarring cuts that we lose the sense of immersion. The moment the audience becomes aware of the cut is the moment you’ve failed.In the book In The Blink of an Eye, Walter Murch argues that editing should proceed with natural human reaction. For example, if an action takes place offscreen, and the character looks at the noise, we should cut to the action just like we would turn our heads. If a character slides a hidden note to our protagonist, we should cut to a close-up of the note. Yet, fading out to black (or white) is seemingly unnatural. Other than falling asleep (or passing out), when else do we see something fade to black?. By fading a scene to black, we are pulling the audience out of the film, so why does it work so well?In an interview with FilmSound.Org, Kiran Ganti asks veteran editor Walter Murch if, during a transition, editors are trying to make the audience aware that it’s happening?Yes. At the level of a cut from shot to shot, the transition is either below consciousness, as in the classic American School of editing which tries to hide the cut, or it is made conscious, as in the Soviet School. In that sense, Soviet-style cuts are mini-transitions, American-style cuts are not. My tendency, as I think is the case with most editors today, is to fall somewhere in the middle. We realize that there are moments when it is better to emphasize the cut. And then there are moments in the same film where we want to make the cut almost imperceptible like butter as the phrase goes.When To Fade OutImage via Kozlik.In part, the fade to black, or dissolve to black (since it’s technically a dissolve to a black matte) also works so well because it’s an unequivocal theater throwback. In theater, a fade-out/fade-down (which, again, is also called a fade-to-black), occurs when the lights gradually fade until the stage is in complete darkness. In a practical sense, this is when the crew changes the set and the actors change costumes. But in a metaphorical and narrative sense, the fade-to-black concludes the entire scene. And in essence, that’s what this classic move is in filmmaking: the visual conclusion of a chapter.As with most aspects of filmmaking, there’s no set way to do one thing. However, the fade-to-black transition tends to work best in the following circumstances:Fading from the end of a theme to the beginning of another.Fading from one character’s narrative to another.Fading into a later date.If you were to fade out from a family dinner scene, which lacks a definitive thematic ending, to a scene later on in the night (in the same location), the transition wouldn’t feel natural.We can see these principles in action in any blockbuster trailer, such as the following.We see two dozen fade-ins and -outs during the trailer — quite often from clip to clip. However, each fade-out or fade-in adheres to the principles we discusssed above. Scenes that look chronologically close to one another are cut together, yet scenes that take place at different times or in different locations get a fade-out. These are recognized cinematic traits; they tell us that we are transitioning to a later moment in the story — either thematically, temporally, or geographically.Since this article is addressing the basics of the fade-to-black transition, let’s touch on a few ways to include them using popular NLEs. There are many ways to do this, but here are a couple of examples.Premiere ProExpand the thumbnail height, use the Pen Tool (P) to create two opacity keyframes, and lower the further keyframe to 0% opacity.OrOpen the effects panel, and drag the Dip to Black transition to the end of your clip.Note: if you use the transition preset, it will also affect the adjacent clip by fading it from black. To only affect one clip, you must make sure there is at least a 1-frame space.DaVinci ResolveDrag the white handles at the beginning and end of every clip. This will create a fade-in or -out, with a duration determined by how far you’ve brought the handles in.OrUse the Dip to Color video transition. However, this transition requires the user to fully implement the parameters of the transition in the inspector panel. This is great for further customization but not so great for a fast-and-easy fade-to-black.last_img read more

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Curiosity, hope and big crowds follow Tiger Woods

first_imgLacson: PH lost about P161.5B tax revenue from big trading partners in 2017 PLAY LIST 03:46Lacson: PH lost about P161.5B tax revenue from big trading partners in 201702:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Yes. And odds are, they will be seeing Kizzire for the first time.Also in the group is Brandt Snedeker, who has been through the drill. Snedeker played with Woods in the final round of the BMW Championship that Woods won in 2009 by eight shots. He played with him in the penultimate group of the final round at the 2012 British Open, and the opening two rounds of The Players Championship when Woods won in 2013. More recently, he played with Woods on Saturday at Torrey Pines.No one has dealt with big crowds like Woods.Nick Faldo once said that when he helped Woods into the green jacket at the 1997 Masters, he thought at the time it might be the only major Woods could win because Augusta National creates a buffer zone — no press, no photographer, practically nobody inside the ropes except players and caddies.“Now it’s his greatest asset,” Faldo said in a 2007 interview. “Everyone joining him on the weekend at a major goes into his world. That’s Tiger’s arena. Other guys will step into that arena one week and go back out. He’s there all the time. And good luck coming into his world.”The crowd, the buzz, the energy is still great, mainly out of curiosity and hope that Woods can win again after being out for so long with so many injuries.What’s different is the mystique, which starts with the scores.Woods has gone 10 straight rounds on the PGA Tour and European Tour without breaking par dating to August 2015. Woods tied for 23rd on a tough track at Torrey Pines last month, and then he missed the cut at Riviera with poor putting in the second round. Everything is geared toward the Masters.“I’m just learning how to play tournament golf again, and unfortunately I’ve made some mistakes, and that’s just part of it,” he said. “As far as catch-up mode, no, I don’t feel like I am. I know most of the guys have been playing tournament golf a lot more than I have. As I said, I’m looking forward to April, trying to get my game solid for April. And I’ve got some work to do.”Woods is playing PGA National for the first time since 2014, when he withdrew during the final round with back spasms. He tried to play the following week at Doral, fell out of contention in the final round with a 78 and then had the first of four back surgeries a few weeks later. AFP official booed out of forum “Hi, I’m Patton Kizzire.”Kizzire can’t recall meeting Tiger Woods except in passing. That would have been last year at Torrey Pines, the only time they were in the field.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe 31-year-old from Alabama, who is the image of southern comfort with his polite demeanor, is the latest to experience the hype surrounding Woods in his return from a fourth back surgery.“First time,” he said Wednesday. “It’s something I’ve looked forward to as a kid. I always looked up to him.” John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding As World Cup looms, Willian claims Chelsea spotlight LATEST STORIES LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View comments It’s not easy being Woods, who has been golf’s biggest star since his 12-shot victory at the 1997 Masters. He copes with the largest galleries, the incessant movement, the endless distraction.Rory McIlroy played with him last week at Riviera and suggested the gallery costs Woods a half-shot a round.But at least he’s used to it.Tiger Woods walks on the course during the Pro-Am for the Honda Classic golf tournament, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)Justin Thomas played with Woods in the Bahamas before only a few hundred people. He experienced the full Tiger show during the opening two rounds at Riviera and described it as “pretty wild.” The next day is when he appreciated the amount of attention Woods gets.“It was just bizarre because those first two days, there’s so many people,” he said. “And then Saturday morning, there was nobody. Rory and I were walking up to the tee and we’re like, ‘Where is everybody? Does he really bring that many people?’”ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving MOST READ He was runner-up in 2012 when he closed with a 62.There’s no telling what this week will bring. The wind is supposed to blow hard, as it does in South Florida this time of the year. It’s rare to find a hole that doesn’t have water. Little mistakes can turn into big numbers.It will be another step for Woods.It will be a new experience for Kizzire, though he feels he is not entirely unprepared. Kizzire played with Thomas and Jordan Spieth the weekday rounds at the rowdy Phoenix Open, and he survived the 16th hole arena on Saturday.“Phoenix was a good prep for me,” Kizzire said. “I had Jordan and Justin the first two days, and then Saturday was really crazy. I expect something like that.” Sonny and Dottie Munoz cheer for Tiger Woods as he plays past by their home along the 13th fairway during the Pro-Am for the Honda Classic golf tournament, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.(Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — He is the only two-time winner on the PGA Tour this season. He has been No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings the past six weeks.And when he sees the No. 544 player in the world Thursday morning on the first tee of the Honda Classic, these could be his first words.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 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