Pre-order the Limited Edition ‘BlackMilk One’ DVD for R195 only!
The First 100 customers to pre-order will receive limited edition, signed collectable press cardsfrom the BlackMilk short films and stand a chance of winning one of 10 vouchers worth R200 each.
All profits will go towards the creation of Sunrise Hotel, the next BlackMilk short film.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested and we’ll send you further details.
The BlackMilk team has been blessed to gain the recognition they so truly deserve with their creative film productions. Without the talent of the respective cast and crew, the following would not have been awarded:
2008 On the Verge of Blood…, Best Homage, South African Horrorfest
2009 KiTTY KiLL, Best Art Direction, Auteur Film Festival
2009 KiTTY KiLL, Best Cinematography, Auteur Film Festival
2009 KiTTY KiLL, Best Editing, Auteur Film Festival
2009 KiTTY KiLL, Overall Best Film, Auteur Film Festival
2009 Emma-O, Official Runner Up, South African Horrorfest
2009 Emma-O, Best Screenplay, South African Horrorfest
2010 Regression (Trailer), Audrey2 Creative Arousal Award
2010 Regression, Overall Best Film, South African Horrorfest
2010 Regression, Overall Best Film, Auteur Film Festival
2010 Regression, Best Director(s), Auteur Film Festival
2010 Regression, Best Cinematography, Auteur Film Festival
2010 Regression, Best Editing, Auteur Film Festival
2010 Regression, Best Sound Design, Auteur Film Festival
2010 Regression, Best Actress, Auteur Film Festival
2010 The Lovers, Best Screenplay, Auteur Film Festival
The team is currently busy with a new film.
Photo by Leon Visser, assisted by Lohan Koegelenberg.
The BlackMilk team took home 7 of the 8 awards at the AUTEUR EXPERIMENTAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL 2010 under the Professional division. It is believed that the panel of judges, all from the South African film industry, were in unanimous agreement that the following should be awarded.
Best Overall Film: Regression
Best Script / Screenplay: The Lovers (Ronnie Belcher and Dr-Benway)
Best Directing: Ronnie Belcher and Dr-Benway (Regression)
Best Performance: AnGie Kennedy (Regression)
Best Cinematography: Leon Visser (Regression)
Best Editing: Leon Visser (Regression)
Best Sound Design: Henk Smith (Regression)
Well done to everyone who made this possible, both Ronnie & Thomas (Dr-Benway) are very proud of what the team has achieved together.
We have just returned to Cape Town from Johannesburg after a very successful weekend where we screened four of our films. The screenings took place at the CULT event at CCHQ in Johannesburg, organized by Gen Twoco and crew.
We had some very creative experiences and returned back to our mother city full of ambition and inspiration. Thank you to Gen, Kat, Gary, CCHQ, and everyone else that contributed to the event and amazing weekend.
Films that were screened:
23 Rue d’Amour
We are planning another Johannesburg visit early 2011.
The following article appeared in yesterday’s Newspaper. (Sunday, 21 November 2010)
The Lover’s … of dreams and demons.
The release of their latest short film has sweetened the lives of all those at BlackMilk Productions, writes Astrid Stark.
When Ronnie and Thomas get together, somebody usually dies. These two independent film-makers have found each other through a mutual fascination with the horror film genre. Ronnie Belcher is an award-winning jewellery designer, photographer and film-maker. Thomas Dorman is an award-winning designer, photographer and film-maker. Their short film Regression recently won the award for “Best Local Short” at the 2010 SA Horrorfest.
“During December, 2008, Ronnie was having a relationship with one of my models, and I wanted to do a shoot in Ronnie’s attic,” says Thomas. Ronnie lives in a semi-detached Victorian house in the back end of Gardens where the street people are too lethargic to beg on a Saturday morning. The street in front of the house is deserted and the area has the ambience of a horror film set. Ronnie’s house, however, is a haven. A wooden staircase leads into a gorgeous wooden-floored kitchen with dark orange walls. The smell of freshly brewed coffee fills the kitchen. Ronnie and Thomas are waiting for me. Leon Visser joins them.
Somehow I expected them to have red-rimmed eyes, pale faces and corks through their ears, but these guys are fresh-faced and clearly focused on their work. “ While I was busy doing the model shoot, Ronnie was filming me shooting the model,” Thomas continues. “He had a rough script he thought could fit some of the resultant footage.”
The two guys instantly gelled and their first short film was born. “We shot KiTTY KiLL on a handycam,” says Ronnie. “It was a two-month project and is still one of our finest films to date.” KiTTY KiLL” won BestArt Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Overall Film at the 2009 South African Auteur Film Festival.
Their unique collaboration has so far led to Emma-O, which won Best Runner-up Local Short Film at SA Horrorfest 2009, and 23 Rue d’Amour, Regression and their most recent work, The Lovers. Ronnie and Thomas co-write and direct their films.
Leon, who is a photographer, editor and producer, joined the team for the making of Regression and The Lovers. “Two weeks before the shooting was to take place I got a Facebook invite for Regression,” says Leon, “I knew I had to be part of it, even if I made coffee.”
Regression is a chilling short film about the darker side of love and what happens when we can’t let go of each other. They call their films horror, but after watching The Lovers, it is obvious their films are powerful works of fine art.
Ronnie and Thomas say their films are less about the issues of the day and more about individual journeys removed from societal influences. “There is never a linear story,” says Ronnie. “We are pedantic about time frames and environment. The Lovers can be best described as a post-apocalyptic 1920s love story. The movie took 56 hours from script to screen,” says Ronnie. In the film, two lovers follow a length of cotton they discover in the woman’s belly button. Their heads are wrapped in cloth as they journey through a Salvador Dali like landscape. There are strong themes of birth, betrayal, love, denial and murder, and hardly a word is spoken.
“We wanted each shot to look like a painting,” says Ronnie. And indeed the film is a visual feast with its rich textures, symmetrical themes and surreal use of colour. “The music we usually finalise when we know what the film looks like,” says Ronnie. The music for example in The Lovers are soundscapes. It is a journey. You don’t hear it as much as you feel it.” The production value of the film is very high. In one of the scenes a poem by Gary Cummiskey, also called The Lovers, is narrated. Then into the kitchen wafts Estè Kira. She is smoking a pipe. Her body is covered in intricate tattoos and a pair of silver goggles roosts in her violently red hair. She has no eyebrows. She’s been working in the film industry for about six years, and is production designer with BlackMilk.
She laughs as she tells me how some of the special effects and props were created. “Once, we needed a scene where a penis is cut in half and cooked. We had to make it believable. The usual visual effects guys couldn’t help us because we had to cook the penis and the thing would just dissolve. So I worked with a food stylist and we created a penis out of steak, salami and chicken skin. I still have one in my fridge.” She is also the head honcho of Miss Demeanour & The Squid Circus which sees her entertaining people with an octopus and several hooks pierced through her back. “Our movies usually start small and then evolve into something gigantic,” says Thomas. “Myself, Ronnie and Estè fund most of the projects in collaboration with production company Sex On Toast, which often helps out. “We hope someone will spot what we can do with a minimal budget and help us realise our potential. We are also thinking of creating a box-set collection of our short films.”
Just before we trundle down the stairs and into the empty street, Estè corners me in the kitchen and insists on reciting a quote from Barend Buitekamer that, to her, defines her work with BlackMilk and Squid Circus: “In this world, an artist must sometimes be his own I-am-what-I-am god. He must visit upon the conforming meatpuppets plague after plague of obscure shock art. He must lead them from their land of milk and honey into a warzone of blood and semen. Once there he must cast them upon burning pyres… and forget about them.”
On November 27, Flymachine Films, BlackMilk Productions and Purple Velvet productions will be screening their films at CULT in Johannesburg. There will be two movies from the US and five from South Africa.
Submachine, Slashdogs, Shots Fired and Ransom Note will provide music. Find the event at CCHQ, corner of Main and Violet on Fisher’s Hill. Entry is R90, doors open at 6pm.
Films at the festival:
BlackMilk Productions: KiTTY KiLL, 23 Rue d’Amour, Regression, The Lovers
Flymachine Films: Kult Without Name
Purple Velvet Productions: Blood Drips; Maven: Instillness I Lie
This is taken from an article that will most likely appear in Tuesday’s newspaper … Not sure which.
Regression, a BlackMilk Productions short horror film, won the award for “Best Local Short” at the 2010 SA HORRORFEST, one of the only local conventions supporting fringe arts culture in South Africa.
Said SA HORRORFEST organiser Paul Blom: “Each year the local short entries fluctuate – one year better, another less so; one year loads of entries, another just a handful. We want to spread the word that there is a legitimate and internationally recognised platform in the SA HORRORFEST to screen these movies, and lead to generating a huge stream of regular and high-quality short films, thus playing a role in developing an alternative film culture in SA diverting from all the obvious themes and styles.”
Ecstatic about this year’s win, BlackMilk co-director and co-scriptwriter Thomas Dorman added: “Competition was tough this year. I was massively impressed by the South African contribution to the SA HORRORFEST. Most of them stood heads above last year’s competitors and even gave the foreign short films a run for their money. The runner-up’s movie Kult Without a Name really stood out from the rest and I’m really looking forward to meeting the director in Johannesburg, where a joint screening of most of the BlackMilk films will take place on November 27 at CCHQ.”
When asked what made Regression this year’s winning local entrant, BlackMilk co-director and co-scriptwriter Ronnie Belcher said: “Regression is visually amazing, with eerie and epic sound design, and absolutely amazing performances by the cast. The brilliant art direction and production design also added to the surreal environment we needed. We also had a stunning crew that helped us create this. As with all BlackMilk films, we tell ‘normal’ stories in an ‘abnormal’ way, and I think this added to the success.”
See the SA HorrorFest website at www.horrorfest.info
This week we’ve focused on finalising sound and wrapping up Regression. It was quite a mammoth task. Sound is a very important part of the process. It sets the mood and pace and helps viewers connect with the character’s emotions on screen.
We were fortunate enough to work with a genius in this field of work. Henk Smith has done a wonderful job by all accounts, from recording to sound design. He’s really helped the movie gain a life of its own.
One of the many things that make Regression different from our previous short movies is that we’ve concentrated more on sound than before. We arranged for a piece of music to be composed by an up-and-coming composer in Johannesburg, the talented Timon Wapenaar. He chose to write a macabre tango … which is very effective. After this, it was necessary for us to get a violinist and cello player to perform it. We were fortunate enough to get two great musicians, Quentin Crida and Dorette Walters. The piece was used in various key places throughout the movie.