Christa Schamberger-Young
 
+27 11 440 3477
Independent Casting Director
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Cape Town & Johannesburg
(The Casting Connection cc)
South Africa

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News and Highlights - 2010
November 2010
A very Odd Year...
A phrase we heard often during 2010... Very few projects during the soccer World Cup, then renewed World Economic Wobblies clearly began to squeeze budgets, so the re-start was slower than we'd hoped. The strengthening of our currency has probably also cramped projects already committed to shooting dates.
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2010 - the year of "Winnie" which finally finished shooting at the beginning of September, several weeks after it's original wrap date. I met Jennifer Hudson (Winnie) and Terrence Howard (Mandela) at a pre-shoot dinner function and asked the photographer to take these photographs.
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Director, Darrel Roodt, is as full of energy as ever and in spite of all the trials and tribulations of this challenging shoot. He is enthusiastic about his entire cast. With just over 100 South African roles including key supports, bit parts and day players, most of whom interacted with either Jennifer or Terrence or both, this was certainly challenging casting.  Look out for the official trailer on YouTube.








AU_WrappedWeb.jpg Africa United premiered at the London Film festival and was very well received. The script was such a delight and the kids were terrific!  South African cast included Presley Cheweneyagae playing "Egg", Patrick Mofokeng playing Sgt Sam and some lovely cameos from our generous local stars Leleti Khumalo, Keketso Semoko and Toni Caprari to mention but a few. AfricaU_SiteHome.JPG
June 2010
I get some help - at last!
Editing audition DVDs and Uploads is in some ways a thankless task. It's not particularly "creative", but the pressures of modern film production mean that it has to be done accurately and fast. We've been looking for a technical trainee for years, but have not found any suitable candidates with the right potential. Then we found Ben, at a time when I need to get away from the Studio for a month or so....

Welcome, Ben Tjibe!
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Ben is a bit of a "Da Vinci Child" as the saying goes. He has built his own computer from second-hand parts and taught himself how to use it - and boy, does he know how to use a computer! (I'm hoping he'll teach me some of his sneaky keyboard short-cuts!)
Ben is also a self-taught musician and graphic artist. He has created storyboards for How To Steal Two Million and a promotional comic-strip for the movie Max & Mona. While in Johannesburg Ben will also be working with friends Damon Berry and Karen van Schalkwyck on a feature film script at present in the final stages of the NFVF development process.

Ben is hoping to find work in the film industry, but he hails from Moloto, way North-East of Pretoria. so we hope to introduce this amazing young man to as many people as we can. If you have suitable work for Ben, please contact Christa.
View some of Ben's diverse talents at http://www.myspace.com/bentjibe

June 2010
Our Audition Access Page gets a face-lift
SAAPscreenWeb.jpgRequests for auditions to be placed on-line have increased dramatically over the past year. We have also needed to manage upoads from other cities, which has prompted some changes. The new layout is more compact and is also quicker to update.
If necessary, we can now also arrange uploads from other cities in South Africa - or across the world. We recently handled auditions from Los Angeles, New York, Nairobi (Kenya) and Kampala (Uganda) - oh, and Cape Town too!
More details on our Studio Facilities page.
 
April-May 2010
Long-Distance Casting in Uganda
Film makers on a limited budget need to be innovative - and brave! Michael J. Landon Jr. had a short movie to make for a religious organisation. Although the events on which the story is based took place in Uganda, it was at first planned to film in South Africa. After discussions with Christa about languages and the cultural authenticity  required, Mr. Landon decided to have a second look at the possibility of filming on the real location. A brief return to Uganda persuaded him that it offered the best possibilities for the film.
Much as Christa was eager to revisit East Africa, budget and commitment to other projects in South Africa made that impossible, so the next best thing was to work with good people.
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Usually, foreign Directors or Producers seem to sit in on casting sessions in Uganda, but Michael Landon's second scouting trip was of necessity very short. The auditions, therefore, had to be set up from a distance. We were very fortunate to connect with Actress, Director, Playwright and Casting Director Joanitta Bewulira-Wandera, who set about finding, auditioning and coaching scores of Ugandan boys and girls for the demanding leading roles.

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Joanitta did excellent work with the children - as one would expect from a Director! The first uploads from Kampala gave both Christa and Michael a good idea of the range of talent available. It was also clear that we had found a very capable contact!




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We were also lucky to find Ali Bakka, a documentary cameraman of some twelve years experience. Ali has worked for numerous Ugandan, European and American clients over the years, several NGOs, the University of Edinburgh and often for CNN. Encoding and uploading was however a new experience for Ali, but with the help of  e-mails, Skype and long telephone conversations, we all climbed the learning curve. It is always a pleasure to work with conscientious and enthusiastic people, and we  appreciate Ali's contribution. With foreign producers becoming more adventurous in Africa, we look forward to working with Ali again.


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Michael & Joanitta working together to guide the selected children through the Call Backs in Kampala.

(Uganda has an excellent broadband connection to the rest of the world via the SeaCom fibre optic cable which connects South Africa to East Africa, South Asia and Europe.)




March 2010
Whew, what a start to 2010!
2010.... Now there's a number to conjure with! South Africa has been invaded by FIFA and during June and July we'll be engulfed in their World Cup Soccer tournament. With millions of soccer tourists charging from game to game across the country accommodation and transport will be at a premium.
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It is our guess that international feature film and television work will be relatively scarce during the World Cup.Film production is difficult enough without having to deal with additional difficulties - such as having your sound track ruined by the penetrating rasp of the Vuvuzela!  (The quasi musical instrument that has been described as "an instrument of hell" by journalist Jon Qwelane.(Now South Africa's ambassador to Uganda)


We'll probably need the break by June - the first quarter of 2010 has been unusually busy, with up to five productions making use of our Audition Access web site at the same time, with a few more looming.
Zambezia auditions ended in early February, with the casting of Richard E. Grant as the voice of Cecil, an  ambitious and devious marabou stork. Mr. Grant recorded his track in Johannesburg while passing through from a trip to Uganda.
The countries of East Africa - and soccer - feature strongly in Africa United, a rollicking adventure yarn about the adventures of a group of children making their way from Rwanda to South Africa for the opening ceremony of... you guessed... the soccer World Cup. Director Debs Gardner's debut feature film has a Pan African cast and will be filmed in several African countries.
Kidnap and Ransom examines the growth industry of international hostage taking. Under the direction of  Andy Wilson (Diamonds) K&R promises to be more than just another well-made BBC crime mini series - the moral dilemma faced by negotiators is very real and topical.
Sniper  - Reloaded also takes place "somewhere in Africa". Working with LA based Swiss director  Claudio Faeh is a strange case of deja vu for Christa, since she was born in East Africa and spent part of her childhood in several East African countries where her Swiss father was a Master Beer Brewer. Working with Claudio has been a great pleasure, not just because he is Swiss - he was an extremely popular Producer on Starship Troopers a few years back.
After several years in development, A Million Colours has started shooting. This home-grown feature film is based on the lives of Muntu Ndebele and Norman Knox, the child-stars of the 1975 South African feature film e'Lollipop (aka Forever Young, Forever Free). Written by Written by André Pieterse and Peter Bishai based on letters of Muntu Ndebele, the film is being directed by Peter Bishai.

February 2010
The Casting Gals' Cross Country Expedition
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Amid all the casting, Christa was asked to be one of the filter judges for a new reality talent series. Class Act aims to find "South Africa's new Leading Man" so the producers flew the heavyweights of the South African talent world to Durban, Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg every Saturday during February to help with the selection process.
Apart from the slim chance of discovering an untrained hunk among the hopefuls, "The Gals" had a rare opportunity to socialise and bond.




Laeft to right:  Moonyeen Lee (Agent/ Casting Director), Dorothy Ann Gould (Drama Coach / Actress), Bonnie Lee Bouman (Casting Director), Susan Rossouw (Casting Director), Christa Schamberger (Casting Director) and Fiona Ramsay (Dialogue & Acting Coach / Actress).
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