13 Nov The Caretaker | A Documentary by Shoestring Productions
To feed their love for storytelling and as a form of catharsis, every now and then Cape Town-based film production company Shoestring Productions works on personal projects. The nature of these allows them to fully indulge in the freedom of having no client, no budget and no deadline. “Sometimes it’s really important to do something with no commercial purpose, rather focusing on our internal working relationship and the process behind simply making something,” they say. Their latest such project is The Caretaker, a short documentary about a clothing factory in Observatory and the man who runs it, Boris.
Boris started off on the glamourous, design side of the clothing industry but soon realised that the competitive nature of the sector required specific attention on the production side. As Boris says, “But let’s be honest, you can design anything you want, you can sell anything you want, but if you can’t produce and deliver it on time and at a price, it’s worth nothing.” Now Boris works on the lesser seen side of the business – the engine room. He’s created a structure where a dozen factories work seamlessly together, enabling them to compete in an international market. However, that’s only one side to Boris. The other, as the documentary shows, is his daughter Vida, who is the real love of his life. The title of the film reflects the fact that Boris is ultimately responsible for the livelihoods of over 1000 people who work in his factories, and that of his own daughter.
The guys from Shoestring Productions first met Boris a few years ago, when he auditioned for the part of a debt collector in a commercial they were producing. He was cast for the role, and creative producer Rob McCulloch called him up to arrange a pre-production meeting to flesh things out. Incredibly busy at the time, Boris asked whether they could meet at his workplace instead – not the way things are usually done, but they went along with it. “An hour and a half later we still hadn’t actually spoken about the role, at all, it didn’t seem all that important anymore. We left the office, amazed,” they recall. Two years down the line they were still intrigued by Boris’ character and what he did and they got in touch with him about their idea to produce The Caretaker. “We wanted to capture not just that moment we experienced at his factory two years earlier but also who Boris is, what he does, and why he’s a much needed Caretaker in a cut-throat industry.”
Director: Rick Wall
Creative Producer: Rob McCulloch
DOP: Sally Louw, James Puttick, Rick Wall
Online and Offline: Shoestring Productions
Music Mix: Nicolaas van Reenen
Music Track 1: Charlie Jones – Big Hair
Music Track 2: Rachel Grimes – My Dear Companion Awaits
Music Track 3: Alessandro Alessandroni – Preludietto
Music Track 4: The Swans, Nathalie Neal
Music Track 5: Nicolaas van Reenen – Centaur Shapes