Introducing Justine, the latest addition to our NERDy family! Going by the motto ‘if it can be crafted, it must be made’, Justine is a dog-loving and an award-winning director with a diverse portfolio, ranging from heartwarming moments to action-packed car sequences.
Get to know Justine in just 3 mins below!
What are 2 things our readers should know about you?
- I used to teach kids’ drama lessons to raise money for my gap year. It was my “Steve Jobs typography” moment. At the time, I thought it was to make a quick bit of cash and it ended up being a catalyst for a lot of my career/work.
- I love the research and pitch process as much as the production process – it is where the heart of all work starts. It is a time for learning, discovering and dreaming (before all those pesky logistics set in).
Tell us a short story of how you became a director and your journey so far.
After studying stop motion animation, I landed a job in the research department at one a big production company. The thinking was that no one would let me do stop-motion unless I could direct real live people.
I spent a few years cutting my teeth in creative research and becoming an advertising NERD. My catchphrases are all still from those good old ads and they make sense to no one except my husband, bless him.
About 8 years ago, a producer I had met through this research journey, the very brave Brenda Wilson, approached me to start a company and we became an all-female partnership along with production legend, Lebo Mabuela.
The three of us built our reel from scratch and found niches we never thought we would – kids & cars being top of the list.
My research background opened many doors into conceptual and smart work and we managed to pull off some super interesting work like Siemens Fabric (through King James).
Tell us about your favourite project to date and why it has a sweet spot in your heart.
It must be a spot for ‘Toyota’ – MARS.
Creatively, the job spoke to so many things I love – cinema, landscapes, kids, storytelling, science vibes…who DOESN’t want to nerd out in Star Wars land?
Personally, it was remarkable to scout and shoot in such an isolated part of South Africa. The landscapes were truly out of this world. Filming in harsh environments with day time temperature going up to 39C and torrential downpours the night before shoot, comes with its own unique set of challenges, but motivating crew to work through it and achieving the most gorgeous shots makes those days extra sweet.
And to finish off, tell us a NERDY fact about yourself.
See Justine’s profile here.