The Untamed crew found themselves in what seemed to be a surreal dream as they set up in the Medical Morphology Museum, a room tucked away in the Department of Anatomy and Histology at Tygerberg Hospital.
Surrounded by floating brains, clots, arterial systems and foetuses the crew focussed in on the minute details of the organ solely responsible for our memories, now lifeless and eerily suspended in its embalming fluid.
Taking inspiration from the work of vfx artist Peter Park (The Fountain, Tree of Life), and armed with an assortment of lenses, extenders and reversers, the Untamed crew set about creating its own version of star formations, nebulas and galaxies.
Experimenting with various ingredients including alcohol, milk, ink, food colouring and water, we discovered that the infinite can easily be found in the microscopic.
Over half a century ago Ian’s dad, Jim, took his 8mm camera to capture his two sons in action at the annual Rondebosch Boys’s High School sports day, where Ian competed in long jump and various running events.
In 2014 the Untamed crew visited the school as an entirely different spectrum of students competed in the same events on the same field, representing a vastly different South African school system to the one through which Ian navigated.
After months of digging, there are few things as exciting for a documentary filmmaker as finding approximately 5000 feet of 8mm video of your film’s subject. Shot primarily in the 50s and 60s, the 5 hours of film provide a glimpse into Ian’s early life in Zambia, his excitement of going to boarding school and numerous other priceless moments.
In preparation for a key scene in the film, director Simon Wood and DP Felix Seuffert journeyed to the Silvermine Reserve on the back of Table Mountain to experiment with filming under the water of the Reserve’s lake.
With the camera securely housed and submerged, the lake’s waters, black from above, appeared surprisingly transparent, allowing the sun’s rays to glint through the surface.
This week director Simon Wood took Ian back to his childhood as Ian showed the Untamed crew around Mason House, his old boarding house at Rondebosch Boys’. Despite having been upgraded somewhat in the half century since Ian arrived, he was still able to identify his old bed and the names of the boys with whom he shared his accommodation.
In addition to the dormitory, Ian showed the crew the basin where he first shaved and the rugby field on which he spent so many hours practising his kicking.