Reality in a snap!

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Craig Urbani in front of the camera for Sharp Shooter.

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BY BILLY SUTER

CRAIG Urbani, a hit in Durban over the festive season in the role of strict Captain Von Trapp in the Playhouse Company’s successful The Sound of Music, is to be seen in a reality television show soon.

He is the host of Sharp Shooter, a series headed for SABC3 after having been shown in 2010 on M-Net. It focuses on the visual world of photographers – and the skill, the passion and the determination they need to capture that perfect shot, according to a spokesman.

Scheduled to premiere at 8pm on January 16, Sharp Shooter focuses on all forms of photography – from the glamorous world of beauty, to the gritty world of news journalism, to the ‘dog-eat-dog’ world of advertising.

“The perfect images captured by top photographers are crucial in any communication campaign,” says a spokesman for the show.

“Brands all rely on photography to introduce their products and communicate to their consumers, making photography not just about its art aspect. It’s also about business, determination, guts and making sure you capture the brief correctly and perfectly.”

Competing in Sharp Shooter are 15 photographers chosen from all walks of life – from amateurs to professionals, students to housewives. They will match their photographic and interpersonal skills across a wide range of photographic disciplines and principles.

As the photographers are challenged to perform in the various tasks, both they and the audience will gain insight and tips on the fundamental aspects of photography, ensuring a unique and progressive entertainment viewer experience.

The series will focus on multiple photographic principles and challenges, ranging from action, architecture, abstract and still life, to automotive, wildlife, fashion, underwater, painting with light, and commissioned photography.

“The show was filmed all over South Africa and everywhere they went, the crew was greeted with enthusiasm and assistance,” says the spokesman.

“From the Fire Department of Johannesburg, to Ushaka Marine World in Durban, to glamorous model studios in Cape Town and wildlife at Bakobang and Komati Gorge Lifestyle Estate, the series showcases beautiful scenery as well as beautiful photographs. It is intense and beautiful, shot and graded in a cinematic style.”

The Sharp Shooter judging panel consists of household names Jenni Button and Josie Borain and advertising photographer extraordinaire Bryan Traylor.

Created by Grant Edmundson and Kobus Swart, Sharp Shooter is produced for Sharp Shooter Productions by Foghound Studios in association with Quinton van der Burgh Media.

“This was a show that was original and exciting,” comments Foghound Studios managing director Neil Symon.

“We knew if the idea excited us then it would excite our audience. The idea was unique. The way we planned to create it was unique. The opportunities for sponsor brands were also unique.”

One element that Foghound Studios or the executive producers were not prepared to compromise on, irrespective of a relatively tight budget, was the quality and production values. The show had to be visually exciting from all aspects, from the camera angles, to the grade to the high pace of the edit

“We wanted to make a reality television show that was completely different to anything ever made before,” comments producer-director Kobus Swart.

“Something with a completely unique look, closer to a feature film then reality television. It’s a show about beautiful pictures, so the visual elements of the show itself had to match the winning photographs of the contestants.

The vision for the show was great. The ambition was great, the challenges great and the learning curve even greater. The concept was developed to include all the exciting elements of reality television as well as some twists that are unique to the show.

“We promise a show that is shot from a completely unique angle,” comments producer Sonja Hodgen. “And we deliver on this promise both literally and figuratively. The camera angles are unique and we have also introduced some unique elements into the judging and elimination pocess that bring added tension to the show.

“To these beautiful pictures add the human element of contestants and the result is great television viewing. The contestants are novice amateur and professional photographers, united by their passion for photography and driven by the high stakes of half-a-million-rand in prizes.”

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Josie Borain, Bryan Traylor and Jenni Button… the judges of Sharp Shooter.

6 thoughts on “Reality in a snap!

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