Tapiwa ‘little finix’ Tembo is a short film by Cape Town-based cinematographer, Dayne Malan based around the story of a young Zimbabwean boxer based in Cape Town SA…


As many of you know, we recently started inviting our readers to submit some of their work to be featured on Orms Connect. This could include a photographic or video project, product review or even an editorial contribution if you have some knowledge to share. This is how we found the short film by Cape Town-based cinematographer, Dayne Malan, titled; Tapiwa ‘little finix’ Tembo. We asked Dayne to give us a bit of background and tell us more about the project, his equipment and how it came together.

I studied at AFDA and actually graduated as a Sound Designer, my love for the camera only developed after I left college. After completing a few passion projects, I decided to start a small company to do promotional video content, eventually, I was joined by some friends and TinToy Productions was born. Five years on and we’ve grown from strength to strength. In addition to that, there is the odd occasion where I get the opportunity to take on personal projects that keep me sane!

This brings us to Tapiwa ‘little finix’ Tembo, a story about a young Zimbabwean boxer based in Cape Town, South Africa. Tapiwa Tembo is a professional boxer and one of five trainers at the boxing gym where I go on a weekly basis. Hard work and dedication ooze out of every one of them. Their passion for the sport is a huge inspiration to me, not only when I go to the boxing, but also in everyday life. I felt that doing a little piece on Tapiwa was a way to get other people to feel inspired, just as I do when I’m with these guys.

The short film on Tapiwa didn’t really have a structure before I started shooting. I was just keen on having fun with a camera and I knew Tapiwa would be up for it. The night before we were going to shoot I jotted down some locations that I thought would work and we used the golden hour in the morning and evening to shoot. I don’t think we were at each location for longer than 20mins. I also didn’t have much gear with me, in fact, I had my camera in my hand, no reflectors, tripods etc. Run and gun mode. I wanted it to look as natural as possible. The interview / voice over was done that same night in my recording studio. The film was edited and graded the very next day. After shooting it I knew exactly how the edit would flow, so piecing it together was very quick. I attached the Moby track, which I got permission for and that was that.

I’m a very run and gun type of shooter. The more guerrilla the more fun for me. I like to believe I have a steady hand so that’s why I often just run around with only a camera and lens. Since this film I have upgraded to the Sony A7S II which has a built in stabilisation so I can use my non-IS lenses. This has just made it even easier for me!

I shot the film on my Panasonic GH4 with the Lumix 12-35mm lens (24-70mm full frame equivalent). The lens is tiny and perfect for run and gun style shoots. This was a great choice as the 96fps at 1080p on the camera is very good in my opinion. I put a variable ND filter on the front and that’s all I used to shoot. I basically looked like a tourist walking around with a photo camera!

Like, share, and comment on the video below… let’s get the conversation started! See more of Dayne’s work on Vimeo.