Today, we went out to the field. The goal was to practice framing and cloning of subjects. We filmed the subjects in different shots doing different things, then edited these shots and brought them together into the same frame.

The effect of this was that multiple shots appeared in the same frame as one shot in which the same subject appeared while doing different things. This technique has been used in films to bring about the illusion of twins or triplets.


Script Writing- Learning from Blood Diamond

Today’s class comprised watching a film; Blood Diamond.

Charles Leavitt, the film’s writer, is set to have a talk with us later on. We look forward to discussing script writing, and also sharing ideas on film and filmmaking.

Foundation in filmmaking- Second intake 2011

Kibera Film School offers training in the following:

– Scriptwriting

– Camera

– Production

– Sound

– Editing

– Entrepreneurship

The duration of the course is 5 months full time. The fee structure shall be sent upon request. There is limited space, and some scholarships are available.
Kibera Film School is located at Hot Sun Foundation Training Center in Kibera, near Olympic Primary School.

Application forms may be picked, filled and returned at the Hot Sun Office, between the 20th of May and the 25th of June 2011.

For more information, please email:

Josephat Keya gets fellowship to New York’s Ghetto Film School

During today’s script writing class with Wanjiru Kairu, we had a discussion on our 5-minute script narrative projects.  In groups of four, we discussed character treatment and aspects of script writing.

Stephen Okoth’s Machozi ya Simba (tears of the lion) was approved for completion. We went on to design the DVD layer for the My World project.

Later on, it was announced that Josephat Keya had won a fellowship to the Ghetto Film School in New York. He departs in July and comes back in September. Congratulations to Josephat, we wish him all the best.

Shooting mental images

There was an article in the paper, about a Canadian film maker that lost his right eye as a teenager and now wants to insert a wireless video camera into his prosthetic eye.

No pun intended, but one sees where he’s coming from.

I mean, take a walk down the street and you’ll see dozens of things you wish you could capture with a lens and keep in your mind for posterity (I wonder if the wireless video camera in the Canadian man’s prosthetic eye specialises in mental images).

The other night, a scuffle broke out in the street, careening dangerously into a gory situation. A camera in the eye would have been able to capture the following:

–          The blurry motion of the spanner as the matatu driver rammed it over and over into the passenger’s skull

–          The tidemarks of anger stretched over the matatu driver’s face, like electricity cables beneath his skin

–          The spectators gathering around. These were divided into three:

  1. The people who hurled lustful eyes at the injured man’s back pocket where his wallet and cell phone were wedged
  2. The people that offered lots of useless sympathy and then melted into thin air when real help was needed
  3. The people that weren’t there but should have been there, like the cops and the man’s friends who wanted money sent to them first before they could move a muscle to their friend’s aid.

–          The montage of pain on the concrete as droplets of blood dribbled from the man’s jaws, bounced on the pavement and splattered across the dusty soles of shoes

–          A Nairobi street’s pre-sleeping routine: first it takes off its shoes, takes off its stifling clothes, chases the vehicles off its roads, washes itself in the muddy puddles, oils its concrete skin from the excrement of trucks and trailers, then snuggles next to the drunkards and the glue-sniffing homeless people.

–          Most importantly, the camera would have been able to capture the concern in Mercy Murugi’s face as she ran to the injured man, checked his legs for broken bones, dabbed his bleeding face with pocket tissues, took out her phone to call his relatives and rushed him to the Nairobi Women’s Hospital.

–          The camera might have been able to catch the irony when, the next day, the injured man called Mercy Murugi to ask her if she had stolen his cell phone!




Mtaani mentality

Sometimes the kids in Kibera sound like a broken record.

“How are you? How are you? How are you?” they sing, following us through Kibera streets, waving their tiny hands.

The stock phrase is directed at Matt Wilder or Karolin Siebert. So too are the adoring eyes, their toothless smiles. Even kids that ordinarily can’t speak can string enough words to say ‘awayu’.

One wonders who ingrains this in them. I mean, these kids can’t tell the difference between red and blue. How then do they tell the difference between black and white?

Today, Matt couldn’t join us on location for a shoot; he had to direct it via phone. The last time we went on location with him, he was forced to part with cash hand outs for the onlookers. Today, the onlookers met us a long way from the shoot location.

Ako wapi huyo mzungu?” they asked, wanting to know where Matt was. They wanted more cash handouts from him.

Matt didn’t join us. The shoot went really well. Everything went according to plan. In fact, we shot in record time (could be that Matt is a time waster).

Usually when Matt joins us, throngs of people tag after the film crew. Sounds of ‘awayu’ follow us for miles. Onlookers demand to be paid for looking. Today, there was little interference from the onlookers. In the absence of a mzungu, there were less than five onlookers. 

Evans, a member of crew, calls this the Mtaani Mentality. The strange thing is that in the absence of a white person –a mzungu– the Mtaani Mentality is reversed, targeted against fellow Kenyans.

For example, today I asked a street vendor in Kibera how much a packet of groundnuts cost.

“Ten shillings,” the vendor said.

The women that sat with the vendor nudged her, admonished her for not taking advantage of me. In mother tongue, they told the woman to sell the groundnuts to me for five times their worth.

Well, these are just some occupational hazards of being in a film crew. People see the expensive equipment and want to exploit you.


To support the great youth of the Kibera Film School, please visit our Global Giving Page




To support the great youth of the Kibera Film School, please visit our Global Giving Page

Stephen Okoth preparing the land ready to plant the flowers during the  general cleaning day at the school.

 Jefferson Oroka, electrician checking the meter box during the general cleaning day at the school

Moses Ouma and Berry Muga both students of Kibera film school carrying garbbage.   

Josephat Keya the project  manager arranging the flower pots inorder. He also urged the students to always keep the school and its environs clean adding that cleanliness is always secondliness to God.

>The stuff they don’t show you on television


Movie-making is very easy, right? All you do is grab a camera –a phone even- and switch it on, place your target in front of you, make them do something and then mount the footage on YouTube. No budget, really, unless you count the modem or cyber fees for uploading the footage on YouTube. No work, either, right?
You have no idea! Did you know that the drama that goes on behind the scenes could make an entire series on its own? In fact, some Hollywood Cyber sentinel has spotted this blogpost and made a studio call already.
He’s probably saying; “Hello, Mr. Film Director, I just stole this intellectually confounding idea off of the Kibera Film School site, about making a series out of the behind the scenes footage. Really, why didn’t we think of this before?” Seriously, they make serieses out of people staring at potted plants. And those sell!
So, this is the stuff they don’t show you on television and which we are going to show in the new Behind the Scenes series (we see you, idea-stealing Hollywood Cyber Sentinel):
Whenever we shoot around Kibera, we are followed by hordes of curious spectators. These people are so impatient they can’t wait for the movie premiere; they have to watch it on the set. For your own movie-watching safety, don’t talk to these people unless they have ‘Spoiler Alert’ disclaimer labels across their foreheads.
There are those spectators that come to the camera person and demand to be shot too. They say that whatever the cast is doing, they can do better. Serious negotiations begin. Sometimes the serious negotiations don’t stop until there’s a steady pounding of pain in the camera person’s head.
Then there are those people who make a steady living out of watching the shooting of films. If you set up the tripod on the grass, you have to pay them. If you look at a goat, you have to pay them. If you breathe the air, you have to pay them. If you ask for directions, you have to pay them. In fact, now that we think about it, that’s such a business plan! We’ll be setting up the tripod and mounting the camera, then paying ourselves for looking at the goats and breathing and stepping on the grass. We won’t have to work another day of our lives!
The paranoid people come flailing hammers and toothpicks because the camera blinked instead of closing its eyes. They ask, “Why is it looking at me like that? What are the camera’s intentions?” So, this is a public service announcement: Our cameras are good people. They aren’t looking at you perversely. They only have good intentions in their hearts.
It can take hours to shoot just one scene. One episode has many scenes, and one season has many episodes. It takes endless standing, hunching under the weight of gruesome equipment, screaming your voice hoarse and bloodying your scalp with razors to bring your favourite show on the screen. Oh wait, there’s also the deafening growls issuing from your neglected stomach.  
It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. I know, I know, that’s a cliché line. If you know any film or television crew, give them a pat on the back. They deserve it.

To support the great youth of the Kibera Film School, please visit our Global Giving Page



Kibera Film School Assistant Trainer Clerence Illavonga showing some of the trainees how to log and capture footages on final cut.

Assistant Trainers Victor Oluoch and Karolin sharing a light moment while reviewing the curriculum on what they will be teaching their class at the beginning of the week.

Kibera Film School Trainee preparing to edit his project.

Some children from the Hotsun Foundation Children’s workshop learning how to use a still camera and the were really elated.

Every learning process begins with that first step and thus this child takes a photograph of the other children in the workshop.It was a fun activity for them and their instructor. A new hobby they found, most of them said!

What is a camera? Children’s workshop instructor Evans Kangethe seems to be asking the children.

It is always a bee hive of activities even during the weekend at the one and only Film School in Kibera. For every one here every day is a learning process and there is no wasting time in life because every second as the clock ticks counts!

To support the great youth of the Kibera Film School, please visit our Global Giving Page


Victor Oluoch receives his certificate.

Hot Sun Foundation staff,Kibera TV and Kibera Film School trainees celebrating the IFFF award.

IFFF certificate.

Victor Oluoch,Kibera Film School trainer/filmmaker says that he is so much exited and thankful to IFFF for giving Kibera Film School a chance to showcase their talent to the world.He also said this is a promising result for the future of  the school. ‘Am grateful to Kibera Film School for offering a filmmaking avenue for Kiera youth.’

To support the great youth of the Kibera Film School, please visit our Global Giving Page



Kibera TV crew.

 Kibera TV crew members recording the Stop Malaria Now launch held at Panafric Hotel.

Stop Malaria Now participants.

Filmmakers from Hot Sun Foundation receiving recognition prior to taking part in the production of Stop Malaria Now film and campaign.

Aida Owira assistant trainer receiving a reward.

Kibera Film School trainee receiving a reward.

Kibera TV crew shooting an interview together with the programs manager Kibera Film School.

To support the great youth of the Kibera Film School, please visit our Global Giving Page

>Documentary class with Agnes Hee


Agnes Hee, the TV writer and editor at Korean TV and Radio Writers Association came for her second class with the trainees. She is taking the trainees through the making of a documentary about themselves titled “Who Am I”.

To day during her class which she normally uses a projector for her lessons she took the trainees through the stages and skills in interview techniques.

Instructor Agnes Hee taking the student through the skills and stages in interviews by using films with good interviews

Moses, Stephen, Alice and Joseph concentrating watching an interview piece while Agnes watches it on using her laptop.