BASH the Entertainer takes viewers behind the scenes, exploring the world of Scottish social media sensation, Bachala Mbunzama. It is being broadcast on BBC Scotland on Tuesday, October 13, between 10.30pm and 11pm. Here, Stewart Kyasimire, director-producer answers the questions…
Who commissioned the documentary?
Louise Thornton, at BBC Scotland. Louise also commissioned another documentary I directed, called Black and Scottish, for Black History Month 2019.
Explain the thinking behind the production’s look and feel
I filmed, produced and directed the documentary. I wanted to create a space for Bash, where he felt comfortable. I created a set that was in keeping with his personality. The set consists of Bash’s wardrobe and features shoes from his extensive collection. I wanted a vibrant and high level of production.
The documentary was a 1x 60′ commission; however, because of COVID-19, we went for a studio master interview, allowing us to spend more time dressing the set.
I shot the documentary on the Blackmagic URSA G2 and Blackmagic 6K. A set of cameras with a high dynamic range and an impressive highlight fall off and skin tone rendition.
I wanted the exterior shots to be cinematic and dramatic, taking advantage of the overcast environment.
Who are the key personnel?
Executive producers, Ewan Angus and Naysun Alae Carew. Ewan worked for the BBC for 32 years, more than half that time as commissioning editor for television at BBC Scotland. He has extensive experience of TV and film production and co-production within the UK and internationally.
Naysun is a Scottish film producer. He is best known for the film, Anna and The Apocalypse. Naysun is the managing director of Blazing Griffin, which specialises in video game development, film and TV development, production and post-production services.
Lauren Lamarr, production manager, Blazing Griffin, who has been working as a short film and indie film producer for more than ten years.
Steven Little, producer, Blazing Griffin, and Kaljaeven Lally, editor.
What kit and software?
Cameras: Blackmagic URSA mini pro G2 and Blackmagic Pocket 6K
Lenses: Samyang Cine Primes
Lighting: Aputure 120 and softbox. Led panels, strips and bulbs.
Colour Grade: Davinci Resolve
What were the main production challenges?
Our primary challenge was shooting during the COVID-19 lockdown. We had to reduce the crew on set and follows all guidelines. Pre-production was all via zoom and I sat in a separate room from the dub and grade.
What did you most learn and enjoy from the experience?
I learned that not all productions need a large team. With the right talent, shooting a documentary like Behind the Smile, where most of the production is in a studio, you need to work with a multi-skilled crew like our production manager, Lauren Lamarr, who also wore a producer’s hat.
Some edits can be done remotely, depending on the production. Regular meetings and preparation are imperative during these times.
I enjoyed working with the Blackmagic cameras I recently purchased. The image that comes straight out of the camera is a dream to work with, especially when shooting raw.
I enjoyed working with the Blazing Griffin team and I hope we can work together again.