Why Amsterdam? IBC of course!
As some of you may know, I have been having incredible difficulty getting a work visa to go back to South Africa. I left in December of 2015 with a lawyer-prepared exceptional skills visa application in hand and submitted that application the day after I got back to Chicago. At the time, I was enjoying working as a focus puller on ABC’s Of Kings and Prophets since September and had plans to continue to work the rest of the season until February and then head straight into camera operating season two of BBC’s Jamillah and Aladdin until the end of April. I knew the visa processing was going to take some time and the listed estimated times were four weeks so I had prepared myself for just that. Fast forward to May and I ended up going only then going back and on a simple visitor’s visa for three months and was restricted to not working. See my previous post here for a more detailed and humorous rundown of the entire situation. After the three months on a visitor visa, I finally did receive a three-year work visa, in August of 2016 with huge thanks to the help of Big Sky Productions as always for sponsoring me!
While back at home, I was able to celebrate my father’s 60th birthday at home, go to my cousin's wedding in Vermont, and visit many friends around the USA, so I made the best out of the situation. My return to the Mother City (Cape Town’s nickname), coincided with one of the biggest tradeshows in the film and broadcast industry, the International Broadcasters Convention (IBC) which takes place every year in Amsterdam around the first week of September. With Amsterdam being a very popular route to travel through to get to Cape Town, I could not pass up the chance to go to Amsterdam for the first time but also go to IBC. Going to the conference not only strengthened my relationships with my existing distributors and manufacturers for my company Film Gear South Africa, but also I was able to develop new relationships with industry professionals and discuss matters as a camera technician myself. To read all of my highlights from IBC check out my post on it here, with highlights including Greg Spence producer for Game of Thrones, seeing two movies in a brand new state-of-the-art Dolby Vision and Atmos designed theatre, and a keynote presentation from award-winning director Ang Lee.