Rob Weidner

Optimist & Storyteller

Rob Weidner is a storyteller based in Cape Town, South Africa who enjoys empowering others with his creativity and optimism.  Technically, Rob is a freelance focus puller and camera operator focused on feature films and long-form narrative projects, but aside from that, he can also make a mean homemade pizza. To check out what he is up to now, check out his Now page.

Waiting on a South Africa work visa

Currently, I'm in Chicago suburbs at my family's home while I wait for a new work visa to return to South Africa.  I was supposed to fly back on the 1st of January to finish work on ABCs "Of Kings and Prophets"  as a focus puller and start work on BBC's "Jamillah and Aladdin" (link might not work if you are outside the UK) as a camera operator.  That hasn't happened and I've attempted to berate the South African social media outlets (which they seem to be spending all their time on).

Quick timeline of South Africa visa nightmare

  1. Dec 8, 2015 submit critical skills work visa. Expected 4 weeks of processing
  2. Jan 14, 2016 travel to Chicago SA Consulate to pick up visa. The office cannot find it.
    1. Later that day... they find my application, process, and reject my application
  3. Jan 22, 2016 submit appeal for wrongful rejection
  4. Jan 28, 2016 receive second rejection of application
  5. Feb 3, 2016 submit second appeal for 2 wrongful rejection
  6. Feb 23 after not hearing anything regarding appeal, apply for shorter/easier visa to get back. Expected 5 business day processing
  7. Feb 1 call Consulate for update.  No one has looked at my application.  Told to wait 5 more business days
  8. Feb 7 call Consulate for update.  They are unaware if one can apply for 2nd visa while existing appeal is processing (that was their original suggestion remember)
  9. Feb 8 using extreme sleuth skills get personal email address of Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and plead my case
  10. Feb 9 DMHA forwards email on and asks for all documentation
  11. Update: Mar 7 Chicago Consulate informs me that I cannot apply for any additional visas, while an appeal is in process...They could have said that before I submitted and waited for my second application.

While home I've been able to do some traveling to Colorado, California, Indiana, and many trips to downtown Chicago.  Additionally, I've been able to spend a ton of time on two businesses I started in South Africa with a mate, Rusty Ruthven.  

The first being Filmgear.co.za which is an awesome resource for South Africans in the professional film industry to easily get the gear they need at an affordable price.  The second adventure that Rusty and I have embarked on is fabricating high quality film push trolleys we are calling Gold Carts.  The existing options on the market are old, heavy, and ugly.  The Gold Cart is the exact opposite.

Filmgear.co.za a resource for professional film equipment for South Africa

Filmgear.co.za a resource for professional film equipment for South Africa

Gold Carts sexy aircraft grade trolleys that fold into themselves for easy travel

Gold Carts sexy aircraft grade trolleys that fold into themselves for easy travel