Film Needs The BEAT – Says Zim Film Maker – Lenni Sibanda

FACT! Music is the most powerful rhythmic tool conceived by mankind. It has always been like that from the grunting of the cavemen to the drug scoured voice of Amy Winehouse, rhythm is always present.In film we need music to act as a score, an emotional cue to tide the audience’s emotion according to the storyline. It adds an emotional punch where needed or lulling tone where necessary. If you are in doubt watch your favourite movie without the music and feel how flat it is.

When I was growing up there was the movie Jit (appropriately named after a music genre popular in those days.). And you guessed it, what really stood out in that Zimbabwean love story and authenticated its Zimbabweaness was the music ,Mdala Tuku poured some magic on to that cinema piece and turned into GOLD. Same with Piece of Ebony on the coming of age film “More Time”, their mibira laced hip hop had heads bopping and the message sinking in. Fast forward a few years later Steve Dyer plus saxophone , Tuku plus voice (what can we say the Mdala is a legend) turned Yellow Card into a Zimbabwean classic, (Well them and Gringo saying “It’s a black boy, MADAM”).

Bummer! Now that I am in film turns out the practice of music and film collaborations seem to be in a state of comatose.

I have done work withmusicians McPotar, Jahbue and Mthoko of Powerhouse on some of my productions but I know we need more musicians collaborating with us, hence comatose.

On my musician begging spree, one guy asked me how it would benefit him and his career. In answering him I used a few examples take for instance Celine Dion’s “My heart will go on” on the Titanic soundtrack became her biggest selling single of all time.Or digging deeper we look at the Oscar wins by Eminem for his soundtrack “Lose yourself” for the motion picture“8 Mile”, and how that further cemented his position in hip hop history. Or we look at the financial rewards reaped by South African Kwaito god Zola from increased album sells for “Mdlwembe” with songs on the Oscar winning film Tsotsi”.

Collaborate OR Die !

Now that’s something we as Zimbabwean entertainers and artists need to understand. Let’s create synergies and collaborations that can help strengthen our work and lift us from obscurity.

Author bio: LenniMdawiniSibanda is an award winning self-taught filmmaker atYa-sibo? Media . He believes that cinema will die soon from VR (Virtual Reality) but still loves it to bits and Mdawini is his clan name .

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