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“This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection:” “Subconscious” Storytelling and the Software to Make It Happen

“Being able to complete post production using a single piece of software makes so much more sense to me creatively.”

“Landlocked by South Africa on all sides, the kingdom of Lesotho is a place of high skies, wide landscapes and narrow prospects for its two million inhabitants: a set of dimensions somehow captured in every exquisitely constructed, square-cut frame of This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection, writes Guy Lodge. “A haunted, unsentimental paean to land and its physical containment of community and ancestry—all endangered by nominally progressive infrastructure—this arresting third feature from Lesotho-born writer-director Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese is as classical in theme as it is adventurous in presentation.” To read the full article, click here.

“This is Not a Burial is an accomplished film,” writes Abby Sun. “Every technical aspect is considered, especially with Mosese serving as his own editor, conveying the story of an 80-year-old widow, Mantoa, who fights for the right of her fellow villagers to remain in their homes in the face of a massive eviction. The Academy ratio of the frame is perfectly suited for its elaborate interiors and the choreography of group scenes outdoors.

“The story advances deliberately, starting with introducing the narrator in a crowded bar, telling the colonialist history of the village and its name of Nasaretha while playing the lesiba, a traditional Lesotho instrument used by shepherds. The tune that he plays is repeated at crucial moments in following story, anchoring the film’s focus on language and how it’s conveyed.” To read the full article, click here.

“Where I grew up, there was nobody who made films,” Mosese tells Devika Girish. “So you don’t have a reference of someone who can actually make you dream of making movies.”

“I create from a place of subconscious,” he continues. “I have an idea and I run with it. Because I didn’t go to film school, I never learned to question things. Questions of structure or logic come last [to me].” To read the full interview, click here.

Mosese, who directed, edited and delivered the feature in just six months, traveled to his birth country of Lesotho to complete production, before finalizing the edit at Uhuru Productions in Cape Town. Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve Studio was used to edit, grade and finish the project; the grade was then delivered by colorist Nic Apostoli, at nearby Comfort and Fame Studios.

“Using Lesotho as a location was wonderful, but it did bring its own set of challenges,” explains Mosese. “There was no electricity or other infrastructure to speak of.” To get around this, Mosese and his assistant acquired a generator for power and set up a temporary edit suite on location using quad core Mac Pros. It was here that they transcoded all of the rushes, and assembled a rough cut.

Read more: Goodbye Adobe Premiere, Hello DaVinci Resolve

“With no electricity or working infrastructure to speak of, we really put DaVinci Resolve through its paces,” he continues. “It’s a testament to the software’s overall stability that we didn’t experience any performance related issues while on set. I also like how modern and fresh the UI is; it actually makes the process of editing fun.

From “This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection”

“Going into post production, I had so many ideas, and Resolve made the job of pulling together the cut, so much simpler. I was then able to shape the story once back in Cape Town, using the NLE and retiming tools in Resolve to finesse the story’s narrative, building in tension subtly.

“Being able to complete post production using a single piece of software makes so much more sense to me creatively,” Mosese concludes. “I haven’t looked back since.”