I first met Costa Botes about 10 years ago, I was writing a profile on him for a magazine. I visited his house for a couple of hours over a couple of days and came away armed with all sorts of stories. Botes had worked with Peter Jackson on the great Forgotten Silver. At the time I met him he had just finished shaping footage for a 10-hour making-of doco from behind the scenes of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Botes has been a film critic, is now a film tutor and educator and through both sets of jobs and at either side he has been a filmmaker, working on the TV show, The Tribe, creating shorts and features (Saving Grace) and for most of the last decade working primarily with the documentary format (Candyman, The Last Dogs of Winter, Lost in Wonderland, Struggle No More). He’s shot concert films for local acts and created a fascinating gallery filled with the film portraits of lovable oddballs and outsiders.
Costa and I met for a chat and talked through his life and career – his influences and frustrations. We talk about internet piracy and the difficulty of making films without a guaranteed income; to that end to check out any of his work – at a very reasonable price – check his Vimeo page (or go to his Lone Pine Productions website and be redirected from there).
We talked, too, about the naff term “content provider” and the devaluing of arts as a result. We talked about life – and the unexpected reminders of mortality.
I really enjoyed reconnecting with Costa, a man with a wealth of knowledge, a realistic take on his abilities and many war stories.
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I hope you like episode 38 of Sweetman Podcast, my conversation with Costa Botes.