Today I had the pleasure of David Muller’s (production assistant to us for much of Melannie’s work during the UNAM graduation) company when we went to ConSoAV – a local audiovisual business that specializes in equipment rental and lighting, conference A/V, and local production (such as concerts and shows). ConSoAV had agreed to rent us lights for the during of our time shooting in Namibia and opened its doors to David and I today to switch out the previous lighting kit for something smaller and more suitable for quick set up and breakdown for our interviews of The Nine.
When we arrived, I met Brian, owner of ConSoAV. He led us through a winding labyrinth of nearly-empty shopping mall. The only business that was open at the time was a place that sells “take-aways” a South African colloquialism for “take out” in the United States. It was across from a field and near an industrial area. A small family was selling fruit under a tree.
We arrived in the large storage unit turned garage and my heart sang. The detritus of cannibalized stage lighting intermixed with sophisticated live-switching hardware felt like so many public television stations and theater back stages and that felt like home to me. I could have spent all day there fixing decrepit fresnels and fashioning sets of barn doors. It reminded me of the necessity of resourcefulness in any kind of creative endeavor.
The deft fingers of Brian and his coworkers quickly replaced broken parts with found materials. “This is Africa,” Brian said. “If it doesn’t work, we make it work.” I admired that ingenuity and silently hoped some of that would rub off on me.