Neo Paulus is an award-winning film maker and photographer. Her career started with photography at the University of Pretoria in 2012 where she gained skills and started her own documentary and filmmaking company, acquiring skills in Producing, Directing, Photography and Director Of Photography (DOP).
In 2020 she won four awards for a film she Directed, Produced, Story Developed and DOP for an international film competition.
Q&A with Neo
How did you start in the industry?
Inspired by my mother, I started out as a stills photographer and my career took off from there.
What does your typical work day look like?
Waking up at 04:00 (depending on the distance of the location I’m going to be on, that day) for a 06:30 call time. This way, I am going to be 20 minutes early and avoid traffic delays . Get to work, starting by cleaning up camera lenses, and building cameras before everyone arrives onset, more especially after an out of studio shoot. By the time the other crew members arrive on set, I’m already standing by… It is my responsibility to see to it that my Camera Department is standing by. The most interesting part of this job is that there is no typical day. Everyday has its own challenges. Being a DOP is harder, because you have to communicate with all the departments and to see if everything is in order for the day.
What do you think FAME Week Africa can offer the Pan-African Market?
As a female film and Queer for that rmatter, I have been prejudiced and felt ostracized. It has left me flabbergasted how so many, even production offices, turn a blind eye to my grievances. It would be a great platform to discuss the obstacles and challenges we come across, give solutions and share job opportunities. Trend talks are always useful – camera usage continually changes as well as the style of shooting and the kind of props used to achieve certain effects. Let’s expand a way and form of communication and share experiences of previous works and we won if not survived them.
What do you think the future of the creative industries look like?
From the look of things, the normal, normalcy will never come back again. The so-called ‘New Normalcy’ is the way to go. We gotta do with what we have wherever we are at. With the help of technology, will be able to edit and piece things together. Also, a form of collaboration would lift a form of story telling to the highest level because I am certain everyone in the world is going through something worth sharing.
With FAME Week Africa being hosted in the Mother City, what do you love about Cape Town?
The beautiful scenery and landscapes and the ever changing weather, though I have never been on a vacation but have been in and out because of work.