Coal Stove Pictures, in collaboration with JetMart Stores, has packaged three of their films: Lucky Numbers, KeJive & Tooth and Nails in a box set for the special price of R99. Inspired4Writers talks to screen writer Fidel Namisi about what inspires his narrative, how long it took to write Lucky Numbers & Tooth and Nails, why it’s so important to laugh and more.
Inspired4Writers: As a comedic writer, what informs or inspires your narrative?
Fidel Namisi: I am continually drawn by the fish-out-of-water scenarios. Almost all the comedies I’ve worked on have this as the basic premise. I do hope to explore other comedic premises in the near future, if there’s a funny “hook” to be discovered.
Inspired4Writers: May you share with the Inspired4Writers readers how long it took you to write the two films [Lucky Numbers & Tooth and Nails]? How do you know when the screenplay is ready for production?
Fidel Namisi: Each film took 6 months to write. A screenplay is never quite ready for production. You just sort of realize that it resonates emotionally with you and you can’t take it any further without messing it up.
Inspired4Writers: What are the key messages you aim to embed in your work?
Fidel Namisi: I don’t believe in embedding messages in a film. I believe the work of a writer is to discover, not to dictate.
Inspired4Writers: In Lucky Numbers you write about a rare but often thought about experience: that of winning millions in cash. How important is it to laugh at some of the experiences that would otherwise have us pained with grief?
Fidel Namisi: It’s very important. Laughter is therapeutic. There’s a reason why comedy is South Africa’s most popular genre. Perhaps we seek healing through laughter.
Inspired4Writers: What advice can you share with an aspiring South African film writer?
Fidel Namisi: Write every single day for at least one hour, minimum. Including Sundays and Public Holidays, your wedding day and anniversaries. The only exception is your funeral. Unless of course you get a same day burial. In which case, your funeral shouldn’t be an exception either.
Lucky is the unluckiest guy in the world. His luck turns when he wins the lotto, but
as luck would have it, he loses his ticket in an unfortunate occurrence.
He discovers that a gang of two-bit scoundrels are chasing after his ticket, and has
to find the ticket before they do. Caught in the middle of all this is Sophie, the
unwitting beautiful young lady who inadvertently helped Lucky win.
A down and out talent agent discovers a dance prodigy, and together they journey
towards rebuilding their broken lives and realizing their dreams.
Tooth and Nails
Tooth is a failed kwaito star with delusions of grandeur. When he tries to launch his
nonexistent career, he falls into the hands of a villainous loan shark. Running for his
life, he sneaks his way into a gospel music talent camp and tries his hand at gospel
music as a way out of the mess he’s in.
For more information: http://www.coalstove.co.za.