Company Profile & Showreels

Company Profile

Since 1989 Shadow Films has produced and distributed films. Formed in Sydney, the company returned home to South Africa in 1991 where it has traded successfully for 25 years.

Shadow Films has distributed African content exclusively to the international market for five years. Shadow Films has  recently completed an 82' film made over 20 years, and is writing and seeking finance for several projects.

With an outstanding track record, we proactively create concepts, add value and provide cost effective solutions. We aim for long-term relationships. We research and prepare well, trust our vision and instincts, communicate relentlessly, and embrace collaboration.

We are swift and efficient, hiring in specialized services and equipment. We are committed to creativity, quality, and economy. We are global players with a local perspective, distributing African content, mostly docs, to the global market.

Shadow Films is a founding member of the Independent Producers' Organisation and David sat on the Executive Committee of the SA Screen Federation (SASFED) for three years, and is a Documentary Filmmakers' Association (DFA) member. He has been involved in training and industry initiatives for 27 years.

"Put every dollar on the screen. Don't waste anything." – The Malpaso Ethic (Clint Eastwood's company)

"All in all, the cinematographer's work is about balance. You've got to find a balance between the elements of production – its financial and schedule aspects – and making pretty pictures." – Jack Green ASC

Showreel Clips

David as a clapper loader on a Mercedes Benz commercial in the early 1980s

"Information is never essential, it's mood that is essential." – D A Pennbaker

Sometimes we need angels – this is St Michel.          

Caravaggio's "Calling of St Matthew"  

Caravaggio's "Betrayal of Christ" – a master of light.

10 Films that influenced me

Ju Dou, by Zhang Yimou (China, 1991)

Once Were Warriors, by Lee Tamahori (New Zealand 1995)

Diva, by Jean Jacques Beineix (France, 1981)

Gone With The Wind, by Victor Fleming (USA, 1939)

Bronenosets Potyomkin (Battleship Potemkin) by Sergei Eisenstein (USSR, 1925)

Casablanca, by Michael Curtiz (USA, 1942)

Metropolis, by Fritz Lang (Germany, 1925)

Lawrence of Arabia, by David Lean (UK 1962)

Roma, by Federico Fellini (Italy 1972)

Novecento (1900), by Bernardo Bertolucci (Italy, 1976)

"I know how to use movie lights, but I can also see when the natural light is perfect." – Conrad Hall ASC

Matthew Leonetti, ASC:

" . . .cinematographers are responsible for creating looks and feelings that have a psychological effect on how audiences experience the stories we are helping to tell."

David films aerials in the Drakensberg Mountains                           David films in Cradock in 2006.

Either you know for sure that you're never going to be wrong, or you get used to being frightened all the time. At this stage in my career, I'm pretty used to being frightened!" – Conrad Hall ASC

"I've worked with maybe 30 cinematographers in my life, and if you don't have the right one, you don't have the film." – Nimrod Antal, Hungarian director

"I come with a high passion to make something, and I expect everyone else to have that same passion." – Robert Richardson, ASC

Vittorio Storaro ASC, AIC (the youngest ASC Lifetime Award Winner and winner of three Academy Awards): "Extra coverage 'just in case'? In case of what? In case our plan is no good? That way of working costs . . . a lot of money and it drains the quality of filmmaking."

"I prepared to be a cinematographer by studying the works of the old master and impressionist painters." – Jack Cardiff BSC

Showreel 2009

Nedbank TVC

Yardley TVC

The Talker

Rhino Translocation

Aerials Showreel

Wildlife Showreel 2009

WIWW 84'

Winnie Mandela

Director's Cut 30'

WIWW trailer

Cradock Four Trailer

Dune People Trailer

Long Tears Trailer

Tobias's Bodies Trailer

Montage Take 3


Liberal & The Pirate Clip

Timbuktu Trailer

1 Madiba House

2 Madiba Lo!

3 Madiba Sirens & Flowers

Sharks Promo

The Cradock Four 92'