Each establishment is covered in a separate video which is then used on the Gondwana website for promotion. The actors are all staff members of Gondwana Collection. They excel in telling their stories.
First cameraman EES, aka Eric Sell, puts it this way: “All you American actors out there! Over here in Namibia we ain’t doing so bad either, ha-ha!”
EES produced the video clips of the Gondwana lodges together with his second cameraman, Manfred Werner. The result is a gorgeous feast for the eyes. The clip of Namib Dune Star Camp was put on Facebook on 15 June and viewed 6000 times in Namibia and South Africa in just two days. The same success followed the film shoots at Etosha Safari Lodge & Camp, Damara Mopane Lodge, Namib Desert Lodge and Kalahari Farmhouse.
The recipe for success: “You have to work closely with the actors, it needs to be intimate”, says 31-year-old EES. “There were only three of us during the shoots. My second cameraman, myself and the lodge employee in question – a barman, a porter and a doorman, among others. We recorded the story step by step and that works!”
Kwaito star EES, a Namibian of German extraction, is no stranger to film shoots. He loves his home country and produced a number of his music videos here. According to him it is a special challenge to depict all aspects which make Namibia so beautiful and to blend music, sound and visuals in the best possible way. The marketing videos for the tourism industry were a first, however, and part of a new business idea.
The travel portal iNamibia (www.inamibia.info) which he developed with his partner, Manfred, will be activated on 01 September. It is mostly targetting younger people with affordable package tours.
“We’ve known each other since school” said Bernd Grahl, Gondwana’s social media manager. “When we chatted about his new project, iNamibia, we noticed that especially with regard to storytelling we are on the same page. EES was given complete artistic licence for his lodge shoots.”
EES, who divides his time between Cologne in Germany and Windhoek, enjoyed his ‘tour de lodges’ to the full. He described an exceptional culinary experience saying “The food at the Kalahari Farmhouse is unreal. We went to the kitchen and shook the chef’s hand to thank him. It became something like an ongoing joke that we sat down for dinner and said: ‘There is no way that it will be as good as yesterday. It was so awesome! Come, let’s be extremely severe judges today. Then the food was served and we were blown away all over again.”