Local producer and director Judy Naidoo runs her own production company Ladybug Films and has made several movies, including new crime thriller Hatchet Hour. She chat’s to us about her latest work, and what she has in store.
Tell us a bit about the process of making this movie…
I’ve always wanted to do a more serious film, and I’m passionate about telling stories with a strong female protagonist. I went to the director of content at M-Net, Jan de Plessis, with what I thought of as a possible script, and he gave it wings. It was amazing to work with someone who really believes in you and your craft. When people let go of their ideas and talk freely, without being too precious about their work, the real magic happens.
What was it like to work with actress Erica Wessels?
She had one of the shortest auditions I’ve ever been in, because after 15 minutes I knew she’d be perfect for the role. She’s passionate and driven and really cares about her characters. She also agreed to cut off her hair, which was essential for the role, so I appreciated her commitment from the outset – some actresses refuse to drastically change their appearance for a part. We worked closely together, with her always questioning the text and keeping me on my toes. It was a very rewarding collaboration and I’d love to work with her again.
What do you have in store for us in the future?
I like to take my time creating a film, so my next projects will probably take a while before they hit the cinemas. At the moment, I’m working on a more personal project, paying tribute to my background and my hometown in Verulam KZN. I spent a few months there earlier this year, immersing myself in the place and coming up with possible storylines. I’d also like to cast a few locals in the roles, so I did a few impromptu auditions. Being at home grounded and centred me, so I came back to JHB raring to go!