MTV Base champions emerging South African designers through DIAGI programme


In a bid to provide young creative talent with a platform and a voice, pan-African music channel MTV base has set aside airtime to showcase the creativity of up and coming South African designers and filmmakers.

Starting February 2009, MTV base (DStv Channel 322) will broadcast a series of stunning animated sequences created by 3rd year students from the University of Pretoria, following a collaboration with international design consortium, Design Is A Good Idea (DIAGI). Together, MTV base and DIAGI challenged students at the University of Pretoria’s Information Design department to produce short animated sequences or ‘art breaks’ with MTV base as the core theme.

Under the watchful eye of Nicci DuToit (DIAGI’s local design officer) 70 students were briefed to produce a 15-60 second sequence. Given just 2 weeks to conceptualize, design, storyboard and animate their project, they set about creating their works with the strict instruction that all music and visual elements needed to be totally original. After the initial phase, fourteen students were selected to spend a further 2 weeks at the DIAGI studios in Johannesburg to add finishing touches to their individual projects.

The result was a series of beautifully crafted sequences utilizing multiple techniques including 3D, live action, photography, clay-mation and stop-frame animation. Titles included ‘Cookies and Milk’, ‘The Flying Cow’, ‘Noteface’ and ‘Moon Man’. Said Nicci DuToit, “Originally, we were expecting to choose a single spot to air on MTV base, but the results were so outstanding that we eventually decided on 14 spots. From sound and music design to the crafting of every frame, we were awestruck at the outcome - especially given the tight deadines and the students’ level of experience.”

As an added bonus, four of the students who participated in the project have been offered a month’s internship with the MTV base Production team during the June/July Summer Holidays