For more than 8 years fans of the film, Klein Karoo has been waiting to find out what has happened in the lives of the colourful characters, who now return with Klein Karoo 2, which will be shown on DStv Box Office from 15 December.
Daniel Dercksen shares a few thoughts with screenwriter Lize Vosloo
What inspired the sequel to a film that crept into the heart of many South Africans?
In my opinion, a sequel to a film is only necessary if your characters have more story to tell and in the case of Klein Karoo, it definitely felt like these characters, who were so loved by their audience, still had more depth to them which we could explore. The idea of a sequel was introduced to me by Tim Theron, who plays Frans in the film and who is also one of the producers. He and the other producers wanted to give the South African audience what they craved – another Klein Karoo film. And what a great idea it turned out to be!
Tell me about writing the screenplay, what were the challenges?
Writing a script is always challenging for me as I become completely engulfed by the story, the characters, their reactions, actions and the outcomes of each decision they make. I toss and turn and spend every waking moment dreaming up stories for my characters. And then once I put something down on the page, I start all over again – thinking and asking myself, is this true to this specific character. Would he or she really do this or respond in a certain way.
It truly is such a wonderful process, which I absolutely love, but it is extremely hard work to get a film script production-ready. With Klein Karoo 2, I had so much support from Tim Theron – we would send each other multiple voice notes every day throughout the writing process, dreaming up stories together and asking the difficult, yet necessary questions. Until we came up with a story we felt would capture the hearts of all South Africans and which promises not to disappoint the fans from the first Klein Karoo film.
Is there a huge difference in writing a screenplay for an Afrikaans audience, versus an English audience?
I don’t feel there is. Is there a difference when writing a story from a specific era or which mirrors people from specific backgrounds or cultures – yes, I do think there is when it comes to certain nuances and vocabulary. But other than that I think the story is quite universal in terms of connecting an audience to a specific story world.
What do you think makes Afrikaans films such impassioned and proudly South African stories?
Well, Afrikaans is South African, isn’t it. And from what I have learnt over the years of being in this industry – the Afrikaans audience is a very loyal audience when it comes to watching and supporting Afrikaans stories and films.
Did it help that you had existing characters you could build on?
Sure, in some cases it did as I had a picture of the characters and already knew so much about them before I even started writing, but it also added some extra pressure. Having characters who already had specific nuances or a specific way of speaking and who were already well known by their supporters put a lot of pressure on me as I didn’t write the first film. And therefore I had to make sure these characters stayed true to the characters we all knew and already loved. But the fact that some relationships between characters had already been established did help with the development of the story and where we wanted it to go.
What do you hope audiences will experience watching Klein Karoo 2?
I hope they get to escape for 90 minutes, escape from their own lives, their own troubles and the pandemic in order to get lost in a beautiful love story which will make them laugh and feel uplifted again. And I hope this feeling will last well after they’ve watched the film. And I hope Klein Karoo 2 gives everyone who watches it a warm fuzzy feeling in their hearts.
Tell me about the journey from page to screen?
After I wrote the script the producers had quite a few challenges in order to get the script filmed because of the pandemic and the uncertainty it caused. But for more detail around that journey, you would have to ask the producers, as I wasn’t involved in the production itself.
How do you see the future for writers in South Africa in the grip of the Pandemic?
The Pandemic has actually been really good to our industry as so many channels are wanting more and more content, and they want it now! The fact that people can’t or don’t want to go out as often causes them to stay at home. And they want content to watch. Therefore I have felt that we had a bit of a boom in our industry for the last year, in my experience. But I am referring to the narrative genre. I also think the pandemic has made people think outside of the box and it has put even more strain on budgets which have made the creatives even more creative in trying to find the best way to deliver a product of exceptional quality.
Living in a different world with a Pandemic that threatens relationships, do you think the film allows viewers to relive memories of their lives before our world changed?
Probably yes. I think we all miss certain aspects of our lives, our freedom, having more certainty about things which the pandemic has made difficult for us. And the film isn’t focused on the pandemic or the struggles that occur because of it. It’s a welcome distraction from it all.
Are you a romantic at heart?
I like romantic gestures and I like telling heart-warming stories.
Why do you think the romance genre is so well embraced by fans?
Love is a universal language and as they say in Moulin Rouge “All you need is love”, so there you have it – people love stories about love.