ArtSpoken & Reviews

Bob on the Box: Help Nicole to win!

Bob Eveleigh
07/29/2013 13:49:02

Bob Eveleigh: Here's a column kickoff with a difference:  a young Uitenhage resident, Nicole van Schoor, is in line for an international video prize.

Recently, the kids entertainment service, Nickelodeon (DStv Channel 305,) ran an international contest related to the popular animated series, Spongebob Squarepants.

During the dedicated entry period (May 8 to June 28 this year), died-in-the-wool fans of the endearing character were asked to create an original short live action film, titled Spongebob Squareshorts: Original Fan Tributes, celebrating Bob's attributes: humour, overflowing happiness and persistent positivity and optimism.

More than 1100 entries were received from countries all over the world where the series is telecast and 21-year-old Nicole's entry was selected as one of the five finalists in the "18 years and over" category.

This is an amazing achievement when it is considered that the other four finalists in her section of the competition (there is an under 18 years category as well) came from residents of Mexico, Germany and two from the United States.

The storyline in her short movie follows a dedicated SpongeBob Fan (Nicole herself!) in her quest to find her ultimate dream home, ending up at the giant Pineapple near Bathurst in the Eastern Cape.

Finalists were chosen by a panel of judges comprised of Nickelodeon executives from all corners of the globe. Videos were judged on originality and creativity, incorporation of SpongeBob’s attributes, and overall appeal.

Fans can visit www.spongebobsquareshorts.com until this Saturday, August 3, up to 2am South African time to watch the finalist videos and vote for their favourites in each category via the website and/or via Twitter.

To cast a vote via Twitter, tweet the unique hashtag associated with each of the short films (Nicole's is #SquareShortsVOTE2.

A winner from each category will be announced by August 9 and awarded a $2,500 cash prize and a trip for four people to a screening event at the recently announced SpongeBob Fan Shellabration at Universal Studios in Hollywood, California.

So go to it fans - help Nicole to win that much-prized trip by casting your vote for the Eastern Cape participant.

And now what can I tell you about her?

Well, in her own words: "I am indeed 21 years old and the other person in the photograph with me is film-maker extraordinaire Kevin Meiring (age 27).

There were only the two of of us making up the entire production (filming, acting, etc)!

By profession Kevin and I are both graphic designers at Hype Advertising, but we also often work in film production and photography. We viewed the advert about the competition on TV while watching an episode of Spongebob (being in the creative industry, we both truly are huge fans of the show and animation/ cartoons in general!) and knew it would be a great opportunity for us to enter.

Kevin has worked on other advertisements and video production before and has acted in a few videos, but the Spongebob Squareshorts entry was my acting debut into the industry (Ha! Ha!.......).

It was truly exciting and fun working on the film (both of us being from Port Elizabeth, we had to drive extensively to get to Bathurst to reach the Big Pineapple, for the end of the film) so it was a lot of effort and a long drive for what worked out as only seconds of footage, but the story would not have had the same impact otherwise".

And reaching the final five internationally was, obviously, a huge bonus!

Now let's return to normality and a hit series from the mid-noughties, all five seasons of which have previously aired in full on M-Net between 2007 and 2011, and which reaches SABC3 at 10pm on Thursdays from this week.

The show is titled Brothers & Sisters and, for those who have not previously seen it, it is first-rate family drama, with a terrific leading cast - most of the familiar faces from other series and even successful movies.

The series revolves around the lives and problems of the wealthy Walker family in the wake of the death of family patriarch William Walker (Tom Skerritt, seen in the pilot episode also in flashback in later seasons).

He is the wealthy founder of the family business Ojai Foods and his family is led by wife and mother Nora Walker (Sally Field, Oscar-winner for Norma Rae), who must deal with revelations about her husband's infidelity after these come to light after his death.

Their children are headed by Sarah (Rachel Griffiths, who also co-starred in Six Feet Under) and Tommy (Balthazar Getty, real-life member of America's ultra-rich Getty clan)), both married executives at Ojai Foods.

Then there is Kitty (Calista Flockhart, a household TV name as result of Ally McBeal), a conservative political journalist and activist; , Kevin (Matthew Rhys), a gay lawyer, and youngest sibling Justin (Dave Annable), who, as the action opens, has recently returned from the Iraq War with a substance abuse problem.

They will shortly be joined among the main characters by Nora's brother Saul (Ron Rifkin) and Holly Harper (Patricia Wettig, actor/producer Ken Olin's real-life wife and best known from thirty something), who is unmasked as William's mistress.

Also arriving on the scene to complicate especially Kitty and Justin's lives are Rob Lowe (TV's The West Wing and many small and big screen movies), as US Senator Robert McAllister, and the comely Emily Van Camp (now of Revenge fame) as Holly's daughter Rebecca Harper.

The show was highly rated in the US with Sally Field winning both Primetime Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Awards for her work on it and Rachel Griffiths being nominated twice for Emmys and Golden Globes without winning either.

You can always tell what the film and TV industries think about any show by the guest stars its attracts to appear in it and Brothers & Sisters, in one-hour episodes, has big, quality names like Ken Olin (who also co-produced this series), Peter Coyote, Danny Glover, Nigel Havers, Richard Chamberlain, Beau Bridges, Steven Weber and, of course, Tom Skerritt, to be seen from time to time.

There will be 22 episodes in this first season.

Moving to BBC Entertainment but backwards to tomorrow, with Graham Norton's chat show having departed until later in the year, the hour from 9 to 10pm on this service ( Channel 120) will be filled by a comedy panel game, Would I Lie to You?, from 9 to 9.35pm, followed by the second season of Miranda Hart's sitcom, Miranda.

Would I Lie to You?, as trailered by DStv , began life on the BBC in the UK in 2007 but the scheduled run appears to cover programmes starting with the 2009 season, when Welsh comic, Rob Brydon, took over as chairman.

The show also features two teams, led by two other highly regarded laugh-raisers in David Mitchell and Lee Mack, as they, with guest panellists, reveal unusual facts and embarrassing personal tales for the evaluation of the opposing team.

Some of these are true; some are not and, to score points, the team members must decide whether these are true of false.

As with QI, the show has attracted the cream of British standup and TV comedy talent and so viewers can expect to see the likes of Jimmy Carr, Rhod Gilbert, Sarah Millican, Dara O'Brian, Jack Whitehall, Hugh Dennis, Vic Reeves and Strictly Come Dancing's Claudia Winkleman - plus many others, including Miranda Hart, whose own series follows at 9.35pm, having originally screened in Britain in 2011.

This is the start of the second, six-episode season of Miranda, a rather differently styled sitcom written by and starring English comedienne Miranda Hart, which first aired on BBC Two in November 2009, when she won the Royal Television Society award best for comedy performance for her role.

She has since earned four BAFTA nominations, two further Royal Television Society awards and four British Comedy Awards throughout the three series of Miranda so far. A fourth is slated for airing in the UK but probably only in 2015, because of the star's other writing and performing commitments in various entertainment media.

The show also features Sarah Hadland, Tom Ellis, Patricia Hodge, Sally Phillips and James Holmes (all returning from Series 1) and is based on Hart's semi-autobiographic writing, following a TV pilot and a BBC Radio 2 comedy series, Miranda Hart's Joke Shop.

The writer-star, who comes from wealthy English aristocratic stock, initially studied drama - she can also currently be seen (as Camilla "Chummy" Fortescue-Cholmondeley-Browne) in BBC Entertainment's Sunday night drama series, Call the Midwife.

But she switched to comedy most successfully in 2008, with her trademark mix of verbal and physical laughter-raising, no back on BBC Entertainment from tomorrow.


Bob Eveleigh
beveleigh@centrestage.co.za