2022 – Year in Review

We have been looking back and reflecting on a year filled with challenges, but also with incredible moments, people and organisations.

As this year comes to an end – all we feel is grateful.

One by One - The Kolisi Foundation

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The pandemic was hard for us, like it was for so many. We were reaching our 10th year as Black Bean – which was quite a milestone for us and we had great jobs planned – not just in Africa but international assignments too. All of these were of course cancelled / postponed and we worked hard to keep motivated. To shift our focus and work on post production, to help others during this time through social media, creating awareness and assisting to raise funds where possible. 

As well as this we took on pro bono work for the Kolisi Foundation – who were and are doing amazing work. We captured their story as they worked hard at arranging food and supplies for the people who needed it most in the height of the pandemic – amongst various other initiatives of theirs. Working with them, as they helped others, our fellow South Africans definitely helped to keep us inspired on the tough days. We sadly couldn’t continue to work pro bono or at a discounted rate which was heartbreaking for us – as every year we usually do a few pro bono films. They all have such an impact, which is so rewarding to see too.

We continued to put our heads down and do good work – however it was a challenging time. We trusted that these lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic would eventually lift and things would go back to “normal”. This had already happened in many industries – but for us – it took a bit longer than most. And then finally the enquiries and work started to come in – and we were traveling, filming, editing beautiful films, reels and other social media content. Doing what we love essentially. Working on new documentaries and getting to know remarkable clients.

We have worked on great assignments this year. Filming the Masi Outreach Project – where disadvantaged children are encouraged to learn to play the violin rather than do other things after school. And we learned just how amazing this is. Whether they become a violinist or not – it is so beneficial. It is a hard instrument to learn and so it will be a stepping stone for all of the kids (overcoming this challenge and broadening their minds), and their love for music grows which was beautiful to see. 

We also worked on a number of assignments for Volcanoes Safaris. This client is close to our hearts in that we have known them for a long time and they are doing amazing work. This year we were able to speak to Great Apes experts, track mountain gorillas and chimpanzees and experience Uganda and Rwanda in a more in-depth way than we ever have. Filming their Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust was eye opening, working alongside communities is crucial and they are immersed in the communities they work alongside. Ecotourism is so important, and they work to do this in the best way possible – with the animals and the communities front of mind.

Another assignment that we really enjoyed, in a place we love to visit, was for Samara Karoo Reserve. We documented an elephant translocation. We filmed more of the area – which is a constant inspiration to us – and learned so much once again. The rewilding and restoration work being done at Samara is remarkable.

It was awesome to work with RoofPod – a uniquely designed tent that can fit on top of just about any vehicle not just a 4 x 4 or specific bigger vehicles, a tent for everyone, and incredibly light and easy to set up. RoofPod’s story is amazing, and this was inspiring too. 

Our assignment for Lessons in Conservation gave us hope – we left feeling so eager to help and create change like never before. It was a humbling experience. The work they do – teaching children about conservation and making their lives richer is beautiful. In these disadvantaged communities they are making such a difference.

There are so many others – we worked with individuals on their stories – these were independent pro bono jobs and we were so privileged to help in some way. Chrisjan’s story is so important and creates much needed awareness.

There are so many other clients of ours not mentioned here. But its been a great year – and we feel so much more hopeful about our future as a company. The great feedback from clients and the connections we make mean so much to us. We love people and we love making a difference wherever we can, even if it is small.

Thank you to everyone that supported us in 2022! 

Team Bean

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