'It's the next step' - Thomas Gumede to make movie directing debut
Actor Thomas Gumede has directed several reality shows and TV projects before, but he is stepping into a new challenge when he directs his maiden feature film, set for release early next year.
The film, entitled Inhliziyo Yethu, tells the story of a woman who decides to hijack a human heart in transit in order to perform a transplant on her husband who had a heart attack. It stars Kenneth Nkosi, Siyabonga Radebe and Zikhona Sodlaka.
The romantic-thriller is Thomas' debut film as director and one he told TshisaLIVE he loved shooting.
"I've directed a few things and always tried to tell a story that entertains and gets people talking. The big challenge was that we had four days to shoot 54 scenes, so we really had to push hard."
Thomas developed his directing style from observing others and allowing people the freedom to improvise.
"I will put the actors on set and allow them sometime to just play out the scene as they see it. Often that is the magic we need. If that is not working I will give them some pointers. I want creatives to be free without the constraints of the lighting or anything else on set," he explained
He said that he only had around R400,000 to shoot the film, which will air on Mzansi Magic.
"I wanted to prove that I can direct fiction and handle big actors on a tight deadline. Everything came together," he said.
His move into directing does not mean that Thomas will be missing from screen. In fact, he said that directing allowed him more opportunity to act.
"I don't have to worry about casting. If I think that I can play a part that I have conceptualised then I will jump in. I can direct, produce and act in the same production. I want to be a film star, but if not enough people are creating productions, than how am I going to be one? So, this is the next step to being that."