Casey Crafford is a talented up-and-coming South African photographer and the founder of The Slog Squad, a photographic assistant community. Casey first got a taste of being behind the camera when he inherited a 30 year old Minolta SRT303 from his grandfather.
After school, a stint in London and a holiday in the United States, Casey came home to Durban, intent on becoming a professional photographer, buying a camera and getting his first job as an assistant with Tony Christie. He moved from Durban to Cape Town to assist Jacques Weyers, who mentored him along the way.
Years on, Casey has developed a strong reputation and built an impressive portfolio featuring commercial stills work for clients such as The Discovery Channel, Sky Atlantic and History. Among his highlights are meeting Morgan Freeman for an Invictus shoot, photographing Bryan Adams having tea with the Archbishop Desmond Tutu, meeting Wilbur Smith on location for The Daily Telegraph, photographing local artists: Goldfish, Jack Parow and The Dirty Skirts, and photographing for reality producer Mark Burnett in Morocco for a scripted Biblical drama-doc for the History channel.
One thing's for certain, Casey is going places and as the official SPL!NG Top Ten Movies photographer, we decided to turn the camera around and give you a chance to meet the man, whose talents have been referred to as "genius".
"Starring... and I use the word loosely, Mel Gibson. [on The Beaver]"
I can't watch movies without...
- ...the popcorn and Smarties combo with a grape Slush Puppy... or if it's at home, the home theatre system's gotta be plugged in and LOUD. I'm one of those moviegoers that gets completely immersed in what I'm watching – it makes for better entertainment!
Which famous people share your birthday?
- Most famous guy I can think of is Casanova, 2 April 1725. Google never disappoints!
What is the first film you remember watching?
- The Neverending Story... that big fluffy flying and talking dog Falcor will be etched in my memory forever with a good soundtrack from a time gone by.
What's the worst movie you've ever seen?
- The Beaver starring... and I use the word loosely, Mel Gibson. Are you serious? A schizo guy who becomes emancipated through a puppet in the form of a beaver, which he believes is a real version of himself! Come on.
Which movies have made you tearful?
- Marley and Me is without a doubt the saddest movie I’ve ever seen. I find myself tearful during most National Geographic documentaries such as The Last Lions, so it's definitely nature.
Who is the most famous movie star you've ever met?
- I've met Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond), but it'd have to be Morgan Freeman. He was in Cape Town for Invictus and I worked alongside photographer Melanie Cleary taking his portrait as Nelson Mandela.
What's your favourite movie line?
- Haha! A young Scott Caan comes to mind as Tweeder in Varsity Blues as he looks down his pants and says "...the f**k is that?!"
Who would you choose to play you in your biopic?
- Tom Welling, I’ve always been a fan of the Marvel titles and especially Superman. When the Smallville series came out I thought a Superman for our generation! Nevermind he can't act very well, his looks are comparable enough.
If you could produce a movie, what would it be about?
- Shaka Zulu. Imagine a modern production of Shaka and his battles. A recreation of what Cape Town was like when the English settlers advanced up the coast to meet the terrifying tribe... I was lucky enough to be part of one of David Rattray’s last tours of The Battle of Rorke's Drift and I was swept away by an era that congers the imagination to no end. Being a 10th Generation South African I believe I’m a part of that heritage and would love to share it with the world.
Finally, your top ten movies of all-time...
- Braveheart ...the bigger, the better! Nothing epitomizes an action era flick the way Braveheart does, although Robin Hood Prince of Thieves is also up there.
- Airborne ...obviously this was inspired by the '90s rollerblading craze at the time, which saw us on wheels more often than two feet! I think it's making a comeback… I might be mistaken.
- Gladiator ...another epic, which takes the imagination away to a distant time and place, with a great leading cast whom I've had the pleasure to have met (if dining nexto Russell Crowe at The Roosevelt Hotel counts). Does it count?
- Blood Diamond ...I love the African connection this movie has. It also hits home as I knew a relative of the CEO of DeBeers for the time. I also probably shouldn’t mention my mother's engagement ring was brought home by my father whilst he was fighting in the border war? He claims he’s a freedom fighter, in a Spud kind of way.
- Varsity Blues ...another great love of mine is sport and the camaraderie it creates. Varsity Blues was a film, as a student at the time, we could all relate to… including the famous whipped cream bikini, yes?
- The Ghost and The Darkness ...one of the scariest movies I've seen (because I don’t enjoy horror films that much) and an awesome tale of a true story, which always makes a movie better! If you haven't seen this “classic” rent it today!
- American Pie ...I recently saw the American Pie: The Reunion and was reminded of the original, which again came at a time when I could associate with most of the characters.
- Avatar ...this was the first 3D movie I ever saw and I was blown away by the experience.
- The Matrix ...'m a bit of a techno geek at heart and this hit the right notes with groundbreaking camera effects and a sense of elitist rebellion. The sequels have been disappointing.
- Dumb & Dumber ...what can I say, the most stupid movie of our time. How brilliant!
Top Ten Movies with... is a people series on SPL!NG, featuring a host of celebrities ranging from up-and-coming to established personalities from all industries including, but not limited to: Internet, Radio, TV, Film, Music, Art and Entrepreneurs. It's a chance to discover who they are, find out where they're at and to get a fun inside look at their taste in movies.