Innocentia Masimene has a very special tool for living out her love of telling stories. This tool isn’t mechanical, it’s a business. A blooming business by the name of Blue Lenz Pictures that is rocking the boat in film industry shores. This young lady has nothing holding her back, as the only thing she believes in, is “ACTION”!
As the daughter of a restauranteur, Innocentia spent her life travelling from city to city. On finishing matric, she went through five primary schools and three high schools ranging between Polokwane, Durban, Port-Elizabeth and Johannesburg. “I think the experience of constantly moving greatly affected me in a good way,” Innocentia explains, “I can relate to people from all walks of life and I’m adaptable to almost any situation.” That is definitely not a bad skill for someone to own in the film industry, “some directors are such drama queens and divas, and I think I have a great gift to handle those people in a professional yet practical manner,” Innocentia jokes.
Graduating from high school, Innocentia knew her life was to be directed into the arts. She decided on a career in film and enrolled herself at the Boston Media House in Johannesburg in video production the very next day. “I have a love of telling stories, and with film I don’t just tell it, I create it.” Coming from a musical background, she wanted to find a way to combine film and music, her two great passions. Little knowing then she would end up owning a company that would major in music videos, Innocentia put music in the background and started specialising in video editing at the college. “I put so many hours in when I was studying, I was always at school. I wanted to learn about the industry from the ground up, and I wanted to know everything,” Innocentia explains burning with passion.
Upon graduation, Innocentia walked into an editing job with a big production house. “I think took the job for my parents’ sake. I hated being stuck in an office, I have always been a free spirit, and so after six months I decided to leave.” In the beginning Innocentia basically promoted her business only through word of mouth, filming conferences for some of her old production contacts. It didn’t take long for Blue Lenz Productions to become a respected and well-known brand in its own right, however. Blue Lenz has even started branching out into community development, taking equipment to underprivileged schools and teaching them the basics of film-making. “I try to facilitate the process, so that the kids own their stories. In the film industry experience is key and I am trying to offer these kids an opportunity to not only tell their stories but to learn skills they can use for the future.” Another speciality of blue Lenz is the little-known world of archive footage. “Libraries and documentary makers have such a need for shots of Africa and its environments. I have the footage, but I want to create more, I want to keep the view on Africa fresh.”
Innocentia joined MEDO earlier this year when she was accepted to the Business Foundations course. “I had no idea what it was,” she laughs, “but I knew I was going to learn a lot!” Here she learnt basic business skills that she is now employing on a full-time basis in Blue Lenz, “punctuality and business etiquette is probably the greatest thing I’ve gained appreciation for. Everyone at Blue Lenz also now appreciates the value of time, ours and that of the client’s.” Going through the Foundations course and International Trade Programme course Innocentia gave herself homework to do everyday to ensure she fully understands and grasps all the concepts.
For the future Innocentia sees Blue Lenz dipping more into the educational space, not only developing young filmmakers in schools, but to create educational programming. “I want to address social topics that affect a South African audience. What I learnt from the work in the schools, is that everyone has a story to tell. I want to tell it, educationally.”