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  Diek Charles
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What does Fopspeen do?

We do any kind of animation for film, television programming, commercials, music videos, training videos, theatre productions and so on.

Sound & Music

We compose and record music, record sound effects, do sound design, and final mix for any kind of production.

Client List

  • Handheld Films (for SABC1)
  • KykNet
  • Kosie House of Theatre

In association with Chehan Ideaneers:

  • Northwest University
  • ABSA
  • Grinaker LTA
  • Moneygram

What does 'Fopspeen' mean, and what inspired the name?

Fopspeen is an Afrikaans word for a baby’s dummy, or pacifier. A baby sucks on it to calm down, or as a substitute for the real thing. Art is a dummy or pacifier for life.


Who is Fopspeen? 

Diek Grobler

Diek Grobler trained as an artist, and has been painting and exhibiting professionally since 1988. He has also ventured into performance art and avant garde theatre over the past twenty years, which eventually led him to animation.

“My paintings were always narrative, so it was a natural progression from painting. In a film I can explore my narratives further than in the single frame of a painting. And I prefer animation to live theatre for the distance it affords: The audience can’t throw things at me any more.”

Charles Badenhorst

Charles Badenhorst is a musician and animator. He didn’t start out that way, but that is a long story. He released his debut solo album Bloed vir ontbyt in 2007. Charles spent three weeks in 2006 with Aardman Animation in Bristol UK, getting a crash course in claymation, which primarily entailed playing with Gromit’s ears. He is also a philosopher: “Hoe rouer, hoe beter. Ek glo hoe verder mens van ‘n punt af wegbeweeg, hoe verder beweeg mens van die punt af.”


Jansen Lourens is a self trained animator (like the rest of us) and passionate about his work. Otherwise he would not be here. He is the office wizard with 3D, completing a Maya diploma at The Open Window, and cel-animation. He is a valuable part of the Fopspeen team, is motivated, hard working, reliable and extremely polite. He is now a junior partner in fopspeen.
Transient labour ‘Assistants’ drift in and out, often students who want some experience or don’t have a life.  If we like them, they stay a while, and make a contribution.  And a lot of tea. And we don’t mind the cheap labour.


Where is Fopspeen situated?

"Casa Fopspeen", our new premises, is situated in Hertzog Street, Rietfontein, in the Moot area of Pretoria.  Both living and working space, and there is lots of room for expansion (and always for improvement.)

Hopes and dreams?

We have too many projects boiling in our heads to realize within the next 10 years.  But we will try our best. Somewhere amongst all those bright ideas is a feature length animation movie, in a truly South African idiom.  So none of that awful 3D Computer generated American kind of crap. And “Sanna’s Garden”, the project closest to our heart, must get completed SOON.
And we want World Peace.


2011 20102009
2008 2007 200620052004


March Production concludes on Uit die Bloute, a KykNet channel branding exercise.

March Charles gets married.


March/April Die padda wou gaan opsit met sy nooi in die vlei  Music Video for Gert van Tonder and Snotkop.

March Fopspeen creates a corporate video for Grinaker LTI, the company that constructed Soccer City and the Mandela Bay Stadium, as well as animated visuals for the first live event ever to be held in Soccer City.

April Fopspeen Moves to Rietfontein, Pretoria.

June Production commences on Uit die Bloute a channel branding animated series for KykNet.


January to December Justice Gang, Series 2.

February Het Vogeltjes ABC  wins an award for ‘Best animated film for children at the Tehran International animation festival, Iran.

February Agenda  Fopspeen receives a SAFTA award.

April Agenda wins an online short film competition in the Africala Festival, Mexico. Diek travels to Mexico as guest of the festival. The festival opens on Wednesday, and is shut down on the Thursday due to the outbreak of Swine flu. The less said about the whole trip, the better.

May/June Danie Marais Diek does animation to two poems by Danie Marais: “In Duitsland waar die wolke in gelid marsjeer”, and "Saturday night live”.

October Het Vogeltjes ABC is invited to the prestigeous KROK animation festival in the Ukraine.  Diek and Charles sets of for a fab ten day trip down the Dnieper river, meet crazy Russians, drink too much Vodka and win an award for ‘Best animated film for children'.

October/November Uit die Bloute Fopspeen develops an animated series about a suburban Afrikaans family.  It is pitched to Kyknet.  It is posted on u-tube to rave reviews.  By April 2010 we are still waiting to hear whether Kyknet wants it.


January Justice Gang airs on SABC 1.  Our official TV debut.

August & September Het Vogeltjes ABC Based on the children’s book of the same title, by Piet Grobler.  “Vogeltjes” premieres at the Berlin Book Fair in October.

August to October "B"  Diek conceptualises and animates “B”, an ‘art’ animaimation for exhibition at Fried Contemporary gallery in Pretoria.


May  Stop working on The Finer Things, and Silly Poems.

July  Start shooting Agenda.

August Fopspeen's website launches.

September  Little Bang gets nominated for a SAFTA award. The Finer Things wins BEST SHORT FORM AUDIOVISUAL ENTERTAINMENT MADE FOR MOBILE AND/OR INTERNET; FACTUAL, at Mipcom Audiovisual Content Market, Cannes, France. Start production on The Justice Gang for Handheld Films, commissioned by SABC 1.


January  Fopspeen relocates to its current geographical position.  It is a long story… Sanna gets shelved, where she patiently bides her time…

July  Shooting Little Bang  in the dead of winter, at night in a garden shed.  Shooting takes five weeks, not counting the week everybody was in bed with severe flu.

6 September  Little Bang premieres at Platform on 18.

November Little Bang at its first International Festival, in Tirana, Albania. Start working on The Finer Things, and Silly Poems for Speedy Productions SA.


April  We attend our very first International Animation Festival:  Anifest Trebon, Czech Republic.  We are the only representatives of the African continent.

September  Charles attends the KROK animation festival, Ukraine.  Meets Merlin Crossingham from Aardman Animation.  Gets himself invited to spend time at Aardman studios.  He also meets and gets himself photographed with animation legend Juri Norstein.  Diek still hates him for this.

November  Completes shooting episode 6 of Sanna’s Garden.


Inception of Fopspeen Moving Pictures (previously Fopspeen Live Art), doing little arty animations here and there, often for performance purposes.

Diek and Charles start working on Sanna’s Garden with a $7000 grant from the Critical Ecology Partnership Fund.

July  Completes the first episode of Sanna’s Garden.

September  Complete the second episode. Animation skills have improved to such an extent that we decide to RESHOOT the entire Episode One.

November  Complete reshoot of Episode One.




www.fopspeen.co.za, editor: Diek Grobler

All material on this website is copyrighted to Fopspeen Moving Pictures and it's artists.