Celebrating the crew behind the service: up close & personal with our chaperones in 3 short films

Celebrating the crew behind the service: up close & personal with our chaperones in 3 short films

You can view our first short film featuring Capetonian Andrew Raeburn here.

Ask any South African producer which crew they call first when a job is looking likely. Right up there with the Art Director, DP and other key crew are the chaperones – and that’s if the client hasn’t already called them. It’s not surprising when you consider that chaperones probably spend more time with the clients than anyone else on a shoot.

Chaperones play a crucial role in a client’s journey when they come to Cape Town.  We decided to take a closer look at this South African production service phenomenon and spent some time with three of Cape Town’s finest: What makes them tick, what do they do, what are some of the million anecdotes they must be able to tell? That however was where they drew the line. Integrity is their middle name and therein lies one of the many secrets to their success.

What does a chaperone do? Let’s start with tour-guide, driver, friend, butler, production assistant, personal shopper, therapist, safe-space, production liaison, surf instructor, precision driver… slightly more than the oft-misconstrued assumption of being just a driver.

In the 18th century, chaperones would escort young ladies when they ventured out into society to ensure they were never alone with a gentleman. Fast forward a couple of hundred years and here they are in South African production, tasked with looking after our international clients. They are quite literally the first person they meet on arrival in Cape Town and the last person they see before they board the plane.

There’s the tangible, more obvious side of the role: as Marco Bacchetta says, “a client arrives here, they may not know anything about this country – and now they’ve been given someone who is here to help them with whatever they need. To make sure they get to wherever they are meant to be and do all the things they want to do.” Chaperones work together with production, from driving the clients around as per the production schedule, helping them with whatever they need, taking them sightseeing on a down-day to booking restaurants. They have the ability and contacts to secure & then cancel a table for 12 at Cape Town’s most sought-after restaurant and then book it again the following night, without upsetting the maître ‘d.

Then there’s the intangible, the magic.  As Elmarie Raubenheimer puts it, “We create a secure environment for the clients in which they can work without worrying about lunch or sunscreen or did I bring my hat? They are out of their normal comfort zone. We’re a constant in a milieu that changes constantly.”

Discretion is non-negotiable. “Clients need a safe space” explains Andrew Raeburn. “The big part of chaperoning is the integrity.” Clients need to be able to have conversations while being driven around and be secure in the knowledge that they go no further. As Marco says, “My ears are blocked when I’m in the car.”

It takes a special kind of person to be a chaperone and service runs in their DNA – which explains why work for many of them doesn’t stop when they get home. During lockdown, Acghmat Van Der Schyff and Bash Kariel set up the NPO “Servants of Sustenance” and run a weekly soup kitchen in their local community; Andrew Raeburn set up the NPO “123Braai” when he came across a community living out in the bush near Atlantis Dunes. Elmarie Raubenheimer is the emergency liaison in her local community Neighbourhood Watch. Marco Bacchetta’s “Marco’s Kitchen” employs a team of ladies to makes his delicious aubergines based on an old family recipe that now sell in Spars and farmstalls around Cape Town.

Elmarie sums it up for us: “Cape Town is very lucky to have some of the best chaperones in the world and together we’re a great team and a force to be reckoned with.”

With thanks to all Cape Town chaperones, and to Elmarie Raubenheimer, Andrew Raeburn and Marco Bacchetta for giving us insight into their world.

The first of Moonlighting’s short films: Celebrating the crew behind the service: Up close and personal with our chaperones #Andrew Raeburn can be seen here.

France, Germany, Israel, UK, USA & most other countries now open for travel to and from South Africa

France, Germany, Israel, UK, USA & most other countries now open for travel to and from South Africa

France, Germany, Israel, Sweden, UK, USA & most other countries are now open for travel to and from South Africa! WELCOME BACK!

The good news just keeps on coming as more countries open up travel to and from South Africa. In most cases, there is no quarantine for the fully vaccinated and / or on presentation of a negative covid test.

Here is our updated travel grid with rules and links:

  • Most countries have now waived the need for quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers returning from South Africa. We have included details of many of them here.
  • NB – This list is subject to change at any time and is for guidance purposes only. We also add more countries daily as we gather the updated info.
  • A person is only considered fully vaccinated after the designated amount of time has passed after their single dose vaccine or second double-dose vaccine. Please check that you have the required, approved vaccination documentation.
Country Any quarantine? Rules for citizens arriving from South Africa    
Austria No quarantine for “boosted” citizens As of 25 December, Austrian and EU citizens & business travellers may enter Austria from South Africa without quarantine provided they are have received their booster vaccination (2nd vax for Johnson & Johnson or 3rd vax for other brands) and a present a negative PCR no older than 48 jours. For full info, See source site here.    
Belgium No Quarantine for the fully vaccinated Arrivals must complete a Passnger Locator Form,  must be fully vaccinated and must take a test on day 1; a negative test means no quarantine. Info can be found here.    
Canada Quarantine for arrivals from South Africa Canadian citizens can enter Canada from South Africa subject to a negative PCR test and quarantine. See source site here. All arrivals must also download the ArriveCAN app and fill out the necessary information.    
Denmark No quarantine for fully vaccinated residents of Denmark / EU Updated 27 Dec 21: No quarantine for fully vaccinated or recently recovered Danish and EU residents subject to a PCR no more than 72 hours old or a Rapid Antigens test no more than 48 hours old. For residents of other countries, strict proof of vaccination required as per set regulations. Source info here.    
Egypt Quarantine for arrivals from South Africa  Travellers can enter Egypt from South Africa subject to a PCR test no older than 72 hours or an Antigens test no older than 24 hours and must enter quarantine for 14 days. See here for info.    
Finland No quarantine for the fully vaccinated Travellers may enter Finland from any country without quarantine if they are fully vaccinated and present a negative PCR or Antigens test no older than 48 hours. Other rules apply for the unvaccinated depending on where they are traveling from. Source info here.    
France No quarantine or compelling reason for the fully vaccinated South Africa was removed from the French scarlet list on Thursday 6 Jan. Fully vaccinated travellers will no longer have to provide a compelling reason to travel or quarantine on their return subject to presenting a negative PCR or antigens test no older than 48 hours, Click here for all information.    
Germany No quarantine subject to proof of vaccination or proof of recovery

As of 4 Jan 22, Germany no longer lists South Africa as a country with a variant of concern. No quarantine is required for fully vaccinated travellers or those with proof of recovery. Travellers must otherwise enter quarantine which can be terminated early subject to a negative PCR test on Day 5. source site here.

More specific info here.

   
Ireland No quarantine subject to proof of vaccination or recovery + negative PCR or Antigens test** As of 27 Dec 21, South Africa is no longer on the list of designated states. This means that arrivals from South Africa are not required to quarantine provided you present proof of full vaccination or recovery and a negative PCR test no more than 72 hours old or negative Antigens test no older than 48 hours. ** for full info check source site here.    
Israel No quarantine for the fully vaccinated (from 9 Jan 22) All fully vaccinated travellers can enter Israel. Arrivals must take a PCR test at the airport and must then quarantine for 24 hours until receipt of the results. A negative result will end your quarantine. Full info here.    
Lebanon No quarantine if fully vaccinated Arrivals from South Africa are exempt from testing or quarantine provided they are fully vaccinated. See info here.    
Netherlands Quarantine regulations currently in place Residents of the Netherlands may enter from South Africa subject to negative PCR tests (no older than 48 hours) and rapid tests (no older than 24 hours), and mandatory quarantine for as long as South Africa is deemed a country with a variant of concern. Quarantine may be reduced to 5 days subject to a negative test on Day 5.  source site here.     
Norway No quarantine for the fully vaccinated subject to conditions (as of 22 Dec 21) Norwegian citizens can enter Norway from South Africa without having to quarantine subject to being fully vaccinated + testing negative on arrival. ALL arriving passengers must have registered at entrynorway.no. Info from source site here.    
Poland No quarantine for the fully vaccinated – conditions apply. Travellers returning from South Africa do not have to quarantine provided they have been fully vaccinated with an EU approved vaccine, present a negative test no older than 24 hours and test negative again on arrival. source site here    
Sweden No quarantine for the fully vaccinated Swedish citizens can enter Sweden from South Africa without having to quarantine if fully vaccinated. Info from source site here.    
Switzerland No quarantine for the fully vaccinated Swiss nationals can return to Switzerland from South Africa without quarantine if fully vaccinated. For all other nationalities and statuses, please check     
UAE There is currently a travel ban to Dubai from South Africa . View source site here    
UK No quarantine for the fully vaccinated Fully vaccinated travellers arriving from South Africa do not have to quarantine subject to arriving with a negative test no older than 48 hours + having a booking for a PCR test in the UK on arrival + completing a Passenger Locator Form 2 days before arrival  . View source site here    
USA No quarantine for the fully vaccinated The USA recommends that no-one travels without being fully vaccinated. All air passengers coming to the USA, including U.S. citizens, must present a negative PCR test that was taken within 24 hours of your departure flight.  View source site here    

ENTRY TO SOUTH AFRICA
Entry is open to all countries subject to the usual visa requirements. All travellers arriving in South Africa must complete an arrivals form & present the following:

  • a certificate of a negative PCR Covid test dated within 72 hours of departure for South Africa.
  • Proof of travel insurance with medical cover
  • Proof of accommodation

AIRLINES: Most airlines are flying to South Africa, including
Air France, British Airways, Delta, Ethiopian Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways (from 13 Jan), Turkish Airways, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic

SAFETY PROTOCOLS
We remain on Level 1 which means minimum restrictions. Everything is open and there is no more curfew 🙂 South African safety protocols continue as before:
– Masks must be work in public with social distancing
– On set, we apply full safety protocols as mandated by the Commercial Producers Association and the City of Cape Town. You can read our production safety protocols here.

SHOOTING
Shooting continued throughout December with full safety protocols in place (with production & agency flying to South Africa and clients joining remotely). We are currently prepping for our first shoot of 2022 as our January season begins to pick up.

VISA REQUIREMENTS (for film industry visitors travelling to South Africa with FIVA affiliated production companies).

Producers, Directors, Photographers, DOP’s, Client, Agency are categorised as Oversight & the following rules apply:
Nationals of a visa-exempt country:
you will need to present an Oversight Visa Letter of Authority to immigration on arrival; this will be provided by your service company.
Nationals of a non-visa-exempt country:
you will need to apply for a visa in advance from a South African Embassy as usual.

Actors, models, Assistant Directors, Stylists, Hair & make-up, Camera Operators and other roles – new rules apply:
1) Nationals from the list of 17 visa-exempt countries*
may come in as Oversight for stays of up to 14 days (or 21 days with motivation from your service company), meaning no need for advance visa applications.
2)Nationals of all other countries
must apply for specialist visas in advance from their nearest South African Embassy as usual.

*The 17 visa exempt countries for which the new rule applies: USA, UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Netherlands, Canada, Italy, Poland, Denmark, Belgium, Spain, Australia, Brazil, Norway, Ireland, Switzerland.

For any information on flying to or from South Africa and Visa requirements please contact beccy@moonlighting.co.z

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW about travelling to South Africa (updated 19 Jan 22)

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW about travelling to South Africa (updated 19 Jan 22)

SOUTH AFRICA’S OMICRON PEAK HAS PASSED AND NUMBERS ARE DECREASING DAILY.  MOST COUNTRIES HAVE RE-OPENED TO SOUTH AFRICA AND WE ARE SHOOTING!

Happy New Year! We hope you’re all well and have had a happy, peaceful festive season.
We are really happy to say that South Africa’s Covid Omicron peak has passed. Numbers have been decreasing since 12 December and on 31 December, South Africa’s NICD announced that the peak had passed.
Here’s a quick update on what you need to know now:

France, Germany, Israel, Sweden, UK, USA & most other countries are now open for travel to and from South Africa! WELCOME BACK!

  • Most countries have now waived the need for quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers returning from South Africa. We have included details of many of them here.
  • NB – This list is subject to change at any time and is for guidance purposes only. We also add more countries daily as we gather the updated info.
  • A person is only considered fully vaccinated after the designated amount of time has passed after their single dose vaccine or second double-dose vaccine. Please check that you have the required, approved vaccination documentation.
Country Any quarantine? Rules for citizens arriving from South Africa    
Austria No quarantine for “boosted” citizens As of 25 December, Austrian and EU citizens & business travellers may enter Austria from South Africa without quarantine provided they are have received their booster vaccination (2nd vax for Johnson & Johnson or 3rd vax for other brands) and a present a negative PCR no older than 48 jours. For full info, See source site here.    
Belgium No Quarantine for the fully vaccinated Arrivals must complete a Passnger Locator Form,  must be fully vaccinated and must take a test on day 1; a negative test means no quarantine. Info can be found here.    
Canada Quarantine for arrivals from South Africa Canadian citizens can enter Canada from South Africa subject to a negative PCR test and quarantine. See source site here. All arrivals must also download the ArriveCAN app and fill out the necessary information.    
Denmark No quarantine for fully vaccinated residents of Denmark / EU Updated 27 Dec 21: No quarantine for fully vaccinated or recently recovered Danish and EU residents subject to a PCR no more than 72 hours old or a Rapid Antigens test no more than 48 hours old. For residents of other countries, strict proof of vaccination required as per set regulations. Source info here.    
Egypt Quarantine for arrivals from South Africa  Travellers can enter Egypt from South Africa subject to a PCR test no older than 72 hours or an Antigens test no older than 24 hours and must enter quarantine for 14 days. See here for info.    
Finland No quarantine for the fully vaccinated Travellers may enter Finland from any country without quarantine if they are fully vaccinated and present a negative PCR or Antigens test no older than 48 hours. Other rules apply for the unvaccinated depending on where they are traveling from. Source info here.    
France No quarantine or compelling reason for the fully vaccinated South Africa was removed from the French scarlet list on Thursday 6 Jan. Fully vaccinated travellers will no longer have to provide a compelling reason to travel or quarantine on their return subject to presenting a negative PCR or antigens test no older than 48 hours, Click here for all information.    
Germany No quarantine subject to proof of vaccination or proof of recovery

As of 4 Jan 22, Germany no longer lists South Africa as a country with a variant of concern. No quarantine is required for fully vaccinated travellers or those with proof of recovery. Travellers must otherwise enter quarantine which can be terminated early subject to a negative PCR test on Day 5. source site here.

More specific info here.

   
Ireland No quarantine subject to proof of vaccination or recovery + negative PCR or Antigens test** As of 27 Dec 21, South Africa is no longer on the list of designated states. This means that arrivals from South Africa are not required to quarantine provided you present proof of full vaccination or recovery and a negative PCR test no more than 72 hours old or negative Antigens test no older than 48 hours. ** for full info check source site here.    
Israel No quarantine for the fully vaccinated (from 9 Jan 22) All fully vaccinated travellers can enter Israel. Arrivals must take a PCR test at the airport and must then quarantine for 24 hours until receipt of the results. A negative result will end your quarantine. Full info here.    
Lebanon No quarantine if fully vaccinated Arrivals from South Africa are exempt from testing or quarantine provided they are fully vaccinated. See info here.    
Netherlands Quarantine regulations currently in place Residents of the Netherlands may enter from South Africa subject to negative PCR tests (no older than 48 hours) and rapid tests (no older than 24 hours), and mandatory quarantine for as long as South Africa is deemed a country with a variant of concern. Quarantine may be reduced to 5 days subject to a negative test on Day 5.  source site here.     
Norway No quarantine for the fully vaccinated subject to conditions (as of 22 Dec 21) Norwegian citizens can enter Norway from South Africa without having to quarantine subject to being fully vaccinated + testing negative on arrival. ALL arriving passengers must have registered at entrynorway.no. Info from source site here.    
Poland No quarantine for the fully vaccinated – conditions apply. Travellers returning from South Africa do not have to quarantine provided they have been fully vaccinated with an EU approved vaccine, present a negative test no older than 24 hours and test negative again on arrival. source site here    
Sweden No quarantine for the fully vaccinated Swedish citizens can enter Sweden from South Africa without having to quarantine if fully vaccinated. Info from source site here.    
Switzerland No quarantine for the fully vaccinated Swiss nationals can return to Switzerland from South Africa without quarantine if fully vaccinated. For all other nationalities and statuses, please check     
UAE There is currently a travel ban to Dubai from South Africa . View source site here    
UK No quarantine for the fully vaccinated Fully vaccinated travellers arriving from South Africa do not have to quarantine subject to arriving with a negative test no older than 48 hours + having a booking for a PCR test in the UK on arrival + completing a Passenger Locator Form 2 days before arrival  . View source site here    
USA No quarantine for the fully vaccinated The USA recommends that no-one travels without being fully vaccinated. All air passengers coming to the USA, including U.S. citizens, must present a negative PCR test that was taken within 24 hours of your departure flight.  View source site here    

ENTRY TO SOUTH AFRICA
Entry is open to all countries subject to the usual visa requirements. All travellers arriving in South Africa must complete an arrivals form & present the following:

  • a certificate of a negative PCR Covid test dated within 72 hours of departure for South Africa.
  • Proof of travel insurance with medical cover
  • Proof of accommodation

AIRLINES: Most airlines are flying to South Africa, including
Air France, British Airways, Delta, Ethiopian Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airways, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic

SAFETY PROTOCOLS
We remain on Level 1 which means minimum restrictions. Everything is open and there is no more curfew 🙂 South African safety protocols continue as before:
– Masks must be work in public with social distancing
– On set, we apply full safety protocols as mandated by the Commercial Producers Association and the City of Cape Town. You can read our production safety protocols here.

SHOOTING
Shooting continued throughout December with full safety protocols in place (with production & agency flying to South Africa and clients joining remotely). We are currently prepping for our first shoot of 2022 as our January season begins to pick up.

VISA REQUIREMENTS (for film industry visitors travelling to South Africa with FIVA affiliated production companies).

Producers, Directors, Photographers, DOP’s, Client, Agency are categorised as Oversight & the following rules apply:
Nationals of a visa-exempt country:
you will need to present an Oversight Visa Letter of Authority to immigration on arrival; this will be provided by your service company.
Nationals of a non-visa-exempt country:
you will need to apply for a visa in advance from a South African Embassy as usual.

Actors, models, Assistant Directors, Stylists, Hair & make-up, Camera Operators and other roles – new rules apply:
1) Nationals from the list of 17 visa-exempt countries*
may come in as Oversight for stays of up to 14 days (or 21 days with motivation from your service company), meaning no need for advance visa applications.
2)Nationals of all other countries
must apply for specialist visas in advance from their nearest South African Embassy as usual.

*The 17 visa exempt countries for which the new rule applies: USA, UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Netherlands, Canada, Italy, Poland, Denmark, Belgium, Spain, Australia, Brazil, Norway, Ireland, Switzerland.

For any information on flying to or from South Africa and Visa requirements please contact beccy@moonlighting.co.za

 

Small is good

Small is good

Live, transatlantic interviews with Charlize Theron and Andile Nebulane are two examples of how the scope of our work has expanded over the past 12 months. As the demand for content production has broadened in genre, the pandemic-induced rise of remote production has opened the door to a plethora of diverse smaller projects which are both challenging and stimulating.

Requests come in not just from production companies, brands and ad agencies but increasingly from specialist content agencies operating in the realm of social media and digital streaming platforms. The briefs have included an intercontinental, live interview between Hollywood and a Johannesburg studio in a 4K environment, streaming camera feeds from a Ghanaian sports event, filming interviews simultaneously with a production company in India and filming in one of the world’s most hi tech vertical farms near Pretoria.

Our ability to successfully implement remote production has played an integral role in bringing us these projects and in most instances it’s the efficiency of the system, and not Covid travel restrictions, that have been the driving force. Small budgets have been stretched so much further by redirecting the costs of the traditionally required travel into more value on screen.

“In so many ways, small is good,” says Moonlighting’s Philip Key. “We are really closely involved in the projects and can add value from our long production history.”

DIOR: Charlize Theron interviews CTAOP scholars in celebration of International Womens’ Day

DIOR: Charlize Theron interviews CTAOP scholars in celebration of International Womens’ Day

We were proud to work with Capisco (Paris) & Dior – partner of the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP) – to capture this inspiring conversation a few weeks ago between Charlize Theron and 2 of the CTAOP scholars Chevario and Nokwanda in celebration of #internationalwomensday.

The interview (VIEW HERE) forms one of a series of short video portraits unveiled by Christian Dior Parfums that are shaped by the words of several extraordinary women.

Shot in Los Angeles and Cape Town with Capisco, Paris and Moonlighting, Cape Town.

#DIORSTANDSWITHWOMEN #DiorChinUp #southafricanproductionservices #southafricaisopenforbusiness #remotestreaming #remoteproduction

HOW FRUSTRATION LED TO INNOVATION (Or How we learned to shoot in a pandemic)

HOW FRUSTRATION LED TO INNOVATION (Or How we learned to shoot in a pandemic)

Moonlighting is no stranger to innovation.

In the late eighties, during a time of political isolation, we were one of the first production services companies in South Africa, showcasing the country’s diverse range of locations and talent to foreign filmmakers all over the world.

Fast-forward to February 2020, when our Chinese clients could not be physically present at their Cape Town shoot due to the beginning of the global pandemic. What followed was our first remote production and a whole new way of working. The then lesser-known Zoom played a major part and we even flew the head of Zoom’s South African subsidiary down from Johannesburg for the shoot!

Adaptability is in our DNA. Finding the best possible alternative to being physically present at a film shoot has been an invigorating process and the developments and systems that have emerged over the past 12 months have truly enabled us to move forward even through a global pandemic.

Communication channels are critical to success

We realized early on that streaming a video signal from the VT operator was only one of several vital components of the remote process. Critical to success was the ability to replicate the hierarchy and confidentiality of the communication channels for client, agency and production. The challenge was to develop a system that would keep all parties informed and able to participate as if they were present.

An “always on” approach

As a starting point we asked the question: “Where do these conversations generally take place?  On set? In the recce bus? At dinner? In boardrooms and wardrobe call-backs?” It quickly became clear that there needed to be an “always on” approach to these conversations. This, along with practical requirements such as backup power and a failover bandwidth supply, prompted us to centralize the communication facility.

Our technical provider and partner company – a sports broadcaster that pivoted to remote streaming for production – established a studio in our offices to do just that. By activating the conference facility before call-time, participants can dial in from anywhere in the world whenever they like; dipping in on their way to work; making comments between meetings, at the dinner table or travelling between sets.  When not streaming the VT image, information slides inform remote parties of the on-set status, where there could be a lunch break or a location move.

Evolving & enhancing the client experience

Replicating the experience here for our clients was not just centred around production. We recently arranged a virtual safari for our clients and agency in the US (albeit at midnight their time) while production in Cape Town moved location. Local film industry animal wrangler Luke Cornell joined us live from his incredible farm, “Cornellskop”, and introduced the clients to some of his animals.

Increasingly, we are asked to include live video streaming of cast call-backs, wardrobe fittings and behind the scenes activities.  We also established a secure area for product preparation where, via an HD-quality viewing platform, a remote client specialist was able to instruct our packs-person how to assemble their product.

No bandwidth, no comms.

Of course, none of this is possible without bandwidth. No bandwidth – no coms.  The ability to successfully harvest this resource has become a major consideration when choosing locations. Knowing where the cellular towers are, what provider is manning them, and testing strength on the technical recce is critical.  Mobile spectrum is in short supply in South Africa and we are only now beginning to see 5G in city centres.  In order to ensure the speed and robustness of our digital connections, bonding up to ten mobile signals has become a common and successful practice for us.  We recently established a microwave link across 35 miles of ocean to enable a 2-hour shoot on a remote beach and are currently preparing to stream proxy files to editors directly from the camera when Frame I.O. brings its facility online in March.

Innovation for today. But what about tomorrow?

Covid forced us to find new ways to continue production but far from disappearing as we find a way forward out of the pandemic, they are fast becoming an integral part of the new workflow. They have created new efficiencies in both cost and time as well as multiple new possibilities and are undoubtedly here to stay.  It’s a gratifying, if unexpected, result of the past 12 months as Moonlighting enters its 4th decade of serving our clients in the ever-changing world of filmmaking.

by Philip Key, CEO Moonlighting

Comments from clients:

“the infrastructure Moonlighting has set up for streaming for the Video Village is amazing and better than anything I have experienced. It’s really well set up and has worked really well.” Michaela McKee, EP 1stavemachine

We were able to have seamless communication with our team in SF who were joining remotely.” – Veronika Fontaine, Mekanism

 

 

 

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