Two films that were filmed on location in the Western Cape are in with a chance at the Oscars next month; one of which has been an international music sensation and the other a short film that hasn’t yet made waves but which has been very well received at international festivals.
Searching for Sugarman is a documentary with the feel of a movie – the story is so well told, such a human drama that whether you love the music or not you are drawn in. It’s the story of Rodriguez, the Seventies singer whose two albums never made it at home in the United States but who was a huge hit and a mysterious legend here in South Africa. Continue reading “South Africa at the Oscars”
Bono isn’t known for lending himself to advertising campaigns and he doesn’t usually take part in shoots without the band members of U2, but made an exception for this shoot which promotes something close to his heart. In 2005 he and his wife, Ali Hewson, started an ethical fashion label Edun, which Vuitton parent company LVMH have supported since 2009 with a 49% share in it, in their bid to promote a more sustainable fashion ethic. Continue reading “Louis Vuitton Shoot by Annie Leibovitz Features Bono in Africa”
Anyone who lives in Cape Town already knows how varied the landscapes are with our famous beaches, mountains and world class vineyards. But did you know that you can take a trip around the world without even leaving the Western Cape?
This is what the new Tennent’s Lager campaign demanded for their latest production. A three day shoot was all the time scheduled to put together a Victorian explorer style round the world adventure using pristine, uninhabited locations. All the locations are within 200km of Cape Town and some even within the city, as minimising travel time was key to fitting in the grand tour.
So next time you feel inspired to do a bit of globetrotting, perhaps you can save yourself the airfare and explore the varied scenery right in our own backyard?!
Tennent’s Lager used Stanford River, Atlantis Dunes, Kraalbaai beach, Silvermine Nature Reserve and Constantia Greenbelt for their locations in this commercial.
South African ex-pats living in Canada may get a sense of déjà vu when the next Canadian ILC Lotto Max lottery campaign is released.
The commercial shows an idealistic world tour that a lottery winner might dream of, with picturesque scenes depicting India, Japan, New York and Mexico among other destinations, and yet the whole production was shot on location in Southern Africa. Have fun spotting which scenes were shot in Namibia, which around Cape Town and which Mexican ruins were actually shot in Zanzibar!
It seems that Southern Africa’s diversity of film locations together with the fact that it is English speaking with first class film production infrastructure made it the top choice for this wide-ranging production, as it has been for many other top commercial productions before it. Guaranteed to make South Africa ex-pats nostalgic for home whenever a commercial break comes on!
Cape Town is everyone’s favourite South African location for film production, so much so that Jo’burg often gets left out in the cold, but the very fact that it is less in the limelight made it the top choice for two recent film shoots that couldn’t be more different from each other.
A new thriller set in Syria, for obvious reasons, could not be filmed for real on the streets of Damascus, so Johannesburg has proved to be the perfect double – a varied cityscape that isn’t instantly recognisable as itself and yet has the smooth operating infrastructure that South Africa is renowned for in the film industry. The movie Inescapable is the story of a father searching for his missing daughter in the middle of Damascus.
At the other end of spectrum is the latest dramatic commercial for Opel. The producers needed city streets that were wide enough for several cars, streets that could easily be closed to regular traffic during the filming and where they could use dramatic smoke effects. Johannesburg proved to be the perfect location with a co-operative municipality and film office providing the extensive lock-offs needed. Look out for the final cut in the next Opel Corsa ad.
So don’t forget about Johannesburg for both gritty and beautiful cityscapes when you are searching out locations in South Africa.
South African movie fans were delighted to find three new movies filmed at home to choose from this weekend. The top three box office draws in South Africa this weekend were all filmed here, on location in and around Cape Town and Johannesburg.
First place was taken by Safe House with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds – an international production filmed both on location in and around Cape Town and at Cape Town Film Studios. It opened in SA this weekend to gross R4.1million. It did pretty well in the US as well, grossing $40m in its first weekend when it opened there on 10th February.
Next on the SA top 3 list is Afrikaans romantic comedy Semi-Soet, filmed on location in the Cape Winelands and in Jo-burg.
And only just beaten into third place is South African comedy, Material – The Movie, a story of a Muslim boy in Fordsburg, Johannesburg, who discovers a talent for stand up comedy, which received rave reviews.
We’re loving the fact that we can go to the cinema and see our own streets and landscapes on screen, as well as the fact that the South African movie industry is thriving so well. Looking forward to seeing many more movies filmed at locations in South Africa over the coming years.
No green hills and soft Irish weather for Westlife’s final video production together – instead they chose to fly to South Africa, where the dry rolling landscape and dramatic light of Johannesburg’s Cradle of Mankind provided a stunning backdrop to this their last shoot.
The Lighthouse video and release of a last greatest Hits album mark the end of the Irish boy band’s journey together, as they are splitting up early this year to follow their own individual paths. However the behind the scenes shoot video showed them all in good form, full of energy and larking about in boats during lulls in the production. Facilitated by Prinz Productions the video production has a safari feel, dry grassland, red roads, and thorn trees adding drama and impact.
Cape Town may have to wait to see 007 in a cable car shoot out on Table Mountain. The persuasive rumours circulating the industry and the internet that had the next Bond movie filmed on location in Cape Town, with a script from the latest Bond novel Carte Blanche by Jeffrey Deaver, have proved to be unfounded.
The details of Bond 23 were finally announced in a November press conference – the movie is titled Skyfall and is based on one of Ian Fleming’s novels. Daniel Craig will star as Bond with Judi Dench continuing as M, and Ralph Fiennes and Albert Finney in undisclosed roles.
Some of the speculation on a South African James Bond movie started when director Sam Mendes and Barbara Broccoli came to South Africa on a location scout in April 2011. While it is not entirely ruled out that there may be scenes set here, it now sounds unlikely with shooting scheduled in Shanghai and other parts of China and opening scenes set in Istanbul.
However the summer season of film production in Cape Town is already off to a busy start, so 007 may not even be missed, there’s plenty of shaken not stirred glamour to be found on location in and around the city as it is – and who knows, maybe he will get around to visiting South Africa in a year or two, when Carte Blanche eventually does get made into a movie.