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.