A favorite location for advertising and commercial shoots for many years, Cape Town is now looking set for the big-time. With the new Cape Town Film Studios fully operational and attracting high-profile projects, we are now seeing more international movies being made in South Africa and more top stars discovering the delights of Cape Town’s cosmopolitan but laid-back lifestyle.
So what does Cape Town have to offer that has finally convinced Hollywood that it is a serious film production destination?
Cape Town Film Studios
Completed in 2010, the new film studio complex offers brand-new state of the art production facilities with four sound stages, set production warehouses and all the rest. The first big-budget movie to take advantage of the studios has been Judge Dredd, the comic book reboot, that has been made as a 3-D action movie, due for release in 2012. There are very few places in the world with the facilities to handle this kind of movie, 3-D action being more complex than just 3-D animation, and Cape Town Film Studios is on a par with any of them, according to co-producer Andrew MacDonald.
Experienced production companies, casts and crews
Cape Town has a well-developed infrastructure of production companies, post-production facilities as well as local cast and crew that have gained extensive experience of all aspects of film production over the many years that South Africa has been a top location for advertising and commercial filming and stills shoots. With South African made District 9 becoming an international blockbuster, the world has finally seen the home-grown talent on offer in South Africa.
With the dollar-rand and pound-rand exchange rate so favorable, movie makers can make first class film productions for far less that they would cost in Hollywood or Pinewood. Much of the savings come from using local crew and casts, but there is also the sweetener of government rebate of 15% of production costs spent in South Africa to foreign film-makers using local production facilities. Even higher rebates are on offer to films made as co-productions with a local company.
One of Cape Town’s top draw-cards has always been the sheer variety of the locations available either in, or within a few hours’ drive of, the city. Beaches, mountains, wild dry semi-desert landscapes, verdant vineyards, forest, urban cityscapes, townships, farmland make it quite easy to find all the different locations you need for a movie without creating a logistical nightmare. Shooting permits have become quicker and easier to obtain than previously and all is in place for a smooth-running shoot.
Prinz Productions offers premier stills and film production services based in Cape Town, South Africa. Specialising in South Africa, Portugal and Mauritius, they also offer production services worldwide. Find out more about their film production service in South Africa.
By Justine Richards