Because Cape Town is home to the most prolific film industry in the Southern Hemisphere, the city is frequently used as the setting for major motion pictures and global advertising campaigns. Among the notable films shot in Cape Town in recent years have been Lord of War, Blood Diamond, Rendition, Hitman, Ask the Dusk, Invictus, District 9, and Safe House. Cape Town is frequently chosen as the location for a film production’s base of operations.
This is due to the city’s dynamic terrain, excellent light quality during the summer months, and significantly lower production costs when compared to the United States or Europe. Students who apply for film internships in South Africa will work with local production companies during the summer film season, which runs from September to March.
I’m currently relaxing on what appears to be a Caribbean beach, complete with crystal-clear water, towering palm trees, silky white sand, massive stones, and charming wooden houses. I’d be tempted to go for a swim or lay out in the sun if it weren’t for the booming voice telling me to “Action.”
This immediately brings me back to the reality that I am not in the Caribbean and am working on the set of a production in the United States, approximately 40 kilometers inland from the city of Cape Town in South Africa. The local talent pool was used to staff the entire art department as well as the construction crew, along with more than 90% of the rest of the production team.
Beautiful scenery, world-class cuisine, a luxurious lifestyle, and a low cost of living all contribute to Cape Town’s allure as a filming location, which is enhanced by the city’s well-developed film infrastructure and hardworking crews.
Crew pay in Cape Town is anywhere from 25% to over 200 percent less expensive than in Europe, which explains why this city is quickly becoming the preferred location for film productions taking place outside of Africa. Even after accounting for a discretionary contribution to trainee skill development and the F.I.L.M. program, which was developed by the industry to ensure a steady expansion of the country’s local crew base, labor fringes remain at 4.45 percent, a very low rate. The money paid out to trainees on set can be used to offset the cost of these “training fringes.” More information about the crew’s working conditions and pay can be found here.
Beautiful scenery, world-class cuisine, a luxurious lifestyle, and a low cost of living all contribute to Cape Town’s allure as a filming location, which is enhanced by the city’s well-developed film infrastructure and hardworking crews. All of these factors combine to make filming in the city a lot of fun, which is one of the reasons why filmmakers keep returning. My colleague, Executive Producer Chris Symes, gave me the following succinct take on the filming experience in Cape Town: “Great! Everything is complete. And it’s a fantastic place to be stationed for an extended period of time.”
Cape Town was prominently featured in two films that were huge box office hits in the United States the previous year. The city played the role of Seattle in Josh Trank’s science fiction adventure Chronicle, but it had a rare starring role as itself in Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds’ CIA-themed action film Safe House.
The Chronicle staff traveled to a variety of different production centers around the world, including Australia, New Zealand, Vancouver, Michigan, and Louisiana. Finally, they decided to come to Cape Town because of its world-class personnel and infrastructure. The city’s downtown area was used to film innovative stunts and visual effects sequences in which the superheroes “threw” vehicles into buildings. Trank singled out Simon Hansen, a South African visual effects supervisor, as the person who contributed to the creation of “flying like you’ve really never seen in a movie before.” Filming also took place at the brand-new Cape Town Film Studios.
South Africa removed the cap on the national cash rebate in 2011 and increased it to 20% of all local spending. Furthermore, if R3 million (approximately USD350,000) is spent in the country’s internationally renowned post-production houses, the refund will increase to 25%.
Cape Town, South Africa, is home to nearly four million people and is surrounded by stunning mountains, including the world-famous Table Mountain. The Western Cape, which includes Cape Town, has tropic-like beaches, skyscrapers, rugged rocky coastlines, rolling wheat fields, forests, mountains, lakes, sand dunes, plains, gritty townships, agriculture, and industrial cityscapes, as well as buildings ranging from various Colonial styles to Corinthian and Neo-Classical up to contemporary architecture. Another significant benefit is the proximity of these areas. A production could shoot in sleek metropolitan splendour one day, then in a cool leaf forest the next, and finally in a dry desert scene the day after that.
In the middle of winter in Europe, Cape Town has fourteen hours of sunshine every day. Before I went there for the first time, people who hadn’t been there warned me about the city’s safety. Despite the fact that the city, like any other major city in the world, has its share of crime, it only necessitates the same level of caution as any other large metropolis.
Over the last ten years, a plethora of production service firms have emerged, with some specializing solely in still photography or television commercials, others in long-form, and still others attempting to do both.
South Africa’s prospects are enormous, but so are the challenges that lie ahead. This country is home to over fifty million people and an astonishing diversity of ethnic groups and indigenous tribes. It is a country rich in linguistic and cultural diversity, with 11 official languages and scores of non-official dialects. Apartheid created insurmountable divisions and denied education to countless black and mixed-race South Africans, an injustice that many South Africans, understandably, are unable to forget in a short period of time. When it comes to policymaking, the government is required to take this into account.
Beyond this thriving nation with its young democracy, vibrant energy, and great diversity is a film services sector that, despite its own challenges, continues to grow successfully. This country has a young democracy, a lot of energy, and a lot of diversity. Over 200 different types of media have been produced in the last year, including advertisements, unscripted shows, television series, animated films, long and short films, and documentaries. In comparison to previous years, Film Commissioner Denis Lillie has observed a roughly 25% increase in overall filming activity.
Over the last ten years, a plethora of production service firms have emerged, with some specializing solely in still photography or television commercials, others in long-form, and still others attempting to do both. Choosing the right service provider is one of the most difficult tasks for international manufacturers. The vast majority of businesses will never refuse work because they are afraid of falling behind their competitors. As a result, producers risk working with an overworked service business that is attempting to manage multiple productions at the same time.
Producers, on the other hand, can find a dedicated organization that will work with them to solve problems and will put their hearts and souls into ensuring that the production value remains high. Spending enough time during pre-production on in-depth research on this subject will be absolutely necessary for ensuring the success of a shoot in Cape Town.
Compositing could be an option for you if your vision is more expensive than your budget. We frequently use stills photography services because there are so many variables to take into account, including the angle of view, the point of focus, the composition, and so forth.This strategy is very effective and is frequently used in advertising or when there is a lot of information to impart in a single image. Even though it can be more time-consuming and expensive, setting up some of these intricate scenes would be much more expensive in terms of location fees, model fees, travel, and other expenses.