Industry Report: Focus: Africa
New developments at World Class Cape Town Film Studios
- Many of you who travel along the N2 between Cape Town and Somerset West will have noticed an interesting structure being built on the land adjacent to the Cape Town Film Studios buildings.
Yesterday the Cape Film Commission CEO Denis Lillie and staff members visited Cape Town Film Studios and were shown around the set construction by Cape Town Film Studios CEO Nico Dekker and his team.
The set forms the first stage of a proposed three phase back-lot development at the Film Studios intended to attract more film and television series to shoot in Cape Town.
The Cape Film Commission recently applied to the DBSA for funding under the jobs creation programme for two back-lots. The first being a typical New York Street, the second being a typical USA style suburb.
Phase one of the development, the set currently being constructed is a replica of a French medieval village which will be used in the filming of the Kate Mosse book Labyrinth. The filming of this book is a co-production between Ridley Scotts production company Scott Free and local production company Film Afrika.
The sets under construction are based on a real French village, Carcassonne, the model and photo of the village as seen on the pictures below give a good indication of how this is being realised for the film. Ultimately these sets will become semi-permanent and can be used for other similar filming opportunities, period pieces or biblical stories.
Also being built inside the studios are the interior sets which are magnificent replicas of the interior of a medieval castle and caves. What is particularly important around the filming of this TV dramatization and the two drama documentaries currently being filmed at the studios, The Story of Great Britain and The History of the World is how this translates into direct job creation.
Denis Lillie, CEO of the CFC comments: “ The number of jobs being created is amazing, we experienced at least 150 people employed locally from set builders, specialist painters, carpenters, road builders, prop designers to builders, transport and catering specialists. One skill that particularly impressed us were the costume designers and seamstresses, a team of 10 who were one minute stitching together a roman toga and the next a Victorian gentlemens’ 3 piece suit. With the demands on the productions, scene changes and costume changes can happen over the course of a few hours and these skilled craftsmen and women need to keep up with the production schedules.
We were also impressed by the new make-up studios and artists that have recently taken up residence there. This is really leading edge film industry creating jobs and movies in a way that matches the Hollywood industry”.