Cape Town’s pristine beaches and stunning parks will again feature in films and commercials currently being shot in the Mother City.
This after the City’s Film Office was given the go ahead to issue permits for filming along the coastline under stringent conditions, including that the workplace is COVID-19 health and safety compliant.
It is important to note that beaches are still closed to the general public and that production companies are permitted to film on the beach under strict compliance measures.
Production companies are required to employ specialised environmental officers to ensure the integrity of our coastline is protected during film shoots.
The office is also issuing permits for filming at City parks on a similar basis.
Previously access to parks and beaches was prohibited by national government regulations to curb the spread of COVID-19.
This week, I was fortunate enough to visit one of the production sets on Dolphin Beach in Table View, part of a commercial campaign for an international brand.
With the assistance of remote technology to communicate with the international client, the local production company is using an all-local crew and talent to put together the shoot taking place at several beaches in the city.
It was pleasing to see that members of the production value chain, including catering companies, security, transportation, make-up artists and medics – who rely heavily on the film industry for income – are also back to earning their livelihoods.
Over the last couple of months, the industry has been severely impacted by a combination of the COVID-19 outbreak, the lockdown restrictions especially in terms of travel and the downturn in business.
However, the City of Cape Town, through the Film Office and Film Cape Town, is continuing to provide support to the industry through permits, promoting our city as a premier film destination and unlocking more locations to ensure its sustainability.
Cape Town competed against Australia as a location for this commercial and the combination of our favourable exchange rate, beautiful and varied beach locations as well as experienced crew and talent helped us clinch the deal.
This industry is vitally important to Cape Town not only for its glitz and glam, but also because it showcases the beauty and the talent of this city. It is also a catalyst for economic growth, contributes about R3,5 billion a year to the local economy and employs thousands of people.
In addition, the City of Cape Town, working with the industry, developed a 36-page Standard Operating Procedure document which serves as a guideline for the film industry in dealing with COVID-19.
It outlines the basic technical measures companies have to put in place to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace and to protect their employees.
The industry is very resilient and seamlessly adapted to the new normal very quickly. They are following the current strict health and safety protocols to the letter at base camp, make-up and wardrobe, catering and on set location.
Some of the recent highlights for the City’s Film Office include:
- The City of Cape Town’s Film Office issued 5 245 permits during the 2019/20 financial year;
- The Film Office received more than 11 000 film bookings during that period’s reporting year;
- Since 1 May 2020, 127 permits, which comprises stills photography, documentaries, commercials and feature films permits
- The office is currently monitoring four productions permitted to film at beaches.