Tag Archive for 'AFS Productions'

South Africa: Hollywood’s Hottest Back Lot

On Set, AFS Productions

Written by Kevin Kriedemann, The Filmmaker’s Guide To South Africa 2012, p8

2011 was a breakthrough year for the South African film industry.  Time Magazine called the country “Hollywood’s hottest back lot.”  The Hollywood Reporter named Cape Town Film Studios one of seven “state-of-the-art production facilities giving Hollywood a run for its movie” and announced “South Africa has arrived.”  The Location Guide hailed South Africa as an “ever-reliable production hub.”  And Variety said the country “is currently the most cost-competitive it’s been in years.”

South Africa is earning a reputation for making films that look twice their budget.  Chronicle, a teen superhero flick shot in South Africa for just $12m, earned rave reviews internationally and topped the American box office on its release in February 2012, as did Safe House, a CIA-themed thriller which was shot and set in Cape Town.  Dredd producer Andrew Macdonald told Time that filming in South Africa allowed him to make a graphic novel adaptation “that will look like $100 million” for less than half that figure.  American producer Peter Safran similarly told Variety that Paul Walker’s upcoming Johannesburg set thriller Vehicle 19 “would have been twice as expensive to shoot in the US.”

South Africa has one of the oldest film industries in the world, dating back to the late 1800s, so the country offers a great value location without the risk often associated with emerging locations.

You’re in safe hands here: since democracy, South Africa has hosted a wide variety of film and television shoots, including Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe winners and nominees like Clint Eastwood’s Invictus, Neill Blomkamp’s District 9, Ed Zwick’s Blood Diamond, Terry George’s Hotel Rwanda, HBO’s Generation Kill, Fox’s 24: Redemption and The History Channel’s America: The Story of Us and Gettysburgh.  In addition, South Africa has hosted shoots for some of the most awarded commercials in the world, like Traktor’s Fox Sport adverts, which won the Cannes Lions Grand Prix.


Our Top 5 Stories in September

Just in case you missed them, here are our Top 5 Posts for the month:

We brought you an Update on our Charity Challenge

We featured AFS’s LivingSocial Spot:

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We went back to the City of Gold and were hosted by new location Fire & Ice! (Melrose Arch)

We featured a selection of the coolest kids’ bedrooms

And finally, I interviewed Julia for some ‘amazing spaces’ insights and uncovered a tale about nude-lawn-mowing…

Julia Finnis-Bedford, Founder and MD of Amazing Spaces

LivingSocial: Hidden Gems by AFS

Another fresh and fun spot facilitated by Africa Film Services using a few cool spaces in the Mother City.  See if you recognise Cape to Cuba (Kalk Bay) and Zip Zap Circus.  My favourite part is the fully-clothed water-skiing!

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The World in One Location

This General Electric spot for Healthymagination, shot by Africa Film Services, is a fantastic example of the diversity and versatility of Cape Town and South Africa as a shoot destination.  Shot entirely in S.A.  You’d never have guessed, right…

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Report back on Cannes

View of Cannes Harbour

After a fun-filled, Rosé-fueled week in Cannes, it’s back to reality.  But not before a little update on all the happenings!

Much gratitude to Philippa for the endless hours of fundraising and organisation – after all the build-up to Cannes over the past months she and Chris pulled off a brilliant South Africa Party at the Plage Royale on Friday night.  We were also able to hang out there for most of the week and created a very casual S.A. base for ticket collection and promotional material.

It was very much go-go-go from the moment of arrival.  We were hosted very generously by Kodak on their boat on Tuesday and Thursday for drinks functions as well as for a South African Industry brunch on Wednesday morning.  Plage Royale proved an excellent base from which attendees could collect party tickets for Friday night and we could enjoy delicious lunches.  Thursday started out very tame and ended at the obligatory Gutter Bar at 4 in the morning, after enjoying some Swiss hospitality and then a raucous evening at the Shots Party.  Friday evening was brilliant fun, after Philippa, Ray and I bruised fingers tying helium balloons!

All in all, a really enjoyable time and a final thank you once again to all the sponsors who made this event possible: AFS Productions, Gatehouse Commercials, Lucky Rabbit Films and Moonlighting Film Production Services as well as Amazing Spaces, AVIS, Cinemark, Film & Event Publishing, Groundglass, Juice Film, Media Film Service, One Step Beyond, Panavision, Pioneer Freight, Searle St Post and Unitravel.  You can also see more on the Facebook Group Page for the event.

Daily News from The Callsheet: An Overview of the Commercial Service Season

On Set With AFS Productions

As the arrival of Cannes Lions marks the end of peak commercials service season in Africa, we approached several local facilitation companies to get their views on the 2010-2011 season.

As Always, the different companies had varying experiences.

Executive producer Sean Beukes from The Asylum told us they have had great season. “Across both the service and director divisions we have had a good run. For service, we produced two OMO spots for Turkey, Actimel for Belgium and Nokia for the States,” says Sean. “On the local front, we débuted newbie director, Nicholai Fischer with the I Am American Swiss television and stills campaign in partnership with The Jupiter Drawing Room.”

Brin Kushner from AFS says it was a difficult season for them as their US clients have been put off by the stronger Rand. He believes we are losing out to South America.

“We are definitely not as cost competitive as we should be.  So much work has been lost to countries like Argentina, Chile, and Brazil that could easily have been shot here,” says Brin. “Unfortunately, high hotel rates, airfares, and talent rates are still playing a major role in us losing work. Crew and gear houses have already come to the party but we need the rest of the industry to follow
as well.”

AFS still did some exciting work this season; Brin says casting 90 Asian line dancers for a GE (General Electric) advert was an interesting challenge.

Beccy Kellond at Moonlighting reports a mixed season: they had a slow start but  were very busy in January, February and March, working with clients from the USA, UK, Germany, Sweden and a client
from Italy.

Beccy says, “The very fact that our key client territories keep coming back to shoot here is proof that South Africa can still offer huge production value alongside all the other natural benefits of location, climate, etc, etc. We’re shooting now – an American project that is 100% in studio. At the end of the day, South Africa is unrivalled in its scope of what we can achieve and at a highly competitive price – not only within South Africa but as the gateway to the rest of the
African continent.”

Moonlighting dealt with more projects that required them to shoot images for multiple platforms. Beccy added: “So any project might require us to shoot both moving and stills images for TV, print, internet, and digital media
distribution, etc,”

Cinergy producer David Elton found the season slightly down, saying jobs were lost to South America.

David believes the biggest trend was the switch to HD. Cinergy had three jobs shot with a Canon 5D Mk II and one on an Arri Alexa.

David says: “It seems a turning point has been reached, except where film still reigns supreme, for example for beauty, food, and car commercials.”

Asked  whether South Africa remains a competitive destination price wise, he added: “No doubt, with tighter budgets, many service producers will leave out of their budget items that will anyway be demanded and these become additional costs. But initially they will seem to be a ‘bargain’ in order to secure the job. Once again, artiste fees and buyouts are a major problem when competing against South American countries. On the other hand, location fees in Cape Town seem suddenly more negotiable, no doubt due to the current downturn in adspend.”

Although the effects of the global recession are still present and companies are allocating more of their budgets to digital, the local industry continues to grow and attract shoots from around the world.

Kate Hodges

Original Post.

Yes, we Cannes

Cannes Lions Advertising Festival 19 - 25 June

It’s almost time for one of the most exciting advertising festivals of the year – Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity!

We’ve joined a private initiative to collectively market and showcase South Africa as a commercial shoot destination.  It’s going to be the 7th year running that there’ll be such a collective and we’ll be hosting a ‘South Africa Party’ on Plage Royale in Cannes (yes, right on the beach) on Friday 24 June from 10pm.  The party is being arranged by Philippa of Big Bash Theory and is set to be a magnificent success.  If you’re going to be around drop me a line as it’s invites only – so best be quick!  You can also find more info on the Facebook Group Page

We will also be hanging around sunning ourselves on the Plage Royale during the days if you want to pop in and say hi.  See you there and a big shout-out to all the sponsors who’ve got involved.

Cannes Lions Sponsors for South Africa Party