CAPE TOWN FILM STUDIOS
Ranked among the world's best
Filmmakers from across Africa and the world are flocking to Cape Town to shoot their blockbusters at the ultramodern Cape Town Film Studios in Faure.
The only Hollywood style film studio complex in Africa opened in December 2010. To date, over 34 productions have been shot on the studio lot, situated just 20km from the Cape Town International Airport.
Local and international productions filmed at the studios include Eye in the Sky, Last Face, The Dark Tower, Safehouse, Dredd, Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom, Mad Max Fury Road and Black Sails (Seasons 1,2,3 and 4).
The studio is one of the most affordable in the world to film at, says chief executive Nico Dekker, but also one of the best.
“We have a fantastic reputation. It’s a smaller studio in comparison to others, but has made an incredible impact on the world of filming,” says Dekker. “People enjoy the management style. Producers have found a hi-tech environment, where we do everything possible to create these transient worlds for them.”
Since opening, parcels of land on the studio lot has been transformed several times – from Orlando West for Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom to a village in Nairobi for Eye in the Sky, a thriller about drone warfare, to Mogadishu for a National Geographic production.
Dekker says over 70 000 people have been employed by the various production teams since 2010.
“Everyone from artisans to local carpenters and builders have benefitted,” he says. “The impact on Western Cape economy is rated at about R10bn. This studio is creating jobs for our city and the country.”
In addition to the world-class studios, Cape Town offers exceptionally skilled film crew and post-production services. “The skills we have here is unmatched, the crew fantastic,” says Dekker.
Cape Town is regarded, both nationally and internationally, as a premier filming destination.
According to FDI Intelligence (2015), Cape Town ranks fourth out of 16 global cities for both quality and cost. This is primarily due to the low costs of production.
South Africa’s favourable exchange rate makes it up to 40% cheaper to make a movie here than Europe or the United States, and 20% cheaper than Australia (South Africa Info, 2013).
When compared to other cities, Cape Town comes in as the single cheapest destination in terms of production, set, site, utilities and labour costs (FDI Intelligence, 2015). The city also has the perfect climate and good lighting conditions for eight months of the year, making it a compelling location.
“The Cape Town Film Studios is currently in high demand,” says Dekker. “We have turned away some of the biggest shows on earth, we simply could not accommodate them. On a medium to long term view, there’s no question that the studio needs to expand to be able to accommodate the demand, and I hope we will have some news soon.”
The film production sector adds value to a wide range of additional sectors in the local economy by creating a demand for products and services – with links to the tourism sector being particularly strong. The industry also showcases Cape Town, its diversity of locations, technical film capacity and talent, and provides value-added marketing and investment collateral for the City.