to our 2012 FARMAZINE
South Africa’s greatest asset for film-makers is our range of
locations, and the country’s favourite shooting destination,
Cape Town, is in easy striking distance of most of them. Within
production teams have a get-up-and-go attitude; our art
20 minutes’ drive of the city centre, you can go from a Sahara
departments are award winning; our technical crews are
desert setting, complete with Bedouins and camels, to a Côte d’Azur
highly sought after; and our technical facilities, from creature
with its bronzed sun-worshippers, from the slums of Mumbai to the
shops and special effects, to wardrobe and specialised
gardens of Kent.
equipment rental, match and often beat anything on offer
The Western Cape region is known for its Mediterranean-type
summers, when the air is dry and clear, and the bright hot days roll
apparently endlessly into each other.
The ‘Green Season’, the Cape winter, brings a moisture-kissed
atmosphere that creates a magical light that’s perfect for shooting.
anywhere in the world.
At Farm Film, we’re committed to creative partnerships,
driving each production from the quote through to the recon.
There’s no ‘process’ for us – we thrive on challenges. We may
be easy-going, but we’re also extremely hard-working.
And Farm Film offers a unique Free Weather Window: if you book
These pages offer behind-the-scenes views into some of
a three-day shoot during winter, we’ll give you an additional four
our most recent productions and give an idea of the enormous
days at no extra charge. This means that even if wet weather delays
scope South Africa offers the film-maker on the search for
production, you’ll still have a week to get the film in the can.
stunning, economically viable and widely differing locations.
Behind the camera and off the set, too, it’s world class all the
way. We have a First-World film infrastructure: our experienced
Skip and Pete
The 2002 Mel Gibson vehicle
Signs drew mass attention to the
phenomenon of crop circles –
mysterious visitations, apparently,
from alien beings.
Laying more earthly claim to
crop circles are pranksters
Doug Bower and Dave Chorley,
both from Southampton, England,
who say they came up with the
idea of flattening a crop of wheat,
barley, rye or maize using planks,
rope and wire.
And that’s precisely how
we made ours: 10 people, with
wooden planks yoked to them
by pieces of rope, took seven
days to craft this unique artwork.
And while our crop circles could,
of course, have been created
in post production, director
Guy Manwaring always favours
shooting in camera, giving his
spots an authentic feel that can’t
be obtained any other way.
We didn’t, however, go all the
way to England to construct our
crop circles. We shot this near the
town of Porterville in the Western
Cape, an easy 60-mile drive from
central Cape Town. Part of the
Swartland (‘Black Country’), this
wheat-growing region is so lush
that after rains the earth appears
to turn black.
It was certainly fertile ground
for our imagination.
production house: Sonny
Director: Guy Manwaring
Producer: Alice Grant
Director: Philippe Andre
Producer: Dominic Wilcox
You need good bones
to build great bridges
This landscape, with its deep greens and rolling hills, and the mild summer sun shining in
through the car’s windows onto a creamy-skinned little boy, could put it anywhere in England.
But it’s not. It was shot near the Western Cape town of Worcester, about 60 miles from
Cape Town, at the mouth of the Du Toitskloof Pass in the Breede River Valley – an area known
for its scenic beauty.
Lending more location context is Lego, the brightly coloured plastic building bricks that
have been a favourite British children’s toy since the 1940s. And the giant version of these is an
emblem that’s inextricably linked to Santander in viewers’ minds.
The role of the site foreman is played by British racing driver Lewis Hamilton, the youngestever Formula One World Champion. Lewis is just one in a long line of celebrities we’ve worked
with, from famous sports stars and UK tabloid ‘Page 3 girls’ to iconic TV tough-guy Mr T.
This spot was finished up in post-production, but as everyone knows, the bones of the shoot
have to be excellent for the post-production fleshing-out to work wonderfully. And there’s no
doubt it did.
It’s not what you know…
Client: General Mills –
Saatchi & Saatchi
Producer: Alice Grant
We’ve been in the business since the ’90s, and in that time we’ve shot practically everywhere there is to shoot in South Africa, and
built up plenty of useful contacts. Not only that, but our local producers have an in-depth knowledge of and love for nature and the
outdoors, and both have been on the sharp end of the camera – a combination of qualities that inevitably brings a special excellence
to every production.
So when a valued client comes to us with a request for guaranteed animal shots and a modest budget, we use our experience and
our contacts to meet their expectations. Want game? Can do! Want game doing certain things? Can do too! Want game doing certain
things at specific times? Can do that too!
Director Guy Manwaring brought his unique ‘in camera’ expertise to this spot, and our technical wizards did the rest.
Sometimes, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
Cape Town’s strong historic links to Europe give some of
the city’s older suburbs a distinctly continental look – which
was exactly what was required for this take on the peculiarly
suburban pastime of swinging.
Here, in what could be any upmarket suburb in any
European city, but is in fact an amalgamation of several
Cape Town suburbs, including Gardens and Constantia,
production house: Sonny
Director: Mattias Montero
Producer: Amy Appleton
we create intrigue about what goes on behind closed doors.
A river runs
When you have someone of the calibre of legendary skateboarder/
surfer ‘Lord of Dogtown’ Stacy Peralta directing the shoot, your
locations had better come up to scratch. We needed to find
settings that would match the energy of the extreme sports
featured in this spot, and once again South Africa didn’t disappoint.
Cape Town’s range of spectacular mountain, coast and beach
sites did part of the job, but it was the small village of Clarens
in the eastern Free State province that was the location for the
breath-taking river-rafting scenes. The crystal-clear waters of the
Ash River are fed from high in the nearby Maluti mountains, and
this stunning red-sandstone landscape, aided by the Free State’s
amazing summer-rainfall climate with its pellucid light, made for a
spot of truly unique colour and movement.
Glaxo Smith Kline – Lucozade
If it’s an escape from the humdrum of daily city life
you want, where better than magical Mauritius?
This tropical Indian Ocean island has long been a
favourite of holiday-makers and leisure-seekers,
and here we make these aspirations work for us to
great effect: look where the click of a mouse can
take you! Kick off your shoes, dig your toes into
the sand, and let your mind roam free…
We brought all our heads of department from
South Africa and sourced the rest of the crew in
Mauritius, and the art department worked with the
locals to make the set designs. And UK producer
Garfield Kempton claimed a cameo role for
himself as Mr Tombola’s butler – we wish him luck
with his new career in front of the camera!
Euro RSCG London
Abbott Mead Vickers,
Teasing the taste buds
Retired English international footballer Gary Lineker has had a relationship with Walkers
since 1995, playing a less-than-savoury character in their ads – a tongue-in-cheek role
that sends up his real-life reputation as a nice guy.
Filming an attractive cast of nekkid people in a busy city setting is the kind of
activity that can set tongues wagging – but there’s a reason Cape Town’s Afrikaans
appellation, Kaapstad, has given rise to one of its nicknames, Slaapstad (‘Sleepy Town’):
it takes a lot to shock the senses here!
The fun shoot in the city centre produced this, erm, tasteful spot.
show me your
Known in colonial times as the Gold Coast for its rich deposits of that buttery yellow metal, today
Ghana counts cocoa among its most important cash crops. This ‘black gold’ makes Ghana the perfect
pairing of Africa and chocolate.
This spot, celebrating the talents of Ghana’s artists, musicians and dancers, was made entirely on
location in that country, and draws on elements of both traditional and modern pop Ghanaian culture.
The big giant head was designed by local artists in conjunction with our art director. And the
country’s hottest pop-music superstar, Tinny, produced the musical track, ‘Zingolo’: ‘Enjoy it’.
Need we say more?
Director: Ringan Ledwidge
Producer: Sally Humphries
Tropicana likes Cape Town – they’ve
shot in the city before, and they came
back this year to repeat what was
clearly a very successful production.
The paraphernalia needed to
stage an American-style motorcade
(including but by no means limited to
left-hand-drive vehicles) proved no
problem for South Africa’s specialised
The difficult aerial shots required
both a picture helicopter and an aerial
camera platform, and these, too, were
acquired without hassle, with the
most up-to-date gyro-stabilised aerial
camera rigs available, for both film and
Cape Town’s film-friendliness
allows for the logistics this kind
of highly complicated shoot
requires. We secured the right to fly
helicopters within the CBD courtesy
of the excellent relationship our sister
The sky’s the limit
company, Helimedia, enjoys with the
local aviation authorities, while the nowfamous incomplete flyover right in the
city centre provided a perfect stretch of
inner-city highway for our motorcade.
Cape Town and its splendid surrounds
was also the stage-set for the other
up-and-at-’em locations – the gym and
climbing wall are favourite Capetonian
hangouts, while mountain-biking in
the region’s many hilly greenbelts is a
common weekend pastime.
Many of the spectacular scenes in David Lean’s multi-award-winning 1963 epic Lawrence of Arabia were shot in the
Sahara Desert – ‘the most uninhabitable location on earth’, according to movie reviewer Robert Marley.
We didn’t have to go nearly that far. Our ‘desert’ location was Atlantis in the Western Cape. Only 30 minutes
by car from central Cape Town, Atlantis is a 15-square-mile paradise of pure-white sand dunes, some as high as
Remarkably, we shot this ad during Cape Town’s ‘Green Season’. The Western Cape falls into the winter-rainfall
region, during which the low angle of the sun, the moisture in the air and the long days offer lighting conditions for
shooting that are hard to beat.
Our ‘desert island’ (on page 1) was equally easy to access. It’s at Kogel Bay, a 45-minute drive from the Cape Town
city centre. A popular surfers’ spot, it has an awesome long stretch of white beach, intriguing caves and astounding
views over False Bay all the way down to Cape Hangklip at the far eastern edge of the bay.
Ships of the desert
Molson Coors – Carling
Beattie McGuinness Bungay