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Top ten tips when shooting in South Africa

Red Petal Productions know pretty much everything there is about filming in South Africa. Here they share their top ten tips when it comes to shooting in the country:

south africa

1. Expect the unexpected
We may be at the bottom of the world, but we have got lots of stuff going on. Animals don’t roam the streets, people wear designer clothes, not skins, and we all have a Facebook account.

2. Hire a ‘been there, done that’ person
Make sure the people you’re working with know the ropes. There’s nothing worse than tying your already tight budget in knots due to the rants of people with big mouths and small brains.

3. Local is Lekker
With a 'been there, done that' supplier, no one knows how to make stuff happen better than a local.

4. Go with the flow
Along with Africa’s super-fast, efficient systems, the 'been there, done thats' know how to smile, curtsey, dance a jig naked in the main street… to your best advantage. Let them.

5. Stay grounded
Realistic requests will be met with the greatest of enthusiasm and the best of results. Unrealistic requests will be met with even greater enthusiasm and shedloads of commitment with appropriate results.

6. Maintain perspective
The 'been there, done thats' are all about making your production as simple and pleasurable as possible. They are not miracle workers and sometimes won’t always get results (which hurts them more than it hurts you).

7. Be open – but not too open
South Africans are kind, caring, fun loving people… well most of them. Beware of the kind that care for your possessions and want to be fun loving with all your cash. Crime is a reality, but not a deterrent.

8. Maintain a sense of humour
There will be a day where you will see something, be told something or be part of something that will make your jaw drop. Remember to chuckle deep and remember you’re one of the lucky ones to experience Africa first hand.

9. Make friends
South African crew are experienced, hard-working people. They shoot with hundreds of directors and DoP’s from all around the world. Take the time to get to know them - you will not be disappointed.

10. Enjoy!
There’s nothing like gob-smacking locations, sun-kissed people, scrumptious food, delectable wine, awe inspiring animals and darn hot weather to make a person feel alive. Soak it all up every chance you get.

KFTV would like to thank Red Petal Productions for their insight and industry expertise. Have you ever filmed in South Africa? Let us know your experiences by commenting below or by visiting our Facebook page


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