Why Shoot in South Africa


Over the last decade, the members of the South African Association of Stills producers have striven to build a Stills Production sector in Cape Town that is resourceful, effective, top quality and excellent value for money. We believe that we have created the best Stills Production destination on the planet.

Of course we were lucky with the location; Cape Town and the surrounding province offer almost unlimited opportunities for shoots. We have widely diverse geographical locations – Alpine mountains and lakes, tropical-style beaches or rugged rocky coastlines, rolling wheatfields and mysterious forests. And after centuries of global influences, our architectural styles are varied too; we have skyscrapers and quaint English cottages, industrial plants, farmhouses, designer lofts, luxury houses and more art deco buildings than Miami.

One of the other results of our geographical location and the historical movement of peoples, is that the people of Cape Town look like we come from just about everywhere. In this town you’ll find Vikings and Greeks, Masai and Chinese, Malays, Indians, Zulus, English and Italians – or at the very least, people who look like they could be. The cosmopolitan talent mix, supported by professional, English-speaking Model and Character agency talent managers, is outstanding.

The weather is another major factor in Cape Town’s success. The sun shines fourteen hours a day when it’s the middle of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, and any artist who has worked here has commented on the incredible quality of the light.

However, when you look beyond the physical attributes, you’ll see where Cape Town really excels. Over the last ten years, spearheaded by the members of the South African Association of Stills Producers, Cape Town has built a service-based infrastructure for Stills Photographic productions that is second to none. In Cape Town you can source the latest cameras and equipment, you can process your film or your digital pictures, you can rent vehicles and locations from businesses that are specifically designed to serve the needs of Stills Production. The crew are experienced and dedicated; there are strict codes of conduct governing their responsibilities to you, ensuring that you receive the service you require. Even the hotels are Stills-friendly; many of them provide specific services for Stills Photographers, from packed lunches to complimentary wardrobe rooms to free courier of film to the processing labs. None of this would have been possible without the dedication of SAASP and its membership to providing you with the best possible production destination on the planet.

In 2002, Cape Town was voted the third favourite tourist destination worldwide by the London Observer/Guardian, while Conde Nast World Traveller voted Cape Town the best value for money city on the planet. And the BBC ranked the city as fifth in a total of the fifty “places to visit before you die” – the only city in that top five. In 2002, The

Wall Street Journal also profiled Cape Town as one of the world’s favourite film shoot destinations both for beauty and for value for money. Newsweek of August 2002 listed Cape Town as one of the world’s top eight creative cities, specifically because of our flourishing film service industry. The Economist sited that it was 30-40% cheaper to film in South Africa than in Europe or USA, and 20% cheaper than filming in Australia.

We firmly believe that the value for money you receive when filming in South Africa is simply without compare. We love our city, and we look forward to sharing all it can offer with you.

Martin Cuff

Chairman, SAASP

October 25th 2006