Filming in Filming on location in Cape Town
Cape Town has gained a well-earned global reputation amongst producers, directors, cast and film crew as being an extremely film-friendly shooting destination. Cape Town is the second most populous city in South Africa (nearly four million people) after Johannesburg and is the provincial and legislative capital of the Western Cape.
Cape Town filming locations are on roughly the same latitude as Sydney and Buenos Aires and the city is in the GMT +2 time zone.
The Cape Town region has much in common Southern California with its Mediterranean climate, extensive coastline, rugged mountain ranges, coastal plains, inland valleys and semi-desert fringes.
Cape Town is flanked by beautiful peaks including the famous Table Mountain, adding to its international appeal as a filming location. The Western Cape offers tropical-looking beaches, skyscrapers, rugged rocky coastlines, rolling wheat fields, forests, mountains, lakes, sand dunes, plains, gritty townships, agriculture, industrial cityscapes and buildings ranging from various colonial styles to Corinthian and Neo-Classical all the way to contemporary.
The proximity of the filming locations is another huge asset. A film production could shoot slick urban glamour in the morning, a cool leaf forest in the afternoon and dry desert landscapes the next day. The Cape Town region offers quite an extraordinary variety of filming locations with the added advantage of relative proximity saving precious time on unit moves.
The Cape Town sun shines fourteen hours a day in the middle of the European winter. Winter starts in May and ends in September and is generally a wet and windy season. Temperatures are cool and tend to range between 7 Degrees Celsius and 17 Degrees Celsius. Summer lasts from November to March and temperatures range between 19 Degrees Celsius and 35 Degrees Celsius. The summer season is usually hot and sunny. It can be windy, but it doesn’t bring much rain.
The currency is the rand (ZAR). The South African exchange rate is favourable to most currencies, including the pound, euro and dollar. Most restaurants, shops and hotels accept international credit cards. Value added tax – VAT - is 14% and is included in the price of all items, but can be claimed by foreign visitors when leaving the country.
Film-friendly hotels in Cape Town include Pepper Club, Taj hotels, Hippoboutique and Mount Nelson.
What our readers say about filming in Cape Town:
“Cape Town has a robust film infrastructure and hardworking crews to support beautiful scenery, excellent cuisine, a first-class lifestyle and inexpensive living costs. It all combines to make production in the city great fun and filmmakers often come back for more.”
Malcolm Scerri–Ferrante, Producer
“Locations galore in an easy one- or two-square mile radius and the crews are awesome. I love it there and it just feels like home now.”
Spencer Friend, Producer
Local location tip
“As most commercial production is concentrated in the six hectic months of summer there is a huge demand on resources, so the longer the pre-production time can be stretched the better, especially when there are a lot of locations involved.
Shayne Brookstein, Producer