Sorry it has taken so long to respond, I have been out of the country and a whole host of other things have kept me engaged beyond measure. I have read the article you have sent me. Very interesting. It is clear that even Hollywood is looking for a new way to ensure profitable returns on their products. The present format is beginning to lag behind the ability of garage pirates and the numbers attending cinema's have been dropping for decades as home entertainment becomes better and better.
With this being trend it has become more important for new film producers and or film producing hubs to start thinking out the box and offer viewers something more than what the Hollywood machine can offer. We have Bollywood as a hub focused on serving a certain viewers platform and Nollywood (up and rising) scratching out earnings with low budget replay scripted performances.
Cape Town has many times being posted as the Hollywood of Africa, yet it has not got itself out of service orientated foreign production. The Cape Town Film Industry is solely based on facilitating foreign productions and is still struggling to find a way out of this trap.
With the world economy in the state that it is in the local industry is in dire straits and the good times are not rolling anymore. There are very few customers knocking on the door to film in Cape Town and even though there is a lot been said and plenty in the never ending 'pipeline.'
There have been attempts at creating and doing some movies by some of the top production companies but when all is said and done profits are far from adequate. It seems that the process of delivering South African stories in a mega-entertaining and mega-profitable manner has not being achieved yet.
Like it or not the only high end profitable motion pictures that have been exported from our shores have been foreign investor come producers using South African production house facilities or Co-productions.
Why? It is simple the 'Hollywood' marketing machine and business model is what lays behind it from start to finish.
This allows Cape Town only to profit from the production side tips and very little influx of any profit from distribution and sales. If one was to really calculate the actual South African spend that takes place which the DTI (SAgovernment) offers to foreign film investment you will find that very little film finance actually stays within the Cape Film production platform. It is clear that once the production contract is over the Cape Film production community is back to square one, waiting and hoping for the next customer.
Now much has been said about developing the Cape Town film industry, this has been the constant whine of 'producers' who have not really got down to making their own films. There are over 180 registered production houses in Cape Town, all with 'producers' but how many have actually taken the screenplay, developed it, produced it, distributed and sold it.I would not hesitate to say none, and I would be highly surprised to find any.
Now some would be jumping up and claiming that they have, and maybe there might be a few. I would however have to venture to ask, who was your international partner.
It is clear the the Cape Town Film Production community or industry does not have a 'Hollywood' type formatted business plan or knowledge to develop, produce and market it's own products. The reason for this is mostly due to the lack of a viable finance house or lets call it an investment house.
Our success is rated in 'Hollywood' while is should be rated in what we produce, how much we produce and what the returns are of those productions.
We can not continue to stay in the trap of producing foreign funded films and continue to call Cape Town the 'Hollywood of Africa'. Cape Town will gain nothing from such a stance, and the present senoirio and great fall of the local industry is proof of this.
In the midst of this, there lies a fantastic opportunity which can help the Cape Town Film Industry out of its quagmire by creating a funding platform not to rival 'Hollywood' but to create a new International Africa based film producing hub on sound business principles.
The Cape Town Film industry is in no doubt presently in it worst recession since its emergence in the early 1990's it third thus. The first to crashes should have been a warning to get out of the service orientated production field, but this did not happen. What still bugs me is that in the worst crash thus far there is still no word or talk of any successful self production. And this is mainly due to the absolute lack of finance, investor/finance and underwriters to such creative initiatives. Yet the returns on motion pictures can be phenomenal. It is no wonder 'Hollywood' does it best to keep this monopoly.
Hi Dirk, Thanks for the comment. Yes, it was good to meet you. Although unstructured (which was pity) I found a lot of Vinny's stuff very informative.
We can do endless coffee's or we can all meet in one place, do a bit of speed-dating and then connect with the people we like. I will be at Alphen on Monday evening for the first Crowdsource for Equity weekly meetings. Why not join me there. On the De Hoop front I was basically forced to mothball it until the property market recovers but I am always on the lookout for a good quality eco-developer with a decent track record. So if you hear of anyone... All the best Shaun