A Cape Town version of the international franchise Law & Order is on its way, and is promising to create jobs for local cast and crew and inject about R3m per episode into the local economy.
While the announcement has created some excitement, not many details are available yet because of the sensitive nature of ongoing negotiations.
Africa HD producers James Makawa (CEO) and Kenny Christmas (COO) secured the format rights to create a South African franchise of the long-running police procedural and legal drama television series. They will produce the local version in partnership with South African DO Productions.
“We are still in early stages of development, but it’s very exciting to be involved in such a big branded production, and it’s a great opportunity for South Africa,’ says DO Productions’ Marlow de Mardt.
Cape Film Commission CEO Denis Lillie has confirmed that they plan to start production in May 2012 and says that the episodes could be increased
from 12 to 22.
The series will be set within the South African legal system and police environment, but will follow the same format and themes as its counterparts in the US and UK. Two sets, a police station and a court room, will be constructed at locations that are still under negotiation.
Lillie says that many street scenes will also be shot in and around Cape Town, showcasing the city to a worldwide audience. The series will be broadcast internationally through satellite channel Africa HD.
“The impact on the industry will be mainly local in the form of jobs created for cast and crew members. Cape Town residents will be impacted by road closures, but we are predicting a soft impact,’ says Lillie.
The Western Cape Government and City of Cape Town have announced that they fully support the venture.
SCREENAFRICA Print Magazine – October 2011 (view here)
By Linda Krige