Sasani expands on already impressive studios


With the lion’s share of soap operas in South Africa being filmed at
Johannesburg-based Sasani Studios, the facility is expanding its existing studio
offering with the building of a new 900m² space ideal for accommodating
another soapie.

Says Eileen Sandrock, managing director of Sasani Studios since 2007, “Because
I am running short of studio space and there is a requirement in South Africa for
a nice big studio, we have made the decision to expand our current offering.’

The new studio’s construction is anticipated to be complete in mid-March and will
deliver completely soundproof, full high-end HD facilities with level floors and an
eight-metre height grid. Adds Sandrock, “The new studio will meet international
standards in terms of production and post-production criteria, which also
pertains to international and local delivery. Our digital control room is going to be
fully HD and will be a world-class suite.’

She continues, “The studio will have ample space for set storage and leading off
that is a reception area with all the required amenities, including restrooms for
gents and ladies, a covered catering area and enclosed wardrobe and make-up

Already consisting of studio space in excess of 5,500m², Sasani offers one of the
biggest television facilities in Sub-Saharan Africa. The studio in the suburb of
Highlands North comprises Stage 1 in which the Big Brother house has been
situated since 2007 (and which is currently being utilised for Big Brother Mzansi,
which started airing on 2 February on pay-channel M-Net); Stages 2 and 5 for
long-running SABC3 soap Isidingo; Stages 3 and 7 for Scandal! broadcast on; Stage 6 for Rhythm City, also broadcast on; and Studios A and B that
Sasani trades for productions such as Gospel Gold on SABC1.

Popular soap 7de Laan on SABC2, makes use of Sasani’s additional studio space
situated in Lonehill in Johannesburg.

Immediate and confirmed plans for the new studio, which will be known as Stage
8, is the finale of M-Net’s new reality television series Survivor South Africa:
Champions. Comments Anton Burggraaf, head of entertainment television at
independent television production company Endemol South Africa, producer of
the new non-scripted reality series, “The entire workflow of this season of
Survivor South Africa is delivered in HD and the new studio at Sasani was a
natural choice for the finale as we wanted to make use of the latest HD
technology that the studio offers. We also have a lovely working relationship
with Sasani, so it made sense to have the finale there.’

Concludes Sandrock, “As it is such an expensive endeavour, the one area that is
difficult for the industry to enter into is studio construction. At Sasani, we supply
the whole solution to creatives, including everything from office space to full
support in terms of engineering and all the equipment the production teams

“The only service we don’t offer at Sasani is content. The producers come in and
create the programming. From there, we see to providing the support
infrastructure right from the initial pre-production offices to the final broadcast


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