A new series, Cape Town, is coming to Universal Channel in September. The series is based on a bestselling novel by Deon Meyer. It tells the story of a cop who, following the loss of his wife, no longer has the passion he once did for his job. But that all changes when he gets a new boss, new partner, and new murder case to work on.
Here director of the series, Peter Ladkani, discusses the project.
What attracted to you the project?
PL: I read the book Dead Before Dying by Deon Meyer. It’s a great South African crime story with fantastic characters. To be able to shoot an international series based on this bestseller was a great challenge for me.
What makes the show different from other crime series?
PL: Cape Town is the first crime series that shows South African policework after Apartheid to audiences worldwide. The show introduces a different world to international viewers, one they are not used to seeing. To watch South African crime is new and exciting. Cape Town is unique. It’s a truly international project featuring a cast from eight different countries.
What was your filming experience in South Africa like?
PL: I shot many international commercials in South Africa before the Cape Town series, turning CT to a foreign location. But this time it was the real thing! For me, South African film crews are among the best in the world! I had the great honour of working with some of the best actors this country has to offer.
How long did you film for and when did most of it take place?
PL: We had 58 shooting days in and around Cape Town. The more than 100 locations, 120 actors and 1500 extras were a big challenge in such a short schedule. Thanks to the fantastic organisation of our production partner Out of Africa Entertainment we managed the shoot without overtime.
How much does the setting contribute to the series’ storyline?
PL: Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The series presents the bright but also the dark side of this vibrant place. The unique and extraordinary locations are part of the story in Cape Town and they strongly represent the characters shown in the series.
How have international markets taken to the series? Does the show appeal to South African and other countries’ audiences?
PL: Cape Town has already been sold to several countries. We had great premieres already in Poland and Germany. I think there is huge interest from international audiences because everybody who has been to South Africa, loves it there! For the South African audience the Cape Town series could be an ambassador to the world and they could discover their city from a new perspective.