To all our valued location owners,

As we finally bid farewell to what seemed like a particularly long and chilly winter, we hope that the effects of Covid have not been too hard on you and your family.

We are happy to report that with the easing of lockdown the industry is picking up. Notably, the stills shoots which have been very quiet since the start of lockdown, are starting to return.

Along with the struggles of Covid there are also the silver linings. We very seldomly get the chance to spend quality time at home with the family. It’s given us the time to reconnect. The socio-economic challenges have also forced businesses to adapt and evolve, and to look at how best to leverage their assets to create other revenue streams. With the significant lull in the film industry, and international travel coming to a standstill (and still waiting to get off the UK red list), we did just that. 

I have always had a deep love for the bush, and have been lucky enough to experience the quintessential African Safari from a young age. It was therefore a natural progression for me to add a safari offering for our discerning travellers. I am very excited about this division which is already picking up nicely with all the amazing local specials. Watch this space as we continue to expand our offerings into East Africa.

The other ‘pivot’ that happened over the last 18 months is the launch of our Lifestyle Investments division, with my new business partner Andrew Dewey, selling residential property. We believe there is a big opportunity in this space to offer our astute clients only ‘amazing spaces’ which offer lifestyle solutions. During lockdown, people have realised how and where they want to live, and what unique lifestyle opportunities are important to them. We are extremely proud to have launched and have already sold our first Amazing Space!

On the shoot side, with the complete shutdown of the industry in March last year, we were lucky enough to be allowed shoots in Level 4. Thankfully, we also have a large customer base of local clients which kept us ticking over. 

Here are some interesting stats which indicate the devastating impact the lockdown has had on our industry:

  • 2019-2020 saw a 58% drop in the number of stills shoots, and a 59% drop in film shoots.

  • Stills saw a 63% drop in average price paid per day though, with film seeing a 54% drop. We really felt this as the stills industry surprisingly seemed harder hit.

  • From March 2020 to August 2020 we had 72 shoot days for stills, and in the same period for 2021 we have had 135 shoot days.

  • From March 2020 to August 2020 we had 55 shoot days for film, and in the same period for 2021 we have had 193 shoot days. This is a huge improvement, which we are very happy about!

    The majority of these shoots have been local, but we are starting to see the international jobs coming back, and are feeling renewed optimism for the coming season.

    We were very lucky to have had some big film jobs over the last 18 months, including the local MNet Love Island show that shot in our location “Maison” in Franschhoek. As well as, The Power Tv Series, Eraser, Noughts and Crosses, Raised by Wolves and Resident Evil. 

    Despite the above ‘comeback’, it is interesting to note that we have seen a drop in the average price per day being paid - in the stills market prices have dropped by 15% on an average shoot day rate, and in film it’s 6,5%. We are hoping this will improve over the season, but we cannot ignore the dire impact of Covid and lockdown. Thousands of businesses have experienced massive financial losses as a result and simply do not have the budgets that they used to have. Please be aware of this when we call you for potential shoots as our commitment to our clients is to not increase location prices this season. Hayley will always give you the dynamics of the job along with the budget, and you can assess each request case by case before you decide whether or not you’re open to negotiating on your rates. No hard feelings if the answer is no, but where possible we would like to support the industry in finding its feet again!

The new norm, with travel restrictions being what they are, is that a lot of shoots are going ahead without the client and agency flying in from overseas. They now have remote access, live streaming into the shoot from wherever they are. This means that all teams will require access to your Wifi / Fibre. Please let us know if for any reason you’re not willing to accommodate this request. 

Covid Protocols:
Protocols on shoot are still strict, with all crew members required to wear masks, and with various sanitising locations on set. In most cases, the teams are also required to present a negative Covid test to Production before they are allowed on set. Any interior spaces being used will be sanitised after the shoot – for smaller shoots the normal practice is for the Covid Officer on set to use the self releasing sanitising canisters. We want you to be happy and healthy! Please do remember to let us know your immediate concerns as things unfold, so we can resolve issues there and then. There is not a lot we can do after-the-fact.

Renovations or changes:
Please do keep us informed if you have made any major changes to your home. If we need to send a professional photographer to reshoot your space, please be aware that the cost is R1 000.

As we fast approach the summer holidays we would love to hear from you. Whether you have friends visiting Cape Town and need a beautiful villa, or if you are wanting to get away from it all, on an African Safari. Even if you are thinking of selling your home, please do get in touch and we’ll be happy to come and do a free valuation.

Wishing everyone a prosperous summer season.

Julia Finnis-Bedford
Managing Director

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Amazing Spaces · 21 Durban Rd. · Chelsea, Wynberg · Cape Town, Wc 7800 · South Africa