Playing supporting roles

Douglas allen, director of 15 on Orange and Gavin Levy of Cape Town Productions.

Cape Town Productions celebrated 29 years since its inception this year.

The company also celebrated an occupancy of 10 000 beds in city centre hotel African Pride’s 15 on Orange, which was where they housed their production crew for four years while filming in the CBD.

Director of Cape Town Productions, Gavin Levy handed over a trophy to African Pride 15 on Orange director Douglas Allen for accommodating them, and Mr Allen handed Cape Town Productions a trophy as well as a charity cheque in the name of Cape Town Productions, at a ceremony at the hotel on Thursday June 22.

Mr Levy said his wife, Denise, started Cape Town Productions in 1988, and were approached by Mr Allen, who was in the process of opening Victoria Junction Hotel in nearby Green Point. “Before we built a partnership with Protea Hotels, we stayed at the Table Bay and old Nelson Mandela Hotel. Thereafter, Douglas approached us and asked what we were looking for in a hotel.”

Mr Allen said they had approached the film industry to create a user-friendly model for the film industry. And at the time, he said, the film industry was gaining momentum. “Any new hotel’s occupancy is generally low, so for marketing purposes, we decided to enquire with the film industry.”

He said when they opened 15 on Orange, just before the World Cup, the city had lent itself to the development of the film industry. Mr Levy said booking at 15 on Orange was a natural progression, as they had already built a relationship with the management at Victoria Junction.

Meanwhile, Mr Levy said the film industry in the city centre had changed significantly since Cape Town Productions first started in 1988.

“Thirty years ago we could shoot anywhere without a permit. And then when it exploded post apartheid, the city realised that they were responsible for what goes on in the roads and recognised a need for permits for filming in the streets.”

He said at the time, the municipality introduced an office to manage filming in the city and even though “red tape is an issue”, the city is buzzing with film production.

“In season, which is from September to August, there are easily about 15 film sites shooting in the city bowl and the V&A Waterfront alike.