Nico Dekker, CEO of Cape Town Film Studios, South Africa’s largest and newest film studio, announced that the studio has secured the first major 3D action film to be made in Africa, Judge Dredd – this popular comic book figure, initially brought to life on the big screen by Sylvester Stallone, will once again grace the big screen. Dekker says it is a major breakthrough for the studio and the country to have secured a production of this caliber before the official construction phase of Cape Town Film Studios has been finished. Cape Town Film Studios, which will officially only open its doors in October this year, is the first custom built Hollywood style film studio complex of its kind in Africa.
Dekker said that the production will be spending over US$20 million in South Africa and normally for every Rand spent on production; an economic impact factor of 2.5 is accrued. This means that the production will have an economic impact factor on Cape Town and South Africa of US$50 million.
The makers of Trainspotting, The Beach and The Last King of Scotland; DNA Films, chose Cape Town Film Studios for the production of Judge Dredd action film DNA producer, Andrew McDonald says “The film is not location specific and could have been made in any country in the world”. “The affordability of South Africa as a film destination and the new high tech Cape Town Film Studios provided us with the ideal combination”, says McDonald. Pete Travis who recently directed End Game and is known for his direction of Vantage Point is the Director of Judge Dredd.
Michael Murphey, who was co responsible for the production of the Blockbuster film District 9, will act as co-producer. Murphey says that “Cape Town Film Studios provides the ideal location for the making of this exciting new DNA project”. Michael, an American film maker who worked for Miramax and major Hollywood based production companies, was based in Los Angeles for most of his life. He rates Cape Town Film Studios amongst “The best film studio complexes of its kind in the world”.
McDonald and his core film team recently visited Cape Town Film Studios to prepare for their up and coming production. His team included Mark Digby, the set designer of Slumdog Millionaire, the Oscar winning cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle, the writer of The Beach, Alex Garland and the Assistant Director of Sherlock Holmes, Lee Grumett. McDonald says they can’t wait to return and start the production.
The pre-production for Judge Dredd officially started on Monday, 23rd August at Cape Town Film Studios and the physical production will conclude in March 2011 Nico Dekker says that the studio was ready to receive the pre-production team on Monday and that they are fully aware that final phase of construction at the studio will continue until end September. He says that Judge Dredd is a dream production to start with since it is largely studio based, extremely high tech and will also explore new ways of film making. “Judge Dredd will use most of the available 17 000 square meters (200 000 square feet) of production facilities and will be based at Cape Town Film Studios for the duration of the production”, says Dekker.
Nico Dekker added that Judge Dredd was the first production to confirm and that various other international films are interested to film at the studio. “We are receiving a constant flow of interest from local and international producers”.
Anant Singh, Chairman of Cape Town Film Studios says “Securing Judge Dredd as the first production at Cape Town Film Studios is a major breakthrough for the Studios and sets the tone for the future. Our vision to create an exceptional world class facility for South African and international films is now an exciting reality”. Singh predicts that the studio will help to herald a new phase of filmmaking in South Africa by attracting productions that would usually not consider coming to the country.
Four major sound stages, multipurpose workshops, art departments, make-up rooms, wardrobe rooms, star rooms, production offices, green rooms and storage spaces form part of the first phase of the studio. Cape Town Film Studios is owned and financed by Anant Singh’s Videovision Entertainment and Marcel Golding’s Sabido Investments (the owners of e.tv and e.sat).