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While Chinese businesses visiting Namibia are
nothing new, Hunan Satellite TV, the second most-watched channel in China,
second only to CCTV-1 owned by China Central Television, recently concluded
filming parts of a reality television series in Namibia.
The production, which first saw the team visit Namibia during a scouting trip for a few days in December of last year, and now locations such as Harnass Wildlife Foundation east of Gobabis and Deadvlei near Solitaire in the south of Namibia as part of filming on location around the world including countries such as Brazil, South Africa and Australia, wrapped filming locally in March.
The company behind the production, Hunan Satellite TV, broadcasts to most China, the far East and is viewable in North America and Europe, contacted Namibian production and film company Namib Film to facilitated the scout and this year entrusted them with the production that included over 150 celebrities and crew members, with the celebrities accompanied by 8 dedicated crew members throughout the project.
According to Mr Guy Nockels, Executive Producer of Namib Film, throughout the very challenging production, the visiting film crew had a chance to see the stunning scenery, enjoy the amazing hotels and travel on the incredible road network which makes Namibia a favourite film destination for European television stations and large Hollywood studios.
He further added that China was
counted as having the most screens in the world in 2016, and at some stage the
nation had the third largest film industry by the sheer number of films
With this in mind, Namib Film sees great potential in developing this new partnership with Hunan Satellite Television and believes that once other Chinese filmmakers see what Namibia and local film companies such as Namib Film and its sister company Magic Touch Films has to offer, and hears of the professional services offered, there would definitely be more productions moving in.
With a host of
international film and commercial productions calling on Namibia as the
location of choice, local production companies Namib Film and Magic Touch Films
increased Namibia’s visibility as a top location when they attended the 2016
Focus International Location Production Event held in London from 6 – 7 December
The longest running production company, Namib Film and its sister company Magic Touch Films proudly represented Namibia at the most prestigious production location event in the world as part of their mission to build Namibia’s reputation as a premier location destination.
Attended by all major international production companies and studios, the event is billed as a core meeting place for international production and showcased locations from around the world, while giving producers and directors an opportunity to meet the representatives from local production facilitators.
With an excellent service offering and past projects including Mad Max, Flight of the Phoenix (Namib Film), the Namibian filming of ITV’s Marooned with Ed Stafford and reality TV show Naked and Afraid (Magic Touch Films), the production companies met top international filmmakers at their stand.
Speaking from London, Mr Guy Nockels, Executive Producer and CEO of Imwe Namibia Holdings, the holding company of the two Namibian production companies, as well as Equipment List Rentals and Desert Ace Charters and Tours, said that attending Focus 2016 was an ideal opportunity not to be missed.
“It gave us a chance to personally meet with various international filmmakers, television producers and directors, and to reconnect with some who have worked with us in the past. We could also showcase our experience and professionalism, while turning the spotlight on Namibia,” he said.
The second year of attending Focus 2016, Mr Nockels believes that they helped bridge the gap between Namibia and international filmmakers. He says that Namibia is rich in production experience and infrastructure, and if combined with the local knowledge available, can cater for productions of any magnitude.
In his view, large Hollywood productions, like the Mummy recently filmed in Namibia, helps to put Namibia on the map, but it’s still up to local houses to further show the world of movie making that we aren’t just a pretty desert location and can provide film, commercial, stills and television productions the whole package, from spectacular locations to professional and experiences production service and support.
For this reason Namib Film and Magic Touch Films enjoyed attending the 2016 International Location Production Event presented by The Location Guide.
Namib Films' Executive Director Guy Nockels shares his
thoughts on why safety is always the top priority on set.
In our industry and experience, most productions run smoothly and apart from a few splinters or a sunburn here and there, when the footage is in the can, crews leave with a smile on their faces.
As the saying goes, one should always prepare for the worst and expect the best. Even more so when a certain degree of danger is expected.
When it comes to international productions in Namibia, one could say that it’s even more important than ever to make sure that provision is made for trained medics in the budget. We don’t say this because Namibian productions shouldn’t worry about it, but because these big productions employ large crews, usually have more intense scenes and if something should go wrong, this could have a very negative impact on our local industry.
Linette Booysen of Movie Medics Namibia, whom we use regularly for productions facilitated by our own production companies, recently commented on a social media post we made regarding health professionals and medics working on film sets in Namibia:
“… Just to touch on the matter raised by Magic Touch Films, kindly be informed that according to the Allied Health Professions Act 2004 (Act No.7 of 2004), Section 18 (1), ‘No person is entitled to practice within Namibia a register-able Health profession, unless that person is registered in terms of this Act’.”
She also continued by saying that “the public is urged to report to the Police or the Health Professions Council of Namibia persons who in their opinion are practicing any related professions without being registered with any relevant Council for prosecution in terms relevant sections of the Acts.”
What made us bring this up?
A few months ago one of our teams went to Botswana on a production and was quite surprised to learn how strictly that country enforces a similar law, i.e. if you’re not registered as a medical professional – you don’t work as one!
It made us think (and wonder) whether production companies facilitating in Namibia or international crews actually know the rules of the game when it comes to medics and health professionals on set!
We can only hope so and use this opportunity to educate instead of berate. After all, on the day that something does go horribly wrong on set (that prepare for the worst part of the saying) no producer or company should be in a position to explain why they were operating outside the law.
The legal Service Department of the Health Professions Councils of Namibia can be contacted for more information at Tel: +264 61 245 586 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s our view? Feel free to contact us. After all, if you didn’t think about it, and you’re planning a production, never underestimate the power of local knowledge.
Namib Film will be exhibiting at the FOCUS film location and production event – the first of its kind to be hosted in the United Kingdom. This prestigious film event will be hosted by The Location Guide on the 14th and 15th of December at the Business and Design Centre in Islington, London. Door will open at 10am and will close to the public at 5pm, so feel free to come and visit the Namib Film team at Stand 30, to see what Namibia has to offer as a filming destination. Namib Film’s Chief Operating Officer, Gwen Swart, will also be in London from the 16th till 18th of December, and will be available for meetings if you cannot attend the FOCUS event. Please contact her on her email address email@example.com to schedule a meeting. Namib Film is looking forward to meet you!
As proud co-sponsor of the Namibia Film Project, Namib Film will be present on the Namibia Film Commission's stand (Stand No. 815) at the 2009 AFCI Locations Trade Show at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Los Angeles from the 16th - 18th of April 2009. You are invited to come and meet us for a personal introduction to Namibia and Namib Film. We look forward to meet you.
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