When you love cars being inquisitive about all things related comes easily, so, as Thomas from Autogefuhl (on Youtube) says “Lets go!” I was strolling through Cape Town city centre late December last year on a warm weekend afternoon looking for interesting subject matter, when I stumbled across a car shoot.
It took me a few moments to see this was the new BMW Z4. Finding roads blocked off for ad and movie shoots here is not unusual. We have a sophisticated movie and ad industry and are a popular destination for foreign producers because its cheap, sunny, we are cheerful and hard working and English speaking, and Cape Town has the added advantage of beaches, vineyards, desert, mountains, leafy urban and inner city scenes with some fabulous architecture all within a 40 minute drive of each other.
I arrived after the main action had wrapped up and everyone was relaxed, and I could walk around, with no one pestering me. I enjoyed snapping these wrapped ghostly cars knowing the Z4 would be along soon enough to see in the metal. I’ve seen a few on the road lately. I like them, and it will be great to compare them to the Toyota Supra which arrives here imminently, they are of course both based on the Z4.
Up the road I saw crew walking around with batches of German number plates under their arms which confirmed in my mind this was for a TV or print ad, certainly for international use. The Z4 is being offered in South Africa but with low sales numbers expected there is no way there would be budget for a local ad campaign up to BMW standards.
I made a mental note to wait a while before checking on Youtube if I could find the final edit.
I take time in my week to go looking for interesting cars. When there aren’t any around my eyes start looking for new targets. Architecture is an interest of mine. The above building used to be an Art Deco insurance company headquarters which has now become private apartments, quite fabulous ones I might add..
Turning 45 degrees on the same corner one sees the original Mullers Optometrist building, still operating. My specs are from Mullers, they have become a large chain. See their fabulous Art Deco entrance below.
An Art Director has a lot to work with in Cape Town.
This warehouse in the Bokaap, at the top of town, looks like it was plucked straight from the Netherlands,
and Munich Milbertshofen would appove of this architectural mashup appearing in their ads I think!
I can be so guillable, some time back I was on the Grand Parade, with the City Hall in the background on the left [on the steps of which Nelon Mandela gave his first speech after being released from prison], and I saw my first ever Chrysler LH. I was in heaven until I saw the FBI plates, whats going on?… Duh, further down there was a movie set in progress. Mmm, would the FBI drive around with FBI plates?
Still on the same subject, the new Range Rover Evoque has arrived here. I saw the ad on TV, and immediately thought that it looks local. The feel of the production and the light looked familiar, the lady and barber looked potentially local, and the street scene looked familiar. Even the cheeky androgenous story line looked local.
I hit Youtube to find out. I could see the ad is being flighted in Europe, but I couldn’t see any local credits. Something about that street looked incredibly familiar so I hit Google maps. Bingo! Below is the street scene, in Keerom Street, showing that the TV take is flipped around. The High Court is sited in Keerom Street, and most of the buildings are Advocates chambers.
While I was looking for BMW ads made in Cape Town I came across the below production, made here for, or by, a British agency in 2002. What an extraordinary piece of work.
I’ll leave you with some local music shot in Cape Town. The Kombi in the ad, if my memory serves me correctly, was a Brazilian import at the time, a cut price model slotting in under the regular T3 Kombi.