Following on from last month's investigation into the soapie phenomenon in Gauteng, in this issue we turn the cameras on Scandal and 7de Laan.

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Bronwyn Berry, Executive Producer, Scandal
Once again it's a case of the older, established daily drama vs. the new kid on the block. Scandal, broadcast on e.tv in prime time, commenced shooting in 2005 whereas 7de Laan, which goes out daily on SABC 2, went on air in 2000. Whilst Scandal is broadcast on e.tv in prime time, 7de Laan goes out daily on SABC 2 at 15h00..

The fist episode of 7de Laan went on air on the 1st of April 2000 (not an April Fool joke) and has now been running for 8 years, with increased popularity measured on virtually a daily basis.

The show is recorded at the Lonehill studios in Gauteng, which are managed by the Refinery, utilising two stages both around 450m.

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Oppiekoffie set on 7de Laan
Sara-Lea Wessels, the publicity Coordinator for Danie Odendaal Produksies who produce 7de Laan, provides some detail on the production:

 

"It's always difficult to give a brief description of the story line. Once upon a time, Danie Odendaal sat in a Melville coffee shop waiting for a friend to join him for breakfast. His friend was running late and, having nothing to do, he passed the time by looking at the people around him.

A funky young waitress in a micro mini was ignoring her customers and flirting with her boyfriend on the phone. The stern manageress was about to confront her when a formidable lady walked in as though she owned the place. The manageress quickly escorted her to the best table available, and then they started chatting like old friends about their children.

Through the window of the coffee shop, he saw a young girl and her friend come out of a dress shop, arms laden with bags. They were soon met by a young guy in a chef's jacket, who'd been eyeing them from the corner bakery. You could hear their giggles and laughs in the coffee shop.

Across the way from Danie sat a spinster in a floral dress with a scarf around her neck, eating a slice of anchovy toast, and writing out a shopping list. As the waiter serving her addressed her by name, she was obviously a regular and familiar face.

Danie began to make up stories around each person he saw. Imagine if the formidable lady went home tonight to find out her young son is engaged to the girl she was hoping was just a fling, what if that guy the waitress is talking to is just one of many guys she keeps on a string. And what about the spinster in the scarf? Maybe she's writing up a list of ingredients she needs for a banana loaf she plans to make for her boss. The only trouble is, she's a terrible cook! And so began the idea of 7de Laan"

7de Laan has many actors and guest artists. The character actors include Aggie Ngwenya, Altus de Bruyn, Alyce Morapedi, Chamaine Meintjies (Beukes), Danny Lnanu-mas and Diedrik Greyling, among others. We have a crew of some 90 people and we shoot on three cameras, recording to XD Cam although we deliver on Beta SP.

We shoot about two months ahead of transmission date and the post production is completed at the Refinery in Johannesburg."

For further information go to the 7de Laan website www.7delaan.co.za
 
Scandal first went on air during February 2005, so it's one of the new kids on the block.  Shooting commenced at the e.tv building in Hyde Park but recently moved to e.tv's recent acquisition, the Sasani Studios in Highlands North Johannesburg, where it's now shot in a newly constructed 948m studio.

Bronwyn Berry, the Executive Producer for producers Ochre Moving Pictures, gives us the low-down:

"Due to declining ratings, Ochre was contracted to take over the production in September 2006.  The show has been running for three years with a further three year contract, running to 2010.

It's almost impossible to be brief with a soap storyline!!!

Scandal deals with a quest for power and supremacy in Newtown. The two central protagonists are CEO of NZH, Daniel Nyathi, and notorious criminal kingpin, Abigail Roderigues-Martins (Michele Maxwell), otherwise known as Laquasha.

NZH is a publishing company producing The Voice, a weekly newspaper, Scandal, a celeb gossip magazine and Estate, a property journal poised for 2010. 

All are brought into their vendetta and have to choose allegiances. When Abigail's son and light of her life, Tino, discovers that his mother is Laquasha and also that all those years ago, she murdered his father, this will have massive repercussions on their relationship.

These discoveries cause him to start working for her arch-enemy, Daniel. In order to reconcile with her son, Abigail will then have to prove that she can put her criminal past behind her and take her many illegal businesses above board. Tino's half sister, the sexy Shakira, is poised to become Abigails' right-hand woman and attempts to keep the illegal business going as Abigail goes on the straight and narrow. But for how long will Abigail be able to maintain this facade?  

Daniel is grooming his son, Mangi to be active in his business. His step-daughter, Christy's position in Tino Martins company allows him access to a whole lot of information about the world of property. Although Daniel is married to the wealthy Leticia, he is in love with Scandal editor, Nadia who he regards as his shining light. 

Thrown into this grouping are hardcore business woman, Mo and ex-NIZ agent, Alex whose marriage is put under severe strain when Alex starts having an affair with Shakira.

Running like a heart through Scandal are the Khumalo family. Through this family we see the lives, the trials and tribulations, the hopes, dreams and aspirations of what it means to be a family on the up and up. Eddie is in line for promotion to the position of Editor of The Voice but how long will he be able to stay off the booze? Maletsatsi needs to delve into the secrets of her past as a prostitute before she can accept herself and become the devout Christian she longs to be.

Malesatsi's HIV positive daughter, the charismatic and beautiful, Palesa is finding out the love of her life is the committed pastor, Lefa, a sexy man with a moral conscience. As the young couple meet and fall in love, they find the greatest barriers to them being together are the prejudices of their families.

The principal actors are Sello Maake KaNcube (Daniel), Michele Maxwell (Abigail), Clint Brink (Tino), Dawn Matthews (Shakira), Joyce Skefu (Maletsatsi), Sandy Mokwena (Eddie), Nthati Moshesh (Mo) and Shona Furgeson (Alex).  We employ 46 crew members.

In order to accommodate the studio move at the end of March this year we were three months ahead of transmission. By the time we are up and running in the new studio we should be three weeks ahead of transmission.  However, as we shoot five episodes a week, Scandal is on air four times a week, we aim to be one month ahead quite soon.  We record on DVC Pro 50 and use three cameras. Post production was done at e.tv and will now be moved to post production facilities at ZSE TV."

For further information go to   http://www.ochre.co.za/