A commercial, shot recently and scheduled for international release, features a beach scene shot in Johannesburg's CBD.


Picture tree shoot
Picture Tree, a Craighall, Johannesburg-based boutique commercials production company that produces and directs local and international TV and cinema commercials, used locations in the Museum Africa area in Newtown, as well as the suburbs of Houghton and Blairgowrie.


In Focus spoke to Production Manager, Johnny Mabeba, about the shoot at a dive centre in Blairgowrie.

"This is a really interesting commercial, with a working title 'Project Cheers' and the payoff line of 'refresh your soul', which involves shooting a drink product. Unfortunately, I am not able to mention product names as there is an embargo until the commercial is released.

"The commercial has various scenes which involve people floating after having indulged in this non-alcoholic drink. There are a total of six vignettes, shot in three different locations, which include Houghton, the pavement outside the Museum Africa in Newtown and a swimming pool."

"We had about 50 crew at the pool shoot," adds Mabeba, saying that everything has gone very well.

"The Gauteng Film Commission was extremely helpful, and arranged the JMPD to give permission for use of the roads etc. We shot a beach scene in the Johannesburg CBD people in costumes with beach umbrellas can you believe it!. That's really the only negative thing about Johannesburg there are no beaches and no vineyards - but otherwise it's the perfect place to shoot.

"In the past we have shot for New York in Johannesburg, and you have the variation between townships and Houghton houses. Yes - Johannesburg has everything  except the beaches (which can be created!)."

The commercial, for international release, will not be shown in South Africa. Shot on 35mm, and using an underwater housing for the pool shots in Blairgowrie, the post production will be completed at Orchestra Blue Post Production, also in Blairgowrie. Negative processing will take place at the Film Lab in Highlands North.

The Director is Alan Irvin, the Executive Producer is Gary King, and the DOP is Terence Maritz. The commercial stars Pearl Thusi and Buyile Mdladla (well known for his role in Isidingo among others). Camera and grips are from One8six and the lighting is from Panalux.