As the eleventh in a series of articles profiling various manufacturers, suppliers and services that cater specifically to the film and television industry in Gauteng, In Focus spoke to Visual Air Productions (Pty) Ltd specialists in (radio control) RC and full size (FS) Helicopter Aerial filming and photography and African Reptiles & Venom cc who among other things supply snake venom for the SA anti-venom unit.

In Focus spoke to Stephen Verheul owner and Managing Director of Visual Air Production (Pty) Ltd.

In Focus: Could you advise readers where you are based?
Verheul: We operate from 18 Fairway Avenue, Linksfield North, Johannesburg.

In Focus: Tell us a bit about your business
Verheul: Visual Air Productions is a South African company specialising in professional aerial photography and video using various unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's), including radio control helicopters and blimps. We have two teams consisting of pilot and cameraman, a dedicated engineer, twelve helicopters and more than ten cameras of varying formats. We do work all over South Africa, including Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and the rest of Southern Africa. We have a range of formats for both stills and video, including 35mm motion picture, high resolution digital stills, standard definition (SD) and high definition (HDV) video.

In Focus: How many staff do you employ?
Verheul: We have a total of six employees.

In Focus: Give us some examples of the work that you have done.
Verheul: We have done a mountain of film and television work, and have started monthly aerial film and photography for SAMRAL for the GFIP (Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project). We also do the 2010 Stadiums, Gauteng housing development projects and golf courses.

In Focus: Mention any new equipment you have acquired
Verheul: We now have a new two stage jet turbine RC helicopter with 5 axis gyro and a magnetically stabilized pod with an HD camera.

In Focus: Please mention any other factors related to your product.
Verheul: The equipment can be transported worldwide. It is specially manufactured and maintained in our own workshop by our own engineers, and the equipment is designed to get the ultimate POV shot.

For further information contact:
Stephen Verheul
011 640 1900 Office
082 553 5897 Mobile

In Focus also spoke to Mike Perry, owner of African Reptiles & Venom cc.

In Focus: Please advise where you are based.
Perry: We are based at Plot 94 Diepsloot, Randburg, 8 km north of Fourways on the R511.

In Focus: Tell us a bit about your business.
Perry: Well basically I supply snake venom for the South African antivenom unit, present snake courses, do snake demonstrations, and as far as your industry is concerned, I supply snakes for filming purposes. All the reptiles are caught under the permit system that is in place in Gauteng province. The permit allows the capture and removal of reptiles that have made their appearance in domestic gardens or commercial businesses. These reptiles can be kept, made available to other members of herpetological associations or released back into the wild again 20 km away from where it was caught and into the same kind of habitat.

In Focus: How many staff do you employ?
Perry: Basically it is just myself and a casual helper.

In Focus: Mention any recent film work you have been involved in.
Perry: I supplied snakes and snake wrangling services for Tigress Productions. They produce a series on Austin Stevens looking for snakes in their natural habitat.

For further information contact:
Mike Perry
PO Box 70564, Bryanston, 2021, RSA.
Plot 94 Diepsloot, R511 William Nicol Rd. Randburg, RSA.
Tel: +27 83 448 8854; Fax: +27 866 973304.