Rankin, the UK's leading fashion photographer, was the feature of a BBC 4 documentary shot in several locations in the Gauteng area in mid January this year. Rankin journeys through the remarkably rich and diverse images of South African photography.

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Rankin
South Africa is a place he's known and loved for over a decade. He sets out to reveal an energetic and revelatory portrait of the life and people of South Africa captured through the lenses of its leading photographers.

The country has a long and illustrious photographic tradition that he is intrigued by. In this documentary, he immerses himself in the world of other photographers, embarking on a quest to reveal an intimate, insider's portrait of the life and people of this nation. He challenges our preconceptions of what is Africa by revealing how life has been captured by some of the most interesting and enquiring minds in South African photography.

Paul Brehem was the freelance 'Fixer' on the documentary. He has worked as a freelance fixer and consultant since 1998 and has been based in Cape Town since 2001. "The vast majority of my work is on short term contract to the BBC, though I also work for National Geographic and other broadcasters," he explains, adding that in this documentary, "Rankin visits South Africa to meet some of its most well known photographers from different genres and to discover how they work and the impact their work has had."

The photographers interviewed included David Goldblatt, Jurgen Schadeberg (now based in Europe), Greg Marinovich and Joao Silva of the Bang Bang Club, Lolo Veleko and Alf Khumalo. Also filmed were a group of young photographers and their models at the Alf Khumalo Museum in Soweto.

"Locations used included Thokoza Township, the Alf Khumalo Museum, Selby, Yeoville view point, Commissioner Street in downtown Joburg, Newtown and the Drum Archives," says Brehem. "The DOP was Dirk Nel, sound Julian Guillaume and director Louise Lockwood. We hired gear from, and were supported by, Frank Meyberg of Digital Film in Johannesburg.

"BBC Scotland, based in Glasgow, will do the post, to be finished in mid March 2010. Transmission date is set for April 2010 on BBC4.

"I would just like to add that Jacque Stoltz of the Gauteng Film Commission did a fantastic job of advising us on locations, permissions required and notifying the JMPD of where we were working," concludes Brehem. "JMPD arrived on location several times to ask if they could help, something that I've never before experienced and which was most welcome."