Film companies tackled

2015-05-05 06:00

Following numerous complaints of inconvenience due to film shoots, members of the Salt River Ratepayers’ Association are now looking to tackle production companies head on.

The association is considering forming a subcommittee to liaise with council and film companies during the awarding of permits, as discussed in a recent meeting. This committee will also provide oversight during film shoots, to ensure companies toe the line.

Last year, Homeland Season 4 was filmed predominantly in the Salt River area. Three commercials were also filmed in the area by three different companies.

Association chairperson Warda Rahim says filming takes place in the residential areas as well as on the main roads, and residents are sometimes parked in or an unsightly sea of litter is left behind once the shoots have been completed (“Scene set for filming fight”, People’s Post, 3 October 2013).

Mayoral committee member for tourism, events and economic development Garreth Bloor says community organisations have minimal input in the awarding of film permits. “All filming applications are sent to the local ward councillor for comment. The ward councillor may escalate the booking to the ratepayers associations for information. We very seldom get feedback from community forums,” he says.

However, on large shoots film companies do tend to meet with the ratepayers associations to present what exactly they intend doing and if any road closures are necessary, Bloor says.

“Often, signed concurrencies are obtained to ascertain if there are any objections. The story-board and the storyline are also discussed in terms of how the community is depicted in the shoot,” he explains.

And many communities remain unclear on permit restrictions, Bloor says.

“Except in those communities where they were consulted on filming guidelines for their respective areas, most communities are generally not aware of permit conditions. For example, the Bo-Kaap association is aware of the restrictions associating alcohol with the area.”

Film shoots are divided into three tiers, depending on the impact they will have on the community, and thus how much consultation is required with residents. The first two tiers, which have minimal impact on the immediate residents, usually only require that communities be notified of the filming activities two days before the shoot. Film companies are required to provide the Film Permit Office with copies of their letter drops and concurrency forms and indicate the extent of the communications undertaken. There is no requirement for residents to grant permission. Residents are consulted where there may be any significant impact and specific conditions may be included to address their concerns should the film proceed

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